Satire: The spotted lanternfly will rise

By Conway Lynch
Staff Writer

The spotted lanternfly army – the bane of 13 counties in Pa. – is going to rise from it’s sticky, tree-hugging ashes, and when it does, we better be ready. We lost the battle, and if we don’t prepare ourselves now, we will lose the war.

Berks county – including Kutztown – is on the frontlines of this fight, and we have to be strong. The government has failed us; leaders in Harrisburg, along with researchers, don’t expect to eradicate the pest in the immediate future, so we must take things into our own hands. I’ve devised three options that may be our only hopes for survival.

Forget the tree wraps

Remember last summer when almost every tree was wrapped with that tacky yellow tape? Yeah, it didn’t do much. Sure, it helped slow them down, but these little six-legged psychopaths just climbed over their own dead to scale the tree. The way I see it, the tree wraps offer us nothing but an eye sore. Instead of keeping our trees wrapped, we need to seriously consider trees strapped with flamethrowers. I suggested flamethrowers in my article that ran Sept. 13, 2018, and look where we are now.

Threaten ecological terrorism

If we as a state band together into a…let’s just say coalition…we could get the government to start giving us answers. I say we threaten to take the lanternfly outside of the state and infect all of America with this sap-sucking blight. Obviously, the feds don’t want that, so maybe they will start to throw a little bit more time, money and resources our way. Sometimes when people don’t give you what you want, you have to take it.

Give up on Pennsylvania

Maybe it’s time we face facts. The lanternfly fight was over before it even started, and after this summer, we will be left with even more damage. The pests are surely going to destroy the state’s $18 billion grape, tree fruit, lumber and nursery industries. Without that, what do we have? Potholes? A big, cracked bell in Philadelphia? Punxsutawney Phil? Not good enough. Get out while the getting’s good.

The bottom line

The spotted lanternfly isn’t going anywhere, and we shouldn’t either. This is a serious threat to our ecosystem, and if we don’t act fast, it could have worse repercussions than anyone’s anticipated. It’s fun to joke, but seriously, do what you can to help fight this crisis.


Catwalk Cartel dominates KU’s campus

By Frances Johnston
Staff Writer

Catwalk Cartel, formerly known as Lady Blossoms, is the official modeling organization here on

KU’s campus. Originally created in 2011, it was remotely known. In spring 2016, with the influence of new and improved management and fresh recruits, they were able to revamp the old and tired structure and transform it into an organization dedicated to elevating self-confidence, encouraging acceptance and celebrating diversity. 

As a former member of the renowned modeling team, Role Models, current President Laquay Hague initially joined the group in 2016 as a simple hobby, but due to her prior history in modeling and performing, she was given the title as the official model coordinator.

However, Hagues’ devotion to the group and her influence didn’t go unnoticed. After former President Sharday Pather graduated in 2017, Hague was instantly appointed as the organization’s new president.

Under her influence, not only was Hague able to create a name for Catwalk Cartel beyond the borders of KU’s campus, but she also made it a safe place for people to express themselves creatively and showcase their beauty. 

“One of the goals behind our organization is to create an environment that we thought everyone would be comfortable in. Catwalk Cartel is like a family. We recruit and accept anybody without judgment. We are all included in everything so our members see Catwalk Cartel as a safe space. We work and improve together as a whole at our practices and with our academics,” said model and Vice President Thalita Soto.

“The mission of our group is to educate individuals on how to gain self-confidence and give themselves self-love, to give people a safe place where they feel included,” Soto stated.

They’ve also applied this way of thinking towards academics. Students aren’t denied acceptance into the organization by GPA. Everyone is welcome.

Catwalk Cartel – Photo courtesy of Frances Johnston

To further expand their hand in diversity, Catwalk Cartel has also teamed up with multiple cultural-based KU organizations, such as FMLA, ACE, BSU, the NAACP and SALSA.

In preparation for their eighth annual fashion show in April, Catwalk Cartel hosts weekly practices every Tuesday and Thursday in Old Main 25 at 7 p.m. as well as Sunday practices at 3 p.m. in the north studio of the Rec Center. They also have a mandatory month-long “model boot camp.”

“I want people to look at us and think of real models,” says Hague. “We don’t work hard, practice or kill our feet in those six-inch heels for nothing. We mean business and that’s what we want people to see.” 

