Kansas Tennis Set to Travel to Houston Friday, Host UT-Arlington Sunday

Match 1: No. 70 Kansas at No. 66 Houston
Time 11 a.m.
Date Feb. 14
Location Houston, Texas
Arena John E. Hoff Courts
Series Kansas leads 3-2
Notes Kansas
Match 2: UT-Arlington at No. 70 Kansas
Time 12 p.m.
Date Feb. 16
Location Lawrence, Kan.
Arena Jayhawk Tennis Center
Series UT Arlington leads, 1-0
Live Stats Kansas Live Results
Notes Kansas

No. 70 Kansas will take its undefeated record on the road to meet unbeaten No. 66 Houston Friday at 11 a.m., at the John E. Hoff Courts. The Jayhawks will finish their weekend back at home against the UT-Arlington Mavericks Sunday at 12 p.m., in the Jayhawk Tennis Center.

Kansas leads the Houston series, 3-2. The Jayhawks suffered losses in the first two duals against the Cougars, but have since won three-straight. The last time the two met was in 2012 when current senior Dylan Windom led the team with a win in singles and doubles.

The Jayhawks and Cougars are no strangers in the 2013-14 season. Houston hosted a fall tournament on the weekend of Nov. 1, that attracted Kansas and some surrounding Texas universities. Houston got the best of Kansas in singles. Four Jayhawks suffered losses at the hands of the Cougars and senior Claire Dreyer came out with the lone KU win. On the doubles side, Kansas went 2-1 in doubles competition.

The Jayhawks will meet the Cougars on their home court at the John E. Hoff Courts. Houston, like Kansas, is undefeated to start the dual match season and also broke into the ITA rankings this week with a three-way tie for No. 66. Most recently UH blanked No. 63 North Texas, 5-0, marking the first time its beat a ranked foe since the beginning of the 2013 season.

Houston touts two singles stars in freshman Despoina Vogasari  and sophomore Maria Cardenas, who both have gone 4-0 in singles, and play at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively. In addition, freshman Tina Rupert is on a three-match win streak, and varies from No. 4 to No. 6 singles.

While the Cougars excel in singles, they haven’t experienced as much success in doubles. UH’s No.1 doubles tandem, Cardenas and sophomore Rocio Martin Fernandez, have gone 1-1 in doubles play while Rupert and junior Charlotte Phillips at No. 2 are 0-1.

The Jayhawks and Mavericks first and only team meeting came in 2011 when UT-Arlington defeated the Jayhawks at in Lawrence, 5-2. Windom and then-doubles teammate, Ekaterina Morozova, were the lone victors in the doubles competition, defeating the Mavericks duo at the No. 1 court. KU’s two points came in singles, including a win from court six at the hands of current-student assistant coach Victoria Khanevskaya.

The Jayhawks also met the Mavericks at the Midland Invitational. Dreyer defeated Giada D’Ortona, 6-2, 6-1 in her first singles match of the year, and junior Maria Belen Ludueña downed Jessica Birowski, 6-0, 6-4.

UT-Arlington comes to the Sunflower State with a 3-2 record in the spring dual slate.

Giada D’ortona claimed the 2013 Draw F singles title at the BJK NTC Women’s College Invitational at the USTA National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows in the fall and Jessica Birowski is currently 5-0 in singles play.

In doubles, Birowski and D’ortona have gone 3-1 at the No. 3 spot and UTA’s No. 1 doubles duo of Elizabeth Thoms and Ekaterina Tugarinova is 2-2.

Maverick freshman Angeles de los Rios hails from Ascuncion, Paraguay, the same hometown of recent Jayhawk addition, freshman Antonella Galeano. Both Rios and Galeano attended Colegio San Jose.

With the addition of four-top 100 recruits for the 2014-15 season, Kansas women’s tennis was allotted 76 votes in TennisRecruiting.net’s Winter Rankings of the Top 25 Women’s Recruiting Classes for the Class of 2014, as announced Monday. Kansas was the first unranked team to be receiving votes and was behind No. 25 South Carolina’s 82 votes.

Smith Hinton (Raleigh, N.C. / Broughton H.S.), Summer Collins (Atlanta, Ga.) and Rachel McNeely (Westminster, S.C. / West Oak H.S.) have all signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) to play for Kansas.

To start the third weekend, the Jayhawks set out on the road to play a pair of South Carolina schools. First up, Kansas visited Charleston Southern, where KU claimed its first away victory of the season with a definitive 6-1 victory over the Buccaneers. The Jayhawks also swept the doubles point with the teams of  Windom and Maria Jose Cardona and Paulina Los and Luduena. Following the win, Kansas headed to No. 67 College of Charleston where the Jayhawks fell to the Cougars in a tough 4-3 loss. Kansas won the doubles point but only found two singles victories in Los and Anastasija Trubica.

To accompany the team’s five-match run, several individual Jayhawks have created streaks of their own this spring. Senior Claire Dreyer is on her own five-match swing. Dreyer is now 11-3 in the 2013-14 season, including a tiebreaker-win over Maike Zeppernick of No. 36 Nebraska. On the doubles side, the tandem of Luduena and Cardona have also gone lossless in the spring playing at the No. 2 spot. Together, the pair are 10-4 this season.

The Kansas Jayhawks emerged from their second weekend of dual matches victorious. After upsetting No. 36 Nebraska for its first top-50 win and the biggest win for the program in 10 years, Kansas beat Liberty in its home opener two days later and swept its next three opponents at home the next weekend. The Jayhawks are not only undefeated for a second consecutive year, but also are the only remaining Big 12 team that has no losses, giving the Jayhawks the top non-conference winning percentage in early matches.

Overall                              Pct
Kansas  5-0                    1.000
Baylor 7-1                        .875
Kansas State  5-1         .833
Oklahoma 5-1                .833
Texas Tech 5-1               .833
Iowa State 4-2                .667 
Texas 3-3                         .500
TCU  3-4                          .429
Oklahoma State 1-3      .250
West Virginia 1-3           .250

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