Tennis to Open Big 12 Play

  • By Jonathan Hevron
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  • March 13, 2014 03:37 PM
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Kaja Mrgole
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University tennis team opens up Big 12 Conference play at the Ridgeview Racquet Club this weekend against Kansas State on March 14 at 1 p.m., and Kansas on March 16 at 11 a.m.
"We are excited to get the Big 12 season underway, starting with Kansas State and Kansas," says coach Miha Lisac. "We are eager to assess ourselves, and see how we matchup against the Big 12. This is what we have been preparing for and talking about."
The Mountaineers (3-8) come off a 6-1 victory over West Virginia State on March 9. After dropping its match against Cornell on March 8, the Atlantic Region’s No. 9-ranked tandem of freshmen Oana Manole and Kaja Mrgole tallied its team-high sixth victory of the season. In singles, WVU won the five matches played against the Yellow Jackets.
Sophomore Vivian Tsui has won four of her last five singles matches, with the lone loss coming on March 2 at Penn State. She has teamed up with sophomore Irinka Toidze to win her last two doubles matches.
Manole has recorded wins in five of her last seven matches, falling at Penn State and in the Mountaineers’ matchup against the Big Red.
Mrgole leads WVU with a mark of 7-4 in singles, and is currently on a two-match win streak.
Kansas State comes to Morgantown tabbed No. 52 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). In their last outing on March 8, the Wildcats (6-5) ended a four-match losing streak, upsetting No. 32 Wichita State, 4-3. In doubles, the duo of Petra Niedermayerova and Amina St. Hill lead K-State with a record of 5-1. In singles, Niedermayerova, a two-time ITA All-American and a three-time All-Big 12 First Team selection, leads the Wildcats with 17 wins, coming out on top in 11 of her last 13 matches.
Kansas travels to Morgantown for the first time in program history. The Jayhawks are ranked No. 35, compiling a record of 8-3. After starting the season with eight consecutive wins, Kansas has dropped its last three to No. 39 Kentucky, No. 32 Wichita State and No. 19 Tulsa. In doubles, the pair of Maria Belen Ludeuna and Maria Jose Cardona leads the squad with 14 wins. Claire Dreyer leads the Jayhawks in singles this spring, recording a mark of 10-2.
K-State leads the series with WVU, 2-0, winning the last meeting between the schools, 4-0, in the Big 12 Championships on April 25, 2013. The Mountaineers trail the series against Kansas, 1-0, falling to the Jayhawks, 6-1, in Lawrence, Kan., on April 19, 2013. Tsui tallied WVU’s point in singles over Dylan Windom.