Tennis releases Fall 2021 slate, highlights nationally ranked recruitment class

Senior Ioana Gheorghita makes contact with the tennis ball in the Wildcat's match against Iowa State on Oct. 30, 2020. Gheorghita is one of five senior members on the 2021-22 tennis roster. (Archive photo by Sophie Osborn | Collegian Media Group)

The 2021-22 college tennis season is just around the corner as teams around the country release their fall schedules. Over the weekend, Kansas State tennis head coach Jordan Smith released the team’s fall slate to the general public.

K-State’s first match of the season is set for Friday, Sept. 24, in Oxford, Mississippi, competing in the Ole Miss Invite. Matches begin on Friday and conclude on Sunday, Sept. 26.

Following the trip to Mississippi, K-State will travel to Charleston, South Carolina, for the ITA All-Americans Championship. Those matches are set to run from Monday, Oct. 4, to Sunday, Oct. 10.

After a small break, the Wildcats will return to the courts as they travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to compete in the ITA regionals from Thursday, Oct. 21, until Monday, Oct. 25. Another small break will follow that competition before the Wildcats close out the Fall 2021 slate with the Big 12 Fall Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Big 12 Fall Championships are scheduled to run from Friday, Nov. 5, until Sunday, Nov. 7.

The Wildcats are coming off a 7-12 finish from this past year, going 2-7 in Big 12 Conference play. K-State entered this past season’s Big 12 Tournament in Waco, Texas, holding the No. 8 seed, and ultimately fell to No. 9 KU 4-3 to end the season.

Plenty has changed with the K-State roster since the season ended on April 22, 2021. The Wildcats picked up two sought-after recruits over the summer in Dinora Alloyarova from Engels, Russia, and Florentine Dekkers from Ammerzoden, Netherlands. This year’s recruiting class for K-State — including Alloyarova and Dekkers — was ranked among the Top 25 nationally by the Tennis Recruiting Network.

This is the first time in four years, since Margot Decker departed the team, that the university has received a Top 25 ranking. The Wildcats were ranked No. 14 in 2017. Along with a promising recruiting class, six letter-winners also return to the team, including All-Big 12 selections Karine-Marion Job and Maria Linares.

This past year, Job received Big-12 honors in singles and doubles play, and Linares earned recognition for her contributions with Job in doubles’ competition at the No. 1 spot. The team also has the experience of seniors Rosanna Maffei and Ioana Gheorghita and sophomore Manami Ukita returning to the court.