WSU faces two Pac-12 foes after eight-game road trip

Cougars return home after dropping only second match this year


EZEKIEL NELSON | Daily Evergreen File

WSU junior Tiffany Mylonas plays against an Idaho opponent on Jan. 20 at the Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

No. 31 WSU tennis will welcome two Pac-12 teams to Pullman this week. First up is University of Utah on Friday, with a battle against University of Colorado, Boulder, on Sunday.

WSU senior Barbora Michalkova said the team is very excited to be back in Pullman.

“We will have our own courts, own facility, own fans,” Michalkova said, “It’s always great to play in front of your people.”

Cougar tennis is 17-2 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 matches this season and they are led by freshman Michaela Bayerlova, who is the No. 43 ranked singles player in the nation.

The Cougars’ two opponents have had less success so far. The Utes are 9-7 and 1-3 in Pac-12 play and the Buffaloes are 8-5 and 1-2 in the conference.

Michalkova and her teammates just finished a trip down to the Golden State where they faced University of Southern California and University of California, Los Angeles. The Cougars defeated No. 41 USC, but lost to No. 13 UCLA.

Despite upsetting No. 20 University of Oregon, who is now No. 22, earlier this season the Cougars are ranked nine spots below the Ducks. WSU also has the best overall record in the Pac-12 but is fourth in the conference standings.

Michalkova said that she believes WSU should be higher in the national rankings.

“In front of us is Oregon and we beat Oregon, so I don’t feel like it’s accurate,” Michalkova said, “It doesn’t really matter now because we care about the end of the season … I think it can always change and that we can be even higher.”

WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart said she felt that the team was deservedly in the top 35.

“I think we’re a top-30 team, our goal is to stay up in that range or higher so when NCAA selections come around we don’t want to be a bubble team,” Hart said. “The rankings kind of work themselves out as we get further in the season, to be quite honest I think we can beat anyone in the country.”

Hart and her team will face Utah at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Colorado at 11 a.m. Sunday.  The location for the matches is to be determined. If the temperature outside is below 50 degrees the matches will be held inside at Hollingbery Fieldhouse, otherwise they will be held on the WSU Outdoor Tennis Courts.