To promote their organization, Catwalk Cartel has hosted a substantial number of on- and off-campus events. They were responsible for hosting the 2017 Fright Night Homecoming, Halloween trap and paint, spa night, pajama party, annual cookout and more. They’ve also performed snippets of their show during the 2017 Maroon Madness basketball game and the local talent show.

Catwalk Cartel is a non-profit organization, so in order to receive funding for their shows, designers and performers, they rely on profits made from bake sales and local fundraising, as well as funding through a sponsorship with ACE.  

Catwalk Cartel has had a number of fashion designers and performers at their event, including Sharday Pather’s Black Excellence clothing line, Philadelphia’s Own, Milano, Baltiere and many other well-known and respected local designers. They have also had featured performances by Role Models, Instagram sensation and poet Maui, as well as many other local and school recognized performers.

They’re actively looking for new models, designers and performers so if you’re interested in showcasing your inner model, talent and creativity, or if you would like to learn more information on Catwalk Cartel, contact President Laquay Hague (, vice president Thalita Soto ( or Zardinae Vincent ( ).


Opinion: Is overpopulation the root cause of climate change?

By James Bouffard
Staff Writer

Fear of overpopulation underscores much of the discourse surrounding environmental concerns.

Rhetoric and policies regarding this issue are not recent developments either. Historian Richard Harrow Feen notes the ancient epic of Atra-Hasis, written nearly 2,000 years before the birth of Christ, references overpopulation.

The problem was also addressed by Homer, Plato and Aristotle. Much more recently, Thomas Malthus argued food production could not keep pace with exponential population growth, and a catastrophe brought about by shortages would therefore ensue.

Malthus wrote of this in 1798. Interestingly, world hunger has trended downwards since then despite massive population growth. For example, the Food and Agricultural Association of the United Nations (FAO) found it decreased significantly over the past 20 years in regions with growing populations such as Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Developments of this sort cast doubt on those decrying overpopulation. Similarly, problems such as climate change may not really arise from more and more people as much as excessive consumption will.

Looking at carbon emissions by country further demonstrates this point. The Union of Concerned Scientists found the United States produced 4997.50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions through fuel combustion in 2015.

For comparison, India, a country with over three times the population, emitted 2066.01 million metric tons. Our World in Data, an organization based out of Oxford University, also found the United States and E.U. countries produced nearly half of cumulative carbon emissions from 1750 onwards.

The increasing carbon emissions among developing countries is a very recent development, as well. For example, China and India respectively produced 3.76% and 1.25% of cumulative carbon emissions in 1980. These numbers are now around 12.75% and 3.04% percent. The developed world is largely responsible for this trend too, as the demand for cheap goods necessarily leads to greater industrialization.

Further, some areas of the world still barely contribute to climate change. Africa only accounted for 2.62% of cumulative carbon emissions as of 2015 despite being home to over a billion people.

Climate change is unequivocally driven by a handful of countries and not an exploding world population. This fact does not stop Westerners from bemoaning the growing number of people throughout the developing world.

Geographer Megan Youdelis notes some prominent environmentalists, like Paul Ehrlich, supported forced sterilization during the 60s and 70s while headlines from the past year include statements such as “Overpopulation is killing the planet” and “Overpopulation is an existential threat to humanity.”

Nothing seems to have changed from the time of Malthus or even antiquity. While more people certainly create more pollution, the true issue remains the excessive consumption of goods produced through environmentally detrimental means. Unfortunately, the climate crisis will never be solved or even mitigated until more attention is directed towards equitably distributing carbon-free technology.


Opinion: Outlook, predictions for Phillies’ upcoming 2019 season

By Gregory Brower
Contributing Writer

Finally, it’s baseball season. That is a sentence that hasn’t been uttered in Philadelphia for what feels like forever. But, here we are, about to kick off the 2019 campaign, and the Philadelphia Phillies are back to being entertaining and, more importantly, competitive.

Biggest Breakout Star: Nick Pivetta

The most over-hyped player in baseball for the 2019 season is probably Nick Pivetta. Not over-hyped because people are calling for him to win 20 games and compete for the Cy Young, but because many people see a breakout season for Pivetta.

