Women’s Tennis Unveils 2020 Fall Schedule – Kansas State University Athletics – K-StateSports.com

MANHATTAN, Kan. – In preparation for a highly-anticipated 2021 spring season, Kansas State women’s tennis head coach Jordan Smith has announced the 2020 fall season schedule on Thursday morning (September 24).
Highlighting the three-event slate will be the Wildcats’ own tournament – the K-State Fall Invite – which will run from Friday, October 30 to Sunday, November 1 and include conference foes Iowa State and Kansas at Mike Goss Tennis Stadium. It will mark the first time K-State has hosted a fall tournament since 2013.
In addition to their own tournament, the Wildcats will hit the road for two other tournaments this fall, beginning with the Kansas Invitational on Friday-Sunday, October 2-4 in Lawrence, Kansas before concluding at the Big 12 Fall Individuals on Friday-Sunday, November 6-8 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Big 12 Fall Individuals will mark the first time that all 10 conference schools will get a chance to test their skills against one another in the fall.
“We’re excited, and fortunate, to be competing this fall,” said Smith. “Thanks to (athletic director) Gene (Taylor), (sport administrator) Kenny (Lannou) and our sports medicine staff for allowing this to happen. It has been about seven months since the last time we played as a team. Therefore, our outlook this fall is to get back to competing and continue to do well with our team chemistry. The first two events will be with KU and Iowa State. Our last tournament will be the first-ever Big 12 Individuals event.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, K-State was restricted to competing in conference-only locations for the fall campaign. With multiple Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) events being cancelled, the Wildcats turned their focus to fall matchups with Big 12 foes.
The Wildcats will be tested early and often this fall play against some of the best players in the country from a year ago, as eight opponents from the Big 12 ranked inside the ITA Top 125 Singles Poll from the 2020 spring season. Some of those names include Oklahoma State’s Bunyawi Tahmchaiwat (No. 23), Lisa Marie Rioux (No. 49) and Ayumi Miyamoto (No. 63), Oklahoma’s Martina Cappuro (No. 74), Kansas’ Sonia Smagina (No. 78), TCU’s Marie Norris (No. 81), Texas Tech’s Margarita Skriabina (No. 114) and Iowa State’s Thasaporn Naklo (No. 119).    
Entering his third season at K-State, Smith leads an experienced group for the 2020-21 season as the team returns seven letterwinners (two seniors and five juniors) from a year ago. For the 2020 spring season, K-State recorded an 8-4 mark through non-conference play, which saw senior Margot Decker and juniors Maria Linares, Anna Turco, Rosanna Maffei and Karine-Marion Job deliver winning records from No. 1-5 spots.
Through the weeks of January 31-February 9, the Wildcats recorded a four-match win streak, which included victories against Missouri and Arizona.
The trio of Linares, Decker and Turco have produced a combined total of 134 singles victories during their illustrious careers at K-State.
Along with Decker, Linares, Job, Maffei and Turco, senior Lilla Barzo and junior Ioana Gheorghita fill up the remaining spots for returning letterwinners this year. Newcomer Manami Ukita, a native of Saitama, Japan, is the lone newcomer for an experienced Wildcat squad.
Rehashing the fall 2019 season, K-State went stride-for-stride with some of the best players in the country, which resulted in a historic campaign for the Wildcats. In the first tournament of the 2019 fall season, Maffei captured the Marliss Gruver Invitational Flight A title down in Auburn, Alabama. An underdog in every singles match, Maffei clinched four-straight upsets to take the crown back on September 22, 2019.
Linares, Decker and Turco made their mark a few weeks later in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the ITA All-American Championship, in which, Linares secured a spot in the Qualifying Round of the singles tournament, while both Turco and Decker scored a few victories in the doubles portion of the event.
At the 2019 ITA Central Regional Tournament, which was held on October 17-20, K-State produced 13 singles wins over a four-day span in Norman, Oklahoma. Linares, Decker and Maffei all fought off tough matchups to advance to the Round of 16.
“I’ve been impressed with how well the team has started at each practice this fall,” said Smith. “Looking forward to an exciting fall on the courts!”
For the latest on K-State tennis follow @kstatesports and @KStateTEN on Twitter or Kansas State Tennis on Facebook

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