Tennis wins Battle of Palouse

Team gets big win after being defeated twice in Seattle last week

Then-freshman+Savanna+Ly-Nguyen+hits+the+tennis+ball+back+toward+her+opponent+on+Mar.+31%2C+2019+at+the+Outdoor+Tennis+Courts.

JACQUI THOMASSON | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Then-freshman Savanna Ly-Nguyen hits the tennis ball back toward her opponent on Mar. 31, 2019 at the Outdoor Tennis Courts.

AARIK LONG, Evergreen sports editor

After a tough weekend in Seattle last weekend, WSU tennis (5-4) returned home for a meeting with the Idaho Vandals (1-4). The Cougars were able to get things back on track with a commanding 6-1 victory.

WSU quickly jumped out to the lead with a sweep in the doubles point. The pairing of senior Michaela Bayerlova and junior Hikaru Sato got the first victory with a 6-2 win against Maggie Chen and Katherine Jhang of Idaho in the No. 2 slot.

That was followed by sophomore Pang Jittakoat and freshman Fifa Kumhom defeating Marta Magalhaes and Saffron Dowse 6-1 at No. 3. The match between fifth-year Melisa Yates and junior Yang Lee of WSU and Laura Spataro and Melissa Huchet of Idaho did not finish due to the point already being secured.

The singles matches rapidly started going in favor of the Cougars as well, with No. 55 ranked Bayerlova defeating Huchet in the No. 1 slot in straight sets with scores of 6-1, 6-1.

The next match to finish was at No. 4, as junior Savanna Ly-Nguyen defeated Magalhaes 6-2, 6-0. The Cougars went up 3-0 and needed just one more match to go their way to walk away with the victory.

That is exactly what the fifth-year senior Ates provided. Her match with Dowse at No. 6 was the next to complete, with Ates winning 6-2, 6-0.

Following the Cougars clinching the win, Jhang of Idaho got the first and only point for the Vandals with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Kumhom at No. 3.

That was the final positive for the Vandals, as it was followed by Jittakoat beating Chen 6-0, 6-2 at No. 5 and Sato defeating Spataro at No. 2 by scores of 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.

Despite the two losses last week, this win — along with solid performances last weekend and wins the previous two weekends — shows that the Cougars are gaining momentum. WSU will host the No. 6 ranked UCLA Bruins on Friday, to open Pac-12, followed by No. 17 USC on Sunday. WSU is a combined 3-54 all-time against the two Los Angeles programs.