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Cougars Open With Texas A&M at ITA Kickoff Weekend

Jan 22, 2021

Head Coach Lisa Hart

THIS WEEK (January 22, 2021): The Cougars open their 2021 dual match season when they travel to Los Angeles, Calif. for the 2021 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Kickoff Weekend. Competing at the UCLA Regional, WSU will face Texas A&M in its first match, Saturday, Jan. 23, at 9 a.m. from the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The Cougars will then face either No. 2 Stanford or NO. 19 California, Sunday, Jan. 24, depending upon Saturday's match results. Sunday's match time is TBD.
2021 ITA KICKOFF WEEKEND: The 13th Annual Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-Off Weekend takes place January 22-27, 2020, at 10 different Division I tennis facilities across the country. In all, there are 28 teams competing per gender in ITA Kick-Off Weekend events. The field was cut in half this year to accommodate for increased social distancing and safety precautions at the National Team Indoor Championships. There are seven "regionals" played on both the men's and women's side, with four teams competing in each regional. The winners of the single-elimination event advance to next month's ITA Division I National Team Indoor Championships.
FOLLOW LIVE: Live streaming and live scoring for the ITA Kickoff Weekend is available HERE.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M: Texas A&M enters the weekend with a 2-0 record, having defeated Houston and Prairie View A&M by identical 7-0 scores earlier this week. The Aggies are led by senior Tatiana Makarova, who enters 2021 ranked No. 64 in the ITA Preseason rankings. Texas A&M has finished each of the last four seasons with a top 30 national ranking and Saturday marks the first matchup between the two teams.
SCOUTING UCLA: UCLA enters the weekend boasting a No. 2 ranking the ITA Preseason poll. The Bruins have five players ranked in the preseason poll, led by No. 7 Abbey Forbes, No. 9 Elysia Bolton and No. 19 Jada Hart. Saturday's match against California marks the Bruins' season-opener.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Cal Bears enter the weekend with a No. 19 preseason ranking and a 1-0 record, having defeated Saint Mary's earlier this week. The Bears have a trio of players ranked in the top 50 of the preseason poll, led by sophomore Haley Giavara at No. 18.
UP NEXT: Washington State returns to Pullman to host a pair of matches Saturday, Jan. 30. The Cougars open with Montana at 9:30 a.m. from the Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse followed by a 2 p.m. meeting against Eastern Washington. Under current health protocols, fans are not permitted to attend Cougar Athletics home events.
ATES CLIMBING WINS LIST: Senior Melisa Ates enters the season with 89 career singles victories, seventh on WSU's all-time list. Next up is Ekaterina Burduli at 90.
BAYERLOVA ENTERS SEASON AT NO. 55: Michaela Bayerlova enters the 2021 season riding with a No. 55 ranking the preseason poll. Bayerlova is also looking to extend her 13-match winning streak after going 13-0 in 2020. The senior is also looking for her third-straight NCAA Singles Championship appearance, having gone as a freshman and sophomore, and was on track last season before the season was cut short due to COVID.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: For the 2020-21 season the Cougars will have two new players to accompany the six returners. The returning roster consists of seniors Melisa Ates and Michaela Bayerlova, juniors Yang Lee, Savanna Ly-Nguyen and Hikaru Sato, along with freshmen Maddie Egan and Pang Jittakoat. Newcomers include freshmen Hania Abouelsaad and Fifa Kumhom
COACH HART: Lisa Hart is in her 18th season as the head coach at Washington State. Hart has accumulated a 232-191 (.548) record while leading the Cougars, the most coaching wins in program history.