Jayhawks Announce the Signing of Tatiana Nikolaeva and Maria Toran Ribes

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s tennis continues to bolster its roster as Jayhawk head coach Todd Chapman announced the addition of a pair of highly-touted international players for the 2016-17 season in Tatiana Nikolaeva (Togliatti, Russia) and Maria Toran Ribes (Algemesí, Spain).
Nikolaeva and Ribes give the Jayhawks a total of three signees as they join Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum, who signed a grant in aid and is set to join the KU program next year after transferring from Purdue.
“With the addition of Tatiana, Maria and Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum, our program is set up for a very bright future,” said Chapman. “I believe we have put together three consecutive recruiting classes that have the ability to do some really special things in the years to come. The future is really bright for Kansas women’s tennis and this should be a really fun group to watch as we move forward.”
Nikolaeva comes to KU after spending much of her juniors career at the top of the tennis rankings in her native Russia. She was rated No. 5 in the Under 12 rankings in 2011, No. 8 in the Under 14 rankings in 2013 and No. 13 in the Under 16 rankings in 2015. Nikolaeva has been ranked as high as No. 264 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.
Nikolaeva has experienced a lot of success during her time in Russia, having won the Championship of Russia in singles in 2011 and finishing in second place in doubles that same year. She finished runner up in both singles and doubles at the same event in 2013. Additionally, she took home the doubles title at the ITF Grade 3 Siberian Cup in 2014 and ITF Grade 4 TSZ Cup in 2015 and the singles title at the ITF Grade 5 Green Cup in 2014.
“We are very excited to have a player of Tatiana’s caliber join us, but even more excited to have someone with such strong values and work ethic join our program,” said Chapman. “Tatiana’s best tennis is in front of her and we are excited to help her achieve her goals on and off the tennis court. 
“Tatiana is a solid all court player who’s game will translate nicely at the college level. She has a lot of experience internationally and will fit in with the direction and culture of our program. I expect Tatiana to come in right away and challenge for a spot in the singles and doubles lineup.”
Ribes is currently ranked No. 7 in the Spanish 18 and Under Division and has been rated as high as No. 33 in the Spanish Women’s Open Division. She took home the title in the Under 16 Division at the Champion of Comunidad Valenciana event and was a finalist for the Spanish Team Championship. Ribes qualified and lost in the round of 32 at the Castellon ITF $10,000 in singles and lost in the quarterfinals of doubles in 2015. She lost in the round of 16 at the Castellon ITF $10,000 in singles in 2014.   
“Maria comes to KU with a great tennis background and has been really been well coached,” said Chapman. “She is very talented and has a huge upside to her game. I believe Maria has the talent to be as good as she wants to be. She is a very strong ball-striking baseline player who has the ability to really dictate play. We are excited about getting to work with Maria to develop and push her game to the next level. I believe Maria will look to come in and make an impact on the lineup right away.”

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