No. 17 Kansas hits the road for two away matches
LAWRENCE, Kan. – After hosting two top-25 teams to open Big 12 Conference play, the No. 17-ranked Kansas tennis team will travel to Denton, Texas, to take a break from league play with two nonconference matches at the Waranch Tennis Complex.
“We’re trying to build off these last two matches,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “The thing we liked the best, whether we did or didn’t play our best tennis, is that we felt like it was the first back-to-back matches where as a team we competed.”
Kansas (7-4, 1-1) will face Columbia (3-8), in a neutral site match, at 11 a.m., Saturday. The Jayhawks will play host North Texas at 12 p.m., Sunday.
“Anytime you go on the road you have to be prepared for tough matches,” said Chapman. “North Texas and Columbia are both talented teams. We expect to get their best shot and we’re excited for the opportunity to get out there and play again.”
The Lions, coming off a two road wins, and Jayhawks will face each other for the first time in the history of the two programs. Kanika Vaidya has an 11-6 record in dual play, including a 5-3 mark at the No. 1 spot.
“It (neutral matches) is a little different feel because there’s not usually anyone there watching the match,” said Chapman. “The positive is, there’s not an advantage to anyone. It comes down to the tennis that’s played and who takes advantage of the opportunity the most. That’s what the match with Columbia will be. They’re a perennial top-50 team and have had a lot of success over the last few years.”
North Texas (6-10, 0-1) leads the series against Kansas, 4-1. The schools last met in 2016, when the Jayhawks hosted and defeated the Mean Green, 5-0. North Texas is home to the No. 82-ranked singles player Maria Kononova. The No. 1 player owns a 12-3 record in dual play. Kononova and doubles partner Tamuna Kutubidze are the No. 77-ranked duo in the nation and have a perfect 11-0 dual-match record at the No. 1 spot.
“North Texas is very hard to beat at home,” said Chapman. “I’ve played against them several times and they play really well at home. We’re expecting to have our hands full in both matches.”
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