No. 33 Kansas Tennis Hits the Road to Meet No. 19 Tulsa
No. 33 Kansas women’s tennis travels to Tulsa, Okla., to take on the No. 19 Tulsa Golden Hurricane at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on March 8 at noon.
THE SERIES: KANSAS VS. TULSA
Kansas (8-2, 0-0 Big 12) and Tulsa (10-2, 0-0 C-USA) have met 23 times since the Jayhawks’ inaugural season in 1977. As it stands, Kansas and Tulsa are tied, 11-11-1. The lone tie came in 1979. The Golden Hurricane has claimed victory over Kansas in the last seven matches.
This season, Kansas and Tulsa both competed at the Midland Invitational in September, where TU swept the Jayhawks. Sophomore Maria Jose Cardona suffered a defeat in three sets to TU’s Marcelina Cichon 4-6, 6-3, 10-6. Senior Claire Dreyer fell to then-No. 15 Samantha Vickers, 6-3, 6-1 and senior Dylan Windom was defeated by Maria Sant’Anna in her first match of the year, 6-4, 6-4. In doubles, junior Maria Belen Ludueña and Windom fell 8-3 to Vickers and Isaura Enrique in their first doubles competition of the 2013-14 season.
The two teams last met in a dual in February 2013, when the Golden Hurricane topped the Jayhawks, 5-2 in the Jayhawk Tennis Center. TU swept the doubles competition led by the 9th-ranked tandem of Vickers and Enrique. In singles, then-No. 124 Vickers swept Cardona 6-1, 6-1 on the No. 1 court and Enrique defeated Ludueña, 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 2 spot. Kansas’ lone victories came from current sophomore Anastasija Trubica (7-5, 6-2) on court six and from Windom, who defeated Sant’Anna on court four, 7-6, 0-6, 7-5.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN HURRICANE
The perennial Conference USA powerhouse has climbed as high as No. 17 on the ITA charts this season. TU has made nine NCAA Championship appearances since 2000, including six straight appearances since 2007. Tulsa can attribute its accomplishments partly to a home court advantage as TU is on a 50-match win streak at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
After falling to then-No. 31 Yale on Jan. 25, Tulsa embarked on a seven-match winning swing including a win over current No.-39 Oklahoma State, No. 50 Purdue and 58th-ranked Kansas State. On March 1, No. 21 Houston snapped TU’s win streak with a 4-3, win at home. Kansas defeated Houston, 4-3 on the road Feb. 14.
In singles the Golden Hurricane has two ranked players in No. 70 Vickers and No. 109 Yelena Nemchen. Vickers boasts a 7-3 record at the No. 1 spot while Enrique is 6-5 at No. 2. Nemchen is 6-2 at court three, and recently-named Conference USA Tennis Athlete of the week, Cichon, is on a 14-match winning swing and is 9-0 on the No. 6 court.
In doubles, Enrique and Vickers are 6-3 on court one. The duo of Dobby Leenabanchong and Sant’Anna are 5-4 at court two, and Renata Kuricova and Nemchen are 4-1 at No. 3.
KANSAS VS. OKLAHOMA STATE MATCH TO BE TELEVISED
For the first time in program history, a KU tennis match will be televised. The Jayhawks’ match against Big 12 foe Oklahoma State will appear on the Jayhawk Television Network on March 28 at 3:30 p.m. The match will be the first Big 12 contest the Jayhawks will host this season at the Jayhawk Tennis Center.
THIS TIME, LAST YEAR
On March 8, 2013, Kansas opened up Big 12 play against then-40th-ranked Oklahoma on the road at the Gregg Wadley Indoor Tennis Pavilion. The Sooners captured the doubles point, but not before Ludueña and Los defeated Zita Engbroks and Whitney Wofford, 8-3. In the solo contests, Ludueña and Trubica were the only Jayhawk victors as Ludueña topped Whitney Ritchie 6-4, 7-6 and Trubica defeated Engbroks, 6-2, 7-6. In the end, Oklahoma defeated Kansas, 5-2.
THEY LIKE A CHALLENGE
Kansas will tussle with two more ranked non-conference foes in what is one of the toughest schedules in program history. Kansas has already downed two ranked opponents in then-No. 36 Nebraska (Jan. 31) and current No. 21 Houston (Feb. 14), both on the road. Kansas has also knocked off Colorado, which has risen to No. 60. Seven Big 12 teams are currently ranked.
|No. 36 Nebraska||W, 4-3|
|No. 66 Houston||W, 4-3|
|No. 39 Kentucky||L, 4-0|
|No. 49 Wichita State||L, 4-3|
|No. 19 Tulsa||March 8|
|No. 53 Indiana||March 20|
|No. 39 Oklahoma State||March 28|
|No. 14 Oklahoma||March 30|
|No. 18 Baylor||April 4|
|No. 24 Texas||April 6|
|No. 30 Texas Tech||April 11|
|No. 70 TCU||April 13|
|No. 58 Kansas State||April 19|
DREYER ON FIRE
Senior Claire Dreyer has proven herself an important cog in the Jayhawks’ successful season. Dreyer remains undefeated in dual match play, and has posted just three losses in the 2013-14 season. In total, Dreyer is on a ten-match winning streak that began at the Purdue Invitational on Jan. 18. Dreyer is now 14-3 this season, including a tiebreaker-win over Maike Zeppernick of No. 36 Nebraska. Dreyer also defeated now 21st-ranked Houston’s Charlotte Phillips, 6-3, 6-3, to help the Jayhawks top the Cougars on Feb. 14.
JAYHAWKS CLIMB THE RANKINGS
Since the Jayhawks debuted on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings at No. 70, the Jayhawks have made a consistent climb. Last week, KU rose to No. 45, which was the highest ranking the program. This week, the ITA placed Kansas at No. 33, the best ranking in program history.
Previously, Kansas’ highest ranking in the ITA’s weekly poll was No. 52 on June 2, 2001. Before 2000, the ITA only released end-of-season rankings. Over the past 14 years, week-by-week rankings became available. The highest end-of-season ranking for KU came when the Jayhawks completed their season at No. 7 in 1994, the year Rebecca Jensen and Nora Koves won the NCAA Doubles Championship.
KANSAS PICKED TO TIE K-STATE FOR 7TH IN BIG 12 PRESEASON POLL
Despite their top-50 ranking, the Jayhawks were picked to tie Kansas State for seventh place in the Big 12 preseason poll, as voted by the conference coaches.