Wildcat tennis travels to Missouri to take on Tigers

Junior Sara Castellano cheers after she scores a point against the Colorado Buffalos on Feb. 5, 2016, at the Body First Wellness and Recreation Center in Manhattan. (Mason Swenson | The Collegian)

After coming off a thrilling victory over Colorado, a former conference opponent, the Wildcats will head to Colombia, Missouri, today to take on another former conference foe, the Missouri Tigers.

The Tigers are coming into this match with a 6-0 record while K-State sits at 3-1.

In the past, the Wildcats have been fairly dominant in this rivalry. K-State leads the all-time series with a record of 24-10 against the Tigers. The last time these two played was in 2012, and the Wildcats won that match 4-3.

Since switching to the SEC, Missouri is in tough company with eight teams in the top 25 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. The Tigers are not going to want to drop a nonconference match with a brutal conference schedule to look forward to. It will not be an easy task for the Wildcats to take down Missouri.

“We are coming off a great weekend and a great team effort against Colorado,” K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “I am hoping we will use the momentum and come out strong and confident against Missouri. Mizzou is a solid team, very comparable to us. They play great doubles, so we know we need to come out with a lot of energy and really take care of the basics in doubles.”

The doubles matches are always a key point for the Wildcats. Getting that first point builds momentum for when the teams head into singles matches.

The Tigers have a ranked doubles pair along with a ranked singles player.

The Wildcats have shown great improvement just in the last week alone, so they should be up for this tough task against the Tigers. Of course, they will need to come with intensity and focus to show they are ready to compete.

“The team is looking good in practice and we are looking better every match we play,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “As always, Wednesday is going to be about who is willing to work harder and be more disciplined with their game plan.”

K-State will get a little time between matches. The Wildcats’ next outing will be when they host back-to-back matches against Air Force and Drake Feb. 20-21.