Tennis Begins Spring Season on High Note

However, it did happen last Saturday at the Mike Goss Tennis Stadium where the No. 64 Wildcats defeated Northern Iowa, 6-1, in head coach Danielle Steinberg's home debut match.  
"I thought I would be more nervous than I actually was, but I wasn't nervous at all," said Steinberg about her first match in Manhattan. "Just the fact that we have such a great group of girls and we're all very connected and close together, that kind of made it feel natural."
The first match of the Wildcats' 2015 spring season, the weather last Saturday was sunny with temperatures in the high 50's. So, with close to spring-like temperatures, playing outdoors was a no-brainer. 
"Playing outside and playing inside is a completely different game," explained Steinberg who came to K-State late last summer after spending two seasons at McNeese State. "This semester, our schedule is a little crazy as we go and play outside one weekend and inside the next weekend, so we need to be able to make those adjustments and adjust our game based on where we play."
While the temperatures made the outdoor winter match feel like a spring day, so did the wind. With gusts up to 20 miles per hour, having the opportunity to compete outside last weekend provided the Wildcats with added experience that will come in handy the remainder of this season. 
"I like to say the wind is kind of an equalizer just because you're not really able to play your normal game," continued Steinberg. "You've got to make adjustments whether you're with the wind or against the wind. If we were playing indoors that match (vs. UNI) would have probably been a lot quicker and easier, but it was really good to play outside because the girls needed to feel the ball outside. It's really, really different."
The opportunity to compete outside in the wind was especially helpful for K-State looking forward to this weekend's matches. This Saturday at 11 a.m., the Wildcats will take on No. 74 UC Irvine in Los Angeles, California, for the first match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend. With sunshine and temperatures expected to be in the 80's, K-State is looking forward to competing outside once again. 
"We were very excited to play on campus at our courts last weekend," said Steinberg. "That was pretty unique that we had the courts ready and we were able, in the middle of January, to play outside. It will really help us this weekend when we go to L.A. because the matches will also be outdoors."
Competition will take place at UCLA's Los Angeles Tennis Center, with the winner of Saturday's match competing against No. 1 UCLA, the reigning national champions, on Sunday. 
"UC Irvine, I would say, is at about the same level as us," explained Steinberg on this weekend's competition. "They're ranking is close to ours, and they're just a good team. I've never seen them in person, so I'm going to have to get some notes on them and what they play like, but I think it's going to be a pretty even match, a good match for us. 
"Then the next day, depending on if we win or lose, we have the chance to play the No. 1 team in the country. That's always exciting. It's a great challenge to play a team that's, literally, the best."
This spring's schedule will provide K-State with a good mixture of competition leading into Big 12 play (you can click here to check out the Wildcats' spring schedule), and help this year's young Wildcat squad continue to gain experience.
"We're very excited," said Steinberg about the remainder of the season. "This is the easy part, the season is the easy part. We travel a lot, so that's can be a little difficult, but we all really enjoy being with each other. This group of girls make it a lot easier. We are very excited for this season."
To check out a recap of Saturday's match against UNI, please click here
K-StateHD.TV recently featured K-State tennis senior Amina St. Hill, you can click here to check out her Q&A!

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