Rychagova named No. 1 singles player in the nation; Three other Jayhawks ranked
Lawrence, Kan. – Kansas junior Anastasia Rychagova was named the No. 1-ranked singles player in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Wednesday.
“What a great day for Nastia (Rychagova) and for Kansas Tennis,” said head coach Todd Chapman. “To watch the growth of Nastia as a player and as a person in the last two and a half years has been so fun to watch. Nastia is very deserving to be in this position and has worked so hard the past six months to be where she is today. The exciting thing is, knowing Nastia the way we do, she won’t be satisfied until she is No. 1 in the year-end rankings.”
The notoriety comes after Rychagova posted a 10-2 fall singles record, including an 8-1 mark against ranked opponents. Her only two losses of the season came against eventual champions of the two biggest fall events – Riveria/ITA All-American and the Oracle/ITA National Fall Championship.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Rychagova. “This is something you hope for in your college career and it just happened. I want to say thank you to all of the people who believed in and supported me. They made it possible even though I never thought it would be.”
Rychagova’s ranking marks a program best for Kansas. Previously, Kylie Hunt held the highest spot when she finished at No. 6 in the final poll after the 1996 season.
“Nobody in the country outworks Nas (Rychagova),” said assistant coach Caroline Lilley. “Her commitment to greatness is a testament to the character and heart she brings to everything she does. She joins an elite few with the honor of having the ‘1’ next to their names and she could not be more deserving of the recognition.”
The Jayhawks have three other ranked singles players in Janet Koch (90), Despoina Vogasari (94) and Nina Khmelnitckaia (112). In addition, Rychagova and Khmelnitckaia are also ranked as the No. 38 doubles team.
“I am proud of Janet, Debbie (Vogasari) and Nina as well,” said Chapman. “The hard work they put in this summer and fall paid off for them to finish in the top 125 of the national rankings for the fall season.”
The November 15 announcement also marks the first time in program history that KU has had four players ranked in the singles poll at the same time. In 1992, in the final poll, the Jayhawks had three with Evelyn Hamers (13), Nora Koves (43) and Rebecca Jensen (51).
Kansas will open spring play at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational January 13 – 15 in Fort Meyers, Florida. The Jayhawks will then open their spring home season on February 3 against North Carolina State at 1 p.m., at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
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