WSU women’s tennis resumes Pac-12 play this weekend

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WSU women’s tennis resumes Pac-12 play this weekend

Senior Olga Musilovich returns a volley during a match against Pepperdine at the WSU Outdoor Tennis Cener April 3.

Senior Olga Musilovich returns a volley during a match against Pepperdine at the WSU Outdoor Tennis Cener April 3.

Senior Olga Musilovich returns a volley during a match against Pepperdine at the WSU Outdoor Tennis Cener April 3.

Senior Olga Musilovich returns a volley during a match against Pepperdine at the WSU Outdoor Tennis Cener April 3.

Jonah Simental | Evergreen tennis reporter

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Two top-10 ranked tennis programs will be in Pullman for a showdown against No. 47 Washington State women’s tennis Saturday.

The Cougars (16-8, 2-5 Pac-12) will resume Pac-12 play when they face off against the No. 6 ranked California Golden Bears (14-4, 7-0 Pac-12) and No. 7 ranked Stanford Cardinal (14-1, 6-1 Pac-12).

“We are capable of competing at an extremely high level, and we just want to make sure we are ready to play and compete hard,” WSU tennis Head Coach Lisa Hart said.

The Cougars enter this weekend on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Washington Huskies Friday and defeating the Denver Pioneers on Wednesday.

WSU junior Elizaveta Luzina has recently made a jump in the ITA singles rankings. Luzina climbed from No. 106 to No. 72 with wins against a plethora of ranked opponents, including Pepperdine’s junior Lorraine Guillermo who was ranked at No. 25 at the time.

“Liza has had a goal of making the individual NCAA tournament all year,” Hart said. “Capitalizing on the opportunities on Saturday will definitely put her in a great position to be selected for the NCAA individual singles tournament. She has competed extremely well against top-20 players this year, and I have no doubt Saturday won’t be any different.”

Facing the Cougars will be a slew of high-ranked singles players as well as doubles teams from California and Stanford. Four tennis players from California as well as every player from Stanford are ranked in the top-50 in the nation. Stanford’s roster includes No. 2 ranked senior Kristie Ahn, and when teamed up with No. 28 freshman Carol Zhao, they make up the 10th-ranked best doubles team in the nation.

“I predict these two teams will both end the year ranked top 5 in the country, and it is very likely one of them will win the national championship,” Hart said. “However, it is a great opportunity for us to play them at home. We are focusing on controlling the things we have control over.”

The action kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday with a match against the Golden Bears and a 2 p.m. match against Cardinal.

“We understand that on Saturday this will be a large feat, but this particular team is capable of winning, and they absolutely are expecting to win,” Hart said.