Utah Women's Tennis To Face No. 47 Washington State This Thursday, Oregon on Sunday
Utah women's tennis (6-4, 0-2 Pac-12) will hit the road this week, beginning the trip with a match in Pullman, Wash., taking on the No. 47-ranked Washington State Cougars (6-5, 1-1 Pac-12) on Thursday, March 11. The Utes and Cougars will play at 12 p.m. MT at Hollingberry Fieldhouse. The match on Thursday will be streamed.
Utah will then make the trip to Eugene, Ore. to close out the weekend against the Oregon Ducks (7-2, 1-1 Pac-12) to continue Pac-12 play. Utah and Oregon will have the first serve come at 12 p.m. MT with a live stream available, along with live scoring.
Coming off a strong region campaign last year where the Utes went 8-0 against Mountain Region opponents, Utah has continued to be a force in region play and is 6-1 this year against Mountain Region teams. The Utes kicked off the 2021 slate with three-straight region wins, collecting a 7-0 win over Idaho State, a 5-0 win over New Mexico State, and a 4-2 win over Weber State. Utah also picked up victories against Dixie State and Boise State, before the sixth region win came over BYU a few weeks ago.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State heads into the match after splitting its opening weekend of matches against the pair of LA schools. The Cougars fell to UCLA, but were able to down No. 16 USC 4-3 in Pullman. Earlier in the season, Washington State had narrowly fallen to then-No. 15 Baylor and then No. 16-California. The Cougars are led by current Pac-12 Player of the Week, Michaela Bayerlova, who is ranked No. 55 in the Oracle/ITA singles rankings. Bayerlova is 6-4 on the season as the top singles player and had three of the four losses coming from ranked opponents. Bayerlova and Hikaru Sato team up as the Cougars' top doubles team and have earned seven dual wins.
Oregon kicked off the conference slate by splitting its matches last weekend, falling to No. 24 Arizona State 4-0, but leaving Tucson with a 4-3 victory over Arizona. Oregon downed BYU 4-3 a few weeks ago, while also earned a narrow victory over Portland State at the beginning of the year. Janice Tjen leads the Ducks in the top singles spot and is 8-0 this season heading into the weekend. Rifanty Kahfiani and Uxia Martinez Moral partner together for doubles action and are 6-1 this season on court one.
LAST TIME OUT
The Utes opened Pac-12 play against a pair of ranked squads. Utah fell to No. 28 Stanford and No. 12 California over the weekend. Against Stanford, Jasmine Rich and Anya Lamoreaux took their doubles match to a tiebreaker, but were narrowly edged 7-5 in the tiebreaker to drop the set despite the terrific effort. Singles play for the Utes was highlighted by Emily Dush pushing her opponent wire to wire where Dush took the first set in a tiebreaker 7-3. Dush then was edged 6-4 in the second and after battling throughout the tiebreaker in the third, ultimately fell 10-8. Against Cal, Anastasia Goncharova and Lindsay Hung knocked off the Cardinal's No. 2 duo 6-4 to lead Utah. Goncharova put up a fight in singles as well, where she won her first set 7-5, but fell in a tiebreaker in the second after rallying late and ultimately dropped the third set.
Utah will continue Pac-12 play on the road and will head to Los Angeles to face No. 6 UCLA and No. 16 USC. The Utes will first play the Bruins on Friday, March 19 at 2:30 p.m. MT, before taking on the Trojans on Saturday, March 20 at 1 p.m. MT.