Two for two: tennis wins both brackets in Cougar Classic

In its first tournament of the year, the Washington State University women’s tennis team took first in both brackets.

The Cougars wrapped up the Cougar Classic with first place finishes in both the singles and doubles tournaments.

“That was our goal coming into the tournament,” Head Coach Lisa Hart said. “Obviously, we accomplished that. I am really proud of our players and I think all of our players are playing really well right now.”

Sophomore Donika Bashota stole the show as she won the singles tournament against freshman Sophie Whittle from Gonzaga University by a score of 7-5, 6-4. She also won the doubles tournament alongside senior Lize Leenknecht.

“I knew that I had a chance,” Bashota said. “But I knew that I had to work really hard and play really good to win. I didn’t play my best, but I did find my way to win.

Hart had high praise for her sophomore team leader.

“Honestly, kind of expected,” Hart said. “She was the best freshman last year ever in school history, so I am really excited that she is continuing to grow and improve and get to that next level.”

Leenknecht, Bashota’s doubles partner, said she was pleased with how the duo played throughout the tournament.

“We have been working hard, last year as well,” Leenknecht said. “We played a little bit together last year at the end, so we knew how to play with each other so that’s always fun to start the first tournament and of course winning is a great feeling.”

Leenknecht and Bashota won the finals of the doubles bracket against the team of senior Samantha Polayes and Whittle from Gonzaga, 7-6.

This was the first tournament of the fall season for WSU. Hart said she was proud of what her team did in the Cougar Classic. She also said the Cougs can use this experience to get ready for the rest of the fall and upcoming spring seasons.

“I think we have some things to work out,” Hart said. “Some things as a team we need to work on. We haven’t had the chance to work on doubles as much as we want to, so we want to keep improving on that. Also, just some strategic things on singles. I was really impressed by how we competed as a team. I think we need to fine tune a few things and then we will be awesome.”

WSU will next head to Provo, Utah for the BYU Invitational, which begins on Thursday.