No. 21 Kansas hosts two Big 12 opponents

Lawrence, Kan. – Senior Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum puts her No. 122 ranking, a 10-3 spring singles record and a five-match win streak on the line when No. 21 Kansas hosts two home Big 12 Conference matches this weekend at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.

Coming off two nonconference road wins, Kansas (9-4, 1-1) will face West Virginia (4-7, 0-1) at 5 p.m., Friday, March 24 and Iowa State (15-2, 1-0) at 12 p.m., Sunday, March 26. Kansas sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia has won four-consecutive matches and owns an 11-2 spring singles record. The doubles team of Anastasia Rychagova and Maria Toran Ribes has compiled a perfect record of 6-0 at the No. 3 spot.

“West Virginia and Iowa State are both much-improved teams,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “We expect them to come in and challenge us. We expect tough battles. As always, no matter who we’re playing, the focus is on our expectations of ourselves and our program, to play at a level that we expect.

“Whether we’re playing someone ranked ahead of us or behind us, we’re still focused on being the best competitors we can be. We’re going out and challenging ourselves to compete at a high level and hopefully we continue to get better through that process.”

The Jayhawks lead the all-time series with the Mountaineers, 4-0, including a 4-1 win in Morgantown last season. Playing at the No. 1 spot, West Virginia’s Habiba Shaker has an 8-3 dual play record. The doubles team of Lyn Yuen Choo and Paula Goetz bring a 4-1 doubles record at the No. 3 spot to Friday’s match.

“Our conference, as a whole, is getting tougher and tougher, which is good,” said Chapman. “That’s what you want as a team because you know you’re going to be pushed and challenged every weekend. You’re going to see the things you’re doing well, but you’re also going to see the things you need to work on moving forward in the season. Then, if you’re eligible for postseason play, you’ve been pushed throughout your conference season so hopefully you’re ready.”

Kansas also leads the overall series against Iowa State, 42-13, including a five-match win streak. The Cyclones haven’t lost since February 5, marking 12 match wins in a row, with their only two losses coming on the road. Playing at the No. 2 spot, the doubles team of Annabella Bonadonna and Margarita Timakova have tallied an 11-2 dual record. The Cyclones’ Regina Espindola has split play between the No. 2, 3 and 4 spots, to put her at an impressive 12-1 dual play record.

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