Tennis ends dog days of winter at Georgia Invite
The Wildcats return from the winter break and will open the spring portion of the 2005-06 tennis schedule at the University of Georgia Bulldog Invitational on Friday. The four team tournament will give Kansas State one final tune-up before beginning dual play against Drake on January 29. Kansas State opens play at the Bulldog Invite with doubles play against Mississippi State on Friday morning before facing Georgia in singles in the afternoon. On Saturday the Wildcats start with doubles play against Georgia and finish with singles play against Troy. On Sunday, the tournament’s final day, Kansas State will face Troy in doubles and Mississippi State in singles.
LAST TIME OUT: Kansas State ended the fall portion of the 2005-06 schedule with a trip to Tempe for the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational on November 4-6.
ON THE MEND: Kansas State will have to do without Viviana Yrureta for an indefinite amount of time after the sophomore from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, had ankle surgery over Christmas break. Yrureta, who was hampered by the injury during fall play, compiled a 3-3 singles record and a 5-4 doubles record before missing the final two tournaments of the fall with illness.
STREAKING TO VICTORY: While no one is close to the 13-consecutive wins Tamar Kvaratskhelia put together to begin last season, a Kansas State freshman record, several Wildcats put together winning streaks in the fall. Freshman Katerina Kudlackova opened her career with four straight wins including a debut victory over then No. 52 Vlatka Jovanovic of Arkansas. Kvaratskhelia also opened the season with four consecutive wins before dropping two matches in the Indiana Hoosier Classic. Kvaratskhelia then rattled off four more on her way to the semi-finals of the ITA Central Region Tournament where she was defeated by eventual champion, Arkansas’ Ela Kaluder. Seven of the nine Wildcats to suit up in the fall won three or more matches in a row at some point during the fall season. Maria Perevoschikova has the only active streak after closing out the season with three wins at the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational.
STEADY SIMOSA: Jessica Simosa continues her steady ascent up the Kansas State career leaderboards. The senior from Valencia, Venezuela won nine singles matches in the fall to lead all Wildcats and moved into fourth place on the career singles wins list with 66 wins. Former teammate Maria Rosenberg spent the 2004-05 season rising to the top of the list and is the career wins leader with 79. Simosa has shown constant improvement since her freshman season and turned in her best performance with 21 wins last season. Simosa won 17 matches in her freshman season and 19 during her sophomore campaign.
WINNING WAYS: After streaking to a record setting 31-7 campaign during her freshman year in 2005, Tamar Kvaratskhelia continued to win matches at a record clip through the fall. Kvaratskhelia, who was the first Wildcat in school history to surpass the 30-win plateau, set the single season winning percentage mark at .816. The sophomore from Tbilisi, Georgia tied for second on the team with eight wins in fall play. Her 8-3 mark in 2005-06 gives her a 39-10 career record, a .796 winning percentage.
COMPUTER CZECH-LIST: Four straight wins to start her college career and a win over a ranked opponent landed Wildcat freshman Katerina Kudlackova in the Top-100 players in the nation as ranked by the ITA in the season-opening Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings released on January 10. Kansas State debuted as the No. 67 team in the nation. Unlike the preseason poll and the ITA Central region rankings, the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings do not factor a player’s history, rather the wins and losses and quality of opponents faced during the 2005-06 season. The poll is computer based and follows a formula and points chart determined by the ITA. Kudlackova was honored as the No. 27 singles player in the ITA Central region rankings released in early December, behind Senior Jessica Simosa and sophomore Tamar Kvaratskhelia (kva-ratsk-hel-yea), but her 8-4 record in fall play and a season-opening win over No. 52 Arkansas’ Vlatka Jovanovic made her the No. 100 player in the country according to the computer rankings.
FRESH FACES: With a combined 14 wins, Katerina Kudlackova and Maria Perevoschikova are proving that this year’s freshman class is primed to make an immediate impact. Kudlackova was 8-4 in fall singles play and earned a berth in the main draw of the ITA Central Region Tournament. Perevoschikova was 6-2 in the fall after missing the season-opening Missouri Mock Duals. Both players started their careers with victories. Kudlackova won four straight matches to start her career and Perevoschikova streaked to a 3-0 start. Kudlackova won seven matches in doubles play with Tamar Kvaratskhelia, including a run to the semi-finals of the ITA Central Region Tournament. Perevoschikova also reached the semi-finals of the Central Region Tournament while partnering with Jessica Simosa. Perevoschikova finished the fall with a 5-4 doubles record.
KING OF THE MOUNTAIN: K-State head coach Steve Bietau has the longest tenure of any coach in the Big 12. The leader of the Wildcats is tied with Texas A&M’s Bobby Klienecke. Bietau’s 21 seasons directing the Wildcats trails only Ward Haylett’s 35 seasons as track and field head coach as the longest tenure of any Wildcat coach.