Buffs Topple Washington State
BOULDER – Colorado tennis junior Sara Nayar took down her second ranked opponent of the weekend Sunday afternoon here to clinch a 4-3 defeat of Washington State.
"We're super proud of the girls today we've had a tough stretch the last six weeks or so and we just kept telling the girls we just got to keep sticking with it and stay together, stick with it and control the things that we can control," said assistant coach Anthony Nguyen Pham. "We played better on Friday against Washington and today was another step in the right direction. Some of these matches they're so close and it's just a couple points here and there. Today we were fortunate to come out on the positivie side. We're just really proud of the ladies for the way they competed today, and just leaving it out there. Win or lose we left it out there and happy for them we really earned this one."
The Buffs (8-9, 2-5 Pac-12) took down Washington State (11-10, 3-5 Pac-12) thanks to a huge clinching double point match from the No.3 team of Maria Campos and Ky Ecton along with tough play from the first three singles matches for Colorado.
Nayar was the story of the day, upsetting Michaela Bayerlova for the second time in her career. Ironically, the last time came in 2019 when CU upset WSU 4-3, the first ranked win in head coach Danielle Steinberg's time at Colorado. This time though Nayar was in full control. After barely dropping the first set to Bayerlova 7-6(3), Nayar put the pressure on and cruised to a 6-1 victory in the second set. Nayar clinched the final team point shortly after WSU tied up the match at three all in a 6-3 fashion in the third.
"It's tough obviously playing number one for any team, but playing number one In the Pac-12, one of the strongest conferences in the country," said Nguyen Pham. "She's had so many tight matches. It's the same thing we told her, we told all the ladies, you just got to stick with it because if you keep doing the right things at some point you're going to push through and this weekend she had two tight matches but she was on the positive end. Really happy for her, I mean she earns it, and she works so hard and she deserved these wins."
Things started off today in doubles with Washington State starting out leading and taking the first doubles match with Bayerlova and Yang Lee defeating Megan Forster and Antonia Balzert 6-3. Nayar and Fleur Eggink were down 3-0 when they took the next six-straight games to take the first match 6-3.
The final doubles match with Ecton and Campos came down tight as the Buffs faced match point at deuce down 5-4. After surviving that, Colorado faced deuce again and took the 6-5 advantage, then swept the next game to clinch the doubles point.
After that Campos began to take control in the No.2 singles match against Hikaru Sato. She took the first set 6-3 and the second in a quick 6-1 affair, putting CU up 2-0 in team points. WSU got on the board with Lee defeating Ecton with a pair of 6-4 sets in the sixth, but Forster took down Fifa Kumhom 6-2, 6-3 in the No.3 singles match to set the Buffs up to clinch the match with Nayar up.
The final match before Nayar clinched was Melisa Ates against Eggink in the No.5 singles match. Ates took the first singles set of the day quickly, 6-0, then Eggink started to storm back in the second set. After tying it up and sending it to a tiebreaker, Ates double faulted to give up the tiebreaker in the second set 7-6(7). Eggink started the third down 3-0 before tying it up with three-straight games. She stared down a match point at 5-4 to bring it to deuce, then took that point to tie the set at five all. Ates rallied back to take the next two games and tie up the match just moment before Nayar clinched it for CU.
Colorado heads out on the road next to take on Steinberg's alma-mater Arizona Friday at 2:30 p.m., then take on ASU Saturday at noon. The Buffs end the regular season at home against Utah April 16.
1. Sara Nayar (COLO) def. #86 Michaela Bayerlova (WSU) 6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 6-3
2. Maria Campos (COLO) def. Hikaru Sato (WSU) 6-3, 6-1
3. Megan Forster (COLO) def. Fifa Kumhom (WSU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Savanna Ly-Nguyen (WSU) def. Antonia Balzert (COLO) 6-4, 6-1
5. Melisa Ates (WSU) def. Fleur Eggink (COLO) 6-0, 6-7 (7-9), 7-5
6. Yang Lee (WSU) def. Ky Ecton (COLO) 6-4, 6-4
1. Sara Nayar/Fleur Eggink (COLO) def. Melisa Ates/Hikaru Sato (WSU) 6-3
2. Michaela Bayerlova/Yang Lee (WSU) def. Megan Forster/Antonia Balzert (COLO) 6-3
3. Maria Campos/Ky Ecton (COLO) def. Pang Jittakoat/Fifa Kumhom (WSU) 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,4,6,3,5,1)