(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / Jan. 24, 2018) – The 15th-ranked Oklahoma State women's tennis team will host three top-25 squads this weekend for the 2017 ITA Kickoff Weekend, which begins Friday at the Greenwood Tennis Center.
The Cowgirls will open the bracket-style event on Friday at 4 p.m. against No. 22 Arizona State. Also competing will be No. 23 Ole Miss and No. 24 TCU. The championship match winner will clinch a bid to compete at the ITA National Indoor Championships in February.
Take a look at the full schedule for the weekend below:
Schedule of Play :: ITA Kickoff Weekend :: Stillwater, Okla.
Friday, Jan. 26 - 1 p.m.: No. 23 Ole Miss vs. No. 24 TCU
Friday, Jan. 26 - 4 p.m.: No. 15 Oklahoma State vs. No. 22 Arizona State
Saturday, Jan. 27 - 3 p.m.: Championship match
Saturday, Jan. 27 - 6 p.m.: Consolation match
Watch and Follow the Matchs
Notable Streaks and Trends
►The Cowgirls have spent 62 consecutive weeks in the ITA top 25. The last time OSU was outside the top 25 was March 18, 2014.
►The Cowgirls have won 20 or more matches in each of the last three seasons.
►Since 2012, OSU has made six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. That streak is the second-longest in program history behind a 10-year streak that saw the Cowgirls earn NCAA Tournament berths from 1982-91.
►OSU has won 37-straight matches at the Greenwood Tennis Center, dating back to March of 2015.
►OSU has had an ITA Central Region Champion in five-straight seasons. This fall, Vladica Babic swept the event, winning in singles and in doubles with teammate Sofia Blanco.
►The Cowgirls were impressive during the fall, racking up a 39-16 (.709 win pct.) overall mark in singles and a 17-9 (.654) record in doubles.
About the Cowgirls
The Cowgirls enter the 2017-18 season coming off another historic season in which they advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the second-straight year and won their second consecutive Big 12 regular season title.
OSU returns three players from the 2017 campaign in senior Vladica Babic and juniors Sofia Blanco and Katarina Stresnakova. Tasked with replacing one of the most talented senior classes in school history, head coach Chris Young has enlisted the help of East Tennessee State transfer Marina Guinart, who won 10 matches over the course of the fall tournament schedule. Young also brings on senior Megan McCray, who played for OSU her freshman season in 2014, as well as Israeli freshman Shir Hornung.
Including visits from the returning national champion Florida Gators and perennial top-25 program Miami, the Cowgirls will play a home-heavy schedule in 2018 with 15 of their 21 scheduled regular season matches set to be played at the Greenwood Tennis Center. The home schedule is a welcome sight for Young, whose Cowgirls have won 49 of 51 all-time matches at the state-of-the-art facility and 34 straight.
In the offseason, Young also hired on former North Carolina standout Hayley Carter to the Cowgirl staff as an assistant coach. The most decorated player in North Carolina women's tennis history, Carter comes to Stillwater just months after wrapping up a wildly successful collegiate career in which she racked up an ACC record 168 singles victories to go along with four first-team All-ACC selections, two ACC Championship Most Valuable Player selections, and seven All-America honors—four in singles and three in doubles.
Last Time Out
The Oklahoma State women's tennis team picked up its second consecutive sweep Monday night at the Greenwood Tennis Center, shutting out Wyoming, 4-0.
No. 16 Oklahoma State 4, Wyoming 0
Jan. 22, 2018 | Greenwood Tennis Center | Stillwater, Okla.
Doubles | Order of finish: 3,2,1
No. 1: van Der Ploeg/Koonik (WY) def. No. 20 Babic/Blanco (OSU) 7-6
No. 2: Stresnakova/Guinart (OSU) def. Stencel/Genkova (WY) 6-4
No. 3: McCray/Hornung (OSU) def. Scott/Tkachenko (WY) 6-4
Singles | Order of finish: 6,3,1
No. 1: No. 21 Vladica Babic (OSU) def. Magdalena Stencel (WY) 6-1, 6-2
No. 2: Megan McCray (OSU) vs. Tessa van Der Ploeg (WY) 6-0, 4-3, unf.
No. 3: Katarina Stresnakova (OSU) def. Ana Tkachenko (WY) 6-0, 6-2
No. 4: No. 63 Marina Guinart (OSU) vs. Elisa Koonik (WY) 6-1, 4-3, unf.
No. 5: Sofia Blanco (OSU) vs. Milka Genkova (WY) 6-3, 4-1, unf.
