Cougar tennis outshined in California

Cougs lost last 4 matches; began 4-0



Then-senior Michaela Bayerlova returns the ball during a singles match against Arizona March 14, 2021 at the WSU Outdoor Tennis Courts.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

After starting the season with four straight home wins, WSU tennis lost four games on the road, including two blowout losses this weekend.

WSU tennis suffered their two recent losses at the hands of two Southern California schools. WSU failed to score against UC Santa Barbara and lost an early lead to University of San Diego.

Despite the Cougs only earning one point through two matches, senior Savanna Ly-Nguyen preserved her undefeated dual record in doubles. Ly-Nguyen improved to 8-0 with two doubles wins with her partner, freshman Elyse Tse on Friday and Saturday.

7-0 Loss to UC Santa Barbara

The Cougs lost to UCSB 7-0, getting shut out for the first time in the young dual season.

Despite losing early on in the match, the Cougs kept their heads up and played competitively. The Cougs took three singles matches to three sets, but were unable to seal the deal in any of them.

In doubles, Ly-Nguyen and Tse defeated UCSB’s pair of Marta Gonzalez Balbe and Camille Kiss in the No. 3 spot, 6-2.

Fifth-year senior Michaela Bayerlova and freshman Maxine Murphy lost to UCSB’s Shakhnoza Khatamova and Elizaveta Volodko at No. 1, 6-3.

The Cougs’ No. 2 pair of sophomore Fifa Kumhom and senior Yang Lee lost to UCSB’s Kira Reuter and Amelia Honer, 6-3.

Down 1-2, the Cougs needed to win at least four of the six singles matches to get the win. Unfortunately, they could not even win one.

However, Bayerlova, Kumhom and Abouelsaad each forced a third set.

Bayerlova lost to UCSB’s Khatamova  6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6) at No. 1. This was Bayerlova’s first singles loss of the season, bringing her record to 3-1. Kumhom lost to UCSB’s Filippa Bruu-Syversen 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-6). In the No. 6 spot, Abouelsaad lost her first set 5-7 but won her second set 6-2 against UCSB’s Priscila Janikian. She, like her teammates, could not seal the deal and lost in the third set, 1-0 (10-3). Ly-Nguyen lost to UCSB’s Volodko, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 2. UCSB’s Kiss delivered the kiss of defeat to Murphy, 6-4, 6-0 at No. 3. At No. 4, Tse could not get much going against UCSB’s Honer, losing 6-0, 6-3.

4-1 Loss to San Diego

The Cougs failed to bounce back against USD, earning the doubles point, but once again losing every singles match.

WSU’s start was a promising one, capturing the doubles point by way of Bayerlova and Murphy beating USD’s Solymar Colling and Elizabeth Goldsmith 6-4 to lead off doubles play. Ly-Nguyen and Tse defeated USD’s Claudia De Las Heras and Victoria Kalaitzis at No. 3, 6-4.Kumhom and Lee did not finish their match against USD’s Abigail Desiatnikov and Jordyn McBride at No. 2.

In singles, the Cougs were not quite as competitive as they were against UCSB as they only took one match to a third set.

Ly-Nguyen lost to USD’s Desiatnikov at No. 2, 6-4, 6-2. Her singles record dropped to 4-3 Murphy lost to USD’s Goldsmith at No. 3, 6-3, 6-0. Her singles record dropped to 4-4. Abouelsaad lost to USD’s De Las Heras at No. 5, 6-2, 6-3. Her singles record dropped to 3-4. At No. 6, Lee could not beat USD’s Kalaitzis, losing 6-2, 6-4. Bayerlova continued her strong play in the No. 1 spot, being the lone Coug to reach three sets against USD.

However, Bayerlova and Colling did not finish their match after facing each other in doubles. Their singles match would end 6-3, 1-6, 0-1 once USD had clinched victory by way of their other match wins. Bayerlova’s singles record remains 3-1.

Kumhom also did not finish her match, trailing USD’s McBride at the No. 4 spot, 5-7, 2-3. Her dual season singles record remains 3-4.

Next up

The Cougs (4-4) head to New York this weekend to face Iowa State (5-0) Saturday and Columbia University (6-2) Sunday.

Iowa State is fresh off forcing two straight shutouts, beating state rival Iowa 4-0 and Drake 7-0. The Cyclones will face Columbia Friday before facing the Cougs on Saturday. Saturday will be Iowa State’s first neutral-site match of the dual season.

Colombia’s only losses have been at the hands of No. 7 Pepperdine and Princeton. Columbia is 3-0 at home and hosts three opponents before meeting the Cougs on Sunday. Columbia will play St. John’s and the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Wednesday and Iowa State on Friday.

In New York , you can be a new team, and WSU hopes to do just that this weekend, fresh off a sour Southern California experience.