Senior reaches peak performance in final season

Michalkova ends her WSU career as a player, will continue pursuing degree



Senior Barbora Michalkova pulls back to return the ball during her match against California on April 14 a Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

Senior Barbora Michalkova’s time on the tennis court has come to an end.

The Czech Republic native has finished her NCAA eligibility. Michalkova said she will miss everything about playing for the Cougars, especially her teammates, who she shares a close bond with.

However, Michalkova has found a way to stay connected with the team next year as she finishes her degree. She will return to help the team as a student assistant and to mentor the younger players.

“She’ll be around to help our team,” Head Coach Lisa Hart said. “I think it will be really helpful for the younger kids.”

Michalkova is a sport management major, and although she is a “senior” on the team, she is essentially a junior in credits. This is because she chose to take a gap year after high school.

She doesn’t have post-graduation plans yet, but she feels she found a perfect fit with her major.

“My whole life has been around sports, so I think it’s the right spot [for me],” Michalkova said. “I want to continue being around tennis.”

Although she can no longer play competitively for WSU, she said she won’t be leaving tennis behind. She plans to continue to play in tournaments, and she wants to play for a club team in Germany.

Looking back at her career as a Cougar, it seems Michalkova played her best tennis in her final season.

She was an integral part of what might be the best tennis team WSU has ever fielded, as the team set a school win record with 21 victories over the course of the season.

Michalkova finished her senior year 25-11 in singles, highlighted by a victory against a nationally ranked opponent when she defeated the No. 42 player from Stanford.

Hart said it was an honor to mentor Michalkova during her time on the team, adding that she enjoyed watching her play in her final year.

“She is a really special person, it’s been really fun to watch her grow,” Hart said. “I think her tennis has really evolved over the years and she’s playing her best tennis right now, so that’s kind of fun seeing a senior ending that way.”