K-State tennis opens season with home tournament

By The Mercury

The Kansas State tennis team will open its 2013 fall schedule this weekend, as the Wildcats will host the K-State Fall Invitational Friday through Sunday at the new Mike Goss Tennis Stadium.

All matches this weekend are free and open to the public. Friday’s action begins at 10 a.m., Saturday’s play starts at 9 a.m., and Sunday begins at 9 a.m.

Teams competing in the flighted round-robin format will be Wichita State, UMKC and Omaha. This will be the first fall event at K-State since 1997.

The Wildcats are led into the 2013 fall slate by senior Petra Niedermayerova. The first two-time ITA All-American in school history enters her final campaign with the Cats ranked No. 12 in the nation in singles play.

The product of Brno, Czech Republic concluded her 2012-13 season with a single-season school record for wins (32-10, .762) and a single-season school record for wins in doubles play (27-11, .711).

Niedermayerova ended the season with wins in six of her final eight matches and possessed a 12-8 record against ITA ranked singles opponents.

At the conclusion of the season, Niedermayerova earned her second straight ITA All-American honor, her second-career ITA Central Region Player to Watch award, her third straight unanimous All-Big 12 singles selection and her second-career All-Big 12 doubles honor.

For her career, Niedermayerova owns the school record for singles wins with an 80-33 (.708) mark. Her career singles winning percentage of .708 ranks second in school history.

In addition to the return of Niedermayerova, K-State will return another letterwinner for the 2013-14 season in junior Amina St. Hill.

The native of Gothenburg, Sweden concluded her first full season in Manhattan with a record of 13-16 and owns an overall career mark of 20-28. In 2012-13, St. Hill tallied a 12-12 record in straight-set matches and closed out the season with wins in two of her final three matches.

The pair of returners will lead a talented group of freshmen brought in by K-State head coach Steve Bietau. The six newcomers for the 2013-14 season include Iva Bago, Liv Cirnu, Palma Juhasz, Tegan Louw, Riley Nizzi and Maria Panaite.

The Mike Goss Tennis Stadium, dedicated on Sept. 7, is located at the new outdoor facility for the Chester E. Peters K-State Rec Center and was part of a $3 million renovation of the outdoor facilities through the collaborative agreement between K-State Athletics, the K-State SGA and the K-State Student Rec Center.

The stadium features six outdoor courts, with purple playing surfaces and Powercats dividing the courts. The courts also feature a Musco lighting system, steel benches with K-State welded into the back rests and metal bleachers on the south side of the court with room to accommodate 400 fans.

Following this weekend’s action, the Wildcats will travel to Bloomington, Ind., to compete in the Hoosier Classic on Sept. 27-29.

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