ATLANTA--The No. 72-ranked Georgia State women's tennis team heads travels to Athens, Ga., to compete in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend for a second-consecutive year on Sunday.
The Panthers take on No. 40-ranked Oklahoma State on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. It will be the first meeting between the two schools and will be GSU's 10th match vs. a nationally-ranked opponent in the last two seasons. GSU will be searching for its second win in program history at the ITA Kick-Off after notching one in last year's event at Georgia Tech.
"We're definitely making progress, we take pride in our national ranking and the fact that we qualify for national tournaments," sixth-year head coach Miha Lisac said. "But we are not happy just participating at these events, now we are focusing on what success we can have at these national tournaments. We've definitely accomplished a lot but there is a long way to go."
Georgia State (1-0) enters the match vs. Oklahoma State (1-0) following a 5-2 win last Friday against No. 72-ranked Syracuse. Graduate student Jocelyn Ffriend and freshman Linn Timmermann notched their first career singles victories at Georgia State in the win. Junior Abigail Tere-Apisah, ranked No. 29 in the ITA National Singles rankings, started off her season with a singles victory. She also paired with sophomore Masa Grgan to earn an easy doubles victory, their first as the No. 19-ranked pair in the ITA National Doubles rankings.
Oklahoma State enters Sunday's match fresh off a 7-0 sweep at No. 61-ranked Wichita State on Monday. Senior Malika Rose starts at the No. 1 singles position for the Cowgirls while sophomore Meghan Blevins, ranked No. 89 in the singles rankings, holds the No. 2 spot. Blevins and senior C.C. Sardinha are ranked No. 39 in the doubles rankings.
"Oklahoma State is a very good program and very accustomed to participating at national tournaments," Lisac said, "We are going to need a very strong effort on our part. We have been preparing well and we need to be ready to play because Oklahoma State will be ready to play."
It is the third trip to the ITA Kick-Off Weekend for Georgia State women's tennis in program history. Last season the Panthers notched their first win at the event in program history, a 4-2 triumph over No. 43-ranked William & Mary. The event was a notable one for Tere-Apisah as she defeated a nationally-ranked singles opponent from Georgia Tech and helped GSU rally to the victory over William & Mary.
Live stats will be available courtesy of georgiadogs.com for both of Georgia State's matches on Sunday and Monday. Fans can also follow the Georgia State women's tennis team on Twitter at "@GSUWTennis" to receive updates from the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.