Three Kansas netters honored by Big 12
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas sophomore Anastasia Rychagova was one of only six student-athletes named to the All-Big 12 Singles First Team Thursday as announced by the conference office, while senior Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum became the first Jayhawk in league history to be presented the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award. Bernard-Feigenbaum and sophomore Nina Khmelnitckaia also earned All-Big 12 Doubles Second Team honors.
Rychagova is now 2-for-2 in All-Big 12 First Team honors, earning the recognition as a freshman and again this season. As a result, Rychagova is the first Jayhawk to be named twice to the all-league team since Elizaveta Avdeeva was selected in 2006 and 2007.
“It’s a great honor for Nastia to be named first team all-conference in her first two years of play in the Big 12,” head coach Todd Chapman said. “The Big 12 is becoming a very strong league in women’s tennis and she is alongside some really good players on the first team. The exciting part about Nastia is there is no doubt in my mind her best tennis is in front of her.”
Rychagova, who is currently ranked No. 77 nationally in singles, owns an impressive 24-8 overall mark, including 13-4 in spring play and 7-3 against Big 12 opponents. During the season, Rychagova has faced 20 nationally ranked individuals and owns a 7-5 record in those matches with eight going unfinished.
Bernard-Feigenbaum transferred to KU from Purdue for her final season of eligibility. In February, she moved up in the lineup to the No. 2 singles spot and immediately rattled off seven-straight victories. Not looking back, Bernard-Feigenbaum holds a 22-11 overall singles mark, including a 7-6, 7-6 win over then-No. 40-ranked Felicity Maltby from Texas Tech. That win over Maltby marked the highest-ranked victory for Bernard-Feigenbaum in her entire career.
“I am really proud of Tess as well,” Chapman said. “She made an instant impact in our league and on our team. She was up against some tough competition for Newcomer of the Year, so it is a really nice accolade for Tess.”
Bernard-Feigenbaum and Khmelnitckaia, the No. 37-ranked doubles team in the nation, became the first KU doubles team to be all Big 12 since Ekaterina Morozova and Edina Horvath in 2009. The pair has tallied a 21-10 overall mark, including a 15-7 spring record.
“I am proud of the doubles team that Tess and Nina have become,” Chapman said. “They both have really grown as players but more importantly as partners. We are excited to watch them finish their season at the 2017 NCAA Doubles Championships.”
Rychagova, Bernard-Feigenbaum and Khmelnitckaia, along with the rest of the Jayhawks, will be back in action Saturday at 8 a.m. CT, when KU faces Notre Dame in Columbus, Ohio for the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
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