Wildcats Return Home to Face Two Ranked Opponents

MANHATTAN, Kan. - K-State women's tennis looks to keep its perfect home record intact this weekend as No. 58 Denver and No. 50 SMU visit Mike Goss Tennis Stadium on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Friday's match will start at 2 p.m. while Sunday will be at 11 a.m.

The Wildcats (6-3) are coming off of back-to-back matches last weekend, losing to then-No. 50 Columbia before defeating Memphis at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center in New York City. Despite the weekend split, K-State has won three of its last four matches.

All-time, K-State won the only previous dual meeting against SMU (7-0) while this will be the first meeting between the Wildcats and Denver (9-2).

"Both Denver and SMU are tough teams that started their season very well and are coming in with a lot of confidence," explained K-State head coach Danielle Steinberg. "We saw SMU in the fall, and I believe we match up very well with both teams, so I am expecting close matches both days."

The Wildcats saw the Mustangs back in October at the SMU Fall Tournament. K-State took all three singles matches with victories by Carolina Costamagna, Livia Cirnu and Maria Panaite over Yana Erkeeva, Dasha Sharapova and Christina Paulus, respectively. SMU, on the other hand, claimed the lone doubles match with a 6-2 victory by Vaszilisza Bulgakova and Sharapova over Millie Stretton and Iva Bago.

Senior Hristina Dishkova, ranked No. 58 in singles, leads the Mustangs with a 7-0 record in the No. 1 position. Dishkova is also paired with Bulgakova to compete in No. 1 doubles, where they currently hold a 5-1 record.

Denver is led in singles by sophomore No. 86 Julia O'Loughlin, who holds a 9-1 record in the No. 1 position. O'Loughlin also competes in No. 1 doubles with Maureen Slattery, and the duo has a 7-4 record this season. 

"This weekend is a great opportunity for us, being it is the first time this year that we are hosting nationally-ranked teams," said Steinberg. "We all know the significance of playing at home, and I am hoping we can capitalize on this advantage."

Following this weekend's matches, K-State will host No. 46 Baylor (4-7) in the Big 12 season opener on Thursday, March 10 at 3 p.m.