Jayhawks head to Stillwater for ITA Kick-Off Weekend
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A battle among four top-25 opponents awaits this weekend as Kansas tennis competes in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend tournament in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The No.-16 ranked Jayhawks will open the tournament against the Illinois Illini, ranked No. 18 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) poll, at 1 p.m., Friday at the Greenwood Tennis Center. Virginia (3-0 this year, No. 21) and Big 12 Conference foe Oklahoma State (2-1, No. 10) will face off in the other half of the bracket.
“The team is excited for a challenging and tough weekend of competition,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “We are competing in one of the strongest four-team regionals in the qualifying for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. The team’s goal is to embrace the opportunity to improve this weekend and to compete as a unit to the best of our abilities. Illinois, Oklahoma State and Virginia are all strong programs and we are excited to see where we stack up with the competition.”
This past Sunday, in KU’s first dual match of the season, the Jayhawks defeated No. 19 Northwestern, 5-2, at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. Kansas remained the No. 16-ranked team in the latest ITA rankings, as announced Wednesday morning.
Illinois’ contest versus Kansas on Friday will be its first match of the spring 2019 season. The Illini finished 2017-18 ranked No. 20 in the country with an overall record of 22-6 (9-3 Big Ten Conference) to claim third place in the Big Ten. After advancing to the second round of the NCAA Championships this past season, Illinois is expected to compete for another NCAA berth in 2019; the Illini were picked to finish third in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll. Kansas leads the all-time series against Illinois, 4-2; the Illini have won the last two contests, including the last matchup in 2009.
The ITA Kick-Off Weekend tournament concludes Saturday; Friday’s winners will play at 2 p.m., local time; Friday’s losers will play at 11 a.m.
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