For the first time since the 1995 season, the Kansas State women’s tennis team will be represented in both the NCAA Division-I Women’s Singles and Doubles Championships.
Junior Petra Niedermayerova earned her third straight appearance into the singles championships and she will join her playing partner senior Karla Bonacic in the doubles championships, in an announcement by the NCAA on Wednesday afternoon.
Niedermayerova and Bonacic will represent the Wildcats in Urbana, Ill., May 22-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.
Niedermayerova is the second player in school history to make three straight appearances in the national singles championship, joining Alena Jecminkova who was a three-time participant from 2000-02. Niedermayerova was one of five players from the Big 12 to be selected into this year’s field.
“Preparing for the NCAAs always carries something a little special with it,” K-State head coach Steve Bietau said. “To be able to it at our outstanding new facility is a real treat. This is a really great time for K-State tennis.”
Niedermayerova, one of the 48 at-large selections along with 16 automatic qualifiers to the field, continued to lead the Wildcats from the top of the singles lineup this season. By earning a seeded position into the NCAA field, Niedermayerova has automatically earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American status for the second straight season and is the first two-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American in school history.
“Petra has not only played at a very high level, she keeps getting better,” Bietau said about Niedermayerova. “This is another reminder of what a tremendous student-athlete she truly is.”
Ranked No. 14, Niedermayerova owns an overall record of 30-9 (.769) this season, including a 10-7 mark against ranked opponents. Her 30 wins, which are a career-best, rank second in school history for wins in a season.
Niedermayerova, a two-time All-Big 12 selection and the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year, registered a successful 2012 fall campaign earlier this season as she advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA/Riviera Women’s All-American Championships in Los Angeles and qualified for the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in Flushing, N.Y., for the second straight season. She also captured the 2012 ITA Central Regional singles title in Tulsa on Oct. 19-22 with six straight wins.
For her career, Niedermayerova is 78-32 (.709) and is 24-20 against ITA ranked foes. Niedermayerova’s career singles winning percentage of .709 currently ranks second in school history. The product of Brno, Czech Republic, owns a 51-14 career mark in dual matches including a Big 12 mark of 21-8 from the No. 1 position.
Niedermayerova is the fourth player in school history to reach the NCAA Championship field in singles action. In her 2012 appearance in Athens, Ga., Niedermayerova became the second Wildcat in school history to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championships.
K-State will also compete among the 32-team doubles portion of the championship, which marks the first time since the 1995 season and the just the second time in school history.
The Wildcats will be represented by its top tandem of Niedermayerova and Bonacic, who earned one of 21 at-large bids. The duo, currently ranked 26th by the ITA, owns a 21-10 record and was the 2013 Big 12 doubles champions from the No. 1 position in the lineup.
During the last three seasons when paired together, Bonacic and Niedermayerova are 34-26 and have been ranked together by the ITA for 12 straight rankings dating back to April 17, 2012.
Niedermayerova and Bonacic were one of five doubles pairs from the Big 12 to be selected into this year’s field.
Bietau is proud of how hard his top doubles pair has worked to achieve this opportunity.
“We knew last year that Karla and Petra were capable of being a good doubles team,” he said. “At our first tournament last fall I had my doubts, but that shows just how hard they have worked and how far they have come. They really finished this regular season strong, so it will be exciting to see how far they can go.”
The duo of Bonacic and Niedermayerova ended the season by winning 10 of their final 12 matches. In combination with her results with both Bonacic and freshman Ivana Kubickova (5-1), Niedermayerova set the school record for doubles victories in a season with her mark of 26-11.
Bonacic, a 2012 All-Big 12 selection in singles and doubles, completed her singles career with a 75-41 (.647) record to rank fifth in school history for career singles victories and fifth for career singles winning percentage.
The product of Split, Croatia, ranks seventh in school history for career doubles victories with a 60-58 mark.
Bietau is thrilled that Bonacic has earned this opportunity at the national level in her final season.
“Karla has always been a gifted athlete, but you don’t get to this level on talent alone,” he said. “She has worked hard and I am really proud her. She has been such a strong performer for our team the last four years, and to cap that career by earning a trip to the NCAAs is really special.”
The NCAA singles and doubles draws could be announced on May 21, depending on the results of the team championship.