Tennis Continues Big 12 Play
With four teams ranking in the nation's top 25, the Big 12 Conference is one of the toughest leagues in the country.
However, with great challenge, comes great opportunity, and that's exactly how the K-State tennis team is looking at this Big 12 season.
"It's a little scary, but it's obviously fun, too," said Wildcat head coach Danielle Steinberg about the depth of the Big 12 Conference this season. "I think as players, as coaches, you get up for those matches. There's no way you're going to be flat playing a top-20 team. So to me, it's a challenge, it's a huge challenge, and there's a lot of work to be done if we want to be in the top of the Big 12 and in the country."
In her first season coaching the Wildcats, Steinberg has led the Wildcats to a 6-8 record (4-1 at home), and is working hard to grow the confidence of her young roster (made up of just one senior, six sophomores and three freshmen).
K-State opened Big 12 play earlier this weekend with a home competition against No. 27 TCU on Friday afternoon, and it will continue conference competition this afternoon with a home match against No. 17 Texas Tech at 11 a.m. in Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.
On Friday, though K-State fell, 4-0, to the TCU Horned Frogs, the Cats kept it close in every match. The youthful Wildcat roster hung on with some of the best competition in the nation, and, though the team was unable to pull off the upset win, it gave the team some confidence entering today's match.
"Obviously, it was our first Big 12 match, and that gave us some extra motivation," said sophomore Palma Juhasz about the team's mindset. "This is what we've been working and practicing for - to play really good conference matches. It's really good to see and play against (Big 12 teams) because it gives us the opportunity to continue to get better."
While the Wildcats enter today's matchup against the Red Raiders coming off a loss, Texas Tech is coming off a 4-0 road win over the Kansas Jayhawks.
"Tech is tough. They're a top 20 team, and they're playing very well," said Steinberg. "But that's exciting. Those are the matches we are excited about, when you get to compete at the very top level. I think (playing TCU on Friday) should give the girls the energy and the belief that we are right there with these teams and that we can compete with the best. I'm expecting Sunday to be a good match for us."
While the Wildcats are continuing to grow each time they step on the court, there are two things Steinberg expects from her team regardless of the opponent on the other side of the net.
"Intensity and energy - those are two of the biggest things that I preach and that we work on. We go over that over and over," she explained. "We haven't been as consistent with it throughout the year, so I was very happy about their energy level (against TCU). Showing intensity, that's my No. 1 thing."
Today's first serve is slated for 11 a.m., and admission is free to the public.
BATS, WALKS LEAD THE WAY IN BASEBALL'S 10-6 WIN
Scoring double-digit runs for the fourth time in the last six games, the K-State baseball team beat Missouri State, 10-6, yesterday afternoon at Tointon Family Stadium to clinch the three-game series entering today's finale at 1 p.m.
The Wildcats (10-8) put up a pair of crooked numbers on Missouri State (9-6) early in the game, scoring five runs in the third and four in the fourth, to establish a then-eight run lead, 9-1. K-State's top four hitters in the lineup - Carter Yagi, Clayton Dalrymple, Shane Conlon and Danny Krause - each had two hits and combined to score eight runs on the day, including five hits and seven runs over the third and fourth frames.
In addition to 12 hits, K-State drew a season-high nine walks, five of which were issued by Missouri State starting pitcher Andy Cheray. Conlon was joined by Steve Serratore and Tyler Wolfe as the trio of Wildcats with two walks each. Every K-State hitter reached base safely at least once as well.
"That's what you have to do," said K-State head coach Brad Hill. "Sometimes you can be over-aggressive and try to do too much, but today, we had pretty good plate discipline and took advantage of the walks."
To continue reading and to check out yesterday's box score, please click here.
TRACK AND FIELD CONCLUDES NCAAsWildcat freshman A'Keyla Mitchell smashed the 200-meter school record en route to a fifth-place finish in the event final yesterday evening, as K-State Track and Field wrapped up competition at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
On the day, the Wildcats kept busy with five athletes and one relay squad competing across five events total. Joining Mitchell in earning All-American recognition were Christoff Bryan and Nate Gipson in the high jump, Erica Twiss in the pentathlon, Dani Winters in the shot put and the women's 4x400 relay squad. The women's team, as a whole, tallied 12 points over the two-day meet to tie for 18th-overall - bests in regards to both place and finish since the 2005 women's squad scored 15.5 points to finish 14th.
To continue reading about the Wildcats' exciting weekend, please click here.