Tennis hosts second Pac-12 series against Arizona schools

WSU faces two teams this week hoping to keep undefeated home record



WSU Freshman Savanna Ly-Nguyen returns a ball during singles play against BYU Feb. 22 in Hollingbery Fieldhouse. Ly-Nguyen won her match in straight sets.

LEXI MCGONEGLE, Evergreen reporter

No. 33 WSU tennis looks to extend its undefeated home record when they host another home series against the Arizona schools starting Friday.

After a 4-0 sweep against Boise State for their final non-conference win, the Cougars (16-4, 1-2) will return to conference play for the remainder of the season before heading to the Pac-12 Championships.

On their three-game winning streak, Head Coach Lisa Hart said the Cougars turned their performance around and are well-prepared to battle this set of Arizona teams.

“The team is hungry for more,” Hart said. “We are playing some of our best tennis right now, so we need to stay the course and keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

Arizona State (8-8, 2-4) is also on a three-game winning streak after a 4-0 sweep against New Mexico State Wednesday in Tempe. However, the Sun Devils found success in only one of their road matches.

The Wildcats (9-8, 1-5) were defeated in five of their six conference matches this season and have yet to win a single road game. They tend to find most of their success at home with a 9-3 record.

WSU senior Aneta Miksovska said the team is excited about the series and believes the Cougars have a strong upper hand when it comes to contests at home.

“The fieldhouse is a tough place to compete,” Miksovska said. “It’s not a typical facility and it bugs people to play here, but it’s our house and we have the advantage.”

Last season the Cougars fell short to Arizona State 2-4 in Tempe adding to their six-year losing streak against the Sun Devils. They regained victory facing Arizona in Tucson with a 4-1 sweep.

Despite two conference losses against Colorado and Utah earlier this month, Hart said she is proud of the way the team rebounded since then.

“The mountain trip was extremely tough for us,” Hart said. “We did not play our best tennis.”

With the Cougars bounding back from a losing streak prior, both Hart and Miksovska said the ultimate goal for the remainder of the season is to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament one step at a time.

“No match is an easy match,” Hart said. “All teams in our conference are tough and there are five teams right now that are top-20 in the country, so every match is an opportunity.”

The Cougars will face Arizona State at 1:30 p.m. Friday followed by another match against Arizona at 10 a.m. on Sunday inside Hollingbery Fieldhouse.