K-State tennis continues road trip this weekend, facing UCSB

Senior Iva Bago hits a tennis ball at K-State's match against Missouri at the K-State Recreation Tennis Courts on Feb. 10, 2017. (John Benfer | The Collegian)

The K-State tennis team continues its road trip this weekend, heading to Santa Barbara, California, to face the University of California, Santa Barbara Gauchos.

The Wildcats had a great start to their season in Kansas City, Missouri, sweeping the UMKC Kangaroos for the third straight year before going to Miami for their first-ever match against the Florida International Panthers.

The Wildcats took their first team loss of the season against the Panthers in a very close 4-3 match, putting their record at 1-1 for the season. The Panthers were ranked in the top 50 of the Oracle/ITA rankings last season.

The duo of senior Carolina Lewis and freshman Rosanna Maffei received their first loss of the season to the Panther’s duo of Andrea Lazaro and Nerma Caluk.

K-State will go on to face UCSB on Saturday to hopefully get back to its winning ways.

Despite the loss in Miami, head coach Danielle Steinberg is still optimistic about the future.

“If we stay healthy, on paper it’s probably going to be the best year we’ve had in a while,” Steinberg said to K-State Sports. “The schedule is tough. We kind of anticipated having a good group, so we bumped up the strength of our schedule. … They fought hard [at FIU]. Maybe we didn’t play our best tennis, but the heart was there and the fight, and we showed no hesitation.”

UCSB has played four matches already this season, going 2-2 so far. All of the matches have been one-sided, the closest one being a 4-2 loss to the UCLA on Jan. 19.

The Wildcats are set to have their first home match of the spring season on Feb. 9 when they will take on the University of North Texas at 3 p.m.