Savanna Ly-Nguyen’s Comeback Victory Leads Cougars Past Colorado
PULLMAN, Wash. – Rallying from down a set and an 0-5 deficit, Washington State senior Savanna Ly-Nguyen completed the improbable comeback to clinch the Cougars' 4-2 victory over Colorado in a Pac-12 tennis match Friday at the Simmelink Tennis Courts.
The win was the first conference victory of the season under first-year head coach Raquel Atawo, and improved WSU's record to 5-8 overall, 1-2 in Pac-12 play. Colorado falls to 4-6, 0-3.
With WSU holding a slim 2-1 lead midway through the match, the Cougars' were sliding as on Court 1 WSU's Michaela Bayerlova was behind in her second set and looked to be heading to a third, while Ly-Nguyen was down 6-4, 5-0 at No. 2 to Caroline Pozo. That's when it changed as Ly-Nguyen strung together point after point, game after game. Down 5-4 in the second, Ly-Nguyen saved three match points to make it 5-5, then won the next four games, part of nine-straight, to take a 2-0 lead in the third.
While Ly-Nguyen appeared in control, Bayerlova was closing out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 win over Antonia Balzert at No. 1 to give WSU a 3-1 lead, setting the stage for Ly-Nguyen to close out the match. At 4-4, the senior earned a break of serve and on her third match point, clinched the team win with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory, her team-leading 15th singles win of the season. The win also snapped WSU's eight-match skid and avenged last season's loss to Colorado in Boulder.
Colorado earned it's two points as Megan Forster won a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Elyse Tse at No. 4 and Mila Stanojevic posted a 6-2, 6-2 win over WSU's Hania Abouelsaad at No. 5.
Cougar freshman Maxine Murphy also recorded a strong comeback win, dropping the first set before rebounding for the 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 3 over Maria Campos. WSU's Yang Lee was leading 6-4, 0-2 at No. 6 when the match was stopped with the team victory already in hand.
The day began with doubles where the Cougars came out strong, winning the first two matches to earn the opening point. At No. 2, Lee and Fifa Kumhom cruised to a 6-1 win over Balzert and Ky Ecton. Ly-Nguyen and Tse then secured the point with a 6-3 win at No. 3 over Ellen Puzak and Betina Tokac. The remining match between WSU's Bayerlova and Murphy and Colorado's Caroline Pozo and Campos was stopped with the score tied 4-4.
The Cougars are next in action Sunday when they host Utah at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. Match time is set for 11 a.m.
WASHINGTON STATE TENNIS
Washington State 4 def. Colorado 2
March 11, 2022
Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse
No. 1 Michaela Bayerlova/Maxine Murphy (WSU) vs. Caroline Pozo/Maria Campos (CU) 4-4 DNF
No. 2 Yang Lee/Fifa Kumhom (WSU) def. Antonia Balzert/Ky Ecton (CU) 6-1
No. 3 Savanna Ly-Nguyen/Elyse Tse (WSU) def. Ellen Puzak/Betina Tokac (CU) 6-3
Order of Finish: 2,3
No. 1 Michaela Bayerlova (WSU) def. Antonia Balzert (CU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0
No. 2 Savanna Ly-Nguyen (WSU) def. Caroline Pozo (CU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
No. 3 Maxine Murphy (WSU) def. Maria Campos (CU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
No. 4 Megan Forster (CU) def. Elyse Tse (WSU) 6-1, 6-0
No. 5. Mila Stanojevic (CU) def. Hania Abouelsaad (WSU) 6-2, 6-2
No. 6 Yang Lee (WSU) vs. Betina Tokac (CU) 6-4, 0-2 DNF
Order of Finish: 4,3,1,5,2