The K-State women’s tennis team will look to extend its season today as the Wildcats are scheduled to play in the first round of the Big 12 Championships in Norman, Okla. The Wildcats (4-14, 1-10 Big 12 Conference) are the 12th-seeded team going into today’s 10 a.m. match against the fifth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes at the Headington Family Tennis Center. The Buffaloes dominated the Wildcats earlier this season in Manhattan, winning 7-0 at the Wamego Recreation Complex.
Colorado (11-9, 7-4 Big 12) enters tomorrow’s match ranked as the No. 59 team in the nation. However, the Buffaloes have dropped their last two, losing to Nebraska 2-5, and falling 0-4 Tuesday to the No. 4 Baylor Bears. Though the Buffaloes have not played their best as of late, Colorado freshman Michala Hedelund Jensen has won 15 singles matches this year.
Though the K-State team has played itself into the lowest seed for the championships, a few Wildcats have been playing well this season. Freshman Petra Chuda has won 15 doubles matches this season, while fellow freshman Mariya Slupska has won nine.
Head coach Steve Bietau said he thinks his team will be up to the task of playing a tough Colorado team
“I would hope that with the direction this team has been going in the last couple weeks that they are excited [to play in the Big 12 Championships],” Bietau said.
With the K-State roster full of freshmen and sophomores, experience could make a difference in the outcome of the Big 12 Championships. Bietau said that even though some of young players are still in their first seasons, he thinks they have grown tremendously since the start of school.
“It’s late in the year, so the girls that were freshmen nine months ago are closer to being sophomores,” Bietau said. “[The freshmen] have played through one whole season of college tennis now, so the lack of experience is quickly changing.”
Should the Wildcats come up victorious against Colorado, the Wildcats would then play the fourth-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers in the second round of the Big 12 Championships.