No. 18 Kansas opens NCAA Tournament against Denver
Lawrence, Kan. – With its third-straight at-large NCAA Tournament bid, the No. 18-ranked Kansas tennis team opens the 2018 NCAA Tournament against Denver Friday, May 11 at 12 p.m., CT at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, California.
The first-round meeting serves as the seventh time the two programs have faced off in a dual match. Denver leads the overall series, 4-2, and has won the last two competitions. The winner of Friday’s match will face the victor of No. 12 Pepperdine, the host, and Idaho in the second round Saturday at 2 p.m., CT.
The Jayhawks (15-6) will be led by senior and Big 12 Newcomer of Year, No. 63-ranked Despoina Vogasari. Playing at both the No. 1 and 2 positions, Vogasari has a dual-match record of 13-4 and an overall mark of 24-9. Vogasari has won 10-consecutive matches, the longest win streak of her collegiate career.
“The exciting part is that this has become the expectation of our program,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “We’re in a place now where we expect to be in the NCAA Tournament every year. Now, our goal is to not only make tournaments, but advance in tournaments. To see that growth and expectation of our program has been great.”
For the Pioneers (19-4), this is their fifth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. This season Denver earned its spot by clinching the Summit League championship title. Last year, DU upset No. 25-ranked USC in the first round of the tournament before falling to No. 7 Texas Tech.
“They’re a tough team,” said Chapman. “They’re a spirited team. They’re going to compete very hard. They’ve had a great season and are very well coached. We know we have a tough task ahead of us from playing them in the past. We’ll have to play well and with a lot of energy and excitement to have a chance.”
Denver has two players who have split time between courts one and two. Julia O’Loughlin owns a 14-4 record, including 12-4 at the top position. Bianca Monk has seen more time as the No. 2 player in the lineup, account for a 16-1 mark of her 17-2 overall. The two compete together in doubles and are 5-2 on court one for the Pioneers.
Live scoring will be available for the match. Visit the KU tennis schedule page on KUAthletics.com for more information.
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