Feb. 8, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Following its second straight unbeaten weekend, K-State women’s tennis will take its first 4-0 start since the 2008 season to Denton, Texas to face a pair of Sun Belt Conference opponents. The Wildcats will face Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at 12 p.m., and will challenge No. 60 North Texas on Sunday at 10 a.m.
The Wildcats are off to a 4-0 start for just the sixth time in the program’s 36-year history and for just the third time in the last nine seasons. K-State achieved this feat with a pair of 6-1 victories last weekend, defeating Miami (OH) and No. 30 Iowa. The win over the Hawkeyes was the highest ranked opponent K-State has defeated in at least nine seasons.
K-State has been bolstered by the play of the top half of its singles’ lineup, as the trio of Petra Niedermayerova, Antea Huljev and Karla Bonacic is 12-0 this season with 10 of those victories coming in straight sets.
Kansas State will matchup with Louisiana-Lafayette for the first time. The Ragin’ Cajuns are currently 2-0 with wins over South Alabama and McNeese State. The Wildcats own an all-time record of 7-5 against schools from the Sun Belt Conference.
K-State will challenge No. 60 North Texas for the fifth time in the history of the series, with the programs splitting the previous four. The Mean Green won last season’s meeting, 4-3, in Tulsa, Okla., on March 7, 2010. North Texas is 1-2 this season, as all three matches have come against ranked opponents. The Mean Green’s lone victory came against No. 59 Oklahoma State, 4-3, on Jan. 23.
After K-State’s weekend in Denton, Texas, the Wildcats will return to Manhattan to host UALR and Tulsa on Feb. 19 and 20 at the Body First Tennis and Fitness Center.
NIEDERMAYEROVA STRONG: Freshman Petra Niedermayerova continued to lead the Wildcats from the front of the singles lineup, as she improved her current win streak to four with two more straight set wins over the weekend, including her second career win over a ranked foe.
The product of Brno, Czech Republic, has won seven of her last eight outings including six straight set wins. During this stretch, Niedermayerova has defeated a pair of singles opponents ranked among the top-125 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).
In her first season, Niedermayerova is 9-5 and is 8-3 in straight set matches.
HULJEV KEEPS ROLLING: With another unbeaten weekend in the books, senior Antea Huljev improved her career mark to 52-62 and is now 8-4 this season. For her fourth win of the spring, Huljev needed a third-set to defeat Jessica Young of Iowa (1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3)). In her career when matches are extended to a third-set, Huljev has been better than her career record, as she owns a 19-14 record in three-set matches. This season, Huljev has been slotted into the number two position in the lineup for the first time since her freshman season and now owns a record of 8-8 when playing at number two.
Huljev achieved a career milestone during the opening weekend, as she notched her 50th career singles win with a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Gabriela Demos of Drake on Jan. 23.
KARLA KRUISING: Sophomore Karla Bonacic picked up right where she left off last spring with four wins to open the 2011 spring slate. The product of Split, Croatia is 8-6 this season and has won five of her last six efforts. Dating back to the final three matches of the 2010 spring season, Bonacic has now won seven straight spring matches.
Bonacic has opened the 2011 spring campaign in the number three position in the lineup and owns a career record of 6-0 in this position.