Kansas ends fall season with four players ranked
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Following a successful 2018 fall season Kansas tennis put the nation on notice as four Jayhawks were nationally ranked in the International Tennis Association (ITA) poll released by the association Wednesday. Jayhawk seniors Nina Khmelnitckaia, Janet Koch and Anastasia Rychagova all received rankings by the ITA for the second time in the 2018-19 season, as each of them were among the women’s collegiate tennis players named in the preseason poll back in September.
Khmelnitckaia and Koch are the No. 5-ranked doubles team by the ITA. The senior duo’s fall campaign was highlighted by winning the doubles title at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships. Another Kansas doubles team made its way into the national rankings as senior Rychagova and freshman Sonia Smagina were ranked No. 27.
“The fall was highlighted by Janet and Nina winning the Riviera/ITA All-American doubles championship and finishing the fall ranked No. 5 in the country,” head coach Todd Chapman said. “Our three seniors led the way this fall and it is fitting that they are in the position(s) they are headed into the spring season.”
Kansas’ national rankings did not stop with doubles. The Jayhawks’ three seniors: Khmeltnickaia, Koch and Rychagova, all were ranked in the singles’ poll for the second-consecutive time this season. After starting the year ranked No. 124, Koch jumped in the rankings all the way up to No. 34 after defeating a number of nationally ranked opponents. Khmelnitckaia also moved up in the rankings as she advanced 36 spots from No. 106 to No. 70. As Rychagova continues to rehab from injury, she will also be trying to climb back up in the rankings, as she comes in at No. 109. Last year, Rychagova spent time as the No. 1-ranked singles player, which led to her opening the 2018-19 season ranked No. 6 in singles.
With the fall portion of their season concluded, the Jayhawks will take a break to focus on academics to close out the semester, as well as continue to prepare for the 2019 spring portion of their season on the tennis courts. Kansas will begin competition at the Orlando Invitational in Florida, which is scheduled for Jan. 11-13, 2019.
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