No. 6: Shir Hornung (OSU) def. Myiah Scott (WY) 6-0, 6-0
Arizona State from a Distance
The Sun Devils enter the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Stillwater, Okla., with a 1-0 record on the season after their sweep of Northern Arizona last weekend.
The Sun Devils' 83rd-ranked Savannah Slaysman and No. 93 and No. 93 Kelley Anderson in the latest ITA singles rankings. In doubles, the Sun Devils have three squads all ranked within the top 32 of the rankings.
The Sun Devils are coached by 34th-year head coach Sheila McInerney.
Eyeing the Rebels
The Ole Miss Rebels come into the weekend ranked 23rd with an overall record of 1-0 after a 5-2 win over Purdue on Jan. 20.
Four Ole Miss players appear in the ITA singles rankings, including Arianne Hartono (No. 50), Sabina Machalova (No. 62), Natalie Suk (No. 81), and Tea Jandric (No. 95).
Headed by the 13th-ranked tandem of Arianne Hartono and Alexa Bortles, the Rebels roster boasts three ranked doubles teams according to the latest ITA doubles rankings.
The Rebels are led by 16th-year head coach Mark Beyers.
About the Horned Frogs
The Horned Frogs enter the 2018 ITA Kickoff Weekend ranked 24th and coming off a 2-0 weekend against Southern Miss and Arkansas State.
In singles, Aleksandra Zenovka (No. 59) and Aleksa Cveticanin (No. 71) lead the charge for the Frogs. TCU currently has no ranked doubles teams, but senior Donika Bashota and Elizabeth Tedford figure to get the start at the No. 1 spot after holding the position down during the Horned Frogs' opening weekend.
The Horned Frogs are led by head coach Lee Taylor Walker.
Cowgirls in the Rankings
The Oklahoma State women's tennis team came in at No. 15 in this week's national team rankings, released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Vladica Babic led the Cowgirls in the singles poll this week, slotted at No. 21, her highest career ranking.
Aside from Babic, junior Marina Guinart also reached her career high ranking at No. 63.
In doubles, Babic and Sofia Blanco open the season with the No. 20 ranking.
No Trouble in Doubles
Over the last two seasons, Oklahoma State has made a name for itself around the country for its strong doubles play. Last year, the Cowgirls have won 24 of 30 doubles points. Over the last three seasons total, including 2018, OSU has taken 60 of 67 doubles points.
Babic’s Record Watch
►With 95 doubles wins to her credit, senior Vladica Babic has a chance this season to become the eighth player in school history to reach 100 doubles wins for her career.
►She currently sits in a tie for eighth on the all-time doubles wins list and second in the Big 12 era--just eight wins behind Linda Faltynkova.
►With 83 singles wins, she currently sits in fifth in the Big 12 era record book--just one win behind fourth-place Carla Tur Mari.
Home Court Advantage
Since it opened for the 2013-14 season, the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center has proven a tough place to play for Cowgirl opponents.
The Cowgirls have won 37-straight matches at the new facility, which stands as the second-longest streak in the nation behind South Alabama's 44 and the longest in Power Five women's tennis.
After going undefeated the last two seasons with an 18-0 mark in 2016 and a 12-0 record last season, to go along with a 3-0 mark at home so far in 2018, OSU has racked up a 52-2 overall record in the facility over the last four seasons.
Dominating the Big 12
The Cowgirls have arisen as a force in the Big 12 Conference over the last several seasons. Since 2013, OSU has won 37 conference matches, which is tied with Baylor for the most in that span.
Overall, OSU has lost only one conference match in the last two years. The last time the Cowgirls lost more than two conference matches in a season was 2013, before the Greenwood Tennis Center was opened.
The Cowgirls have made four of the last five Big 12 Championship matches, finally breaking through to win their first since 2003 last year with a 4-0 win over Texas Tech.
Stresnakova Wins Big 12 Weekly Honor
Oklahoma State women's tennis junior Katarina Stresnakova has been named Big 12 Women's Tennis Player of the Week, the league announced on Tuesday. Stresnakova is the first Cowgirl to be honored this season.
Helping OSU to a 3-0 start with wins over Abilene Christian, Oral Roberts and Wyoming, Stresnakova went a combined 5-0 in singles and doubles in the Cowgirls' first three dual matches of the 2018 season this weekend.
In three singles wins, Stresnakova gave up only four total games while outscoring her opponents, 36-4. Meanwhile in doubles, she picked up a couple of wins playing in the Nos. 2 and 3 spots with teammates Marina Guinart and Sami Court.