Wildcats Take Southern Swing; Visit Texas and Texas A&M
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State travels to Texas for a weekend tilt against the Texas A&M Aggies and the Texas Longhorns.
No. 59 Kansas State plays No. 38 Texas A&M (10-9, 6-1) on Saturday at noon and then travels to Austin to face the No. 17 Longhorns (12-9, 6-1) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
After dropping a match to Baylor last Saturday and closing the weekend with a win against Missouri, the Wildcats sit in fifth place in the Big 12 standings. The Aggies and the Longhorns are tied for second in the Big 12 behind conference leader Baylor.
K-STATE vs. TEXAS A&M SERIES HISTORY: Texas A&M has won every meeting with Kansas State, boasting a perfect 10-0 record against the Wildcats. The Aggies have won three consecutive 7-0 matches, including a 7-0 win over the Wildcats last season in Manhattan.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES: Texas A&M is 10-9 overall after struggling through a very tough non-conference schedule. In conference play, however, the Aggies are 6-1 including a win over Texas last weekend. Aggie Anna Lubinsky is the No. 50 player in the nation.
K-STATE vs. TEXAS SERIES HISTORY: The Wildcats are winless in 12 attempts against the Longhorns. Kansas State dropped two matches to Texas last season with the Longhorns taking a 7-0 decision at Manhattan and a 4-0 win at the Big 12 Conference Tournament.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS: After returning six letterwinners from a team that finished as the 2005 NCAA runner-up, the Longhorns have remained high in the national rankings throughout the season. Texas rolled to a 6-0 start in Big 12 play, but fell to Texas A&M last weekend. Mia Marovic (No. 68) and Petra Dizdar (No. 81) are ranked individually.
LAST TIME OUT: Jessica Simosa’s win in doubles helped Kansas State clinch the doubles point and her win in singles play clinched the match, as the Wildcats defeated Missouri, 5-2, on Senior Day at the Washburn Tennis Facility. Playing in her final home match for Kansas State (9-7, 5-3), Simosa and partner Katerina Kudlackova defeated Missouri’s (7-9, 0-8) Erika Josbena and Amanda Pratzel at No. 2 doubles to give the Wildcats a 2-1 doubles point win, and an early 1-0 lead in the match. Simosa won her 75th career singles match and gave Kansas State the deciding push when she beat Lubica Nadasska, 6-1, 7-6(9-7), at No. 2 singles. On Saturday, Fernanda Da Valle and Olga Klimova won at No. 2 doubles for Kansas State to help the Wildcats avoid a sweep, but the Wildcats lost the doubles point and were shut-out by No. 8 Baylor, 7-0.
MIDDLE RELIEF: Kansas State has seen solid production from the middle of the singles lineup. Positions No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 have combined for over half of the team’s dual play singles wins and are 32-16 this season. The No. 1, No. 2, and No. 6 spots have gone 25-23.
DOUBLE DIP: Kansas State has won the doubles point ten times in 2006 and are 8-2 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 1-5 when losing the doubles 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.
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 75th career match on Sunday. 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. Nine spring doubles wins have also moved Simosa into 3rd 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 17-10 mark in 2005-06 gives her a 48-17 career record, a .738 winning percentage.
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.