Tennis completes fall season in California


Sophomore Donika Bashota during the WSU Invitational at the Outdoor Tennis Courts, Oct. 3, 2015.

From staff reports

In a clash between northwest schools, the Washington State tennis team tried clawing its way to the podium, but could not survive the weekend in Stanford at the five-day ITA Northwest Regionals tournament.

Coming off a strong outing in the WSU Invitational, the Cougars carried their momentum into Friday’s action.

The Cougars started off strong on Day 1, advancing singles players senior Maria Biryukova, senior Trang Huynh, and sophomore Donika Bashota, as well as the doubles teams of Biryukova and Hynyh, and Bashota and senior Lize Leenknecht, to the second day.

Biryukova and Hunyh dominated in their individual matches on Friday.

Biryukova won decisively in her singles match over Sacramento State’s Emily McColl on Friday night, cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 victory, as well as a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Sophie Watts of Fresno State.

As for her doubles partner, Huynh would win her first singles match, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, over Gonzaga’s Nevada Apollo and then easily defeat Isabella vonEbee of UC Davis, 6-0, 6-1. The duo channeled their singles success en route to a dominant, 8-1 doubles victory over Portland State’s Alana Chaplin and Taylor Rees.

The doubles team of Bashota and Leenknecht took Friday night off because they had a first round bye. They were the only Cougar team to survive Saturday’s slate to make it to Sunday. Leenknecht and Bashota fought off a challenge from Santa Clara’s Chelby Cooke and Daniella Silva, winning in a nail biter by a score of 8-7(3).

Although Bashota would advance to Sunday in doubles play, she failed to do so in singles.

She started off the day strong, knocking off Stanford’s Kimberly Yee, who at one point was ranked the No.1 player by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), by a score of 6-0, 6-1. Bashota’s success came to a screeching halt when she was beaten 7-5, 6-3 by Klara Fabikova of California, ending her streak of 14 consecutive victories.

The doubles team of Biryukova and Huynh couldn’t duplicate the success they had on Friday, losing 8-2 to San Jose State’s Marie Klocker and Miyo Kobayashi on Saturday.

In their respective singles matches, both would find themselves on the losing side as well. Biryukova put up a strong effort in a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss to California’s Lyann Hoang, and Huynh could not keep the momentum going from her first victory over Jamie Pawid of St. Mary’s, eventually falling in her next match, 6-2, 6-0, to San Francisco’s Andrea Ka.

On Day 3, the Cougars remaining competitors saw their championship hopes come to an end.

Bashota and Leenknecht fell to Anneka Watts and Sophie Watts in the round of 16 on Sunday by a score of 8-6. This loss not only eliminated the pair from the tournament, but also ended its unbeaten streak of eight matches.

In consolation singles play, Biryukova, Bashota, Huynh, and freshman Barbora Michalkova all came up with victories for the Cougars, ending the tournament on a high note.

The regionals wrapped up the fall season for the Cougars. They will return to the courts for the spring season in January.

Reporting by Chase Urquhart