Tennis falls to Columbia, defeats Fordham

Melisa Ates, Yang Lee win both of their double matches in New York



Sophomore Hikaru Sato looks to connect with the ball against Gonzaga on Feb. 8 at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.

Nick Oldham, Evergreen sports editor

The WSU tennis team split the first two matches of their road trip by losing to Columbia University on Sunday and beating Fordham University on Monday.

WSU (7-2) ended its four-match win streak in a close match that came down to the final point. Columbia (9-2) upset the 34th ranked Cougars to win its seventh match in a row. This was WSU’s first loss since losing to No. 1 Stanford on Jan. 26.

The team followed Sunday’s loss with a dominant 7-0 win over Fordham (3-6). Junior Michaela Bayerlova, did not participate in Monday’s match.

The Cougars earned the first point in the match on Sunday by winning two of the three doubles matches. The doubles matches were won by Bayerlova and sophomore Hikaru Sato by a score of 6-3. Senior Melisa Ates and sophomore Yang Lee won their match 6-1.

Singles competition started with Columbia’s junior Jennifer Kerr defeating Sato in two straight sets. Bayerlova followed with a win over sophomore Akanksha Bhan. Both team’s number one singles players are nationally ranked, with Bayerlova being 63rd and Bhan being 102nd.

WSU dropped its next two matches, as Columbia’s freshman Shivani Amineni beat Ates, T-107th ranked, and sophomore Melissa Sakar beat sophomore Savanna Ly-Nguyen.

The fifth singles match was WSU’s freshman Pang Jittakoat beating freshman Michelle Xu to tie the team match 3-3.

The deciding match was played by Lee and Columbia’s freshman Julia Haynes. Haynes won the tiebreaker in the third set to give Columbia the victory over WSU.

Both of the Cougars losses have come on the road this season as they maintain their 6-0 record at home and 1-0 record at neutral sites.

The Cougars came into Monday morning ready to get back in the winning column, as they did not lose a single set against Fordham.

Doubles contests against Fordham were won by Ates and Lee 6-0, and Sato and freshman Carla Quadflieg 6-4.

All six singles contests were won despite not having Bayerlova. Matches were won by Sato, Ly-Nguyen, Ates, Jittakoat, Lee and Quadflieg.

Columbia will play at home against St. John’s University on Friday, and Fordham will travel to play the New Jersey Institute of Technology on March 6.

The Cougars will fly back across the country to California to take on the University of San Diego at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and the University of California Santa Barbara at 11 a.m. on Saturday.