KU netters finish non-con slate at Tulsa

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 15-ranked Kansas women’s tennis team has the Big 12 Conference schedule looming, but prior to league play the Jayhawks turn their focus toward non-conference opponent No. 26 Tulsa and an 11-match losing streak as the two programs face off Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Golden Hurricane leads the overall series, 15-11-1, and head coach Todd Chapman is 0-4 against Tulsa during his time at KU. The last Jayhawk victory over Tulsa was in 2006, a 4-3 road win.
“Tulsa is historically a very good program, and as we have been rebuilding, we have had a hard time getting over the hump with them,” Chapman said. “Our goal is to play gritty, competitive tennis Friday and see if we can put ourselves in situations to be successful.”
The narrative for this matchup is different than the one from year’s past. Kansas (7-3), on a three-match win streak, enters as the higher-ranked team, and the Jayhawks are led by the No. 3 singles player in the nation, junior Anastasia Rychagova, while senior transfer Despoina Vogasari is ranked No. 119. Rychagova, along with partner Nina Khmelnitckaia, play doubles at the No. 1 position and are ranked No. 25 nationally.
“Anytime you are on the road against a really good team like Tulsa, getting off to a good start is really important,” Chapman said. “So, the doubles point will be big and the start of the singles matches will be very important if we hope to have a chance to win the match.”
Tulsa (12-2) has won seven-straight matches, including wins over Big 12 Conference members Baylor (4-2) and Oklahoma (6-1). The Golden Hurricane lost to both Arkansas and Michigan, while KU split with the Razorbacks in the two meetings and also fell to the Wolverines.  Both Kansas and Tulsa beat Purdue this season.
The Golden Hurricane is led by senior Ksenia Laskutova, ranked No. 71 nationally, and sophomore Martina Okalova, ranked No. 97. During the fall season, at the ITA Central Regional, Kansas faced Tulsa in two singles and two doubles matches at that event.  The Jayhawks notched a 4-0 record in those matchups.
Live scoring and video are both available for the match.  Visit the KU tennis schedule page on KUAthletics.com for more information.  

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