Gomez Aleman Seals No. 39 K-State's Upset of No. 25 Aggies

Ana Gomez Aleman

March 26, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – For the first time in the history of the series, No. 39 Kansas State women’s tennis defeated No. 25 Texas A&M, 5-2, on Saturday at the Body First Tennis and Fitness Center. The win over the Aggies was the first in 17 tries for the Wildcats and is the second this season by K-State over an ITA top-25 opponent.

Kansas State improved its overall record to 11-3 this season and is 2-2 in Big 12 action. Texas A&M drops to 8-4 overall and 2-2 in the league. The last time K-State reached the 11-win mark in a season came in the 2006 campaign, when K-State last finished with an above .500 mark at 11-10.

“Clearly this was a big win for us,” stated head coach Steve Bietau. “I’m happy for our players because they have worked so hard and I want to see them rewarded for everything they have invested in this.”

Sophomore Ana Gomez Aleman sealed the win for the Wildcats with a hard fought straight set win over Janelle Cuthbertson at number four singles, 6-4, 6-4. The win by Gomez Aleman was her third career win in Big 12 action and her first since Feb. 19, 2011 when she defeated Nathalia Gray of UALR. The win also halted a personal four-match losing streak.

“Ana is like everyone else,” said Bietau about his sophomore’s match-clinching performance. “We push them pretty hard to improve their game. It is an example of hard work and focus paying off. There are a lot of times you do that and don’t get rewarded with a win.

K-State took the upper-hand in doubles action with an 8-3 win at number one singles by the pairing of freshman Petra Niedermayerova and junior Nina Sertic over the Aggies’ Christi Liles and Nazari Urbina. After being paired for the first time on Feb. 13, Niedermayerova and Sertic are now 5-3 and tallied their first win together at number one doubles.

For the second straight day, the fate of the doubles’ point fell into the hands of K-State’s number two pair of senior Antea Huljev and sophomore Karla Bonacic. After dropping a tight 8-6 decision to Texas on Friday afternoon, the duo of Huljev and Bonacic secured the point for the Wildcats with an 8-5 win over Texas A&M’s Janelle Cuthbertson and Morgan Frank. The win for Bonacic and Huljev ended a three-match skid for the duo and brings their record this season together to 4-3. K-State is now 9-0 this season when it secures the doubles point.

In singles action, Kansas State quickly secured a 2-0 lead as Niedermayerova dispatched of No. 18 Nazari Urbina, 6-1, 6-1, at number one singles. The victory by Niedermayerova was her third over a foe ranked in the top-20 of the Campbell/ITA national singles rankings within the last eight days. Bietau has been impressed by his freshman’s results over the last eight days.

“You can’t say enough about Petra. You would have to look pretty hard to find someone in the country that has done what she has in the last eight days. The thing about Petra that goes unnoticed with the great singles results, is how much she has improved in doubles.”

The native of Brno, Czech Republic is now 12-2 this spring and has won five of her last six outings and owns 17-7 overall record. In straight set matches, she improved her overall record to 14-4.

After Texas A&M cut K-State’s lead in half, 2-1, with a straight set win at number two singles, sophomore Karla Bonacic came from behind to defeat Christi Liles in an exhausting three-set match at number three singles, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, to give K-State a 3-1 lead.

A visibly fatigued Bonacic broke Liles’ serve twice late in the third set to secure her 11th win in 12 chances this spring. The victory for Bonacic improves her mark this season in three-set matches to 6-0 and her career mark in extended matches now stands at 11-2.

“I was really proud of Karla and the tenacity she showed in her singles match today,” said Bietau. “We spoke with Karla last night after the Texas match and there were some things that we thought she needed to do to increase her chances of winning and she did a great job with that today. She has great ground strokes and she has a tendency to rely on those ground strokes too much. Her will to win is strong and that is what pulled her through in the end today.”

To end the afternoon, sophomore Carmen Borau Ramos defeated Lauren Santacroce at number six singles in straight sets, 7-6 (0), 6-4. Borau Ramos is now 3-3 this spring and is now 2-2 in Big 12 action. 

Kansas State will conclude its three-match home stand on Friday, April 1, as the Wildcats will host No. 41 Nebraska at 1 p.m. The site of the match will be determined Friday morning based on the weather conditions. If the match is played outdoors, it will be played at the Wamego Recreation Complex. If the match is indoors, it will be played at the Body First Tennis and Fitness Complex. For an update on the location of Saturday’s match, visit www.kstatesports.com or follow K-State Sports on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kstatesports.

(25) Texas A&M (8-4, 2-2 Big 12) at (39) Kansas State (11-3, 2-2 Big 12)
March 26, 2011
Manhattan, Kan. — Body First Tennis and Fitness Center
Final Results

(39) Kansas State 5, (25) Texas A&M 2

1. Petra Niedermayerova/Nina Sertic (KSU) def. Christi Liles/Nazari Urbina (TAM), 8-3
2. Antea Huljev/Karla Bonacic (KSU) def. Janelle Cutherbertson/Morgan Frank (TAM), 8-5 
3. Stephanie Davidson/Sheri Olivier (TAM) def. Ana Gomez Aleman/Petra Chuda (KSU), 8-6

Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2

1. Petra Niedermayerova (KSU) vs. (18) Nazari Urbina (TAM), 6-1, 6-1
2. Morgan Frank (TAM) def. Antea Huljev (KSU), 6-4, 7-5
3. Karla Bonacic (KSU) def. Christi Liles (TAM), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. Ana Gomez Aleman (KSU) def. Janelle Cuthbertson (TAM), 6-4, 6-4
5. Stephanie Davidson (TAM) def. Nina Sertic (KSU), 6-4, 6-2
6. Carmen Borau Ramos (KSU) def. Lauren Santacroce (TAM), 7-6 (0), 6-4

Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3, 4*, 5, 6

*- match decided