ATHENS, Ga. — The 55th-ranked Kansas State tennis team pieced together a strong comeback in its season- opening match on Friday, but the Wildcats fell short of No. 51 Arkansas, 4-2, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kickoff Weekend.
This was just the second time in the last 10 seasons that K-State has dropped its season-opening match.
K-State (0-1) fell behind by a score of 2-0, as Arkansas (3-0) secured the doubles point and a win at No. 2 singles. The Wildcats closed the gap to 2-1, with senior Petra Niedermayerova, recording a win at No. 1 singles.
Niedermayerova, No. 42 in the national ITA singles rankings, held off No. 71 Yang Pang in a tiebreaker, 6-1, 2-6, 1-0. In her final season, Niedermayerova has tallied a 10-4 record, including a 3-1 mark against ranked opponents. She has won four of her last five matches dating back to the final fall tournament in November.
Niedermayerova, the first twotime ITA All-American in school history, improved her school record for career singles wins 90-37 (.709). Her career singles winning percentage of .709 ranks second in program history. The Razorbacks secured a 3-1 lead with a win at No. 3 singles, but freshman Iva Bago brought the Wildcats back to within one at 3-2. Bago, a product of Velika, Croatia, came back to defeat Kimberley-Ann Surin at No. 4 singles, 6-7, 7-6, 1-0. Bago is 6-6 in her debut season with the Wildcats.
Arkansas clinched the win with a straight set victory at No. 6 singles.
K-State concluded its two-match trip to Georgia on Saturday, but the results were not available by press time.