Cougars Open Pac-12 Championship with 4-0 Win over Colorado
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Melisa Ates, Hikaru Sato and Pang Jittakoat each won a pair of matches as Washington State cruised to a 4-0 victory over Colorado in the first round of the 2021 Pac-12 Tennis Championship Friday morning at the Barnes Tennis Center.
With the win, the Cougars (14-15) avenge an earlier season loss to the Buffaloes (9-12) and advance to Saturday's quarterfinal against top-seeded UCLA.
In doubles action to begin the match, WSU started slow on the first two courts before charging back to take the opening point. At No. 1, WSU's Ates and Sato trailed 2-3 before ripping off the final four games to earn a 6-3 victory over Fleur Eggink and Sophia Derivan. At No. 3, The Cougars' Pang Jittakoat and Fifa Kumhom secured the doubles point as they were in control throughout, winning 6-2 over Antonia Balzert and Megan Forster. At No. 2, WSU's Michaela Bayerlova and Yang Lee were down 4-1 against Ky Ecton and Maria Campos, before rallying to take a 5-4 lead as the match was stopped with the doubles point decided.
In singles play, WSU kept the pressure on as Ates led start to finish in a 6-3, 6-3 win over Ecton at No. 6. The win was the 106th of Ates' singles career, third all-time in program history.
Jittakoat made it 3-0 Cougars as she completed a 6-3, 6-4 win over Eggink at No. 5 singles, putting WSU within one win of the team victory. Sato, at No. 2, trailed Campos 5-2 in the first before running off five-straight games to take the set, 7-5. She had little trouble from there as she closed out the 7-5, 6-2 win to give WSU the team victory.
The three remaining matches were stopped with Bayerlova leading Derivan, 6-4, 5-3 at No. 1, Kumhom trailing Forster 6-3, 5-5 at No. 3 and Savanna Ly-Nguyen leading Balzert 7-6, (5), 1-4 at No. 4
The win was also the second in as many meetings for the Cougars over Colorado at the Pac-12 Championship. WSU also posted a 4-0 win in 2019.
The Cougars now face top-seed UCLA Saturday at 9 a.m.
WASHINGTON STATE TENNIS
No. 8 Washington State 4 def. No. 9 Colorado 0
April 23, 2021
2021 Pac-12 Championship
Barnes Tennis Center
San Diego, Calif.
No. 1 Melisa Ates/Hikaru Sato (WSU) def. Fleur Eggink/Sophia Derivan (CU) 6-3
No. 2 Michaela Bayerlova/Yang Lee (WSU) vs. Ky Ecton/Maria Campos (CU) 5-4 DNF
No. 3 Pang Jittakoat/Fifa Kumhom (WSU) def. Antonia Balzert/Megan Forster (CU) 6-2
Order of Finish: 1,3
No. 1 #78 Michaela Bayerlova (WSU) vs. Sophia Derivan (CU) 6-4, 5-3 DNF
No. 2 Hikaru Sato (WSU) def. Maria Campos (CU) 7-5, 6-2
No. 3 Fifa Kumhom (WSU) vs. Megan Forster (CU) 3-6, 5-5 DNF
No. 4 Savanna Ly-Nguyen (WSU) vs. Antonia Balzert (CU) 7-6 (5), 1-4 DNF
No. 5 Pang Jittakoat (WSU) def. Fleur Eggink (CU) 6-3, 6-4
No. 6 Melisa Ates (WSU) def. Ky Ecton (CU) 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6,5,2