Cougars Open Pac-10 Play Against Arizona Schools

March 2, 2010

PULLMAN, Wash. --

This Week: The Washington State University tennis team (7-4) begins Pacific 10 play at home, hosting the Arizona schools this weekend. WSU takes on No. 31 Arizona State Friday (March 5) at 11 a.m. The Cougs take on No. 50 Arizona Saturday (March 6) at 11 a.m. Both matches will be played at the Simmelink Tennis Courts in Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

About the Sun Devils: Arizona State comes to Pullman ranked No. 31 nationally. The Sun Devils have a 4-2 record and did not play their scheduled match against Texas last week due to inclement weather. Last year, ASU lost in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. Arizona State leads the all-time series against WSU 16-0.

About the Wildcats: Arizona enters Pac-10 play ranked No. 50 in the nation with an 8-2 record. The Wildcats suffered an upset last week against No. 71 Utah, 5-2. Arizona leads the all-time series against the Cougars 14-2. However, the Cougs won the last meeting between the two teams in Pullman in 2008, 5-2.

Last Season: The Cougars faced a tough schedule and finished with an 8-18 overall record. WSU played 16 nationally-ranked opponents, including eight ranked Pac-10 foes.

Coach Hart: Washington State's Lisa Hart is in her seventh season as head coach. Hart's overall record as a Cougar is 73-84.

Vasilieva Earns National Ranking: Freshman Liudmila Vasilieva earned a No. 61 national ranking in the latest ITA poll. The ranking is the highest on the team since Eka Burduli was ranked 57th in 2008. Vasilieva is 7-4 in the No. 1 singles spot this spring.

Leading the Team: Sophomore Elisabeth Fournier leads the team with a perfect 11-0 record in dual matches at No. 2 singles. She has 19 total wins on the year, only three away from her win total during her freshman campaign. Her dual match win streak of 11 is the most since 2007 when Marjolein van de Ven won 10-straight matches from Jan. 20 to Feb. 16.

Strong Start for the Cougs: Freshman Andjela Kankaras has the second-best team record at 9-2 in the No. 5 spot. Kankaras won one match and lost one last weekend in Boise.

Freshmen First Impressions: The six Cougar freshmen had an impressive first fall season, each combining a winning record. Highlights include Vasilieva's 10-1 record and a defeat of Boise State's No.47-ranked Pittchitra Thongdach. Jackie Owens posted a 10-2 record, including a tournament championship at the Gonzaga Tournament. Erin Troedson earned two doubles tournament championships with junior partner Marina Nicolas. A seventh freshman, Lea Jansen, is a new addition to the spring roster, beginning school in January 2010.

Cheer on the Cougs: The Cougs look to increase overall season attendance this season and need your support. Last year's average attendance was more than 100 fans per match. Fans can look forward to great tennis as well as free pizza at both matches. Give-aways at this weekend's matches include free pom poms on Friday and rally towels on Saturday to the first 20 fans.

Next up: The Cougs hit the road again March 16 and 17, traveling to San Diego, Calif. The team plays Cal-State Northridge Tuesday, March 16. WSU also takes on the University of San Diego Wednesday, March 17.

--www.wsucougars.com--
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