K-State tennis opens Big 12 slate

By The Mercury

After running its home win streak to seven matches last weekend, the 52nd-ranked Kansas State tennis team will begin its Big 12 schedule this weekend.

The Wildcats, who are going through a transition this week following the announcement of coach Steve Bietau’s immediate retirement, opened against West Virginia today in Morgantown, W. Va.,

K-State will then will conclude the weekend in Ames, Iowa on Sunday against Iowa State at 11 a.m.

In its last outing on March 8, K-State (6-5) ended a four-match losing streak, but upsetting No. 32 Wichita State, 4-3.

The Wildcats tallied the doubles point followed by victories at Nos. 1, 3 4 four singles.

K-State has now won seven straight home matches dating back to the final two home matches of the 2013 season.

The Wildcats have been led in doubles action this spring by the tandem of senior Petra Niedermayerova and junior Amina St. Hill.

Niedermayerova and St. Hill ran their record together to 5-1 this spring with a win over Wichita State’s top duo.

In her career, Niedermayerova became the second Wildcat in school history to reach the 70-win mark in doubles as she is second in the program’s history with a mark of 70-45 (.609). She needs four doubles wins to secure the career doubles record.

In singles, Niedermayerova is pacing the squad from the top of the lineup. The two-time ITA All-American and the three-time All-Big 12 First-Team selection won for the 11th time in her last 13 matches.

For the season in singles action, Niedermayerova has led K-State from the top of the lineup. Ranked No. 46 in singles, Niedermayerova owns a team-leading record of 17-5 in singles, including an 8-1 record this spring from the top spot in the lineup.

Niedermayerova improved her school record for career singles wins to 97-38 (.719), which includes a mark of 59-15 from the top position in the K-State lineup.

Niedermayerova’s career singles winning percentage of .719 ranks second in program history.

Following this weekend’s matches, the Wildcats will close out its 2014 non-conference on March 22 when K-State travels to California to face UC Santa Barbara.

Assistant Liz Ullathorne will lead the Wildcats the remainder of the season. Bietau — the 1989 Big Eight and 2000 Big 12 Coach of the Year — coached the Wildcats for 30 seasons, the second-longest tenure of any coach in school history.

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