Wildcats Resume Big 12 Play; Host Cyclones and Sooners
MANHATTAN, Kan. - After a short break, the Kansas State women’s tennis team jumps back into the heart of Big 12 Conference competition as they host Iowa State and Oklahoma this weekend.
The No. 58 Wildcats (6-6, 2-2) look to return to form after suffering back-to-back losses in California to begin spring break. The Wildcats take on Iowa State (2-7, 0-5) Saturday at noon before hosting the Oklahoma Sooners (6-8, 1-2) on Sunday at noon.
K-State home matches are played outdoors at the Washburn Tennis Facility at the Peters Recreation Complex in Manhattan unless weather forces them inside at Ahearn Field House. Admission to all Kansas State home matches is free.
K-STATE-IOWA STATE SERIES HISTORY: Kansas State holds a 19-9 all-time series edge against Iowa State including a 8-3 mark in Manhattan. The Wildcats have dominated the series in recent years, taking the last 12 meetings.
SCOUTING THE CYCLONES: Kansas State got a sneak peek at the Cylcones during the Missouri Mock Duals in the fall with the Wildcats taking two of three doubles matches and five of six singles matches. Iowa State is winless in five conference matches this season and holds a 2-7 mark overall with wins over Wyoming and a 4-3 win over Drake.
K-STATE-OKLAHOMA SERIES HISTORY: The Wildcats are on the short end of an 8-19 series record in 27 meetings with Oklahoma. Kansas State snapped a three-match skid to the Sooners with a 4-3 win in the first round of the 2005 Big 12 Conference Tournament. K-State’s last regular season victory against OU was a 6-1 win in Manhattan in 2002.
SCOUTING THE SOONERS: Oklahoma spent the first six weeks of the season in the polls before dropping out this week. OU was ranked as high as No. 61 this season and are 6-8 overall. OU is 1-2 in the conference with a win over Missouri.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats pushed No. 53 San Diego and No. 20 Long Beach State to their limits, but fell 4-3 in two contests to begin spring break. Kansas State got production from the No. 3 through No. 5 singles positions as Maria Perevoschikova, Katerina Kudlackova, and Fernanda Da Valle all won in Southern California and extended their individual winning streaks to three games. Kansas State dropped the doubles point in both matches.
IS THAT SCOREBOARD BROKEN?: The Wildcats have played in seven matches this season in which the final score has been 4-3, including six of the last eight. Kansas State is 2-5 in those matches. Since the adoption of the seven point scoring system in 2001, the Wildcats have played in 36 4-3 matches with an average of five per year. K-State played in eight 4-3 matches in 2001, the highest of any year, and have already tied the 2005 mark with seven matches left in the regular season. Kansas State is 11-27 all-time in 4-3 matches and the Wildcats are 45-66 in 111 all-time in matches decided by a single point.
BIETAU REACHES MILESTONE: Kansas State head coach Steve Bietau reached the 200 win plateau as the Wildcats swept past the Wichita State Shockers on Feb. 25. Bietau became the all-time wins leader at Kansas State during just his third season in 1987 and has since gone on to triple the combined wins of his four predecessors. Bietau has the most wins of any active head coach in the Big 12 Conference North Division and is fourth in the entire conference. Bietau’s team’s have reached double digits in the win column in 9-of-21 seasons, including a school-high 15 wins in 2003.
CONSECUTIVE CATS: The Wildcats continue to spend time in the ITA Rankings, appearing this week at No. 58. Dating back to the final poll of the 2005 season, the Wildcats have now spent 11 consecutive weeks ranked in the top-75 and have appeared in every poll released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and Fila this season. K-State debuted at No. 67 in the preseason poll and remained there through the first three weeks of play before making an upswing to No. 45. The poll streak is nowhere near the 46 consecutive polls the Wildcats appeared in from March 21, 2001 through March 16, 2004. The highest ranking achieved by the Wildcats during the last five seasons is No. 32 in the 2003 final poll.
FANTASTIC FRESHMAN: Great freshman play is a growing trend at Kansas State. A year after Tamar Kvaratskhelia won a school record 31 singles matches at a .816 clip, another freshman, Maria Perevoschikova, is leading the Wildcats. Perevoschikova’s 17 singles wins lead all Wildcat players and her .739 winning percentage is also tops on the team. At the current rate, Perevoschikova could finish in the top-10 in season singles winning percentage.
DOUBLE DIP: Kansas State has won the doubles point seven times in 2006 and are 5-2 when getting the early lead. In a tennis dual, both teams play three doubles matches and the winner of two-out-of-three receives the point. Each singles match is worth one point. The doubles point is played at the beginning of the match and can give a team an early edge or be the deciding factor in a close match. Kansas State is 1-4 when losing the doubles point, losing twice last week to San Diego and Long Beach State.
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.
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 won her 72nd career match on Saturday. 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. Six spring doubles wins have also moved Simosa into 6th all-time with 62 career doubles wins.
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 16-10 mark in 2005-06 gives her a 47-17 career record, a .734 winning percentage.
ON THE MEND: Wildcat netter Viviana Yrureta continues to rehab 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. Yrureta doesn’t have to use crutches anymore and has resumed limited tennis activity.