May 1, 2014
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State women’s tennis interim head coach Liz Ullathorne has added two student-athletes for the 2014-15 season, as Laura Hopton and Adriana Rajkovic have signed National Letters of Intent (NLI). Hopton and Rajkovic will join the program in the fall as freshmen.
“We are so excited about adding Laura and Adriana to the K-State family,” said Ullathorne about the newest Wildcats. “Both young ladies have a mature mentality alongside a great attitude and work ethic that will help push this team to the next level. Adriana and Laura bring in a level of talent this is going to cause an immediate impact on our lineup.”
Hopton joins the Wildcats from North Ferriby, United Kingdom, after attending South Hunsley School. She is the second student-athlete on the K-State roster from the United Kingdom, joining redshirt freshman Tegan Louw (Whitehill).
In 2013, Hopton reached the semifinals of the U18 Scottish Junior Open and advanced to the Round of 16 of the U18 British National Championships. She also played in the Aegon Women’s Team Tennis Finals for Thongsbridge. She also advanced to the semifinals of the Aegon British Tour in Hull. As a member of Yorkshire in 2013 and 2014, she won the Aegon U18 County Cup. She achieved a ranking in 2014 of No. 14 in the national U18 rankings and a No. 96 ranking in the Open category.
In 2012, she advanced to the quarterfinals of the U16 British National Championships and the semifinals of the U16 Nottingham Open. She completed the season with a top-10 ranking in the U16 category.
“Laura is very disciplined and has a phenomenal work ethic,” said Ullathorne about Hopton’s game and possible development. “We cannot wait to get her here and continue her development. She is going to be a very tough player to beat.”
Rajkovic is a strong junior player from Hlaka, Croatia. Earlier in the 2013-14 season, Rajkovic advanced to the Round of 16 of the Junior Zagreb Cup in December. Rajkovic joins current Wildcat and Croatian on the 2014-15 roster, sophomore-to-be Iva Bago (Velika Gorica). Ullathorne is excited for the future of Rajkovic’s game.
“Adriana has a lot of power in her game and will be outstanding when she gets here and has more time to develop. We are thrilled to be able to call her a Wildcat.”
Kansas State ended the 2013-14 season with a 10-13 overall record and a 3-6 mark in Big 12 action with one of the youngest teams in the league. Entering the 2014-15 season, the Wildcats will welcome back six players from its 2013-14 roster headlined by senior-to-be Amina St. Hill and five sophomores. K-State will add the services of Louw, as she missed the 2013-14 season due to injury.
K-State senior Petra Niedermayerova will represent the Wildcats in a school record fourth NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Singles Championships, May 22-26 in Athens, Ga. Her overall record this season stands at 24-9, which ranks tied for fifth in school history for singles wins in a season.