Rychagova Named ITA Central Region Freshman of the Year
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas freshman tennis player Anastasiya Rychagova was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Region Freshman of the Year Monday afternoon. Rychagova is the first player in KU history to win the award.
“We are extremely proud of Anastasiya,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “She has been so successful in her first year as a Jayhawk. Anastasiya has worked so hard since arriving on campus and is very deserving of this honor. I want to also recognize the tremendous job assistant coach Caroline Lilley has done in developing Anastasiya’s game. We are excited to see what lies ahead for the rest of her upcoming career at KU.”
Rychagova, who is currently ranked 77th in the ITA singles rankings, was instrumental in leading Kansas to its first NCAA Championship appearance in 17 years.
A Moscow, Russia native, Rychagova went 15-5 in singles play (with four unfinished matches) and was also stellar in doubles action at 20-3. Her play helped the Jayhawks defeat conference foe Baylor for the first time since 2002, and also pick up a win over conference foe Texas for the first time ever in 28 attempts.
Rychagova and her Kansas teammates will travel to the No. 1 overall seed California for the first two rounds of NCAA Championship play. The Jayhawks are the two seed in their pod and will face the No. 3 seed UC Santa Barbara, while Cal will take on No. 4 seed University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Kansas and UCSB will face off at 12 p.m. (CT), followed by the Cal-UTRGV match at 3 p.m. (CT). The two winners will match up at 5 p.m. (CT), on Saturday, May 14.
The Jayhawks, who are currently ranked No. 33 in the latest ITA standings, have put together a 17-7 overall mark and finished in a five-way tie for second place in the Big 12 Conference with a 6-3 record in league play. KU advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2002, where they fell to eventual-champion, Oklahoma State.
Kansas’ last appearance in the NCAA Championship came in 1999, where the Jayhawks defeated New Mexico, 5-3, in the first round, before falling to Duke, 5-0, in the second round. KU will be making the program’s eighth NCAA Tournament appearance, but its first in 17 years.
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