Cougar tennis opens conference play in Eugene

WSU will play first outdoor match of season this weekend



Sophomore Tiffany Mylonas focuses on the ball as she prepares to continue the rally during practice Thursday.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU tennis will travel to Eugene to take on University of Oregon for its first test in Pac-12 Conference play.

The Cougars are off to a 14-1 start, their best in program history, and are currently ranked No. 50 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Ducks are also ranked, sitting at No. 21 with a 9-3 record. They are undefeated at home.

Oregon will compete against University of Washington on Friday before playing host to the Cougars on Sunday.

WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart said they are excited to play outside for a change, and that competing outdoors often lengthens match time.

Rules demand matches be played outside if the weather more than 50 degrees. The expected high for the day is 65 degrees.

“I think we have a really good outdoor team,” Hart said. “It’s usually slower outside, so the points last longer, physical fitness becomes way more important … but I think that [playing outdoors] actually helps us the way we play.”

The Cougs just finished a road trip, during which they played three games in Utah and one in Boise, defeating all four teams and only surrendering one point over the six-day road trip.

Junior Aneta Miksovska said the road trip was taxing, but that she was proud of the Cougars’ performance. She said Brigham Young University was WSU’s toughest test over the four-game trip, despite the Cougars defeating BYU 4-0.

“It was hard because every day we changed hotels, every day we played in a different facility, different altitudes,” Miksovska said. “But I think we handled it pretty well.”

Hart said that their wins created a snowball effect, giving them the energy to keep playing hard over four matches.

“The more you win, the more energetic you are, the more excited you are, and then the team kind of feeds off each other,” Hart said. “I hope we kind of keep it rolling because I do think it’s definitely contagious.”

After returning from their last match in Boise, the team took two days off and resumed practicing Thursday to prepare for Oregon. They face the Ducks at 11 a.m. Sunday.

“Oregon is obviously a tough team, but from what I remember we just need to bring the energy,” Miksovska said. “Talent-wise we’re much better, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”