TENNIS reunites with former Big 12 rival

Then-sophomores Iva Bago and Maria Panaite celebrate on Feb. 11, 2015, at Body First Tennis and Fitness Center. Bago and Panaite defeated Missouri State University 6-1 in a double competition. (File Photo by Rodney Dimick | The Collegian)

After going 1-1 last weekend, the K-State tennis team will host an old Big 12 foe, the Colorado Buffaloes. The Wildcats are coming into the matchup with a 2-1 record, while the Buffaloes are 2-2 on the year. This will be K-State’s first home match of the year.

The Wildcats will be looking to win their home opener for the second straight year after winning last year’s against Northern Iowa 6-1.

“It’s our first home match and that can be a little scary for some of them who have never played at home, but we have a huge home-court advantage whether we’re inside or outside,” K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “And I’ll tell you, teams don’t like to come here. We really have to capitalize on that this weekend. We know our courts and we know what it’s like to play at Body First, so hopefully we get a good crowd and get loud out there. We’re very excited.”

The Wildcats have a young team, so it will be important for them to come out in front of the home crowd and perform well. They need to build on their two victories if they want to win on Friday.

“Our key points are always the same, regardless of the opponent,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “We have to come out with a lot of energy, play aggressive doubles and carry the energy into singles. Our team knows that if they give everything they have every time they step on the court, good things will happen, and I think we are improving this fighting mentality every weekend.”

The Buffaloes have never been an easy opponent for the Wildcats, dating back to when they were in the Big 12 together. K-State’s record against Colorado is 12-25. The Wildcats have won two out of the last three matches against the Buffaloes, but Colorado won last year’s matchup 4-0.

“Colorado is a tough team,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “They play very similar to the teams we saw last weekend, so I feel that we are ready for their game style.”

The matches will start at 2 p.m. Friday at the Body First Wellness and Recreation Center.