Following a two-week hiatus, the Kansas State tennis team will resume its fall schedule on Thursday at the ITA Central Region Championships in Norman, Oklahoma, at the Headington Family Tennis Center.
K-State will be represented in the qualifying round of singles on Thursday by freshmen Iva Bago, Livia Cirnu, Riley Nizzi and Maria Panaite.
In the main draw of singles beginning Friday, KSU head coach Steve Bietau will have senior Petra Niedermayerova, junior Amina St. Hill and freshman Palma Juhasz.
Niedermayerova, No. 12 in the preseason rankings, returns to compete in the ITA Central Regional as the defending singles champion. The product of Brno, Czech Republic captured the crown last fall in Tulsa, Okla., as she notched six straight singles wins.
The singles title gained Niedermayerova an automatic bid into the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, her second straight appearance in the event. The USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship bid is on the line again this weekend, as the regional singles and doubles champions receive an automatic bid to the event in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Niedermayerova owns the school record for career singles wins with an 83-35 mark. Her career singles winning percentage of .703 ranks second in school history.
K-State’s freshmen are off to a strong start in singles play this season, with a combined record of 16-10. Leading the way are Nizzi with a 5-1 mark, Cirnu with a 4-2 record and Juhasz is 3-1.
In the doubles draw starting Friday, Bietau has three pairs competing. The doubles teams are Niedermayerova and Juhasz, Bago and Panaite and Cirnu and Nizzi.
The tandem of Niedermayerova and Juhasz will make their first appearance together, while the pairings of Bago and Panaite and Cirnu and Nizzi are each 0-1.
Following this weekend’s tournament in Norman, the Wildcats will travel to the ASU Invitational on Nov. 8-10 in Tempe, Ariz.