Jayhawks Prepare for ITA Central Regional Championships

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas women’s tennis team is gearing up to play in the ITA Central Regional Championships on October 16-19 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The regional is being hosted by Big 12 foe Oklahoma State and all matches will be played at the Michael & Anne Greenwood Tennis Center. Kansas will have 10 players competing in both singles and doubles.
The Jayhawks have been out of action since playing at the Oklahoma Classic in Norman, Oklahoma, Sept. 19-21. Kansas was able to end that weekend with several players picking up wins in consolation play.
Senior Maria Belen Ludueña and junior Maria Jose Cardona will bypass the qualifying rounds of singles and begin play in the main draw at the ITA Central Regionals. All other KU players will first have to play in two qualifiers in order to advance to the main draw.
The Jayhawks have put together a 22-39 mark on the fall season entering the ITA Central Regionals. Freshman Smith Hinton leads Kansas with 5-2 singles record, followed by Ludueña and freshman Lauren Pickens, who both have 3-3 ledgers in singles play. All doubles play will start in the main draw. The match-ups have not been announced, but so far Madison Harrison and Ludueña lead the Jayhawks with a 2-1 doubles record.
With eight newcomers on the roster and just three returning players, the 2014 fall campaign has been a season of growth for Kansas, as the Jayhawks have competed against top-notch competition in each tournament.
“The biggest thing for us–with as many new players as we have–is continued growth,” said Kansas head coach Todd Chapman. “We need to keep learning how to approach things. My goal, if we are doing our job well, is for us to look better. I am hoping to see visual evidence of improvement.”
This weekend will serve as a test for the young team. The winners of both singles and doubles will qualify for the National Indoor Tennis Championships in Flushing Meadows, New York which is the same site that the US Open is held at.
“This tournament is a great opportunity for all of our players as the winner qualifies for national indoors,” said Chapman. “I believe we have the talent on our team to come out with a winner, if we believe in our talent. Obviously we are there to win, but with our team and where we are at in our progression, we are simply trying to get better each time we take the court.”
Action at the ITA Central Regionals starts Thursday, Oct. 16. For complete results visit KUAthletics.com or follow @KansasTennis on twitter.
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