No. 39 Wildcats Open Home Big 12 Slate Friday

Nina Sertic

March 22, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After recording one of the top upsets in the program’s history in its Big 12 opener, No. 39 Kansas State returns home to begin a three-match homestand in Big 12 action. The Wildcats will face three ranked opponents during this stretch and will begin with a pair of matches this weekend against No. 26 Texas on Friday at 2 p.m., and Saturday at 12 p.m., against No. 25 Texas A&M. Depending on weather conditions, the matches will either be played outdoors at the Wamego Recreaction Complex in Wamego, Kan., or indoors at the Body First Tennis and Fitness Center in Manhattan.

In its last matches on March 18 and March 20, K-State (10-2, 1-1 Big 12) tied the school record for the best start in school history after 12 matches by splitting a pair of matches in Texas. The Wildcats registered a 4-3 upset over No. 10 Baylor in its Big 12 opener in Waco. This was K-State’s first win over Baylor since the 2000 season and the fourth win overall in the 19-match history of the series. It was K-State’s first win in a Big 12 opener since the 2006 season and also secured the Wildcats’ 10th win of the season which also is the first time since the 2006 campaign that K-State has notched double figures in wins. The Wildcats finished the weekend in Lubbock, Texas with its first 7-0 loss in 20 matches as No. 63 Texas Tech set down K-State.

The Wildcats will open the weekend on Friday against No. 26 Texas (8-4, 3-0 Big 12), which tallied two league wins last weekend in Austin, as the Longhorns swept Missouri and defeated Colorado, 6-1. The Longhorns lead the series with the Wildcats, 18-0, including a 7-0 victory last season on March 19 in Austin.

K-State concludes its weekend on Saturday against No. 25 Texas A&M (8-3, 2-1 Big 12), which carded two Big 12 wins last weekend in College Station and improved to 7-0 in home matches. The Aggies lead the all-time series with K-State, 16-0, including a 5-2 win in College Station on March 21 last season.

After this weekend’s action, the Wildcats will wrap up its three-match home slate on Friday, April 2 against No. 41 Nebraska at 1 p.m., at the Wamego Recreation Complex. Following its match with the Huskers, K-State travels to Ames, Iowa to face Iowa State on Sunday, April 3.
K-STATE SOARS IN ITA RANKINGS: Boosted by its upset win over No. 10 Baylor on March 18, K-State rose 14 positions in this week’s Campbell/ITA women’s tennis national rankings on March 22  to No. 39. This is the highest ranking for the Wildcats this season and the highest since Jan. 27, 2004 when K-State was ranked No. 33.

K-State is one of eight Big 12 members to appear in this week’s rankings, as Baylor comes in at No. 9, followed by Oklahoma at No. 18, Texas A&M at No. 25, Texas at No. 26, Nebraska at No. 41, Texas Tech at No. 49 and Missouri at No. 75.

NIEDERMAYEROVA STRONG: Freshman Petra Niedermayerova continues to lead the Wildcats from the front of the singles lineup, as she notched her third victory over a ranked opponent with a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 19 Sona Novakova of Baylor on March 18.

The product of Brno, Czech Republic, owns a 10-2 mark this spring with all matches played in the number one position. Since Jan. 14, Niedermayerova has carded a 12-3 record including three wins over ranked foes in the Campbell/ITA singles rankings in straight sets. Niedermayerova defeated Georgia’s Nadja Gilchrist on Jan. 14 (6-2, 6-4), then on Feb. 6 defeated Sonja Molnar of Iowa (6-1, 6-3).

Overall in her first season in Manhattan, Niedermayerova is 15-7 and is 13-4 in straight set matches.
THE LONGER THE BETTER: When matches are extended to a third set this season, the Wildcats have found another source of energy to secure the win. As a team, K-State is 26-14 this season in three-set matches. The Wildcats were the benefactors of two 3-set matches during its upset over No. 10 Baylor, as junior Nina Sertic and sophomore Carmen Borau Ramos scratched their way to a pair of wins over the Lady Bears. Borau Ramos’ victory sealed the win for K-State from the number six position in the lineup.

Individually this season, K-State has seen sophomore Karla Bonacic register a 5-0 mark in three-set matches, while senior Antea Huljev is 7-3 and Sertic is 4-1. For their careers, Huljev is 22-16 in extended matches while Bonacic is 10-2.