ITA/USTA Regionals, KU Invitational on tap for Kansas Tennis

Oct. 21, 2010

LAWRENCE, Kan. – A big weekend is ahead for Kansas tennis with two events in three packed days of play.

While the majority of the Jayhawks will remain in Lawrence to host eight other schools in the KU Invitational, four of their teammates will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to take on the area’s finest collegiate talent in the ITA/USTA Central Region Championships.

Ekaterina Morozova, Erin Wilbert, Monica Pezzotti and Sara Lazarevic all qualified for the regional championships, which will be contested throughout the weekend at the Billingsley Tennis Center, on the campus of the University of Arkansas. All four qualified to compete in singles and doubles, with three of the four being selected to compete in the main singles draw. Wilbert will start off the event in the qualifying draw.

Wilbert and Morozova highlight the group of Jayhawks in Fayetteville this week. The two are coming off of a performance earlier this month at the ITA All-American Championships in Los Angeles, that saw them go 1-1 and knock off a ranked Texas team in the prequalifying draw. In addition, Morozova also competed in the prequalifying singles bracket in the elite national event.

A transfer from South Carolina-Upstate, Pezzotti has needed little time to adjust as she and Lazarevic have come on strong as doubles pair in both fall events. The duo is 3-2 this season and won the Blue Flight consolation bracket in the season-opening KU Invitational last month. Both enter regional action with a 3-3 singles record after two fall events.

The rest of the team will get a glimpse of what the spring conference season will hold, as the second of KU’s two fall events will feature fellow Big 12 teams Kansas State, Oklahoma and Colorado. The Jayhawks will also go up against local foes Wichita State and UMKC, as well as Indiana, Iowa and Division II Armstrong Atlantic over three days of tournament play at the Jayhawk Tennis Facility.

After a standout performance in Notre Dame’s Eck Classic earlier this month, Victoria Khanevskaya is expected to anchor the Jayhawks in their home event this weekend. The sophomore won her first three singles matches, including a tough three-set semifinal match, to advance to the finals of the Green Singles draw. Her and partner Kate Goff also combined to record KU’s first flight win of the season, with an 8-4 triumph in the finals of the Green Doubles draw over a team from Miami (Ohio).

Their perfect doubles record at Notre Dame gives them a team-leading 5-1 record. Khanevskaya also holds a team-lead in singles so far this season at 5-2.

The KU Invitational is slated to run Friday through Sunday, with play beginning at 9:30 a.m., daily at the Jayhawk Tennis Facility.