One Coug makes top 16 at ITA Northwest Championships

Maxine Murphy makes it the farthest for WSU 



Maxine Murphy swings at the ball during a singles match against Idaho, Jan. 29, at Hollingberry Fieldhouse.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

WSU tennis competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northwest Championships, a single-elimination tournament for both singles and doubles. For the Cougs, the results were not representative of the expectations, as no duo made it past the second round and only two singles competitors made it to the third round.

The best finish was from sophomore Maxine Murphy, who made it to the round of 16 before falling to her opposition. Freshman Yura Nakagawa had the second-best placement, as she fell in the third round of play.

On the tournament’s first day, WSU went 3-3 in singles competition and 2-1 in doubles competition. All three of the singles wins were in straight sets, as Murphy won 6-3, 6-3, Nakagawa won 6-4, 6-2 and Eva Alvarez Sande won 7-5, 6-1.

Fifa Kumhom won the first set of her match before losing momentum in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 loss. The other two singles losses were in straight sets as Stefaniia Mikhailova lost 6-2, 6-2 and Elyse Tse lost 6-4, 6-4.

In the second round, Murphy and Nakagawa won their matches in upsets, as they both faced ranked competitors. Murphy faced the No. 8 ranked Sarah-Maude Fortin and won 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 while Nakagawa beat the No. 9 ranked Iva Zelic 7-5, 6-1.

Eva Alvarez Sande, the other Coug still in the tournament during round two, had a tough draw as she faced No. 6 ranked Alexis Blokhina. Alvarez Sande had a tough time getting anything going in a 6-4, 7-5 (5) loss.

In doubles action, the Cougs went 2-1 as Yang Lee/Alvarez Sande won 8-3, Kumhom/Tse won 8-6 and Murphy/Nakagawa lost against the No. 7 ranked team 8-6.

Day two saw Murphy win her first match 7-6 (6), 6-2 and move on to the round of 16. Nakagawa was outmatched by her opponent, losing 6-2, 6-3. The loss made Murphy the last hope for WSU in singles action, but after an ultra-competitive first set of her round of 16 matchup, she lost steam and fell 7-6 (5), 6-0.

For doubles actions, the two remaining teams for the Cougs both lost on the second day, as Alvarez Sande/Lee lost 8-4 and Kumhom/Tse had an insanely heartbreaking 8-7 (4) defeat.

On the final day of the competition, the only games being played were consolation games. In those games, WSU won all three in doubles and went 3-2 in singles.

Expectations for the team were not to win the tournaments and the fight they put up in their losses was impressive.

Next up, tennis competes in the Baylor Invitational beginning on Oct. 28 in Waco, Texas.