RacketCats begin Big 12 play at home

Junior Iva Bago takes her stance before her opponent's serve during a women's tennis practice on Oct. 7, 2015. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

The Wildcats tennis players find themselves back in the polls as they begin Big 12 play after a split over the weekend against No. 58 Denver and No. 50 SMU. K-State is ranked No. 65. The Wildcats face another ranked opponent, the No. 51 Baylor Bears, at home today.

Nonconference has been rough for Baylor. The Bears are coming in at 4-10 on the season, which is not great. They have been playing against tough teams all season long, however, so that is part of the reason they are still ranked. Baylor has dominated in recent years against K-State, with the Wildcats getting their last win against Baylor in 2011.

This could be the best chance for the Wildcats to get a victory over the Bears, who are coming into this meet 1-5 on the road so far this season. K-State will need to take advantage of being at home.

“It is always exciting to start Big 12 play, especially when we get to do it at home,” K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “Baylor is a national powerhouse and has been so for many years now. I have a lot of respect for the program, its coaching staff and all they have accomplished in recent years. Having said that, we approach every match knowing that if we control what we need to control, we will put ourselves in a situation to win.”

The Baylor doubles pair of senior Kiah Generette and junior Blair Shankle will be the toughest matchup for K-State. This duo is No. 17 in the country with a record of 7-4.

With the likes of K-State freshmen Millie Stretton and Ana Garcia Navas, this young Wildcat team will need to be at its best to start Big 12 play. These two players have been a boost to the young team with the way they have been playing, especially as freshmen.

“Coming off of a win is important to our confidence, as well as playing on our home court,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “This is a young and hungry team and we are excited to see where we match up in conference play.”

The Wildcats will go on a road trip to Palm Springs, California, next to take on in-state rival Wichita State in a single match on Monday.