K-State Heads West for Pair of Dual Matches

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MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Kansas State women's tennis continues dual match play in Pullman, Washington this weekend as it will take on Washington State on Friday at 4 p.m. (CT) and then North Texas on Saturday at noon (CT). Both matches will be played at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. 

K-State is aiming to start the season with back-to-back dual wins for the second straight year and 14th time in program history.

"The upcoming weekend is a great one for us," explained K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg. "Both Washington State and North Texas are strong teams that are more or less our level. It will be a great opportunity for us to test ourselves and see where we stand against high-caliber teams."

The Wildcats (1-0) face the Cougars (4-0), which are led by Donika Bashota who is currently No. 83 in the Oracle/ITA Division I Women's National Singles rankings and is 21-2 in singles so far in the 2015-16 campaign. Bashota will be the first individually ranked player the Cats have faced since Carolina Costamagna defeated then-96th ranked Shannon Hudson of Arkansas at the ITA Central Regional Championship.

Washington State has gone 24-0 in dual singles matches this season with Bashota, Maria Biryuova, Trang Huynh and Barbora Michalkova totaling four wins each. The Cougars are also 8-1 in doubles dual match play.

The weekend will also include a match against the Mean Green (1-0), a team with players K-State competed against earlier this year at the Oklahoma Fall Invitational.

"We had the chance to see North Texas earlier this fall, so we know what to expect," said Steinberg. "Both teams are very well coached and I expect two very high level matches."

North Texas is coming off of a 6-1 victory over Central Arkansas, going 5-1 in singles and 3-0 in doubles.

In its season opener last weekend at Missouri State, the Wildcats won all of the singles and doubles matches to complete a 7-0 sweep.

"The doubles point is going to be very important in both matches and, as always, it's important for us to come out with a lot of energy and stay aggressive throughout the doubles," added Steinberg. "I think we did a great job at that against Missouri State and I hope we can keep the same mindset."

Following the pair of matches in Pullman, K-State will return to Manhattan for its first home match of the year when they host former Big 12 foe Colorado on February 5 at 2 p.m.