K-State Ends Regular Season with Win
WAMEGO, Kan. - Despite trailing after three exhausting doubles matches and enduring through five 3-set matches, Kansas State women's tennis upset No. 70 Texas Tech on Sunday afternoon, 5-2, in the regular season finale at the Wamego Recreation Complex. With the victory, Kansas State recorded its best conference record since the 2006 season.
Kansas State improves to 7-12 on the season and 4-7 in the Big 12. Texas Tech falls to 10-11 and 5-6. With the victory, Kansas State recorded its best conference record since the 2006 season (6-5). K-State head coach Steve Bietau knew the final four matches of the schedule were going to be difficult, but knows his players have improved.
"This final stretch of four matches we knew were going to be tough. (Assistant coach) Olga (Klimova) and I pushed the players pretty hard the last 10 days to get better and to prepare us for the Big 12 Championships. It has been a difficult 10 days but they came through big today."
Texas Tech held off the Wildcats in doubles play to capture the point. The Lady Raiders had to earn the point, as all three matches were extended to an extra point, with two of the matches needing a tie-breaker to determine a victor.
K-State was able to even the match at one, as junior Antea Huljev record the only straight set victory of the afternoon with a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Sandra Dynka. The victory brings Huljev's win total to 4-7 in the Big 12 at the number one position in the singles lineup.
"From the beginning I started the match tough and used the wind to my advantage," said Huljev about the early stages of the match and the windy conditions. "I was consistent with my serve and reached another level to peak at the end of the match. I am really happy with the win today."
As Huljev was putting the final touches on her victory, the remainder of the K-State singles' lineup was just beginning their afternoon of extended matches. Freshman Ana Gomez Aleman recorded an early 6-2 lead on Kelsy Garland at number two singles, but Garland came back to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 and give the Lady Raiders a 2-1 lead.
K-State freshman Karla Bonacic was able to rebound from an early deficit to defeat Elizabeth Ullathorne, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 and earn her second straight win and the second of her career at the number three position in the lineup. Bonacic is now 7-3 in her last 10 outings and finished the Big 12 regular season with a 6-5 singles record. She owns a 4-2 mark in three-set matches and a 3-1 record in extended matches in Big 12 play.
On the heels of Bonacic's win at number three, fellow freshman Carmen Borau Ramos fought through a difficult second set to garner a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Lorena Aviles at number five singles and give K-State a 3-2 lead. Borau Ramos became the third freshman to reach the 10-win plateau this season with a record of 10-17 in her debut season with the Wildcats. The product of Jaca, Spain is now 5-4 in Big 12 play at the number five position and has won five of her last eight matches.
Sophomore Nina Sertic was able to close the door on any chances of a Texas Tech comeback by closing out Caroline Starck at number four singles, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Sertic halted a three-match skid with the victory and captured just her second 3-set win of the season (2-6). The native of Zagrab, Croatia improved her record this season when playing at the number four position in the lineup to 2-1.
Capping off the successful afternoon was sophomore Petra Chuda at number six singles. The product of Sokolnice, Czech Republic, battled to a 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Stefanie Peana. The win was Chuda's fifth in her last eight matches and brought her Big 12 record at number six to 5-6.
Huljev was pleased with the results of her team's hard work and is optimistic about the team's future during next week's Big 12 Championships in Austin, Texas.
"All the hard work on the court and in the weight room paid off today for us," said Huljev about K-State's win. "We had a great match and hopefully more are to come."
(70) Texas Tech (10-11, 5-6 Big 12) at Kansas State (7-12, 4-7 Big 12)