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WILDCATS FACE JAYHAWKS IN BIG 12 OPENER

Also See: Basketball Announces Year-End Awards

WILDCATS FACE JAYHAWKS IN BIG 12 OPENER

By Mark Janssen

Kansas State's women's tennis team will be out to make a great season even greater today in Waco, Texas, as the Wildcats face archrival Kansas in the opening round of the Big 12 Women's Tennis Championships.

Not only are the Wildcats playing to better their record-setting season, and not only are they playing for a Big 12 title, but also to get into the NCAA Championships as a team.
 

 

"I would say we're a bubble team at this point," head coach Steve Bietau said of his K-State team that went 15-6 overall and posted a seventh-place 6-5 in Big 12 matches.  "If we would advance (win over KU) and knock off a team like Texas (in the second round), then I would feel comfortable.  But without a win of that magnitude, then we'll just have to wait until Tuesday and see if we hear our name."
 
K-State's 15th win of the year came last Saturday with a 5-2 decision over Kansas (9-12, 3-8 Big 12).  The 15th win tied the 2003 squad for most victories in a single season in the program's 35-year history, and the 6-5 league record was the first plus-.500 mark since the inception of the Big 12 Conference.
 
"I wouldn't call it an easy win, but we played well in a few areas, and in others we have work to do," Bietau said of last Saturday's match with KU.  "The plus side of playing them again is that we're familiar with them, but like I told the team, we still have to go play to win, and play even better than we did on Saturday."
 
With a victory in today's 10 a.m. match on the Baylor campus, No. 44 K-State would play Texas, the No. 2 seed, at noon on Friday.  The semifinals are slated for Saturday at 3 p.m., and the finals for Sunday at 1 p.m.
 
Earlier in the season K-State lost to Texas, 5-2, in a match that Bietau said "... we had some opportunities to do better. We had some strong efforts in singles, but were lacking in one doubles match that cost us a point."
 
PETRA NO. 1: K-State's Petra Niedermayerova became the seventh player in K-State history to win a league singles title, and the first at No. 1 singles with a record of 9-2. 
 
A freshman product from the Czech Republic, Bietau said of Niedermayerova's performance, "There are very few people anywhere in college tennis that could have realistically expected her to accomplish the things she has done as a freshman.
 
"She has done an outstanding job of solving problems and playing really solid tennis," said Bietau of Niedermayerova, who is ranked No. 49 in the nation.  "She just doesn't make things easy on people.  She doesn't do anything to hurt herself, and she takes advantage of mistakes that an opponent provides.  A lot of players don't know how to do that."
 
Niedermayerova's 23-8 record puts her second only to Tamar Kvaratskheila (2004-05, 31-7) for most singles wins in K-State history.

AGAINST THE BEST: In matches against ranked teams this year K-State has wins over No. 10 Baylor, No. 25 Texas A&M and No. 30 Iowa, but losses to No. 21 Oklahoma, No. 26 Texas, No. 37 Tulsa, and No. 41 Nebraska. 

The Wildcats have been ranked 12 straight weeks and enter the Big 12 championships at No. 44.
 
ACADEMIC AWARDS: Three Kansas State players were selected to the Academic All-Big 12 first and second teams.
 
The three to earn the citation were juniors Petra Chuda and Nina Sertic, and sophomore
Carmen Borau Ramos.
 
Chuda earned her second career first team citation and is a management major.  Chuda's sister, Kathy, was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first team selection from 2000-02.

Sertic also received her second career citation with a second team honor and is a business administration major, and Borau Ramos garnered her first career second team honor and is a civil engineering major.

K-STATE'S BIG 12 LINEUP:
No. 1 Singles - Petra Niedermayerova (23-8), Brno, Czech Republic
No. 2 Singles - Ana Gomez Aleman (19-12), Murcia, Spain
No. 3 Singles - Karla Bonacic (20-9), Split, Croatia
No. 4 Singles - Nina Sertic (14-14), Zagrab, Croatia
No. 5 Singles - Petra Chuda (11-14), Sokolnice, Czech Republic
No. 6 Singles - Carmen Borau Ramos (9-15), Jaca, Spain
No. 1 Doubles - Niedermayerova and Sertic (8-7)
No. 2 Doubles - Bonacic and Chuda (1-2)
No. 3 Doubles - Aleman and Ramos (5-2)


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