Lone freshman climbs up national rankings

Bayerlova made easy transition to WSU from small-town in Germany


ADAM JACKSON | The Daily Evergreen

Michaela Bayerlova talks about the similarities of Pullman and her hometown.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

Despite having just one semester of collegiate tennis under her belt, Michaela Bayerlova is ranked No. 34 in Division I women’s tennis by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

EZEKIEL NELSON | Daily Evergreen File
Michaela Bayerlova plays against Purdue University Feb. 3 at the Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

Bayerlova said she doesn’t pay a lot of attention to her ranking, which is the result of her hard work on and off the court.

“It’s cool, of course, but I just want to … win the match,” Bayerlova said. “The ranking is kind of the result of that.”

WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart said the reason the Cougars only have one freshman is because the team still has an open scholarship spot but couldn’t find anyone to fill it after recruiting Bayerlova.

Hart said Bayerlova made a smooth transition onto the team because she arrived and performed at the level of her upper-classman teammates.

“She is a really easy player to have, she’s very responsible,” Hart said. “We haven’t really had to babysit her at all … I don’t even think of her as a freshman.”

Bayerlova said she immediately felt welcome on the team, especially because all her teammates are international students like her.

“We are a really good team so we are all friends,” Bayerlova said. “I think that’s a really good part of WSU.”

Bayerlova is from the small town of Krumbach, Germany, about 70 miles west of Munich. It was there she learned to play tennis from her father, who coaches the game.

“He got me on the court and [I] played from a [young] age,” she said.

Bayerlova said it has been hard being away from her family and friends in Germany and learning English. But she said she had no problem adjusting to the small-town feel of Pullman, as Krumbach has a population of around 13,000.

Maybe the biggest adjustment Bayerlova had was making the transition to a different playing surface.

“I came from clay courts,” she said. “It’s a different style, more aggressive.”

Bayerlova said she chose to become a Cougar after she visited Pullman and liked the coaches and players. Most importantly, she felt comfortable at WSU. She was also encouraged by the prospect of playing for Hart, who visited her in Europe during the recruiting stage.

Hart said the Cougars were overjoyed to add a player like Bayerlova to the team.

“We knew right away we wanted her,” Hart said, “so we were really excited when she committed and signed.”

Hart praised Bayerlova’s abilities on the court and her understanding of the game.

“She has so many strengths and not really any weaknesses,” Hart said. “Her game is just really solid, that’s what separates her. She’s also highly intelligent on the court, which is great, but especially as a freshman. It’s amazing how smart she is.”