K-State tennis heads to Texas, looks to bounce back

Sophomore Millie Stretton hits a tennis ball at K-State's match against Missouri at the K-State Recreation Tennis Courts on Feb. 10, 2017. (File Photo by John Benfer | The Collegian)

The K-State women’s tennis team is set to head south, preparing for two head-to-head matches this weekend.

On their first stop, the Wildcats will square up against Southern Methodist University at 1 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a match against UT Arlington at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The Wildcats will look to get out of their slump. They have lost three of their last four matches, including a devastating loss to No. 22 TCU in a hard-fought battle this past weekend.

The Wildcats will look to top SMU for the second year in a row after a 4-3 victory last season.

SMU (12-3) has been solid all season long, especially when competing at home. They have only lost one match at home, to Wichita State, who K-State will see later this season.

Liza Buss has carried most of the weight for SMU at the No. 1 spot with an overall 9-4 record and undefeated record in conference play. The sophomore has taken down two nationally-ranked opponents so far this season.

SMU likes to bounce around where they fill their players. Senior Dasha Sharapova has competed at a variety of different positions and is 6-0 when competing in the Nos. 2 and 3 spots.

UT Arlington (6-5) has seen some struggles this season and is coming off a two-game losing streak, falling to Fresno State and Long Beach State. Prior to their losing streak, the Mavericks won five in a row.

The Mavericks unite their spark from the doubles side of the equation. Dynamic duo Astrid Gehre and Anna Wichert have been perfect all season long with an 11-0 record at the No. 2 spot.

For the Wildcats, senior Livia Cirnu has caught fire and looks to continue her five-game win streak. She has only lost two matches so far this season.

Sophomore Ana Garcia Navas is coming off a three set victory against No. 22 TCU, and will look to bring her winning streak to three on Saturday.

After their two game road trip, K-State will prepare for conference play as they welcome Iowa State and West Virginia to Mike Goss Tennis Stadium on March 24 and 26.