Pivetta has a lot going for him this season. First off, if you have a career ERA 5.33, you only have one way to go, and that way is up. Last season he posted a 4.77 ERA and only went 7-14. You’re probably thinking, “Why would he be poised for a breakout year?” Easy; don’t be a sucker and look at the tape.

In baseball, it’s all about the tape. The same way we all knew Ben Simmons would be an all-time great by the way he moves on the correct, Pivetta’s tape says he’s better than 4.77. Last year, he ranked top-15 in baseball when it came to strike out percentage (27.1 percent), ground ball percentage (46.7 percent) and K/9 (10.32).

Pivetta also isn’t being leaned on as “the guy” for the Phillies, he’s not even the second “guy.” With Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta, Pivetta can fly under the radar. So, I’m not just calling for a breakout year from Pivetta, I’m calling for a possible All-Star appearance and he will receive Cy Young votes. Probably just about one or two, but that still counts.

Boldest Prediction: Rhys Hoskins and Bryce Harper out-homer Giancarlo Stanton and  Aaron Judge

That’s right, the Bronx Bombers won’t be able to outslug the Bash Bros in South Philly. I’m thinking Hoskins knocks 37 and Harper hits 42 for a combined 79 homers while the boys in the Bronx will just pass 70.

Phillies Biggest Trade: Zack Wheeler

The Phillies didn’t sign a starter this offseason, and at the trade deadline, they will be forced to be big-time buyers. The Mets are the Mets, and some people have them as the dark horse to win the NL East. Wheeler will be a free agent after this season. With New York signing Jacob DeGrom to a hefty extension, they will have to decide if they want to shell out big money for Wheeler, as well. My guess is the answer is no.

At the trade deadline, the Phillies, Nationals and even the Braves will be in front of the Mets in the standings, forcing the Mets to be sellers in the trade market. It will take a lot to get it done, but I think the Phillies will pull the trigger and, not only add Wheeler, but also re-sign him at season’s end.

Biggest Surprise: Phillies sign Craig Kimbrel

The 2019 baseball season is a week into play and Kimbrel is still unsigned. What in the world? The rumors out there say that Kimbrel is getting interest from the Brewers, Braves, Nationals and Phillies. If this is true, then the Phillies need to pay whatever the asking price is just to keep Kimbrel off of the other three rosters. At this point, the National League is a dog fight. If you’re the Phillies you can’t, under any circumstances, let your biggest competitors go get a guy that can swing the power of the league.

Official Season Result: 92-70

The Phillies will go 92-70 this season. They will also clinch the NL East on the very last day of the season after being one game behind the Nationals, just to keep things interesting. They will sweep the Marlins in the final series of the season while the Nationals go 1-2 versus the Indians. Philadelphia makes it to the World Series after beating the Brewers in the NLCS after seven games. Unfortunately, they just aren’t ready to hang with the big dogs that are the reigning World Series champions, and Boston takes care of Philadelphia in six games.

Whatever happens, exciting baseball is back in Philly.


Hawkinson: KU in compliance with Middle States

By Kaylee Lindenmuth
News Editor

KU President Kenneth Hawkinson met with about two dozen students for an open-forum discussion on March 26, where he provided a multitude of updates on university matters and fielded questions from students.

Earlier in the morning, the KU community was invited to hear an update regarding a monitoring report submitted by KU to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the body which accredits the university. The meeting, while open to students and faculty, was not open to media.

Last June, following the decennial evaluation of the university, Middle States issued a warning, saying the university’s accreditation “may be in jeopardy” for noncompliance with Standard V.

A monitoring report was due on March 1, “documenting that the institution has achieved and can sustain ongoing compliance with Standard V.”

Hawkinson provided an update in the open forum on the meeting.

“We’re very excited because they announced that we are in compliance with all the standards,” said Hawkinson. “[The evaluators are] going to recommend compliance to their commission.”

Matt Santos, vice president of University Relations and Athletics, could not provide further information beyond what Hawkinson provided.


KU student joins state lawmakers, 200 PASSHE students in Capitol rally for college affordability

By Kaylee Lindenmuth
News Editor

A senior special education major joined state lawmakers, officials and hundreds of students from across the commonwealth to voice support for college affordability in Pennsylvania at the capitol on March 27.

