Pair of Cougs claim wins at Cougar Classic

Fifa Kumhom, Savanna Ly-Nguyen earn tournament victories



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

TOM ABBOTT, Evergreen sports editor

WSU women’s tennis opened the 2021 fall season strong this weekend, hosting the Cougar Classic and picking up a pair of season-opening victories.

Schools that attended the tournament included Boise State, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Portland State, Seattle and Utah State.

The Cougar Classic featured six total flights, three flights for singles and three flights for doubles. Following WSU school colors, the flights were categorized as crimson, gray and red.

WSU did not enter the entire roster into the Cougar Classic. Notably absent was WSU’s Michaela Bayerlova. This summer, Bayerlova added to her already impressive professional resume when she won her fifth professional title in Frederiksberg, Denmark.  

The Cougars came out strong on the first day of play with both Cougs winning their singles matchups. Sophomore Fifa Kumhom and senior Savanna Ly-Nguyen both were victorious in their singles matches to start the tournament, advancing in their respective winner’s brackets. 

On Saturday, Kumhom and Ly-Nguyen found more success in their singles brackets. Kumhom won both of her matches, which put her in the Gray flight finals against Bhakti Shah of Boise State. Ly-Nguyen followed suit with two wins of her own, advancing to the Crimson flight finals to play Seattle’s Elena Kraleva. 

In the finals on Sunday, Kumhom and Ly-Nguyen both won their matches, becoming winners of their respective flights. 

WSU also competed in the Crimson doubles bracket of the tournament with the duo of Kumhom and Ly-Nguyen. The pair lost their first match against Seattle doubles partners Kravela and Jade Quintana, 8-5. This loss eliminated WSU from championship contention. 

Ly-Nguyen would get revenge in her singles victory over Kraleva two days later. Kumhom and Ly-Nguyen then played Eastern Washington’s Scout Mathews and Renata Gabuzyan, this time winning their match 8-5. 

Because of their first match loss, Kumhom and Ly-Nguyen then played in Sunday’s consolation final against Portland State for third place. The Cougar duo was able to win against the Vikings, granting them third place in the flight. 

The Red singles bracket was won by Seattle’s Mireia Fehr, a freshman from Switzerland. Idaho’s Ines Oliveira and Katherine Jhang were victorious in the Crimson doubles draw. The Gray doubles draw ended with Montana’s Lauren Dunlap and Rosie Sterk victorious. Montana took home another doubles victory thanks to Maria Goheen and Aili Hietala in the Red doubles draw.

The Cougars can call their home tournament a success, winning two of the six total flights and coming third in another.

Next up for the Cougs is a journey into rival territory to attend the Husky Invite on Friday, Oct. 8.