WSU Tennis Hosts Five Home Matches

April 6, 2010

PULLMAN, Wash.--

This Week: The Cougars (9-11, 1-4 Pac-10) host five home matches April 8-11. WSU takes on No. 12 Stanford, Thursday at 11 a.m. WSU will play Northern Arizona, Friday at noon. The Cougs play a double header Saturday against Montana and Gonzaga at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. WSU will finish the weekend with No. 11 California, Sunday at 11 a.m. All matches will be played at the Simmelink Tennis Courts in Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

About the Cardinal: The No. 12 Stanford Cardinal comes to Pullman with a 14-1 record, five nationally-ranked players and two nationally-ranked doubles pairs. Stanford lost last season in the NCAA Round of 16 to Baylor.

About the Lumberjacks: Northern Arizona is undefeated in Big Sky play so far this season. The Lumberjacks are 10-3 overall. The Cougars lead the all-time series 4-0.

About the Grizzlies: Montana comes to Pullman looking for their third consecutive victory. The Grizzlies are 8-10 on the season and are in third place of the Big Sky Conference. WSU leads the all-time series 24-4.

About the Bulldogs: Gonzaga is coming off their fifth straight win and looking to beat WSU for the first time (WSU leads all-time series 14-0). The Bulldogs are 12-4 overall.

About the Golden Bears: No. 11 nationally-ranked California holds a 14-4 record and boasts four nationally-ranked players, including No.3 Jana Juricova. The Golden Bears lost in the NCAA Championship match last year to Duke, but featured the championship doubles team of Juricova and Mari Andersson. The Cougs are 1-12 all-time against the Golden Bears.

Sweeping Up the Competition: The Cougar tennis team's 6-1 upset over No. 39 Arizona is not only the highest ranked team WSU has beaten since beating 34th-ranked Washington in 2008, but it is the first time since the 1997-98 season that the Cougs have swept the singles in a Pac-10 conference match. WSU swept the singles against Oregon on March 29, 1998 and won the match 6-0. The Cougars also made the NCAA Tournament that year, but lost to No. 30 UNLV in the first round.

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 75-90.

Leading the Team: Sophomore Elisabeth Fournier leads the team with 17 wins this spring. Fournier's quest for the all-time consecutive singles win record was stopped short by Micaela Hein of ASU. Fournier's eleven consecutive wins tied her for third on the all-time consecutive singles victories list. The longest win-streak record is held by Marcia Senn, who won 13 in a row from Feb. 19 to March 25, 1994.

Vasilieva Earns National Ranking: Freshman Liudmila Vasilieva earned a No. 94 national ranking in the latest ITA poll. Fournier's season high ranking of No. 61 was the ranking is the highest on the team since Eka Burduli was ranked 57th in 2008. Vasilieva is 11-9 in singles this spring. Vasilieva beat her third nationally-ranked player this season when she defeated Arizona's No. 89 Natasha Marks.

Strong Start for the Cougs: Freshman Andjela Kankaras has the second-best team record at 114-6. Fellow freshmen Ksenia Googe and Liudmila Vasilieva also boast double digit wins this spring with 12 and 11 respectively.

Chasing Records: Elisabeth Fournier moved into a tie for third place on the Top 10 list for singles victories in one season this past weekend. Fournier joins current Cougar assistant coach Eka Burduli and Marcia Senn in third place with 25 singles victories in a season. With six regular season matches left, Fournier only needs three more to tie the all-time record. The all-time record for wins in a single season is 28, set by Erin Majury in 1983.

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 and give-aways at all five matches.

Next up: WSU concludes the regular season, as well as Pac-10 play, at home against in-state rival Washington. The Cougs take on the No. 25 Huskies Saturday, April 17 at noon. As a part of the United State Tennis Association Kids Day, all kids are invited to match-day activities including a pre-match autograph session, give-aways and contests, and a post-match ice cream social.
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