Malyarchikova And Bulgakova Defeat No. 17 Duo From Rice; Malyarchikova Also Upsends No. 72 In Singles
Kati Gyulai (Kà Tee U-la-ee) was named head women's tennis coach at SMU on Feb. 8, 2012. Gyulai arrived on the Hilltop after three-plus seasons as head coach at her alma mater, Wyoming.
In the spring of 2012, the Mustangs finished an injury-plagued season 1-17, with Gyulai taking over after an 0-2 start. The squad lost USTA/ITA National Indoor Champion Marta Lesniak to graduation in Dec. and was missing Shahzoda Hatamova and Aleksandra Malyarchikova due to injuries. The team's win came against No. 40 Princeton.
In the fall of 2011, Gyulai led the Cowgirl doubles team of Veronica Popovici and Simona Synkova to the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Synkova and Popovici qualified for the tournament after winning the USTA/ITA Mountain Regional Tournament in Las Vegas, going 5-0 en route to the championship.
In 2010-11, Gyulai and the Wyoming tennis team posted a 14-9 record, tying the school record for wins in a season. The team also won its quarterfinal match of the Mountain West Tournament, besting 50th-ranked San Diego State. Three Cowgirls earned All-MWC honors, as Popovici was selected All-MWC in singles, and Synkova and Kim van Ginkel were chosen for doubles. The Cowgirls were ranked in the Campbell's/ITA rankings four times during the season including a school-best mark of 68th on March 22. They finished the season 74th.
In 2009-10, Gyulai's team also posted 14 wins and finished third in the MWC. Alexandra Kovacs was named All-MWC in singles, while the team of Synkova and van Ginkel earned All-Conference honors in doubles. In her first season with the program in 2009, Gyulai led the team to an 8-16 record.
Gyulai returned to her alma mater after spending the previous two seasons as the head coach of both the men's and women's tennis teams at Louisiana-Lafayette (2006-08). She also served one year as an associate head coach (2005-06).
During the spring of 2008, Gyulai led the women's team to a 16-8 mark overall and an ITA national ranking of 64th during the spring season. On the men's side, Piotrek Banas achieved an ITA singles ranking of 40th and was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference. In the spring of 2007, the Louisiana Lafayette women's program reentered the ITA national rankings at No. 73 and finished the year with a 13-9 mark. Gyulai spent the 2005-06 season as the associate head women's coach and helped lead the team to a No. 73 ranking nationally and a 14-6 record. The team was ranked as high as 51st during the spring. It marked the first national ranking in the history of ULL women's tennis.
Prior to ULL, Gyulai spent the 2004-05 campaign at New Orleans as an assistant coach, helping the team to a 14-4 overall record. During the 2003-04 season, Gyulai served as an assistant coach with the men's and women's teams' at the University of Texas-Pan American.
Gyulai was a two-year letterwinner for the Wyoming tennis team (2002-2003) and earned her bachelor's degree in international studies with a concentration in Eastern Europe in 2003. She was named to the Mountain West Conference Academic All-Conference teams and was a member of the honor roll in 2002 and 2003. Gyulai was also a recipient of the Cowboy Joe Athletic Club Rendel Family Athletic Scholarship.
Gyulai is a native Hungarian but was raised in Transylvania, Romania. She received her Master's in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in December 2007. She holds her USTPA Professional 1 certification, was named the 2010 Intermountain College Coach of the Year and is fluent in several languages.