KSU tennis set for ITA Kickoff Weekend

By The Mercury

The 46th-ranked Kansas State tennis team will continue its season-opening eight-match road trip Saturday and Sunday in the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Clemson, S.C.

The Wildcats will face No. 69 Wake Forest on Saturday at 9 a.m., at Hoke/Sloan Tennis Center. Following K-State’s morning match, No. 14 Clemson will host No. 59 Purdue at 1 p.m. The consolation match will be played on Sunday at 9 a.m., followed by the championship match at 1 p.m.

The winner of the weekend will receive a berth in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

With a pair of victories this weekend, K-State head coach Steve Bietau would reach 250 wins for his career (248-325, .433).

Bietau is the second-longest tenured head coach in K-State athletics history.

The Wildcats opened their 2012 season at the Bulldog Invitational in Athens, Ga., on Jan. 13-14 — spliting the weekend with a pair of 6-1 matches.

K-State was defeated in the season-opener by No. 7 Georgia, but recovered the following day with a 6-1 win over Troy.

K-State was led over the two days by junior Karla Bonacic. For the first time in her career, Bonacic garnered a Campbell/ITA national singles ranking by checking in at No. 94 of the first ranking of the spring on Jan. 3.

Bonacic defended her ranking by securing two singles wins at number two in the lineup and a doubles victory during the weekend.

Bonacic opened her third spring season with the Wildcats with a 6-4-62 win over No. 22 Maho Kowase of Georgia. The win over Kowase was her first over a ranked opponent since April 29, 2010 and the third of her career. Bonacic leads the Cats with an 8-4 record in singles play this season.

The Wildcats will be paced this weekend by sophomore Petra Niedermayerova. Niedermayerova — ranked No. 17 in the Campbell/ITA national singles rankings —  will be the highest ranked individual at this weekend’s ITA Kickoff Weekend in Clemson.

Following K-State’s weekend at Clemson, the Wildcats will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to face North Texas and No. 24 Arkansas on Feb. 4-5.

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