Cougars get revenge on Golden Bears

WSU fought back from 3-1 deficit to advance to Pac-12 semifinals


EZEKIEL NELSON | Daily Evergreen File

Junior Aneta Miksovska plays against Montana State University on Jan. 20 in the Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

No. 48 WSU tennis took its 21st win of the season in the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday, which Head Coach Lisa Hart said would be vital to earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Its first match gave the team a second chance at University of California, Berkeley, which defeated the Cougars 4-3 in Pullman less than a month ago.

Hart said before the match that she was excited to get revenge against Cal, but also for a chance at a bid for the NCAA Tournament, which the team last attended in 2012. WSU sat one win below Hart’s goal of 21 before defeating the No. 45 team 4-3 in a match that came down to the wire.

WSU started by capturing the doubles point, but the Golden Bears quickly came back and scored three straight points in singles to lead the Cougars 3-1. In danger of losing their rematch with Cal, WSU started fighting back.

Sophomore Melisa Ates was the first Cougar to score a singles point in the match. WSU needed to win both remaining matches to walk away victorious, and both freshman Michaela Bayerlova and junior Tiffany Mylonas forced a third set to keep the Cougars hopes alive.

No. 26 Bayerlova lost the first set 7-6 and at one point was down 5-1 in the second set. However, she managed to turn it around and force a third set, which she won, tying the overall score of the match at 3-3.

The Cougars’ Pac-12 fate now sat on the shoulders of Mylonas.

She lost the first set 6-3, but after taking the second set narrowly by 7-6, she forced a decisive third set. The last set came down to a tiebreaker, where Mylonas defeated junior Maria Smith to clinch the win and advance WSU to the semifinals.

The Cougars will now take on No. 1 seed Stanford University at 1 p.m. Friday at Ojai Valley Athletic Club in California.