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Cougars Head to New York for Weekend Matches

Feb 25, 2022

THIS WEEK (February 25, 2022): The No. 65 Washington State Women's Tennis team (4-4) continues its stretch of eight-straight matches away from Pullman and heads to New York this weekend for matches against Iowa State and Columbia. The weekend begins Saturday when the Cougars face No. 45 Iowa State in a neutral site match at 11 a.m. PT. Sunday, WSU and the No. 46 Columbia Lions meet in an 8 a.m. PT contest. Both matches will be played at Life Time Westchester in Harrison, N.Y. This weekend marks the final nonconference matches for WSU, which begins Pac-12 play Friday, March 4 at Arizona.
 
SCOUTING IOWA STATE: The Cyclones enter the week with a 5-0 record and No. 45 national ranking in the ITA poll. In its last two matches, Iowa State posted a 4-0 win over in-state rival Iowa and a 7-0 sweep of Drake. Sophomore Thasaporn Naklo enters the week ranked No. 51 in the ITA singles poll, while the duo of Sofia Cabezas and Miska Kadleckova are ranked No. 37 in doubles. WSU Leads the all-time series, 2-1, including a 7-0 victory in Lincoln, Neb. in 2019, the last time these teams met.
 
SCOUTING COLUMBIA: The Lions enter the weekend with an 8-2 record, coming off a doubleheader sweep of St. John's and New Jersey Institute of Technology, both by identical 4-0 scores. Senior Akanksha Bhan is ranked No. 90 in the most recent ITA singles poll. Sunday marks the second meeting all-time between these teams, with Columbia pulling out a 4-3 victory during the 2020 season in New York.
 
LAST TIME OUT: Despite taking the opening doubles point, the Cougars dropped their fourth-straight match following a 4-1 loss to San Diego last week in Santa Barbara.
 
COUGARS ENTER ITA RANKINGS: Washington State entered the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings this week, debuting at No. 65.
 
BAYERLOVA TOP THREE COLLEGIANS IN WORLD RANKING: Washington State fifth-year senior Michaela Bayerlova entered this week with a WTA ranking of 521. That places her third among current collegians in the world rankings. Virginia sophomore Emma Navarro leads all NCAA women tennis players with a ranking of 206. Texas sophomore Peyton Stearns is next at No. 393 followed by Bayerlova.
 
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: For the 2021-22 season the Cougars will have four new players to accompany the four returners. The returning roster consists of fifth-year senior Michaela Bayerlova, seniors Yang Lee and Savanna Ly-Nguyen, sophomore Fifa Kumhom and freshmen Hania Abouelsaad, Stefaniia Mikhailova, Maxine Murphy and Elyse Tse.
 
HEAD COACH RAQUEL ATAWO: Raquel Atawo begins her first season as head coach of the Cougars after being named to the position July 2, 2021. Atawo arrived in Pullman having spent last season as the assistant coach at Auburn and prior to that, spent 15 years on the WTA Tour, where she reached a No. 10 world ranking in doubles.
 
FOLLOW THE COUGARS: Keep up with Washington State tennis by following @WSUCougarTennis on Twitter, @wsucougartennis on Instagram, and Washington State Cougar Tennis on Facebook.