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K-State tennis loses heartbreaker to Mean Green

By The Mercury

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Holding a 3-0 lead on Saturday, the 53rd-ranked Kansas State tennis team was unable to secure the match-clincher in a trio of 3-set matches as North Texas stormed back to defeat the Wildcats, 4-3, at the Billingsley Tennis Center.

K-State is now 2-3 on the season, while North Texas improved to 3-3.

The Wildcats captured the doubles’ point to jump start its afternoon. The number one and two pairing for head coach Steve Bietau registered 8-3 and 8-2 wins, respectively. Bietau was bidding for career win No. 250 on Saturday.

The match loss ended a string of 16 matches in which K-State won the doubles point and proceeded to win the match. The last time K-State won the doubles point, but lost the match was April 9, 2010 at Colorado.

K-State continued its momentum from the doubles win into the early singles results, as sophomore Petra Niedermayerova improved her winning streak to four matches with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Valentina Starkova at number one singles to push K-State’s lead to 2-0. Niedermayerova, ranked No. 17 in the Campbell/ITA national singles rankings, is now 10-7 this season and 34-17 in her career. Her win on Saturday was her 29th in a straight set match.

The Wildcats’ lead increased to 3-0 with junior Karla Bonacic winning for the fifth time in her last six matches. Bonacic, ranked No. 94 in the national singles rankings, defeated Kseniya Bardabush, 6-0, 6-3, to improve her record this season to 10-5 and 43-29 in her career.

The Mean Green was able to secure momentum in the match with a straight set win at number four singles. North Texas then proceeded to hold off K-State at number three, five and six singles to clinch Saturday’s match.

K-State finishes action in Fayetteville today against No. 32 Arkansas at noon.

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