Kansas Women’s Tennis Bolsters Roster with the Addition of Three Players for 2015-16
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas women’s tennis head coach Todd Chapman searched the entire globe to find just the right players to add to his roster for the 2015-16 campaign. On Wednesday, Chapman announced the signing of Nina Khmelnitckaia (Moscow, Russia), Anastasiya Rychagova (Moscow, Russia) and Janet Koch (Durbanville, South Africa), three players he thinks can help KU continue its transition back to the top of the NCAA women’s tennis standings. Khmelnitckaia, Rychagova and Koch each signed a National Letter of Intent and are expected to join the Jayhawks as freshman in the fall.
“We are very excited to have Nina, Anastasiya and Janet join our KU tennis family,” said Chapman. “I believe this group is another step in the right direction in reestablishing KU as a prominent program on the national scene. All three of these young ladies have the chance to come in and put their stamp on the program immediately.”
Khmelnitckaia comes to KU rated in the Top 40 in the Russian National 18 and Under Rankings and has been ranked as high as No. 564 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior World Rankings. She reached the semifinals of the Grade 5 Alatan Tour Cup singles draw in 2013. Additionally, she reached the semifinals of the Kazan Professional Tournament in doubles action in 2014.
“Nina is a player that embodies the type of recruit we are looking for at KU,” said Chapman. “She is a blue collar type of player. She is extremely hard-working and tough. Nina may be under the radar for some people, but I believe she is going to come in and be a huge factor in our lineup right away. She is a smart, charismatic person and we are ready to get her on campus.”
Rychagova joins the Jayhawk program as one of the top junior players in the world. She has been ranked as high as No. 60 in the ITF Junior World Rankings and competed in the 2013 French Open Juniors Tournament. Rychagova has multiple titles to her name in both singles and doubles play. Her top singles tournament wins include Grade 4 T52 Cup Junior ITF (2011), Grade 5 Almetievsk Open Junior ITF (2012), Grade 3 Almetievsk Open (2013) and Grade 2 33rd Tashkent Junior ITF (2013). Among her wins in doubles play are Grade 4 Samara Cup Junior ITF (2011), Grade 5 Governor’s Cup Junior ITF (2011), Grade 4 TATS Open Junior ITF (2011), Grade 5 Almetievsk Open Junior ITF (2012), Grade 2 32nd Tashkent Junior ITF (2012) and Grade 3 16th Namangan Junior ITF (2012).
“We are thrilled to have someone of Anastasiya’s talent level join our team,” said Chapman. “I believe she has the ability to come in and play high in the lineup. Anastasiya has a lot of high quality international experience and that should help her adjust quickly. On top of being a good player, she is a great person.”
Koch will arrive in Lawrence with several impressive wins under her belt. She has been ranked as high as No. 152 in the ITF Junior World Rankings and No. 3 in the South Africa Junior Rankings. She took home the title in singles play at the Grade 4 ITF Petit Camp Junior Open (2012) and the Grade 5 SAS Junior ITF 2 (2013). Additionally, she is an outstanding doubles player as she has collected the titles at the following tournaments: Grade 5 East London Junior ITF (2011), Grade 5 ITF East Africa 18 and Under (2011), Grade 4 Wanderers Junior ITF (2012), Grade 5 SAS Junior ITF 2 (2012, 2013) and Grade B2 ITF/CAT African Closed Junior 18 and Under (2013).
“Janet is a very determined, hard-working and talented player,” said Chapman. “We are very fortunate to add her to our program. Janet has a lot of top quality experience and is very determined to come and compete at a high level right away. She is a quality person and will have a huge impact on our program.”
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