K-State tennis heads west to face Colorado and Air Force

Freshman Maria Panaite whacks a shot back toward Oklahoma's Morgan Chumney in K-State's loss to the Sooners at the Mike Goss Tennis Stadium on Mar. 28, 2014. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The No. 66-ranked K-State women’s tennis team seeks to improve its record to 4-1 in mile-high altitude this weekend in Colorado.

The Wildcats will open against the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder Saturday at 5 p.m. before traveling to Colorado Springs to take on the Falcons of Air Force Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

“It’s high altitude in Colorado, so we need to adjust our game a little bit,” K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg said. “We’re going in a little bit earlier to try and get used to that. Different air, different breathing and the ball flies a little bit more. Both Colorado and Air Force are pretty equal to us.”

Colorado has dominated K-State in the all-time series with a team record of 24-13. However, the Wildcats topped Colorado 4-1 last year in Manhattan and have performed better when playing in Boulder (6-8).

The meeting marks the second Pac-12 Conference team K-State has faced in the past week after falling to No. 1 UCLA 4-0 Sunday in California. The Buffaloes enter 1-0 after topping Northern Colorado 7-0 Saturday.

Air Force and K-State will meet for the first time Sunday. Air Force competed in Lincoln, Nebraska last weekend, falling to the home school in its opener before rebounding for a 6-1 win over Army.

K-State will welcome the return of its No. 1 singles performer in sophomore Sara Castellano, who was pulled during UCLA match as an injury precaution. Steinberg said Castellano is expected to play this weekend.

Senior Amina St. Hill is currently riding a four-game win streak for the Wildcats, with an 8-4 record this season. Sophomore Iva Bago joins Castellano for the team lead with nine wins. Bago has won back-to-back matches and only needs two more wins to match her win total from last year.