SMU Set To Host Back-To-Back Ranked Opponents This Weekend

Go smu! Freshman Anna Kate Anderson
Go smu!
Freshman Anna Kate Anderson
Go smu!

Jan. 30, 2014

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DALLAS (SMU) -- SMU (1-1) continues its six-match homestand with matches against back-to-back ranked opponents including No. 18 Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. and No. 60 LSU on Sunday, Feb. 2 at noon. For the remainder of the homestand, SMU plays host to Wichita State (Feb. 6 at 2 p.m.) and Texas A&M Corpus Christi (Feb. 12 at 3 p.m.). The Mustangs opened their season last weekend and defeated Stephen F. Austin, 6-1 before falling to Northwestern State, 4-3 the next day.

Scouting the Red Raiders:
SMU and Texas Tech last met a season ago on March 1, 2013, when the Red Raiders defeated the Mustangs, 6-1 in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech entered this season with a veteran roster as they have five junior or senior student-athletes. Their top returner from a season ago is junior Kenna Kilgo who is currently ranked No. 58 in the ITA rankings and has posted a 2-1 record this spring. In addition, Kilgo and senior Samantha Adams are currently ranked as the No. 25 doubles tandem.

Scouting the Tigers:
SMU and LSU last met a season ago on Feb. 2, 2013 when the Mustangs won the doubles point and the top two singles matches, but fell 4-3. The Tigers enter this season with a good balance of youth and experience on their roster as LSU has four freshman and four student-athletes returning from a year ago. Its top returner for this season is the Tigers' lone senior Ariel Morton, who posted 15-15 singles record a season ago. SMU will look to avenge its loss from a season ago.

The Week That Was:
SMU opened its season this past weekend at home as the Mustangs hosted Stephen F. Austin (W, 6-1) and Northwestern State (L, 4-3). Individually, the Mustangs were led by sophomores Vaszilisza Bulgakova (9-3) and Yana Erkeeva (8-4) as they each posted a record of 2-0 in their respective singles matches. In doubles, freshman Macie Elliott and Erkeeva (6-1) earned two victories as the tandem won both their matches at the No. 3 doubles position.

SMU Ranked 64th in the ITA:
SMU finished last season ranked 51st in the ITA national rankings and begin this spring ranked 52nd following a highly competitive and successful fall season. Following a 1-1 mark last weekend, SMU looks to notch two wins over ranked opponents this weekend.

Seven Mustang Opponents Ranked in the ITA:
SMU is set to compete against seven opponents are currently ranked in the ITA. Beginning this weekend, the Ponies will face No. 18 Texas Tech (Feb. 1), followed by No. 60 LSU (Feb. 2) on back-to-back days. Other Mustang opponents currently ranked are T-No. 28 Tulsa (Feb. 15), T-No. 33 and AAC foe Memphis (Feb. 17), No. 25 TCU (Feb. 21), No. 50 Penn State (Mar. 11) and No. 62 USF (Mar. 12).

Recapping The 2013 Fall Tournament Season:
The SMU women's tennis team is had an outstanding fall season in which head coach Kati Gyulai saw every student-athlete record a winning record in singles play. Sophomore Vaszilisza Bulgakova posted the team's best record fall with a 7-3 mark. Bulgakova advanced to at least the round of 16 at each of the three tournaments she competed in last fall including the ITA Texas Regional where Bulgakova won her first three matches which included a victory over No. 98 Kenna Kilgo, a junior from Texas Tech.

Sophomore Hristina Dishkova (8-6) and junior Holly Verner (5-1) each had their best tournament of the fall at Metroplex Mania where they each recorded perfect 3-0 marks, respectively.

In addition, freshman Macie Elliott, who posted a 5-3 mark, recorded her best tournament in the first of her career at the Colorado Invitational where she posted a 2-1 record and fell in the semifinals. Freshman Dasha Sharapova (6-5) had her best finish at the ITA Texas Regional where she finished with a similar 2-1 mark as she reached the round of 32.

Sophomore Yana Erkeeva (6-4) and freshman Anna Kate Anderson (5-4) have also competed for the Mustangs.

In doubles, Gyulai tried many different combinations throughout each tournament. Overall, the Mustang duos combined for a 21-9 record that includes a perfect 9-0 combined record at Metroplex Mania. The combinations of Dishkova/Verner, Bulgakova/Sharapova each posted records of 5-1 while Elliott/Erkeeva posted a mark of 4-1.

Start of an Era:
Joining the American Athletic Conference for its inaugural season, the SMU women's tennis team is competing in its fourth conference since the program's inception in 1972. The American consists of 10 teams during its first season, highlighted by four ranked teams including T-No. 31 Memphis, No. 52 SMU, No. 59 USF and No. 70 Louisville.

A Temporary Home:
SMU will play its home matches at the Northwood Club Tennis Courts while the new SMU men's and women's tennis complex is being built. The address for the Northwood Club is 6524 Alpha Rd. Dallas, TX 75240. Below are directions from the Loyd All-Sports Center on SMU's campus to Northwood.