Jayhawk Netters Earn Program-Best Ranking of No. 23 in Latest ITA Poll
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s tennis continued to climb the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) charts, notching a new program-high No. 23 ranking as announced by the ITA Tuesday. The ranking is the highest Kansas (6-0, 0-0 Big 12) has been in ITA’s weekly list in the program’s history.
“We are excited about our progress so far this season,” said third-year Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “It is great for the program that we are moving in the right direction. We hope that jumping into the top 25 is just the beginning of what our future holds.”
Before this week’s top 25 ranking, Kansas’ highest peg in the ITA’s weekly poll was No. 33 on March 4, 2014. Before 2000, the ITA only released end-of-season rankings. Over the past 16 years, week-by-week rankings became available. The highest end-of-season ranking for KU came in 1994 when the Jayhawks completed their season at No. 7.
Kansas broke into the ITA chart at No. 75 on Jan. 20, after opening the 2016 campaign with dominating 7-0 wins over Nebraska-Omaha and Drake. The Jayhawks then made a huge jump in the rankings as they came in at No. 57 on Feb. 10 after collecting four more wins, including a road win over then-No. 36 Arkansas and a neutral court victory over then-No. 44 Purdue.
KU, who has been idle for more than two weeks, was tabbed at No. 54 in last week’s ITA standings before making the big leap to No. 23 in this week’s poll. The Jayhawks are one of three teams from the Big 12 Conference ranked in the ITA’s top 25, joining Texas Tech (8) and Oklahoma State (11).
Additionally, Kansas freshman Anastasiya Rychagova is rated No. 55 in this week’s ITA singles rankings of the top 75 players. Rychagova is 5-1 in singles play in her inaugural campaign.
Kansas will return to the courts on Friday, Feb. 26, when it plays host to No. 21 Wichita State. First serve between the Jayhawks and Shockers is slated for 2 p.m., at the Jayhawk Tennis Center. KU will then host a second-consecutive ranked opponent as No. 46 New Mexico will travel to Lawrence for a match on Sunday, Feb. 28. First serve between Kansas and New Mexico is scheduled for 12 p.m.
“This weekend is going to be fun,” said Chapman. “Friday’s matchup with Wichita State features two top 25 teams. Sunday we will face a team on the rise, much like ourselves, in New Mexico. Both Wichita State and New Mexico are having great seasons so far and both are well-coached teams. We are excited about the challenges that facing both of these teams will pose for us. We have a great opportunity to keep growing as a team.”
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