Jayhawks head to Wichita
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas sophomores Nina Khmelnitckaia and Anastasia Rychagova each bring 7-1 spring singles records into the Jayhawks’ road match against Wichita State on Friday, February 17 at 3 p.m., at the Sheldon Coleman Tennis Complex.
After extending her consecutive singles win streak to six against Arkansas, Khmelnitckaia has an overall singles mark of 13-5 this season. No. 50 Rychagova notched a top-50 win over Arkansas’ No. 47-ranked Shannon Hudson, winning 6-2, 6-3. She holds an 18-5 overall record and is now 6-2 against ranked opponents this season.
“They (Khmelnitckaia and Rychagova) have both been practicing consistently,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “They’ve been bringing great passion and energy to their matches and they’ve been really competitive. When you add those things together, they usually give you a pretty good chance to be successful on the scoreboard. As long as they continue to do those things and focus on the details of their games, I think they’ll continue to be successful.”
Prior to the dual season, the Jayhawks and Shockers met at the ITA Central Regional in October. Senior Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum defeated Wichita State senior Tanaporn Thongsing, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Freshmen duo of Tatiana Nikolaeva and Maria Toran Ribes faced Thongsing and Giulia Guidetti in doubles action, but dropped the match, 8-1.
“We’re looking for a complete match with singles and doubles where we believe the competitive level is where it needs to be,” said Chapman. “We’ve had matches where it’s close, but in doubles we need to be a little more consistent in our play instead of one team having a bad day and putting all the pressure on the other two teams to win the point. Hopefully we’ll see that Friday.”
While both schools have relatively young teams, that hasn’t stopped them thus far in the season. Kansas (4-2) has two freshmen and three sophomores and Wichita State (4-1) has four freshmen on its roster.
“I think it will be extremely competitive,” said Chapman. “You have two instate schools that are playing together and I think there’s a lot of pride on the line. Every time we’ve played them, they’ve been ready to play. We expect a highly competitive match. They’re a well-coached team and always play a tough schedule.”
Kansas leads the all-time series, 15-7, but Wichita State is on a three-match win streak. The Shockers came to Lawrence last season and claimed a 5-2 win.
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