K-State tennis hosts 3 matches before Big 12 Tournament

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Junior Iva Bago eyes a return against Denver University during her match on March 4, 2016, at Mike Goss Stadium. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

There have been many ups and downs this season for the K-State tennis team. It started out rough, then they hit a hot streak to bolster their record. Now they are in midst of some late season struggles as they sit at 9-11 overall and 1-6 in Big 12 play.

The Wildcats will have a chance to build their resume before the conference tournament begins. K-State will be hosting Southern Illinois and No. 14 Oklahoma State today and the Oklahoma Sooners on Sunday.

“We are excited to host three matches this weekend,” K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “Even though these are our final regular season matches, I still feel like we are improving and every weekend is another opportunity for us to get better. We have been focusing on the process all year, and that does not change for us, even when we are nearing the final stretch.”

Southern Illinois has had its struggles outside of conference play in the Missouri Valley as they are 13-9 overall and are perfect in conference with a 5-0 record. The Salukis will still be a very tough opponent for the Wildcats. They bring with them junior Ana Sofia Cordero, who has 23 combined wins in singles and doubles on the season. She could be handful if Southern Illinois builds any momentum.

Oklahoma State is another ranked team for K-State to face. They have already won the tough Big 12 and will just be looking at this match as preparation for the Big 12 and the NCAA tournaments.

This could be where the Wildcats catch them off guard and pull the upset. K-State will need things to go the right way, though, for this to happen. The Cowgirls bring in three ranked singles players and three ranked doubles pairs. The Wildcats have faced good opponents this season but this could be the toughest challenge yet.

On Sunday, Oklahoma will come to town. The Sooners have had their struggles this season. They are 7-12 and 2-5 in conference play so far. They, like the Wildcats, could use this win to help build momentum for the conference tournament.

Oklahoma brings with them only one ranked doubles pair and no ranked singles players. K-State will still need to bring their A game if they want to win because nothing is easy in the Big 12.

After this weekend the Wildcats will head to the Big 12 Championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma, next Thursday.

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