Kansas tennis earns highest ranking in 25 years
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s tennis team cracked the top-10 in Wednesday’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) poll at No. 8, the highest ranking since the 1994 Jayhawks finished the year ranked No. 7.
Kansas moved up four spots to No. 8 after recording two more Top-50 victories this past weekend. The Jayhawks defeated this week’s No. 45 Rice Sunday and No. 46 Tulsa Saturday.
“Going into this year we thought we had a strong team, and we knew some things were possible with opportunities for rankings and hopefully some championships,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “The recognition is nice, and you have to take a step back to appreciate that it is proof we are moving in the right direction. But it doesn’t change anything day-to-day with what we are trying to accomplish. This team is interested in where we finish the season, not where we are in the middle of February. I would rather be in this position than not in this position, but we have a lot of work to do. Our main focus is to try to improve. Hopefully, by the end of the year we have put ourselves in position to have many more accolades.”
Kansas currently has six players ranked in singles and doubles by the ITA. In singles, undefeated senior Anastasia Rychagova is ranked No. 47, while fellow senior Janet Koch comes in this week at No. 79.
The senior duo of Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia is ranked No. 3 in the nation with a 5-0 record this spring. Junior Maria Toran Ribes and freshman Malkia Ngounoue moved up to No. 39 after compiling a 4-1 record so far this spring. Freshman Sonia Smagina comes in ranked with two different Jayhawks – Koch (No. 46) and Rychagova (No. 51). Rychagova and Smagina have notched a 5-1 doubles record in 2019.
Kansas tennis hosts a pair of nonconference opponents this weekend at the Jayhawk Tennis Center – No. 41-ranked Arkansas on Saturday and No. 44-ranked Air Force on Sunday. First serve both days is set for noon.
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