Aug 20, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head women’s tennis coach Steve Bietau has announced the addition of Liz Ullathorne as an assistant coach for the 2013-14 season. Ullathorne replaces former K-State assistant coach Olga Shaw, who stepped aside following five seasons with the Wildcats.
“First, we have had the chance to compete against Liz for the past four years, so we know what a tough competitor she is,” said Bietau of his new assistant. “We also know that she has always demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship. During Liz's time at Texas Tech, their program made one of the more dramatic improvements not only in the Big 12 but on a national level. Liz was a big part of that. She understands the game, she knows how to win, and she does things the right way. Now the emphasis will shift to transferring what she knows to our team.
“Some players set themselves apart by how ‘into it’ they are,” continued Bietau. “They show the interest and ability to think beyond themselves and strive to understand how things work. That would be Liz. She is talented, young, and hungry, and I think will make a terrific coach here at K-State.”
Ullathorne joins the Wildcats after a successful four-year career at Texas Tech. The Lancashire, United Kingdom native concluded her Lady Raiders career by helping Texas Tech win consecutive Big 12 regular season titles in 2012 and 2013 and final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings of No. 18 in 2013 and No. 22 in 2012. During her four years, the Lady Raiders were 68-33 (.673) and reached the NCAA Team Championships twice (2012 and 2013) and advanced to the Round of 32 last season.
Individually, Ullathorne was a strong student-athlete as she was named to the All-Big 12 singles team in 2011 and a two-time All-Big 12 doubles selection in 2012 and 2013 including consecutive titles at number three doubles. Overall, Ullathorne tallied an 81-30 (.730) career doubles record and ranked fifth in Texas Tech history for career doubles winning percentage. In singles, Ullathorne notched a 63-62 (.504) mark and a career-best ITA singles ranking of No. 75.
In the classroom, Ullathorne was a three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete selection and a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection.
Outside of Texas Tech, Ullathorne reached the top-15 in U16 and U18 in Great Britain and achieved a Junior ITF ranking of No. 520. She has also taught the game of tennis at a number of different levels in both the United Kingdom and the United States and served as an IBM Statistical Data Collector during the Wimbledon Championships in 2010 and 2012.
Kansas State will begin its 2013 fall schedule on Sept. 20-22 by hosting the K-State Fall Invitational at the new K-State Tennis Stadium. The Wildcats will then travel to the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind., on Sept. 27-29. K-State will then send a representative or two to the ITA Riviera All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Oct. 2-6.
K-State will then travel to the ITA Central Region Championships in Norman, Okla., on Oct. 17-21 and will wrap up the fall slate at either the USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships on Nov. 7-10 in Flushing, N.Y., or the ASU Thunderbird Invitational on Nov. 8-10 in Tempe, Ariz.
The spring 2014 schedule will begin with K-State participating in the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Athens, Ga., Jan. 24-27. The Wildcats will face Arkansas on Jan. 24 and then either Georgia or Elon on Jan. 25.
K-State will open a four-match home stand on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 against Northern Iowa and Liberty. The Wildcats will conclude the home stand the following weekend against Fresno State (Feb. 7) and Colorado (Feb. 8). The final home non-conference match will be contested against Wichita State on March 8.
The Wildcats will host five Big 12 home matches this season, with all five slated to be contested at the K-State Tennis Stadium. K-State will host Oklahoma State (March 28) and Oklahoma (March 30), followed the next weekend by visits from Baylor (April 4) and Texas (April 6). K-State’s first Senior Day at the new K-State Tennis Stadium will be against Sunflower State rival Kansas (April 19) in the regular season finale.
The 2014 Big 12 Tennis Championships will be contested in Fort Worth, Texas, April 24-27.
The Wildcats will return a pair of letterwinners from the 2012-13 season for the 2013-14 campaign, as senior and two ITA All-American Petra Niedermayerova and junior Amina St. Hill will look to lead a young roster, as Bietau added six student-athletes for the 2013-14 season. The six student-athletes that will join the squad this season as freshmen are: Iva Bago, Liv Cirnu, Palma Juhasz, Tegan Louw, Riley Nizzi and Maria Panaite.