TEMPE, Ariz. - Kansas State wraps up what has been a very successful fall schedule with a trip to the desert and the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational. Play begins Friday and will continue through Saturday at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Arizona.
THE FIELD: The tournament format is similar to the ITA Central Region Tournament but will feature more west coast teams, particularly from the PAC-10.
THE LINEUP: Singles: Jessica Simosa (7-4); Katerina Kudlackova (6-2); Fernanda Da Valle (4-3); Maria Perevoschikova (3-1); Tereza Prochazkova (3-3); Olga Klimova (2-1). Doubles: TBD.
LAST TIME OUT: After seeing Maria Perevoschikova and Fernanda DaValle bounced from competition on day one of the ITA Central Region Tournament Pre-Qualfying rounds, the Wildcats responded by sending three players deep into main draw singles play and sending both doubles teams to the doubles main draw quarterfinals. Tamar Kvaratskhelia advanced to the semi-finals but lost in a very competitive three-set battle with eventual region champion, Arkansas’ Ela Kaluder. Jessica Simosa lost in the first round of the main draw but fought through to the consolation championship match. Simosa was defeated by Nebraska’s Imke Reimers.
FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: When talking about her season-ending knee injury sustained in the second dual of the season against nationally ranked BYU, Olga Klimova makes sure to mention that though she won the point and had the momentum going in Kansas State’s favor. KSU eventually lost and was a markedly different team without Klimova in the lineup. It’s that competitive drive that has Klimova back on the court less than a year after her injury and before Head Coach Steve Bietau expected. Klimova, who was expected to possibly appear at the Thunderbird Invitational at the beginning of the Fall, sports a 2-1 singles record and has played in six doubles matches headed into the weekend. Klimova, from Ceska Trebova, Czech Republic, is a Psychology major at K-State and perhaps the team’s biggest hockey fan.
STEADY CLIMBER: With a deep run to the consolation championship match at the ITA Central Region Tournament, Senior Jessica Simosa climbed into the top-5 in career singles wins. Her 64-46 (.581) career singles record puts her in a tie for fourth with Eva Novotna (’97-01). The mark for career singles wins was set at 79 last season by Maria Rosenberg. Simosa’s 55 career doubles wins put her 2 wins shy of 6th place and 10 from entering a four-way tie for third all-time. Simosa has a 61-44 (.580) career singles record and a 53-53 (.500) career doubles record.