K-State tennis begins home play with double header

Then-junior Iva Bago reaches for a ball during a women's tennis practice on Oct. 7, 2015. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

After a rough start to 2017, the Kansas State tennis team looks to get back on the winning track as they hit off their home season against South Dakota and University of Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday in Manhattan.

The Wildcats started the season with two losses in their tournament last week in Honolulu, Hawaii, where the were defeated by Washington 7-0 and Hawaii 4-3.

It was not all bad for the Wildcats as seniors Livia Cirnu and Palma Juhasz and freshman Ines Mesquita managed to pick up individual victories in Hawaii.

“We saw improvements from our first match to our second one,” head coach Danielle Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “I am confident this trend will continue this weekend and every match we play onwards. We had a couple of good practices already since we got back, and it’s evident the team is getting more comfortable and confident every day.”

Although K-State did not have the best outing in Hawaii, the team did get a couple of matches under its belt this season, which is not the case for South Dakota and UMKC, who are kicking their seasons off Saturday.

This is the first-ever meeting between K-State and South Dakota, who finished the season last year 11-12, only claiming two road victories. South Dakota will look to rally behind their young talent, sophomore Ellie Burns, who has a 21-13 career singles record.

UMKC also faced difficulties on the road last season, only recording one victory away from home and finishing the season with an overall record of 7-17. The difficulties don’t stop there for the Roos, as they look to secure their first-ever victory against K-State behind senior Raquel Argenal. K-State topped the Roos 7-0 in their match last season.

“A doubleheader is never easy physically and mentally, regardless of who you play,” said Steinberg. “Saturday will be a physical test and will allow us to get a lot of matches in, which is exactly what we need at this point. I think it fits perfectly with where we are in our season’s preparations.”

K-State will first face off against South Dakota at 10 a.m. followed by a 3 p.m. matchup against UMKC at the Body First Wellness and Recreation Center.