Vanessa Nonez was among a group of at least 200 students from PASSHE universities gathered on the steps of the capitol rotunda in Harrisburg for a rally supporting the Pennsylvania Promise plan.

According to, the plan calls for the Commonwealth to cover two years of tuition and fees for any high school graduate at a community college or four years at a PASSHE school for a high school graduate from a family with an income less than $110,000.

Nonez spoke of her and her family’s experiences. She commented saying she is struggling as her mother, a Haitian immigrant, struggled to get by without a degree and noted how such a plan would help provide upward mobility for, not only her family, but others like hers across the state, and more.

“When I think about PA Promise and this idea of college for all, what do I see? I see a single parent taking evening classes to support their newborn child. I see a first generation of students who are the first of their family to graduate from a higher institution,” said Nonez. “I see the adult learners with disabilities being able to attend college and gain independence. I see a formerly incarcerated parent taking classes so that they can prove to their child that their past cannot keep them from a better future.”

“And I see my mother, who, after 40 years of being beaten by a system that has kept her from advancing in status and income, being able to walk across the stage and do what no other woman in her family has ever done,” added Nonez.

Nonez added she believes the plan is a pathway towards “a human right to education.”

Representative Jordan Harris, Philadelphia, spoke in favor of the plan as well, citing the cost of college and the need to support Commonwealth students.

^^ Photo courtesy of Kaylee Lindenmuth, The Keystone — Vanessa Nonez, a senior special education major, speaks at the PA Promise rally in Harrisburg

“It is high time that Pennsylvania does the right thing by our future by making an investment in all of our young people who do the work in school who want to go to college and get a quality education. They should not have to worry about paying for it,” said Harris. “There is no way to move this Commonwealth forward unless we talk about how we’re going to take care of all of our young people and all of our adults who are going back to school to retool themselves to re-enter the workforce.”

“There is no greater good that we can do, as a Commonwealth, than to invest in the future of people through education,” added Harris. “It is our moral responsibility as a Commonwealth to ensure that when a young person puts in the work, that we help them meet each and every one of their dream by making college affordable.”

Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 8.20.06 PM
Photo by Kaylee Lindenmuth, The Keystone — Vanessa Nonez, a senior special education major, speaks at the PA Promise rally in Harrisburg

An info board posted at the rally displayed bleak statistics regarding higher education in Pennsylvania, noting the state is first in the nation in student loan debt, and that the average Pennsylvanian college graduate had $36,000 in student loan debt.

Behind the rally’s speakers, students held signs such as, “College should not be a debt sentence,” and “Higher ed, not higher debt.”

The rally was organized by Senator Vincent Hughes, Philadelphia.


Human Library helps humanize stories, topics

By Kaylee Lindenmuth
News Editor

Rohrbach Library lent out a different sort of resource than its usual fare of printed materials, cameras and laptops on March 28. For the second time since 2017, it lent out people – members of the community with unique experiences through a wide range of challenges. The library considered them “human books” as a part of their Human Library event.

“The Human Library is an international project. It happens all around the world. This is our second year having it here at Kutztown,” said Jerry Schearer, associate dean for Inclusion and Outreach, who assisted in organizing the event. “The idea is to allow readers, rather than checking out a book on a topic, to talk to someone who is that topic.”

Twelve members of the KU community agreed to be “books” for the event, sharing their stories through 20-minute conversations with “readers.”

“The idea is that maybe I’ve never talked to someone with autism before, for example. I could come here, and I’d check out the ‘book’ [on autism] and have a 20- to 30-minute conversation with whatever questions I have,” Schearer said.

Experiences covered by the participating “books” included blindness, autism, trauma, social issues, veganism and more specific situations, such as a move from Morocco to Pennsylvania and a woman’s service in the Marines.

“We all have different stories, but we’re all human,” said Schearer, summarizing the event.

The event was “steadily busy,” said Schearer, noting each “book” was checked out multiple times.

“I think the response is good. I haven’t seen anyone leave like ‘This is a waste of time,’” added Schearer. “As far as the readers go, they’ve gotten something out of it.”

Julia Laudadio, a junior social work major, participated in the event as a “book,” sharing her experiences with traumatic events throughout her childhood.

