Cougs grab biggest upset win in program history

WSU bounces back after losing opening doubles point to secure second victory over UCLA ever

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Cougs grab biggest upset win in program history

Junior Melisa Ates moves to hit the ball during doubles play against UCLA on April 12 at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

Junior Melisa Ates moves to hit the ball during doubles play against UCLA on April 12 at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

JACQUI THOMASSON | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Junior Melisa Ates moves to hit the ball during doubles play against UCLA on April 12 at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

JACQUI THOMASSON | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

JACQUI THOMASSON | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Junior Melisa Ates moves to hit the ball during doubles play against UCLA on April 12 at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

TY EKLUND, Evergreen reporter

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In front of a Mom’s Weekend crowd, No. 42 WSU tennis secured its biggest upset in program history by defeating No. 10 UCLA 4-2 on Friday at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. 

With the victory, the Cougars (18-7, 3-6) pushed their record to 8-1 at home. This is WSU’s highest ranked win ever and only its second over the Bruins (14-6, 6-2) in the 26-match history between the two.

“I’m just so proud of our team, everyone wanted to do it for the seniors and it was so fitting that it was the seniors who got it done in the end,” Head Coach Lisa Hart said. “We’re going to enjoy this tonight then try to get refurbished and refocused tomorrow because if we come out like we did today I think we can win out.”

The Cougars brought it down to the wire in doubles play trying to get the opening point but fell just short.

Senior Aneta Miksovska and sophomore Michaela Bayerlova fell in their doubles match 6-4 but senior Tiffany Mylonas and freshman Hikaru Sato grabbed a 6-3 victory.

This meant the third match would decide who would win the opening doubles point. Freshman Yang Lee and junior Melisa Ates forced a tiebreaker against the Bruins but lost 7-6. 

Doubles play set the groundwork for what exciting events were to follow in singles play.

Lee would even the score with a quick 6-1, 7-5 victory.

Bayerlova, who lost the first set of her match, fought back in the next taking five games in a row to secure a 6-4 second set win. In the third set, Bayerlova lost the first couple games but came back to grab a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

A crazy comeback for Mylonas followed, making the day a lot more interesting for the Cougars. In the first set, Mylonas dropped the first four games and lost 2-6, but the crowd and her mother in attendance were not going to let her quit.

The second set for Mylonas was an easy one and she grabbed a 6-2 win.

It was now down to a decisive third set and Mylonas fought back from a 3-1 deficit to notch a 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 to put WSU up 3-1 on the day.

After her emotional comeback win, Mylonas stood shaking as her mother Vicky charged her along with her teammates and embraced her in a group hug.

“She started not so well but afterwards she had more confidence and she fought up to the last point,” Vicky said about her daughter. “I’m so excited because this was the first time I’ve came here to see a match.”

After calming down, Mylonas was able to share her experience of having her mom watch her play.

“I mean I think I didn’t believe it at first,” Mylonas said. “I was a match point away and I saw my mom and everyone there for me and I don’t know I just rolled with it and figured out how to win.”

After this exciting conclusion, Sato would lose her matchup after having a great first set, 6-2, 4-6, 4-6, to allow UCLA to pull the score to 3-2.

Miksovska finished her first set quickly but lost her fire and dropped the second set just a fast. 

Miksovska would then play some of her best tennis in the third set to grab the match-clinching fourth point with a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 victory.

“Third set was pretty tough because I was down then I was up and it was heartbreaking because I double faulted and I thought I wasted my chance,” Miksovska said. “But I kept playing and in the tiebreaker I played my best tennis … it was amazing, it was a dream come true.”

After Miksovska’s win, the team rushed to her, locked arms and jumped in a circle.

After they were done takings selfies and dancing to music, the players dumped water on Hart who was posing for a picture.

The Cougars will look to pull off another historic upset when they battle No. 13 USC 11 a.m. Sunday at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.