Kansas to break-in outside courts against Arkansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas and its No. 19-ranked doubles team of Nina Khmelnitckaia and Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum will play Arkansas on Saturday, February 11 at 3 p.m., at the Jayhawk Tennis Center for the second home match of the season.
No. 19-ranked Khmelnitckaia and Bernard-Feigenbaum have won seven of their last eight doubles matches, including wins over the No. 44 and No. 53-ranked teams. The duo holds a 13-4 overall doubles mark. Khmelnitckaia is also on a five-match win streak, two of which propelled the Jayhawks to a pair of victories over the past weekend. Khmelnitckaia is now 12-5 overall in singles and 6-1 in the spring.
“I think she (Khmelnitckaia) has played really good tennis this spring,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “She’s faced adversity really well and not allowed situations to get her off her game. I think she’s really matured on the court. Nina has been clear with what she wants to do in the point, but is also aware of how to handle losing points, games or sets and that has put her in a situation to be successful.”
In the fall, Kansas opened the 2016-17 season at the Little Rock Invitational against Arkansas, West Virginia and TCU. The Jayhawks posted eight wins against the Razorbacks with six coming from singles. No. 50 Anastasia Rychagova topped Arkansas’ Ana Oparenovic, 6-4, 6-2, to claim the Flight A Singles Championship. In Flight C, freshmen Maria Toran Ribes and Tatiana Nikolaeva swept their matches and earned the title of co-champions
“I know as a coach, and I think they know as a team, that Arkansas is a very talented team,” said Chapman. “They’re well coached and it’s definitely going to be a test. I’m excited for a really good match. It’s another opportunity to continue to build our resume for postseason play.”
Arkansas leads the series between the two schools, 11-8, including a four-match win streak, which the Jayhawks ended with a 4-1 win over the Razorbacks in 2016. After a 6-1 win against Oklahoma last weekend, the Razorbacks come to Lawrence with a 4-2 record in dual play this spring.
“It’s exciting to play at home again,” said Chapman. “This week, getting to spend the majority of time at home, it relieves some stress from the girls as far as class work and tests. It’s nice to sleep in your own bed and not have to deal with traveling. I think it’s a nice break.”
The Jayhawks spent the last four matches on the road and after this weekend, Kansas will hit the road for three-consecutive away matches.
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