▶ITA Kickoff Slate
No. 10 Oklahoma State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12)
No. 21 Virginia (2-0, 0-0 AAC),
No. 16 Kansas (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
No. 18 Illinois (0-0, 0-0 Big 10)
Date/Time: Jan. 25, 2019/1:00 & 4:00 p.m., Jan. 26, 2019/11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Location: Greenwood Tennis Center
Coming off a shutout of Wyoming to start the week, the Cowgirls look to add a pair of quality wins to their schedule Friday and Saturday when the Greenwood Tennis Center hosts the 2019 ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The field includes Virginia, Illinois and in-conference foe Kansas. The Cowgirls fell one spot in the rankings this week to No. 10 following a loss to No. 4 Duke and win over No. 22 Tulsa. OSU is scheduled to take on the No. 21 Cavaliers on Friday at 4:00 p.m. Virginia’s lineup features two ranked singles players in Natalie Novotna and Meghan Kelley as well as a top-10 doubles tandem.
The Fighting Illini kick off the 2019 spring season in Stillwater, Okla., taking on Kansas on Friday. The team falls in at No. 18 in this week's ITA rankings. Surprisingly, Illinois' roster has no team members currently in the ITA rankings but returns some experience in seniors Daniela Pedraza Novak, Jaclyn Switkes and Ines Vias. Fighting Illini coach Evan Walker is in his fourth season with the program.
▶Cueing in on Kansas
The Jayhawks come into the weekend ranked 16th with an overall record of 1-0 after a 5-2 win over No. 19 Northwestern on Jan. 20. Three KU players appear in the ITA singles rankings, including Janet Koch (No. 34), Nini Khmelnitckaia (No. 70) and Anastasia Rychagova (No. 109). The Hawks bolster the fifth-ranked duo of Koch and Khmelnitckaia. Kansas' second ranked pair comes in at No. 27 with Rychagova and Sonia Smagina. Todd Champan leads the Jayhawks in his fifth year as head coach.
▶Cowgirl Quick Hits
The Cowgirls return three seniors who helped lead OSU to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last spring, each playing a key role in the team’s success. The tournament appearance marked the seventh straight and fourth consecutive year hosting. It was also the fourth-straight year that the Cowgirls notched 20 wins in a season. They ended the regular season ranked No. 8 and finished second in the Big 12, stretching their streak of weeks in the ITA top 25 to 74.
Four Cowgirls took to the courts in Stillwater on Sunday for the first time, as Lisa Marie Rioux, Catherine Gulihur, Tamara Arnold and Bunyawi Thamchaiwat earned singles and doubles wins against Wyoming. The Arnold and Thamchaiwat duo came to the Cowgirls a month ago and is undefeated in doubles play to this point.
In the ITA Preseason Rankings, which were released in Nov., Katie Stresnakova comes in as the highest ranked Cowgirl at No. 21. Guinart is No. 40, and Blanco falls in line at No. 73. The latest ITA team ranking positioned the Cowgirls as the 10thranked team in the country.
For updates during matches, follow @CowgirlTennis on Twitter and check okstate.com for post-match results and a recap from the days’ action. Fans can also follow the match via live stream at okstate.com/watchtennis.