Ludueña Looking to Build Off of Successful Fall Opener
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas women’s tennis senior, Maria Belen Ludueña, kicked the 2014-2015 season with a bang as she took home the singles B Flight title at the CCLR Collegiate Invite in Little Rock, Arkansas, last weekend.
Despite it being her match since April and feeling a little under the weather, Ludueña was able to come out strong and win her first match against Arkansas’ Nicole Breaux, 6-4, 7-6.
“Going a couple months without playing any tournaments was a challenge I had to overcome,” said Ludueña. “My confidence was not at its highest before playing in Little Rock. After the results this weekend, I was able to get some confidence back in my game. I can take that to this next tournament in Oklahoma.”
Ludueña went on to win her second match, 6-3, 6-4, over Tina Rupert from Houston. In her final match, she defeated Oleksandra Shkorupeieva from Arkansas, 6-1, 6-3.
“I am very proud of Belen,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “She played very well and competed very hard all weekend.”
As the only senior on the team, Ludueña is not just working on her own game, but she also helps the younger Jayhawks in preparing for their matches.
“I’ve been telling them they shouldn’t worry about who they’re playing,” said Ludueña. “They should focus on their own game and winning each point no matter who’s on the other side of the net.”
This year with more than half the KU team not having experience in college tennis, Ludueña believes in some ways that can still be a positive for you the younger players.
“Without experience they may not have the confidence yet, but they also have an advantage,” said Ludueña. “They don’t know much about our competition yet, so they can just go out and focus on playing their own game.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s Oklahoma Classic, Ludueña has high hopes for both herself and her teammates.
“We realize now, after the tournaments this past weekend, that we have a lot of room to improve,” said Ludueña. “We have the talent to do well, we just need to work hard to get to where we want to be.”