Season Opens on the Road in Kansas
PROVO, Utah (January 22, 2003) The No. 48 BYU women's tennis team opens up the new 2003 season this week as they travel to Kansas to take on Kansas State and Kansas on Friday and Saturday.
The women's team spent part of the Christmas holiday training in Hawaii and are now ready to get the regular season underway. The Cougars enter the 2003 season with lofty goals and even higher expectations. Fourth-year head coach Craig Manning is looking forward to this opening-season road trip.
"Both Kansas and Kansas State are ranked in the top 75 nationally and they always provide tough competition," Manning said. "Playing them will be a great way to start off our season."
The No. 61 ranked Wildcats of Kansas State return five letterwinners from last year's team that finished No. 54 in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll with a 12-9 overall record and 6-5 Big 12 mark. Brigham Young has an 11-1 series lead over Kansas State and 3-0 lead in Manhattan. The lone K-State victory came last year when the Wildcats beat the Cougars, 4-3, in Provo.
Kansas is currently ranked No. 44 nationally. The Jayhawks finished the 2002 season ranked as the number one team in the Central Region, finishing the season 16-6 overall and 9-2 in Big 12 Conference play. BYU beat them last year in Provo 4-2.
Coming off a 10-14 season last year that was filled with injuries and tough losses to key opponents, this year's Cougars have a great schedule and a team with a lot of depth. Fourth year head coach Craig Manning is optimistic about the upcoming season.
"I know we are going to be pretty good," Manning said. "How good we are, that is yet to be seen. We have enough depth that this team could be better than any I have had since I have been at BYU."
With only one player gone, this year's team brings with it great leadership skills and experience.
"We basically have the same team as last year, but they all come back with more to offer," said Manning.
Seniors Dominique Reynolds and Lu Oswald finished last year playing No. 1 and 2, respectively. Last season, they were both named to the Mountain West All-Conference team for the second consecutive year. Reynolds posted an impressive 19-9 record in singles play in 2002 and finished the season on a strong note winning her last 13 singles matches. She ended the fall season with an impressive 8-3 record.
Oswald ended last season with an even 15-15 singles record. She will join Reynolds at the top of the singles lineup this year and they will play together as the top doubles team for the Cougars.
"Dominique Reynolds and Lu Oswald have the biggest hearts and they work like crazy," Manning said. "They are the most committed girls. They provide the perfect leadership for our team at the top of our lineup."
After the Kansas road trip, the Cougars will host Utah State in Provo next weekend.
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