“I think [the event] helps develop empathy and gives people an opportunity to tell their story and embrace vulnerability and for other people to learn more about others and people on campus that they really don’t think to interact with,” said Laudadio regarding why the event interested her.

Screen Shot 2019-04-07 at 8.17.20 PM
Photo courtesy of Kaylee Lindenmuth, The Keystone — Peyton Williams, a junior music education major, shares her story with Karen Wanamaker, education librarian.

Laudadio participated in the first iteration of the Human Library at KU in November 2017 and was among a handful of “books” who returned. Her story focused on how she reclaimed her life from traumatic experiences to be “joyful, healthy and successful,” as her entry in the event’s catalog described it.

Photo by Kaylee Lindenmuth, The Keystone — Peyton Williams, a junior music education major, shares her story as a “book” in KU’s Human Library.

Speaking of the event’s impact on the campus community, Laudadio said, “One of the things that I really want people to get out of [the event] is, from my story specifically, ‘that which we do not know about ourselves are limits, and when we are honest with ourselves, and when we work to know everything about ourselves, it becomes parameters,’” said Laudadio. “It’s essentially, don’t be afraid to delve into that. It takes a lot of strength to live with trauma… and if you can get to a place where you can reclaim it, don’t be afraid of it, because this is your life, you have control over it.”

Laudadio added she hopes “all of the readers walk away from [the event] with a little more love, a little more empathy, and a little more softness.” Additionally, she emphasized the importance of hearing other’s stories and to humanize.

“Having the opportunity to hear a stranger open up about things, it shows how we all can relate to each other,” Laudadio said.


Lars Krutak brings ancient tattoo knowledge to KU

By Heather Gursky
Arts and Entertainment Editor

Tattoo anthropologist and author Lars Krutak spoke in Boehm Hall on March 21. Krutak shared his knowledge and experience with the traditions of indigenous tattooing. Within his presentation Krutak talked about medicinal and protection tattoos, both hands stitched and stick-and-poked. 

Krutak told the story about how he got involved with studying tattoos and their traditions. This started while he was a graduate student studying at the University of Fairbanks in Alaska. There, he met a woman who had three lines tattooed down her chin. Traditionally, women marked themselves with three lines to mark life achievements such as having a baby, however, the woman had tattooed herself in homage to her ancestors.

He said she hand stitched herself using a needle and thread. Using this method, a person takes a tiny needle, sticks it through the skin and pulls it out. As the needle passes through the skin the pigment-soaked thread leaves a small trace of ink behind.

He also found traditional whaling tattoos on Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska. Although it is not a common practice today, whalers on the island would receive a tally for each kill—whether it be a line or a dot—stretching from the opening of their nostrils to the beginnings of their ears. He added that the placement of these tattoos had to do with the protection of the openings that lead to the spirit, especially since the men were working around the dead.

Throughout his presentation, Krutak mentioned the Kalinga tribe whom he has been working with for over 10 years. Whang-Od and her daughter Grace were amongst the members of the tribe who left a great impression on the anthropologist — literally. While visiting her town, both women tattooed Krutak. He notes that it is unusual for women in the tribe to be tattoo artists. 

“If Kalinga tattooing will stop, we will lose an important part of our culture and tradition that has been handed down,”  Whang-Od said. For women, they increase fertility and, for men, they represent killing a person in hand-to-hand combat.

 After providing information about himself and tribal traditions, Krutak also shared his experience being a part of the filming crew for “The Tattoo Hunter,” which aired on the Discovery Channel nine years ago.

One memorable story was of the last tattoo master named Maung who was on his deathbed. At the time, Krutak was traveling with Maung’s younger relatives who were both “tattooists in their own right.” Breaking off from the show’s crew, Krutak ventured to Maung’s longhouse where he learned about the master’s unique style.

 Maung’s tattoo ink consisted of a carbon-based pigment, but “he had a magical charm that he dipped into every batch of tattooing pigment he’s made for these men to render them invincible and protect them from danger.” That night there was an electric storm that passed through suddenly, and, the next day, it was announced Maung was dead. Krutak believes the two have relevance.

 You can watch Krutak’s most recent show, “Explained,” featured on Netflix. In each 19-minute episode, Krutak goes over the history of tattoos.

