Friday Match at Gonzaga Awaits Cougars
THIS WEEK (March 17, 2022): The Washington State Women's Tennis team (5-9) takes a break from conference play when it travels to Spokane to face Gonzaga, Friday, March 18 at Noon from the Stevens Center. The match is the final nonconference contest scheduled for the Cougars, who return to Pac-12 action next Friday, March 25 at Oregon.
SCOUTING GONZAGA: The Bulldogs enter the week with a 6-5 record, despite having dropped their last two matches at Houston and Texas State. Those losses snapped a season-best four-match win streak. The Cougars won last year's matchup, 4-3, in Spokane, and hold a 21-1 all-time advantage in the series.
LAST TIME OUT: WSU went 1-1 against the Mountain schools last week, defeating Colorado 4-2 before falling 4-3 to No. 29 Utah.
LY-NGUYEN'S COMEBACK LIFTS COUGARS PAST COLORADO: Rallying from down a set and an 0-5 deficit, senior Savanna Ly-Nguyen completed the improbable comeback to clinch the Cougars' 4-2 victory over Colorado. Down 0-5 in the second, Ly-Nguyen became her comeback, saving three match points at 4-5, 15-40, winning nine-straight games to take a 2-0 lead in the third. 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.
BAYERLOVA TOP THREE COLLEGIANS IN WORLD RANKING: Washington State fifth-year senior Michaela Bayerlova entered this week with a career-best WTA ranking of 516. 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 200. Texas sophomore Peyton Stearns is next at No. 388 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 at No. 10 world ranking in doubles.
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