Cougars Head to 2021 Pac-12 Tennis Championship
THIS WEEK (April 22, 2021): The Washington State Cougars (13-15) head to the 2021 Pac-12 Championship, April 23-26, at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. Play begins Friday with the Cougars, seeded No. 8, facing No. 9 Colorado at 10 a.m. The winner of the that match will face top-seed UCLA Saturday at 9 a.m.
LAST TIME OUT: The Cougars closed out their regular season schedule falling at the University of San Diego, 6-0, Wednesday.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP: The UCLA Bruins, ranked No. 5 nationally, enter the 2021 Pac-12 Championship as the No.1 seed with a 17-3 record. Stanford (13-3) is the second seed, followed by California (14-6) and Arizona State (12-7) at 3 and 4, respectively. The remaining seeds are USC (No. 5), Oregon (6), Washington (7), Washington State (8), Colorado (9), Arizona (10) and Utah (11). Stanford has claimed the previous four Pac-12 Tournament titles.
SCOUTING COLORADO: Colorado enters the Pac-12 Championship with a 9-11 record, 3-7. in conference play. The Buffs closed their conference play with a 4-1 win over Utah and earlier this season, defeated Washington State 4-3 in Boulder. The last time these two teams met in the Pac-12 Tournament, WSU Came away with a 4-0 victory during the 2019 season. WSU leads the all-time series, 7-6.
ATES NAMED RECIPIENT OF PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP: Washington State tennis student-athlete Melisa Ates was named a recipient of the 2021 President's Award by WSU President Kirk Schulz at the WSU Leadership and Engagement Awards of Distinction Tuesday, April 20. The President's Awards honor those who advance leadership and engagement at WSU and beyond. Recipients of the award demonstrate exceptional leadership and service to students, WSU and our community. Ates, a senior from Antalya, Turkey, is concluding one of the finest careers in program history. A two-year captain, she recently became WSU Tennis' career leader for combined singles and doubles victories with 195.
ATES CLOSING IN ON ALL-TIME SINGLES MARK: With her victory over Gonzaga last week, senior Melisa Ates continued her climb up the all-time singles wins list, now with 105. Ates, who now has her sights on the two leaders, Elisabeth Fournier (108) and Liudmila Vasilieva (107). Earlier this week, Ates broke Elizaveta Luzina's all-time mark with 195 combined singles and doubles wins.
LY-NGUYEN NAMED ONE OF 10 FEMALE ARTHUR ASHE JR. SPORTS SCHOLARS: Washington State junior tennis student-athlete Savanna Ly-Nguyen was named one of 10 female student-athletes nationally selected as 2021 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars, it was announced in March by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The honor recognizes outstanding minority young men and women who have distinguished themselves in their academic and athletic pursuits. The students named 2021 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars are students of color who have maintained a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5, are at least a sophomore academically, and have been active on their campuses or in their communities.
- Junior Savanna Ly-Nguyen has a team-best 18-5 singles record so far this season. Her .894 winning percentage currently ranks as the fourth-best in single-season history at WSU.
- The Cougars are receiving votes in the most recent ITA Coaches Poll, released Wednesday.
- Michaela Bayerlova is ranked No. 78 in the most recent ITA singles poll. The senior is also looking for her third-straight NCAA Singles Championship appearance.
- Melisa Ates' 29 combined victories this season are a team best.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: For the 2021 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 sophomores 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 245-205 (.544) record while leading the Cougars, the most coaching wins in program history.