MORGANTOWN, W.Va – The West Virginia University women’s tennis team closes its regular season, as it travels to Lawrence, Kan., on Friday, April 19, to take on Kansas at 2 p.m., and Manhattan, Kan., on Sunday, April 21, to take on No. 52 Kansas State at noon.
“Just as we have been in our seven previous Big 12 matches this season, we are going to be underdogs this weekend,” says coach Tina Samara. “With these matches being our final two of the regular season, I hope our girls are able to come out with a passion to make a statement. We will have to come out aggressive from the start of doubles play and make sure we maintain that throughout the duration of each match.”
The Jayhawks enter Friday’s tilt with an 8-9, 0-7 Big 12 record and are losers of their last six contests.
The Wildcats (7-10, 1-6), who will take on Iowa State on Friday prior to their match against WVU on Sunday, feature one ranked singles player (No. 16 Petra Niedermayerova) and two ranked doubles combos (No. 24 Karla Bonacic/Niedermayerova and No. 37 Ivana Kubickova/ Niedermayerova).
The Mountaineers enter the final weekend of their regular season in search of their first Big 12 victory of the season, sporting a 4-14, 0-7 Big 12 record.
“We have had a tough season, but we have also seen some building blocks for the future with this team,” Samara says. “Hailey (Barrett) has put a tremendous amount of work in as a freshman, and she has seen that she can be successful at this level. At times, we have also seen positives from Ikttesh (Chahal), Vivian (Tsui) and Irinka (Toidze). We would like to see those on a more consistent basis, but these are positives that are very encouraging nonetheless.”
Two players, Emily Mathis
and Barrett, are tied for the team lead with seven singles victories.
In addition, Mathis is the team leader with nine doubles victories and 16 combined victories.
This weekend’s meetings against Kansas and Kansas State will be the first time in program history that WVU has squared off against the Jayhawks and the Wildcats.
A full recap of each of this weekend’s matches will be available on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition.