Jayhawks Selected for 2017 ITA Division I Women's Kick-Off Weekend
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Fresh off its most successful season in more than a decade, Kansas women’s tennis was tabbed for the 2017 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division I Women’s Kick-Off Weekend. The Jayhawks, who concluded the 2015-16 campaign ranked No. 33 in the final ITA rankings, were invited to play in the event for the first time since its inception in 2009.
The Kick-Off Weekend pits four seeded teams at a school site. The No. 1 team in each site will face the No. 4 team. The No. 2 team will face the No. 3 team. Two matches are guaranteed – the winners/losers will play the following day. The 15 schools that win both of their matches at these events will be invited to play in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship hosted by Yale University on Feb. 10-13, 2017.
Kansas picked up a 2-seed and will travel to Nashville, Tennessee as Vanderbilt will serve as the 1-seed and host of its four-team pod. KU will take on 3-seed Clemson in its opening round match, while Virginia Tech will also head to Nashville and will take on the host Commodores in the opening round of pod play.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to play in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “The Vanderbilt regional is one of the strongest in the country and we are excited to be the No. 2 seed.
“Clemson is a very tough opponent and we are excited to for the opportunity to measure ourselves against such a perennial power. Virginia Tech is the No. 4 seed and they were an NCAA tournament team this year. Vanderbilt lost in the Final Four this year and won the NCAA title in 2015, so our work is definitely cut out for us, but we wanted to go to a regional where we would be tested early in the season and find out where we are as a team right from the beginning.”
Kansas will return five players in 2016-17 and is adding three signees to bolster the already impressive roster. Leading the way will be sophomore Anastasiya Rychagova, who was named the 2016 Big 12 and ITA Central Region Freshman of the Year, First Team All-Big 12 and a member of the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Junior Smith Hinton earned Second Team All-Big 12 honors, while sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia joined Rychagova on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
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