No. 45 Cats Return to Action This Weekend

Petra Niedermayerova

March 1, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. - No. 45 Kansas State will look to shake off its first loss of the season this weekend, as the Wildcats host Houston on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., and travels to Hutchinson, Kan., to face Wichita State on Sunday at 1 p.m. Friday’s match with Houston will be contested at the Body First Tennis and Fitness Center and is free and open to the public. Sunday’s match in Hutchinson will be contested at the Prairie Dunes Country Club.

In its last matches on Feb. 19 and Feb. 20, K-State (7-1) improved on its best start since the 1989 season with a 7-0 win over UALR on Saturday. On Sunday, the Wildcats suffered its first loss of the campaign, a 4-1 decision, to No. 37 Tulsa.

The top half of K-State’s lineup has continued to lead the Wildcats this season, as the trio of freshman Petra Niedermayerova, senior Antea Huljev and sophomore Karla Bonacic are 21-2 this season with 15 of those victories coming in straight sets.

Kansas State will matchup with Houston for the first time in the history of the series. The Wildcats own a 10-13 mark against teams from Conference USA. The Cougars are 6-4 this season, but are looking to halt a two-match skid. Houston will visit UMKC on Thursday, followed by its trip to Manhattan on Friday and finishes at Kansas on Saturday.

The Wildcats will close out the weekend against Wichita State, which will be the 40th meeting in the history of the series with the matchup in favor of K-State, 20-19. The Shockers have won the last two meetings in the series. Wichita State enters the weekend with a 6-6 record and will look to shake off a two-match downturn that has seen the Shockers lose consecutive 4-3 matches.

After this weekend’s action, the Wildcats begin Big 12 action on March 18 at No. 7 Baylor at 5 p.m. K-State will continue its Big 12-opening road trip on Sunday, March 20 at No. 54 Texas Tech at 11 a.m.

K-State Improves in ITA Rankings; Niedermayerova Debuts: After making its first appearance in the Campbell/ITA women’s tennis national rankings on Feb. 8 at No. 52, the Wildcats climbed seven spots in this week’s ranking to No. 45. This equals the highest ranking for the Wildcats since March 7, 2006 when K-State was also No. 45.

K-State is one of eight Big 12 members to appear in this week's rankings, as Baylor comes in at No. 7, Oklahoma is No. 19, Texas is No. 24, Texas A&M is No. 32, Nebraska is No. 36, Texas Tech is No. 54 and Missouri is No. 58.

Freshman Petra Niedermayerova made her first appearance among the Campbell/ITA women’s tennis single’s rankings, debuting at No. 123. Niedermayerova owns a 12-6 mark this season, including a 7-1 record this spring. Her record is aided by two victories over ranked opponents this season.

KARLA KRUISING: Sophomore Karla Bonacic picked up right where she left off last spring with eight wins to open the 2011 spring slate. The product of Split, Croatia is 12-6 this season and has won nine of her last 10 efforts. Dating back to the final three matches of the 2010 spring season, Bonacic has now won 12 straight spring matches.

Bonacic has opened the 2011 spring campaign in the number three position in the lineup and owns a career record of 10-0 in this position.

FIVE IS ALIVE: The number five position in the Kansas State singles lineup has seen four different players take the court, but despite the different combinations the Wildcats have received positive results. K-State is 7-0 this season at the number five position with sophomore Ana Gomez Aleman owning a 3-0 mark. Also seeing action in the fifth spot are junior Nina Sertic (2-0), junior Petra Chuda (1-0) and sophomore Carmen Borau Ramos (1-0). Of the seven victories, six have come in straight sets.