Tennis Opens Dual Slate Against Nebraska, Liberty
With a bevy of tournament experience under its belt, the Kansas women’s tennis team will open its 2014 dual match schedule at No. 36 Nebraska (1-2, 0-0 Big 10) in Lincoln, Neb., at 4 p.m., at the Nebraska Tennis Center. The Jayhawks will continue their double-header weekend at home against undefeated Liberty (3-0, 0-0 Big South), Feb. 2 at 11 a.m., in the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
THE SERIES: KANSAS vs. NEBRASKA
Kansas (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) currently leads the former Big-12 rival in the Husker-Jayhawk series, 22-14, but has fallen in the last three match-ups. The last meeting was at Nebraska on April 4, 2011, when the then-No. 41 Huskers defeated the Jayhawks, 5-2, and were still a member of the Big 12. Seniors Dylan Windom and Paulina Los both garnered wins in the 2011 match, as Los picked up a doubles win against current Husker senior Maike Zeppernick and Windom defeated NU’s Frederike Putthoff , 6-4, 6-1.
During the fall invitational slate, KU met Nebraska at the ITA Central Regionals (Oct. 17-21) in Norman, Okla., and at the Midland Invitational (Sept. 13-15) in Midland, Texas. In Midland, Anastasija Trubica defeated Maike Zeppernick 6-2, 6-1 and Brittany Brewster topped Paulina Los, 6-3, 7-6. In round two of the ITA Central Regionals, Maria Jose Cardona and Maria Belen Ludueña blanked Brittany Brewster and Lisa Andersson, 8-0.
SCOUTING THE HUSKERS
Nebraska is ranked No. 36 in ITA rankings. Sophomore Maggy Lehmicke posted a solid 14-12 record in fall play and broke into the ITA Rankings last week at No. 63, despite going 0-3 against ranked foes.
NU opened its dual-match schedule on Jan. 21 with a victory against Creighton (0-1, 0-0 Big East) where the Huskers ran past the Jays, 7-0, at the Nebraska Tennis Center. Following their win, the Huskers hosted the ITA Kick-Off Classic with No. 16 Vanderbilt, No. 18 Texas Tech and No. 19 Georgia Tech. Nebraska fell to Georgia Tech (0-4) and Texas Tech (1-4).
SCOUTING THE LADY FLAMES
Liberty comes to Lawrence with three matches and just as many wins already in the 2014 season. The Lady Flames sparked their undefeated streak during their season-opening 6-1 win over Morehead State. Liberty moved on to North Carolina Central where LU continued its streak with another 6-1 win over the Eagles. For its third win, Liberty topped Big 12 foe, West Virginia, in the same fashion, 6-1.
Before the Lady Flames make their way to the Jayhawk Tennis Center, they will meet their second Big 12 team in the form of No. 55 Kansas State on Feb. 1. Liberty’s 3-0 record is the first in the program’s history.
Former Kansas women’s tennis assistant coach German Delmagro joined the Nebraska staff in the summer of 2013 after the departure of former head coach Amy Hall-Holt. Delmagro was assistant coach for KU under Hall-Holt four six seasons .
Liberty freshman Lauren Mabe will be returning home to the Sunflower State. Mabe is a graduate of Insight Kansas School and hails from Olathe, Kan., 28 miles from Lawrence.
NEW FACES, NEW YEAR
Kansas tennis started the fall 2013 season with a veteran team of four seniors, one junior, two sophomores and a freshman. Over winter break first-year head coach Todd Chapman added four new freshmen: Morgan Barnhill, Antonella Galeano Harrison, Caroline Henderson and Alison Lynch.
Barnhill and Henderson claimed their first collegiate wins at the Purdue Invitational. Henderson’s first collegiate win came from Romona Costea of Miami of Ohio in a super tiebreaker. In the first set, Henderson fell to Costea 6-7 (2-7) but bounced back into contention taking her 6-2 and then 10-7 in the second set and super tiebreaker. Barnhill claimed her first collegiate victory with doubles partner Claire Dreyer, prevailing over Nicole Robinson and Andjela Djokovic of Purdue, 6-1.
Chapman comes to KU from Texas Tech where he was assistant coach for four seasons. As an assistant coach at Tech, Chapman helped elevate the Red Raiders from eighth place in the Big 12 in 2009 to the school’s first-ever bids to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and 2013.
SEASON OPENING STREAK
Kansas women’s tennis has a knack for opening its season with a bang. The Jayhawks have claimed victory 24 times since their inaguaral 1976-77 season. The record is 25-11 and Kansas has never met Nebraska in a season kick-off.
THIS TIME, LAST YEAR
To kick-off the 2013 spring season, the Jayhawks started strong with a win over Denver at home on Feb. 1. The Jayhawks defeated the Pioneers in a nail-bitter, 4-3. The win was hard fought as KU first swept the doubles competition but found itself down 1-2 as the middle of singles play. The Jayhawks were able to bounce back and top the Pioneers. The victory marked the second-consecutive opening-season dual win for Kansas and ignited KU for a three-match winning streak to begin the season.
THEY LIKE A CHALLENGE
In his first season, Chapman and the Jayhawks will take on 10 ranked teams (As of Jan. 29) in one of the hardest seasons in women’s tennis history. The Big 12 has posed itself as a tennis powerhouse for the 2014 season as eight of the 10 ranked foes come from within the Big 12 conference. The current Big 12 front-runner, Texas represents historical significance for the Jayhawks, as KU has never recorded a win over the Longhorns in 25 matches.
17 *University of Texas
18 *Texas Tech University
19 *Baylor University
28T University of Tulsa
28T *University of Oklahoma
31 *Oklahoma State University
36 University of Nebraska
40 *University of Kentucky
53 *Kansas Sate
*Big 12 School
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