WSU tennis splits weekend against Big Ten opponents  

Cougs take down Gophers, fall to Cornhuskers 



WSU tennis player Elyse Tse celebrates after winning a point during an NCAA tennis match against Gonzaga, Jan 22.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

It was Gopher hunting season for the Cougar women’s tennis team, but they did not take a bite of the corn from the cornhuskers of Nebraska over the weekend.

WSU tennis (5-4, 0-0 Pac-12) took on two Big Ten opponents on the road, first playing Nebraska (7-1, 0-0 Big 10) Friday, then taking on Minnesota (4-4, 0-1 Big Ten) Saturday. The Cougs first fell to the Cornhuskers in a hard-fought match, then turned it around with a clutch win against the not-so-Golden Gophers. 

Against Nebraska, a team at the top of the Big Ten, WSU showed fight but could not squeak out enough wins to get the job done. The Cornhusker won 5-2.

Then No. 111 ranked Maxine Murphy took care of business at the No. 1 spot with a 7-6, 6-1 victory and Elyse Tse overcame a first-set deficit to walk away with a 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory. 

At No. 3, Yura Nakagawa fought to win a back-and-forth first set but ultimately fell 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 and the other three singles matches were straight-set victories for the Nebraska competitors. 

Less than 24 hours later, the Cougs took on Minnesota. WSU swept the doubles competition, including a DNF and forfeit, but nonetheless, the points still count the same. 

In singles action, two more forfeits aided the Cougs, giving them two extra points and only needing one more to secure the team victory. It came down to the wire. With the score even at 3-3, Murphy went to a final set against her opponent Anet Koskel. 

Murphy lost the first set but quickly bounced back to secure a long but hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory and 4-3 victory for WSU. 

After splitting the Big Ten matches, the Cougs are now 5-4 and are only two matches away from Pac-12 play, which is what head coach Raquel Atawo said is the season’s highlight. 

But first, at noon Friday, the Cougs host Eastern Washington at the Simmelink Tennis Courts and then at 11 a.m. Saturday, the team hosts Saint Mary’s (California). Both games are available to watch on the WSU Live Stream