Jayhawk tennis will face two ranked opponents this weekend
- Mar. 29, 2012
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The Kansas women’s tennis team has already face two ranked opponents this season, and the schedule will only getting harder this weekend.
The team played No. 13 Baylor and No. 18 Texas Tech last weekend, but the Jayhawks will need to regroup quickly for this weekend’s action. By Sunday, the team will have played its fourth top-20 team in a row, after it travels to play at No. 10 Texas today and at No. 16 Texas A&M on Sunday.
“It’s so much different because our conference is pretty tough,” junior Monica Pezzotti said. “All the teams have been ranked except for us and Iowa State, so it’s a really hard challenge for us to do well.”
Texas comes into the match fresh off a 4-3 loss to No. 21 Illinois and currently holds a 9-5 dual match record in 2012. All its’ other four losses came to teams ranked No. 12 nationally or better.
The Longhorns have two nationally ranked players, led by No. 25 junior Aerial Ellis and followed by senior Krista Damico at No. 58. Today’s match is set to begin at 2 p.m.
Texas A&M, which is moving to the Southeastern Conference next year, has won 11 straight matches after opening the season with a 4-3 loss to No. 17 Mississippi. The Aggies face Kansas State today, before the Jayhawks travel to College Station for the 1 p.m. Sunday match.
Temperatures are forecasted to soar into the upper 80′s for both matches this weekend, but the team should be fairly well-conditioned to play in the heat, as recent temperatures have been well-above average in Lawrence. Both the Baylor and Texas Tech matches were played in 80-degree heat.
“The weather has been hard on us all,” sophomore Dylan Windom said. “I had like a two-and-a-half hour match against Baylor and have been cramping unbelievably. I think it has taken a toll on our bodies, because we are used to playing indoors and 70-degree, not 80-degree weather.”
Kansas (9-7) has lost seven of its past nine dual matches, including a winless record in conference play. All of the team’s remaining regular season matches will be played on the road before the Big 12 tournament begins April 26.
“The girls know if they get out and compete and play hard, mentally they have to keep pumping themselves and stay on top of their games,” coach Amy Hall-Holt said. “We’re playing hard. We’re right there and hopefully eventually it’s going to go our way.”
Edited by Corinne Westeman