WSU tennis looks to remain undefeated through first road trip

Atawo now 4-0 as WSU head coach



Yang Lee (left) high-fives teammate Fifa Kumhom during a doubles match against Idaho, Jan. 29, at the Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

WSU tennis (4-0) heads to Salt Lake City this weekend to play fellow undefeated teams, Utah (7-0) and Minnesota (9-0)


WSU is off to a hot start with head coach Raquel Atawo who is undefeated to start her Cougar career.

The Cougs have won convincingly against BYU, Montana, Eastern Washington and Idaho.

Now, the Cougs prepare to challenge a Pac-12 opponent for the first time this year and a fellow Power-5 opponent.

On Friday, the Cougs will play the University of Utah at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center. On Saturday, they take on the University of Minnesota Gophers. The teams will stay in Salt Lake City for their match. 

The Cougs are winning up and down the roster. Doubles pair senior Savanna Ly-Nguyen and freshman Elyse Tse are a wonderful example of the kind of depth and experience the Cougs have.

Ly-Nguyen remains undefeated in singles and doubles so far this season. Her career record sits at 70-27.

Tse is 4-0 in doubles alongside Ly-Nguyen. She has faced some tough competition in singles with losses to Montana’s top player, senior Lauren Dunlap and Idaho’s sophomore Ke Syuan Jhang. Tse put up a fight and forced a third game in both of her losses. Her victories against BYU freshmen Yujia Huang and EWU sophomore Renata Gabuzyan were both in straight sets.

Another player that has been showing up for the Cougs is sophomore Fifa Kumhom. She is 3-1 on the year.

Freshman Maxine Murphy is also 3-1, beating BYU’s Anastasia Abramyan 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, Montana’s Olivia Oosterbaan 6-2, 6-2 and EWU’s Yasmin Mansouri 6-4, 6-3.

Cougar Tennis has not played a match in almost two weeks because their games with Baylor and TCU were canceled due to inclement weather.

The Cougs can not afford to be rusty against two very talented Utah and Minnesota teams.

The team will rely on Ly-Nguyen, Tse, Kumhom, Murphy and the rest of their talented lineup to bring home two wins in their first road matches of the dual season.



The University of Utah is undefeated at 7-0 so far this season, their best start in school history.

The Utes seem to be only getting better in the coming years, boasting the No. 9 2022 recruiting class in the country as ranked by the Tennis Recruiting Network. This is good news for a team whose doubles pairs are composed entirely of upperclassmen.

The Utes are fresh off beating Idaho State 5-2.

Through seven matches, all doubles pairs are undefeated. Seniors Anastasia Goncharova and Emily Dush are 7-0. Junior Katya Hersh and senior Lindsay Hung are 6-0. Graduate student Linda Huang and senior Madison Tattini are 5-0.

In singles, Goncharova and Hung are undefeated at 7-0. All seven Utes who have played singles this year have a winning record.

The most recent meeting between the Cougs and the Utes in March 2021 led to a 4-1 Cougar victory in Pullman.

The Cougs and the Utes prepare to face off in Salt Lake City with their undefeated seasons on the line.


Minnesota is also an undefeated team at 9-0, their best season start since 1997. The Cougs stand between the Gophers and double-digit glory as they will seek to deal Minnesota their first loss of the season.

Not only is Minnesota undefeated, but they have also not conceded a point in five matches, beating Marquette, South Dakota, St. Thomas, North Dakota and Northern Iowa, 7-0.

The schedulers managed to get Minnesota two Pac-12 opponents in one city by keeping the Cougs in town to play the Gophers a day before Minnesota plays Utah.

WSU is the Gophers’ first Power-5 opponent and will be a real test for a Minnesota team boasting the likes of undefeated freshman Anfisa Danilchenko and junior transfer Vasia Karvouni, who has seven wins over the first eight matches of the young dual season.

Danilchenko is undefeated through seven matches, spending three matches at No. 4, three at No. 5 and one at No. 3. She won her last five singles matches in straight sets and through seven matches is allowing an average of about 2.5 points per match.

In doubles, she is 5-1 and has played with five different partners in eight matches. Two matches were unfinished. One of her doubles partners was Karvouni.

Karvouni is a transfer from the University of Kansas where she spent her freshman and sophomore seasons. In 2021, the Greece native was an Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree after posting a 4.0 Grade Point Average.

Through eight matches, she is 7-1 and has allowed an average of about 1.9 points per game, playing four matches at No. 3, two at No. 4, one at No. 5 and one at No. 3. In doubles, she is 2-0.

Minnesota has mixed and matched their double pairs, but the combinations of graduate student Emilee Duong and sophomore Rachel Hanford (5-1) and freshman Maria Rizzolo and redshirt junior Dalila Said (6-0) have been phenomenal on the court.

Both pairs have played six matches with their respective partners. Duong and Hanford have only one loss and Rizzolo and Said are undefeated.

The Cougs and Gophers have met twice in the last eight years, with both matches going to the Cougs. Their most recent meeting in 2018 resulted in a 4-3 Cougar victory in Pullman.

Games Times

WSU will play Utah at 12:30 p.m. on Friday at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center in Salt Lake City.

The Cougs play Minnesota at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the same venue in Salt Lake City.