WSU traveling to Virginia to compete in ITA Kickoff Weekend

Cougs in a tournament of four total teams in Virginia 



WSU tennis player Eva Alvarez Sande prepares for an incoming serve during an NCAA match against Montana, Jan, 13.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Evergreen reporter

Hot off a tightly contested victory over Gonzaga = Sunday, the Cougs prepare for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend tournament over the course of Friday and Saturday. 

The tournament is split into four teams at 15 total locations. The hosting seeds selected teams.Teams were ranked based on performance and the top 15 teams will host three other teams selected in a draft.

No. 5 Virginia selected No. 69 WSU alongside No. 28 South Carolina and No. 41 Northwestern. 

All four teams are members of separate power five conferences, so competition will be tough, especially as the Cougs come in as one of the lowest seeds overall. 

Virginia (2-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) has two convincing wins over weaker competition to start the season. They beat Richmond 7-0 and beat James Madison 6-1. 

In 2022, they finished 23-6 (10-3 ACC) and lost in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. 

To beat Virginia, WSU will need a lot to go their way, but if they can squeak out the win, they will have shown massive improvement in a short period of time. 

South Carolina’s (0-1, 0-0 Southeastern) only match of the season was against No. 3 NC State. With only one match this season against one of the best teams in the nation, it is tough to tell what kind of play they will come in the tournament. 

Last season, the Gamecocks went 15-11 (8-5 SEC) and fell in the second round of the NCAA Tournament 0-4 to No. 1 seed South Carolina. 

The final team is Northwestern (2-1, 0-0 Big 10), who beat UIC and Chicago State in clean sweeps before most recently falling to No. 21 Vanderbilt 2-5 Sunday. 

Last year, the team went 14-10 (8-1 Big 10) and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Wake Forest, 2-4. 

The Wildcats are the team that the Cougs have the most likelihood to upset and they may very well get South Carolina a run for their money as well. 

The tournament overall will aim to prove if the Cougs have made substantial progress over the offseason despite key departures, as well as preparing the team for Conference play as the season progresses.