MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis women's tennis team (3-2) will host their first ranked opponent since 2003 this weekend when the Lady Tigers take on No. 42 Kansas State (3-0) on Friday at 6 p.m. at The University Club.
"We have had the best two weeks of practice and team chemistry," said head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "When the team works hard and cares deeply for one another, good results are a natural by-product. I am proud of the effort and improvement the team has had here recently and I'm excited to watch them play this weekend."
Scouting the Opponent
Kansas State comes into Friday's match with a 3-0 record. The Lady Tigers faced Kansas State earlier this season at the Georgia Invitational, going 8-1 against the Wildcats. In singles, Courtney Collins posted the biggest win of the day for Memphis with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 15 Petra Niedermayerova. The lone loss for the Lady Tigers came in doubles as the No. 18 team of Collins and Kelly Gray fell to No. 34 Niedermayerova and Karla Bonacic, 8-4. Niedermayerova ranked No. 17 in ITA's Feb. 12 poll. In doubles, Niedermayerova ranked No. 26 with Bonacic and No. 28 with Ivana Kubickova.
Lee Taylor Walker on Kansas State "Kansas State is a solid team that we played well against last year. I expect them to come at us pretty hard considering we beat them handily at their place last year. Both them and ourselves have improved much this year and added more depth. I think we will both be playing in the NCAA Tournament this year."
Series Notes Memphis will take on K-State for the second straight year after posting a 7-0 win over the Wildcats last March in Manhattan. This will be the fourth meeting between the teams with the Wildcats owning a 2-1 advantage after a 5-4 win in 1988 and 7-2 victory in 1989.
Making History No. 42 K-State will be just the fifth ranked opponent to play the Lady Tigers in Memphis, and the first under head coach Lee Taylor Walker. Memphis hosted three ranked opponents in 2001 with No. 61 UAB, No. 70 Tennessee Tech and No. 73 Troy. The Lady Tigers last hosted a ranked opponent in 2003 when No. 67 UALR came to Memphis.
This is Our House The Lady Tigers have dominated opponents that have come to play in Memphis over the past few seasons. Memphis owns a 22-match winning streak that spans back to Apr. 9, 2009 when the Lady Tigers fell to Arkansas State, 6-1, in their last home match of the season. Under head coach Lee Taylor Walker, the Lady Tigers are 34-6 at home.
ITA Rankings Memphis received its highest ranking in school history on Jan. 30 as ITA placed the Lady Tigers at No. 50. The program's previous high was No. 51, which they achieved last March. Memphis moved down one spot to No. 51 in the Feb. 12 poll.
Courtney Collins moved into the singles rankings this week at No. 61 after beginning the spring with a 4-2 record. Memphis has two doubles teams ranked in the top-50 in the nation with the duo of Collins and Kelly Gray sitting at No. 35 and Stefanie Mikesz and Caroline Wegner at No. 47.
Upcoming Matches Memphis hosts No. 70 Columbia at 9 a.m. Sunday at The University Club. The Lady Tigers close out their four-match homestand next Sunday when they host No. 16 Virginia at 10 a.m. at The University Club. Admission is FREE for all home matches.
Record Watch Collins and Gray already rank in the top-10 in career wins at Memphis as Collins is fifth in singles wins and Gray is fifth in the doubles column. Collins has now posted 83 wins and needs 15 more to break Stacy Seamans' (1979-83) record of 97. Gray has notched 72 wins during her career and needs 21 more to surpass Lindemann's (1999-03) school record of 92 wins.