RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.32 (Tennis)
Jayhawks sweep the Sooners!!! Final from Lawrence on Senior Day ?? pic.twitter.com/uB7LDnhklt
— Kansas Tennis (@KansasTennis) April 22, 2018
A post shared by Kansas Tennis (@kansastennis) on Apr 22, 2018 at 1:59pm PDT
The Kansas women’s tennis team concluded its spring season this past weekend at the Jayhawk Tennis Center at Rock Chalk Park.
KU ended the dual-match portion of its schedule with a 15-5 overall record, including 7-2 against Big 12 Conference opponents. The mark landed Kansas tied for second in the league alongside Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.
The Jayhawks began their season by dropping two-consecutive matches to No. 10 Michigan (6-1) and No. 14 Ohio State (4-1). Following those first two losses, Kansas only fell three times in its next 18 matches, with each defeat coming against nationally-ranked teams.
During its season, KU competed against 12 teams that were ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) at the time of the match. Overall, 17 of the Jayhawks’ 19 opponents appeared on the ITA’s top-50 list at some point in the spring season.
With their impressive season, Kansas team members accumulated awards and honors both on and off the courts. First, junior Anastasia Rychagova, who was ranked as the No. 1 player in the nation this year, was named Big 12 Player of the Week on February 20 following a record of 4-0 in singles in doubles against T24 Oregon and William & Mary.
Less than a month later, junior Nina Khmelnitckaia earned the honor on March 13. Her nomination came after she tallied a 4-0 mark against No. 26 Tulsa and No. 38 Baylor. Khmelnitckaia not only clinched the match for a, 4-1, victory, but snapped KU’s 11-match losing streak to Tulsa and the Golden Hurricane’s active seven-match win streak on the season.
Only a couple weeks after Khmelnitckaia, senior Despoina Vogasari was named Big 12 Player of the Week on March 27. She notched four wins against No. 16 Texas Tech and TCU on the road. Vogasari earned her highest-ranked victory against an opponent so far in her collegiate career with a, 6-2, 6-2, defeat of the Lady Raiders’ No. 11-ranked Gabriela Talaba. She then claimed the overall match for the Jayhawks against TCU with her, 7-6 (7-5), 6-0, win for the program’s second-ever win against the Horned Frogs.
Most recently, four Jayhawks were named to the 2018 Academic All-Big 12 Teams. Khmelnitckaia was selected for the first team for first time, while Rychagova, sophomore Maria Toran Ribes and redshirt-freshman Amber Policare were recognized on the second team.
Now in the postseason, Kansas will head to Austin, Texas to compete in the Big 12 Championship and then await its fate for the NCAA Tournament in May.