No. 64 K-State Opens Season Against UNI

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The No. 64 ranked Kansas State women’s tennis team will begin its 39th season of competition on Saturday, Jan. 17, as the Wildcats host Northern Iowa at 12 p.m. Due to anticipated warm temperatures, Saturday’s match will be played outdoors at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. K-State has won four straight home openers and 13 of its last 15.

This will be the second straight season K-State will begin its home schedule with Northern Iowa, as the Wildcats defeated the Panthers last season, 6-1, on Jan. 31, 2014. K-State is 2-0 all-time against UNI and is 55-27 against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference.

K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg will make her dual season debut with the Wildcats. Steinberg, the seventh head coach in the history of the program, begins the spring with a roster featuring six Wildcats with winning singles records following the 2014 fall season. Sophomores Iva Bago, Sara Castellano and Palma Juhasz each tallied seven wins, while sophomore Livia Cirnu, freshman Laura Hopton and senior Amina St. Hill each pocketed six wins.

In her first season with the Wildcats, Castellano garnered a No. 5 ranking in the ITA Central Region singles rankings. Castellano, a product of Carmagnola, Italy, registered a record of 7-5 in the 2014 fall season including a semifinal appearance at the ITA Central Regional and a win over No. 73 Katherine Ip of Rice in her fall finale.

In the ITA Central Region doubles rankings, Castellano and Juhasz check in at No. 9 in the region. The duo combined for a 4-4 record in the fall.

The 2015 spring season will debut a new scoring format proposed and approved by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). The following scoring changes have been made by the ITA to shorten the length of matches and to make matches more viewer friendly.   

• No advantage scoring in singles and doubles.
• Three doubles matches played, each match one set to 6, with a tie-break at 6-all. Once the doubles point has been clinched, the remaining doubles match she be stopped.
• A 5-minute intermission will take place between doubles and singles play followed by six singles matches, each match 2 out of 3 sets, with tie-breaks at 6-all.
• No warm-up with opponents (in doubles and in singles)
This is the official format for all non-conference dual match competitions with all active singles matches being played to completion.

Following this weekend’s match against UNI, K-State will travel to Los Angeles, California, to compete in the ITA Season Kick-off on Jan. 24-25. The Wildcats will face No. 72 UC Irvine on Saturday and will face either No. 1 UCLA or Marshall on Sunday.