K-State eases past visiting West Virginia

By The Mercury

WAMEGO — Playing in its final home match of the 2013 regular season, the 52nd-ranked Kansas State swept past West Virginia, 7-0, on Sunday afternoon at the Wamego Recreation Complex. This was the first-ever meeting between the schools.

K-State improved to 9-10 this season and 3-6 in Big 12 action, while the Mountaineers fell to 4-16 and 0-9.

In a ceremony prior to the start of the match, the senior trio of Karla Bonacic, Carmen Borau Ramos and Ana Gomez Aleman were recognized for their efforts to the program over their four seasons.

The group has helped K-State to 40 team wins, including a school-record 16 wins in the 2011 season. K-State coach Steve Bietau has enjoyed watching his seniors provide K-State with strong efforts both on the court and in the classroom.

“There have been a lot of good things that have happened over the last four years and it is nice for any coach to have athletes over the course of their four years to grow up and mature and do the things that college athletics is about,” Bietau said. “This particular group has done well in so many ways. Academically they are great students. Sportsmanship-wise, they have won a national award and they have been recognized individually and they have played some great tennis.”

K-State secured the early 1-0 advantage by sweeping through doubles. K-State is 6-1 this season when winning the doubles point.

The Wildcats’ No. 1 doubles team of No. 24 ITA-ranked Bonacic and Petra Niedermayerova secured their eighth win in the last nine matches by easing past Ikttesh Chahal and Hailey Barrett, 8-1. Bonacic and Niedermayerova are 20-10 this season and 7-2 in Big 12 action.

With the doubles win, Bonacic brought her career mark to 59-58 and moved one win away from tying Katerina Kudlackova (2006-09; 60-80) for seventh in school history for career doubles wins. Niedermayerova is 58-40 in her doubles career and ranks ninth in school history for career doubles wins.

Winning their second Big 12 doubles match this season was the No. 2 pairing of Amina St. Hill and Ivana Kubickova. The Wildcats’ tandem downed Vivian Tsui and Emily Mathis, 8-7 (7-1). Sunday’s win ended a four-match skid for the duo.

In singles action after the Mountaineers defaulted at the No. 6 position in the lineup, Kubickova put K-State into a 3-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Mathis at No. 3 singles. The win for Kubickova was her second straight and improves her record to 22-15 this season, including a 5-4 record in Big 12 play.

St. Hill secured the match victory for the Wildcats for the second straight match at No. 4 singles, closing out Tsui in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1.

The win by St. Hill was her second straight and her third in league action this season. The victory brought St. Hill’s record this season to 13-15, including a 12-11 mark in straight-set matches.

Right behind St. Hill, the No. 16 ITA-ranked Niedermayerova downed Barrett at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 6-3. With the win, Niedermayerova recorded her 29th win this season (29-9) and moves her into second in school history for singles victories in a season. She is 23-6 this season in straight-set matches and 63-18 in her career in straight sets. She needs two singles wins to tie the school record of 31 set by Tamar Kvaratskhelia in the 2004-05 season.

Niedermayerova also moved into a tie for second on the K-State career singles wins list with a record of 77-32 (.706) and is tied with Petra Sedlmajerova (1999-03; 77-47) and Jessica Simosa (2001-06; 77-61). She needs two wins to move into a tie for first with Maria Rosenberg (2000-05; 79-54).

Just behind Niedermayerova, Gomez Aleman tallied her third straight win with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Irinka Toidze at No. 5 singles. The win for Gomez Aleman was her seventh win in the last nine matches.

Bonacic ended the afternoon against the Mountaineers with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Chahal at No. 2 singles. The win was Bonacic’s eighth in her last nine outings and boosts her record this season to 18-8, including a 7-2 mark in Big 12 action.

The senior from Split, Croatia, ranks fifth in school history for career singles wins with a mark of 73-40 (.646). In her career in dual-match play, Bonacic owns a 57-19 record, including a 35-12 mark from the No. 2 position in the lineup.

In combination with Friday’s 7-0 win, K-State recorded its first consecutive 7-0 wins since Feb. 8 and Feb. 15, 2003 when K-State won at Wichita State and against Utah in Manhattan. It was the first time K-State has registered a perfect 7-0 weekend in Big 12 action since April 6-7, 2002 against Iowa State and Missouri. Entering the Big 12 Championships next weekend in Norman, Okla., Bietau likes where his team is at with its play on the court.

“I think we have been remarkably consistent throughout this year,” he said. “We haven’t lost to a team that we shouldn’t have lost to. We’ve won some matches against teams that maybe we shouldn’t have and we have been pretty competitive against everybody.

“The fact that we are playing pretty well right now and feeling good about ourselves, makes it a really good scenario for us heading into the conference tournament.”

The Big 12 Championships begins Thursday and runs through Sunday in Norman.

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