Tennis hits the road for a trio of matches in Utah

WSU will play two matches in one day before going to Provo



unior Tiffany Mylonas watches the ball during a match against Eastern Washington on Saturday at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. She has 21 wins this season.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU tennis will travel to Utah to compete in three matches over three days this week.

The Cougars will first face Idaho State University and Utah State University on Thursday, and then complete the road trip Saturday by playing Brigham Young University.

WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart said the team is focused on putting the work in during the week, something that has contributed to the Cougars’ success so far this season.

“I’m really proud of our players. They continue to be dedicated to practice and the preparation phase, which is so important,” Hart said. “Very, very hungry on match day, which is translating to wins right now for us, especially in some of the close matches we’ve had.”

Utah State (6-5) has the best record of the three opponents WSU will face in the upcoming matches and is undefeated at home. BYU (4-3) has only competed in seven matches this season and is coming off a 4-2 defeat to Gonzaga University on Saturday.

Idaho State (3-5) faced Utah State in its first match this season which resulted in a close 4-3 loss.

Hart said the team expects Utah State and BYU to be the Cougars’ toughest matchups, but that it would be a mistake to ignore the ability of any team.

“Everybody can play right, so we can’t overlook Idaho State,” she said. “I know they’re a much-improved team, so we have to definitely be ready.”

WSU is coming off a three-game win streak after defeating three teams in Pullman. The Cougars are 10-1 so far this season, with their only loss against Kansas State University.

Hart said the coming weeks will be vital to the rest of the season, and the team is focusing on finishing non-conference play on a high note before the Pac-12 opener on March 11.

Hart said getting wins in non-conference will help the Cougars when they face Pac-12 opponents who will likely be a much bigger challenge than other teams they have faced so far this season.

The Cougars’ first two matches Thursday are within hours of each other, which presents a unique challenge. They will start the day on the court at 9 a.m. with a match that will likely last until noon, and possibly beyond. Then they will only get a few hours of rest before picking back up at 4 p.m.

Senior Barbora Michalkova said preparation for the physical toll of two games in a day starts before they step foot on the court.

“It’s a lot about the day before, and the whole week before, because we have to drink a lot of water, we have to eat well and sleep enough,” Michalkova said. “It’s [a] challenge, but I think we are able to handle it.”

WSU tennis will face Idaho State at 9 a.m. Thursday and Utah State at 4 p.m. Thursday in Logan, Utah. They will play BYU at 9 a.m. Saturday in Provo, Utah.

“We are ready to fight,” Michalkova said, “and to come home with another win.”