Cougs, Huskies battle for state supremacy

WSU hopes to take down Huskies, improve conference standing


DYLAN GREENE | Daily Evergreen File

Freshman Michaela Bayerlova returns the ball to continue a rally against Stanford on April 13.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

For its last regular season match, WSU tennis will face in-state rival University of Washington in Seattle on Saturday.

WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart said the Cougars are looking forward to taking the court against their rival and possibly playing outside.

“We’re really excited. Our players have worked really hard,” Hart said. “Obviously we always get a little more excited to play Washington — nothing better than trying to win over in Seattle.”

WSU (20-5, 5-4) is coming off two losses at home to a pair of Pac-12 opponents, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. However, the team still has the most wins in the conference.

Hart said the match with the Huskies is vital for the Cougars’ standing in the conference and NCAA Tournament selection.

This season, Hart has stressed her desire to be inside what she calls “the bubble” or the top-40 teams in the country. WSU is ranked No. 40 in the country, but earlier in the year it reached 31.

“We’re 20-5 and No. 40 in the country. I think we’re right in that bubble for NCAA,” Hart said. “Saturday would be extra-special if we could get that win. Obviously you always want to beat your rival, but I think that would give us a pretty good position for NCAAs.”

UW (14-10, 4-5) is currently ranked No. 49 in the country, only nine spots behind the Cougs.

Hart said she is looking ahead to the Pac-12 Championships next week and trying to get revenge on conference teams in the tourney.

“Our players would love another chance at some of those matches that we had close losses … like a Cal or an Arizona State [University] or Stanford,” Hart said. “I’m hoping we can take care of business this weekend and then get another crack at some of those [teams].”

WSU is currently tied for fifth in the Pac-12 rankings along with University of Southern California, but Hart said she believes WSU will win a majority of the tie-breakers if it comes down to it.

The Cougars take on the Huskies starting at noon Saturday in Seattle.

“Our players just aren’t satisfied yet — they are hungry for more,” Hart said. “Fingers crossed we get it done.”