No. 39 WSU tussels with two teams in LA

After pulling off an upset victory over Oregon, Cougars hit road for a pair of conference matches



Junior Tiffany Mylonas returns a serve in a singles match against Eastern Washington on Feb. 24 at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU tennis will continue conference play when they face No. 41 University of Southern California on Friday before facing No. 13 University of California, Los Angeles, on Saturday less than 24 hours later.

Head Coach Lisa Hart said the Cougars (16-1) are prepared to face two talented teams in such a short time period and that they are focused on beating the Trojans (8-5) first.

“The number-one thing on our mind right now is USC. One match at a time is our philosophy,” Hart said. “I love how we’re competing as a team right now … not satisfied yet, still hungry.”

The Bruins (10-4) and Trojans have each played three conference games, with 2-1 and 1-2 conference records respectively. No. 39 WSU has only one conference game under its belt, an upset victory over No. 21 Oregon. The Cougars were ranked No. 50 at the time of their 4-3 win.

Looking back at the team’s last two matches against University of Portland and Oregon, Hart said she was pleased with her team’s performance, and they are looking to build off that success.

“We lost our doubles really quickly [to Oregon] but our players just battled,” Hart said. “I was super proud of our team … we’ve spent the last [week] focusing on our doubles. After Portland we were just physically and mentally exhausted. We took a few days off just getting mentally and physically fresh again.”

WSU first appeared on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings March 6 after sweeping Boise State 7-0 the day before. A week later the team jumped up to No. 35 after defeating University of Portland 5-2 and upsetting the Ducks. The Cougars dropped down to No. 39 during the break they’ve had since their last match against Portland on March 12.

The Cougars will take on USC 1:30 p.m. Friday at Marks Tennis Stadium and UCLA at noon Saturday in the Los Angeles Tennis Center. WSU has compiled an 8-1 record on the road this season, while the Bruins and Trojans each have a 6-1 home record.

Hart said the Cougars’ upcoming schedule will test her team.

“The next four weeks [are] going to be really hard,” Hart said. “[There’s] so much parity in the Pac-12, anyone can win on the right day.”