The Kansas City women's tennis team starts the spring season Friday with a three-match road swing through California.
The Highlanders enter the weekend with a 0-1 record, while posting a 3-15 mark last year. They are led by Jamie Raney at No. 1, who went 5-12 last season.
At Cal State-Northridge
The Matadors tallied a 12-9 overall record last season, and are opening their season with the 'Roos on Saturday. They lost their top two players from a year ago, but are led by a pair of returners at the No. 3 and 4 spots in Sabrina Man-Son-Hing and Maria Pistalu.
At Cal State-Fullerton
The Titans are 0-3 coming into the weekend, and play Long Beach State on Friday before facing the 'Roos Sunday. They went 8-13 last season, but return their top two players in Tiffany Mai and Morgan McIntosh at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.
WHO IS COMPETING
Kansas City is sending Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai, Suzan Lisenby, Amelie Amsallem, Gabby Pintos, Madeline Schulte, and Dimitra Stavrianakou to compete in this weekend's duals.
This season's team captains are seniors Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai, and Suzan Lisenby.
UMKC's current roster boasts three of the top four all-time winners in school history in Laura Bouet, Eva Dalvai, and Suzan Lisenby. The group includes three seniors. The roster also has the top three doubles players in school history.
As a team, the 'Roos set a school record with 13 victories last season.
The Kansas City's men's and women's teams are the favorites to claim the 2013 Summit League Tennis Championships according to a preseason poll of league head coaches.
The Kangaroo women aim for their first title after setting the school record for wins in each of the past three seasons. The Kansas City sweep marks the first time since 2009 that the same school was picked as both the men's and women's tennis favorite.
UMKC garnered five of seven first-place votes to total 46 points, edging out Fort Wayne's 44 points and two first-place votes.
HEAD COACH KENDELL HALE
Kendell Hale is in his fifth season as the head coach of the UMKC women's tennis program. Overall, the 2012-13 season is Hale's 19th as a collegiate head coach, and compiled a 340-242 overall combined record coming into 2012-13. He has a current 42-63 mark with the women. Hale has coached nine all-league selections and was selected at the 2010 USPTA National Coach of the Year for his turnaround effort at UMKC.
In 2011, Hale guided the 'Roos to a school record 12 victories and a 6-2 mark in Summit League play. UMKC finished third in the regular season standings to qualify for the league tournament for the second straight year, and made it to the championship match for the first time in school history.
Before joining the UMKC coaching staff, Hale spent 11 years as the head coach at Rockhurst University, where he led the Hawks to nine NCAA Tournament appearances.