Mylonas performs under pressure

Junior grew up in Belgium where she gained a passion for tennis while learning sport from father


GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | Daily Evergreen File

Junior Tiffany Mylonas plays in a match against Colorado on Sunday at the Hollingbery Fieldhouse. She has 26 singles wins this season.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

Junior Tiffany Mylonas has only been playing for the Cougars since August, but she stands out on the tennis team as a vital piece of a 19-2 season.

The transfer from University of Louisiana at Monroe is leading the team in singles victories with 26, though she didn’t even know it.

“Do I?” Mylonas asked. “I just go on the court and I want to win … every win [is] step by step.”

Mylonas is originally from Brussels, Belgium, where she started playing tennis at a young age

She was introduced to the sport by her father and became passionate after she found success in tournaments.

Mylonas said that because all her teammates share a similar experience of being an international student, it helps her feel less homesick because they can relate to each other.

Every summer when she returns home to Brussels she keeps busy by practicing at least six hours a day and competing in tournaments every weekend.

Mylonas said that tennis gives her a feeling of competition that can’t be found outside of sports.

“When you play sports you have this intensity, the pressure, the adrenaline,” she said. “I love it.”

She said she transferred to WSU because she wanted a better school for academics and a change of atmosphere. She also said a big factor in choosing to come to Pullman was Head Coach Lisa Hart, who visited her in Belgium over the summer.

Hart said she recruited Mylonas because they felt she was a proven winner. Her sophomore season at ULM she finished with a 30-5 singles record.

Mylonas said the adjustment from Belgium to the U.S. hasn’t affected her because she keeps busy with classes, homework and a busy practice schedule.

She has one crucial ritual to pump herself up before every match: she always listens to “300 Violin Orchestra” by Jorge Quintero before she takes the court to get her adrenaline flowing.

Mylonas, along with doubles partner sophomore Guzal Yusupova, also leads the team with 16 doubles wins. This pair has been crucial to the team’s success this season in capturing the doubles point.

Hart said they feed off each other’s winning spirit.

“They love to win, they want to find a way to win every time,” Hart said. “They are willing to play however they need to play, grind out points, change the game.”