BYU bite stronger than WSU in tennis

The battle of Cougars does not go WSU’s way 



WSU tennis player Eva Alvarez Sande hits the ball during an NCAA match against Montana, Jan, 13.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

In the fight for the arbitrary bragging rights for who is the better school with the Cougar mascot, BYU came out on top in women’s tennis.

WSU (2-3, 0-0 Pac-12) traveled to Provo, Utah Saturday to take on BYU (2-0, 0-0 West Coast) and were originally favored to come out with the win in the match. The Cougars of Wazzu came in 13-6 against the Cougars from BYU, but they did not have enough as they fell by a 5-2 final score. 

The competition on Saturday began with doubles action, where BYU started off strong with three wins. No. 1 Maxine Murphy and Eva Alvarez Sande faced off against the No. 47 doubles team in Emilee Astle and Bobo Huang, a match they lost 6-2. 

In the other two matches, the duo of Yura Nakagawa and Fifa Kumhom fell 6-0, and then Elyse Tse and Stefaniia Mikhailova lost 6-3. 

On a positive note, WSU is usually stronger in singles action, so the poor performance in doubles is usually a side note to an overall win for the Cougs. However, on this day, BYU was strong in both styles of action and took care of business in singles as well. 

No. 1 Murphy took on Huang in an attempt to get revenge after the doubles loss. The first set was a closely fought battle that Huang won 7-5. The second set was less competitive with a quick 6-1 Huang win to decide the entire match. 

Other losses for WSU were No. 3 Nakagawa losing a close match 6-4, 7-6 (6), No. 4 Tse falling 6-4, 6-3 and Hania Abouelsaad being unable to get anything going in a 6-0, 6-2 loss. 

Even with the losses, two WSU Cougs came out on top in their singles matches and perfectly demonstrated the fighting spirit so prevalent in Pullman. 

First was No. 2 Alvarez Sande, overcoming a first-set loss and a tight second set to win 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3. Then, No. 5 Kumhom played an excruciatingly long match that ended with the scoreline 7-6 (4), 5-7, 1-0 (10-8). 

While not the overall result the team wanted coming in, several players proved they had the stamina to go the distance, a vital skill as the team nears closer to conference play every day. 

Next on the schedule for WSU is another match on the road. At 1 p.m. Friday, they head down to Fresno, California to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs. Then, the next day, at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, they take on Cal Poly.