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K-State comeback falls short vs. Texas Tech

By The Mercury

WAMEGO — The 75th-ranked Kansas State tennis team trailed No. 18 Texas Tech 3-0 on Friday afternoon, but the Wildcats pieced together three straight three-set wins to tie the match before the Lady Raiders secured the win in a fourth three-set match to win 4-3 at the Wamego Recreation Complex.

The Wildcats fell to 5-9 this season and 1-2 in Big 12 action, while Texas Tech improved to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in league play.

“From a singles standpoint, it was one of our best efforts in a long time,” K-State head coach Steve Bietau said of the comeback attempt. “There were things done in those singles matches that they accomplished that were more difficult than what they faced in doubles play.

“It just illustrates the difference between the individual and team aspect of the sport and how important each player is to carrying their own weight to get a positive team result.”

After falling behind 3-0, K-State charged back to even the match behind three consecutive three-set wins. The trio to pull the Wildcats into a tie on Friday were Petra Niedermayerova at number one singles, Karla Bonacic at number two singles and Amina St. Hill at number five singles.

Niedermayerova, ranked No. 30 in the Campbell/ITA national singles rankings, trailed early to Elizabeth Ullathorne, but pulled things together midway through the second set. Niedermayerova came back to secure K-State’s first win of the afternoon with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision.

The result was Niedermayerova’s first win in a three-set match this season (1-6) and her first since April 28, 2011. The sophomore from Brno, Czech Republic owns a record of 17-9 this season and a 41-19 mark in her career. She is 11-3 in her career in league matches and 2-1 this season in the Big 12.

Bonacic, ranked No. 89 in the singles rankings, carded her 50th career victory (50-31) with her fourth three-set win this season. Bonacic outdueled Samantha Adams, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, to improve to 3-0 in Big 12 play this season.

Dating back to the final three matches of her freshman spring campaign in 2010, Bonacic has won 30 of her last 35 dual match outings, including 11 this season.

St. Hill ended a personal three-match skid with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 decision over Kenna Kilgo. St. Hill, a freshman from Gothenburg, Sweden, is 5-7 in her first season with the Wildcats. Friday’s win marked her first in Big 12 action and brings her record to 3-5 in the number five position in the lineup.

Texas Tech captured singles wins at the number three and four positions in straight sets. The decisive match came in a marathon three-set decision at number six singles, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

In doubles play to open the day, the Lady Raiders captured the important first point with wins at the number one and number three positions.

K-State’s number two duo of senior Petra Chuda and junior Carmen Borau Ramos extended their winning streak together to four with an 8-1 win over the pairing of Nikki Sanders and Caroline Starck. Borau Ramos improved her team-leading doubles record this season to 14-8, while Chuda is 8-8 in doubles action.

K-State will finish its five-match home stand today, as the Wildcats host No. 13 Baylor at noon at the Wamego Recreation Complex.

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