Jayhawks Set To Open Spring 2015 Campaign in New Mexico Friday
After a successful fall season where the Kansas women’s tennis team gained experience in several tournaments, the Jayhawks are set to open their 2015 spring season on Friday, Jan. 23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Linda Estes Tennis Center. KU will start the season with a double-header over the weekend as it faces New Mexico (0-0, 0-0 Mountain West) on Friday at 6 p.m., before taking on South Carolina (0-0, 0-0 SEC) on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
THE SERIES: KANSAS vs. NEW MEXICO
Kansas (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) leads the all-time series with New Mexico, 6-4. The last match-up between the two schools was in 2008 when the Jayhawks topped the 46th-ranked Lobos, 4-3. New Mexico’s last win in the series came in 2002 with a 7-0 sweep of the Jayhawks.
SCOUTING THE LOBOS
Last season New Mexico claimed the Mountain West regular-season title. Additionally, the Lobos advanced to the Mountain West Conference Championship finals for the first time after a ten-year hiatus.
New Mexico opened its spring season on Jan. 16 at the Beach Tennis Winter Classic hosted by No. 39 Long Beach State. The Lobos notched three wins in doubles and eight wins in the singles during the three-day tournament. At the Classic, UNM also saw action against Cal State Northridge and Portland. Before the Lobos host the Jayhawks on Jan. 23, they will go head-to-head against Grand Canyon (0-0, 0-0 WAC) and Northern Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) on Jan. 22.
THE SERIES: KANSAS vs. SOUTH CAROLINA
Kansas and South Carolina will be meeting for the first time in the history of the two programs.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina is No. 23 in ITA rankings and opened the 2015 season at the Michigan Invitational. Over the course of the three day invitational the Gamecocks claimed seven victories in singles and five in the doubles. South Carolina saw action over the weekend against No. 16 Michigan and No. 53 South Florida. The Jayhawks are last on the Gamecocks slate as they will take on Grand Canyon (0-0, 0-0 WAC) and Northern Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky) on Jan. 22.
South Carolina is the home state of freshman Rachel McNeely, who hails from Westminster. McNeely posted a 7-6 singles record and 4-2 doubles record during the fall season.
NEW FACES, NEW YEAR
Kansas women’s tennis opens the spring 2015 season with six rookies and three veterans on the roster.
Returning players senior Maria Belen Ludueña, junior Maria Jose Cardona and sophomore Caroline Henderson have tallied numerous wins in their time donning the Crimson and Blue. Ludueña and Cardona teamed up for a semifinal finish at the ITA Central Regionals in doubles action, while Ludueña posted a 2-1 mark on her way to a berth in the singles quarterfinals. Ludueña finished the fall season with a 5-5 overall mark, which included a singles title at the CCLR Invitational.
The six Jayhawk newcomers spent the 2014 fall campaign getting acclimated to collegiate tennis. Smith Hinton led the way with a 7-3 mark in singles play. Hinton teamed up with fellow freshman Madison Harrison to post a 2-1 mark in doubles in the fall, while Harrison recorded a 4-6 ledger in singles action. Other fall singles marks for first-year players were as follows: Summer Collins, 2-6; Alexis Czapinski, 3-5; Rachel McNeely, 2-5; Lauren Pickens, 4-4.
SEASON OPENING STREAK
Kansas women’s tennis has a knack for opening its season with a bang. The Jayhawks have claimed victory 25 times since their inaugural 1976-77 season. The overall season-opening record is 26-11 and Kansas has never faced New Mexico in a season kick-off.
THIS TIME, LAST YEAR
Kansas opened its 2014 season matched-up against former Big 12 foe Nebraska. After numerous close matches with the Cornhuskers the Jayhawks came out with a 4-3 victory. The victory marked the third-consecutive season-opening dual match win for Kansas. The win marked just the third time in ten years (at the time of competition) that the program had defeated a top-50 ranked team. Kansas jumped out in front of Nebraska first, winning the doubles competition 2-1. The Jayhawks then got singles wins from Dylan Windom, Paulina Los and Claire Dreyer to pull out the hard-fought win over the Cornhuskers.
THEY LIKE A CHALLENGEIn his second season at the helm of the Kansas women’s tennis team, head coach Todd Chapman and the Jayhawks will take on 11 ranked opponents making this season’s schedule one of the most challenging in recent memory.
Rank School9 *Baylor19 *Oklahoma State22 *Texas24 *Oklahoma26 Tulsa29 *Texas Tech35 Houston41 *TCU51 Wichita State64 *Kansas State70 North Texas*Big 12 School
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.