His recent publication, “Ancient Ink: The Archeology of Tattooing,” is now available on his website,, as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Volunteer Appreciation Week upcoming at Community Outreach Center

By Kaylee Lindenmuth
News Editor

The Community Outreach Center will recognize and show appreciation for volunteer students on the KU campus through a week of events.

From April 15 to April 19, the center will host “Volunteer Appreciation Week” with events centered in their MSU location.

“The COC has planned a variety of activities, both to help and show appreciation for all students who participate in volunteer work in the community,” the center wrote in a media release. “All students, not just COC volunteers, are welcome to participate.”

Each day has a specific theme and events, which coincide. Monday will be a “stress-free” day; there will be free massages, and attendees can make stress balls and essential oil balms.

On Tuesday, the center and staff coordinators will present awards to “volunteers that exceeded expectations through their volunteer work.” Additionally, free food and cake will be served.

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Photo courtesy Kaylee Lindenmuth, The Keystone – The Community Outreach Center in the McFarland Student Union

Wednesday will have an environmental theme, and attendees will create zero waste toothpaste. Metal straws will be handed out, as well.

A variety of pets will be on-hand for Thursday, which is devoted to animals. Attendees can also make dog toys for local shelters and create bird feeders.

Finally, on Friday, attendees can write cards to children in hospitals and create homemade coloring books to donate for “children’s day.”

“The COC staff is excited to celebrate the success of the [center] this year and celebrate all student volunteers who show Golden Bear spirit through community service,” the center’s release added.


Golden Bears currently sit in second in PSAC’s 2019 Dixon Trophy standings

By Kyle Krajewski
Sports Editor

As the PSAC released an updated version of the PSAC Dixon Trophy standings following the winter season, KU continues to follow the success of the fall season and currently ranks second in standings. Following the fall athletic season, the Golden Bears were ranked third in the standings after successful seasons from the football, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country teams.

The Dixon Trophy is awarded at the end of each academic year to the most successful PSAC program based on conference playoff finishes, as well as their regular-season finish. Standings are based on an average score for all PSAC Championship sports that each school sponsors. With 18 schools currently in the PSAC, each conference sport is awarded 18 points, and a descending point value is given for respective place finishes. Second through last place values are determined by how many teams participate in the sport, since not every school sponsors every sport.

Heading into the spring season, KU is currently on pace for their best finish in standings since they last won the Dixon Trophy after the 2005-06 school year. The Golden Bears haven’t finished inside the top-five since 2011-12 when it placed third. KU finished ninth at the end of the 2017-18 year.

West Chester currently sits at the top of the standings with 14.43 points, followed by KU with 12.15 and Shippensburg rounds out the top-three with 11.64 points.

The women’s indoor track and field team earned the most points of the winter season for KU after being crowned PSAC champions. Kelly Groth and Taye Dairo won individual PSAC championships in the 60-meter and high jump respectively.

Women’s basketball earned the second most points for KU as the PSAC runner-up and East division champions. The Golden Bears won their first division championship since 1996 and appeared in the PSAC final for the first time in program history. Karen Lapkiewicz and Rylee Derr were voted All-PSAC following a successful season.

The Golden Bear wrestling program claimed its first-ever team title this past season while boasting three All-Americans: Andrew Dunn Jr., Jeff Reimel and T.C. Warner. This past season, Dunn Jr. became the fifth Golden Bear in program history to win a national championship. The team also brought home the first top-10 national team finish in program history at the national championship.

The KU men’s indoor track and field team finished third at the PSAC Championship, its highest finish at PSACs since placing third in 2012. EJ Umoh won the weight throw at the PSAC Indoor Championships.

Men’s basketball finished 16-14 overall, the fifth straight season with at least 16 wins and the sixth consecutive postseason appearance by the Golden Bears. Anthony Lee was voted the PSAC East Athlete of the Year, All-Region and All-District First Teamer and honorable mention as an All-American.

The Golden Bear swim team finished PSACs with 283.5 points and came home with a 10th-place finish, its highest placing since 2012. They also finished their dual season with an 8-2 record for the program’s highest win total since the 2010-11 season.

Seven PSAC Championships are up for grabs in the spring season: men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, softball, baseball, women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s tennis. KU looks to move up that final spot in the rankings to win the second Dixon Trophy in KU history