Cougars to brawl on the courts at BYU Invitational

From staff reports

With momentum leading the way after a strong showing at the Cougar Classic, Washington State’s women’s tennis team will head to Provo, Utah today to compete in the BYU Invitational.

Head Coach Lisa Hart was pleased with how her team performed in the Cougar Classic and said the performance will give her team an edge at the BYU Invitational.

“I expect the competition to be a little bit higher, but I like that we have the same format of one draw for singles and one draw for doubles so our goal remains the same. To win both singles and doubles,” Hart said.

The Cougars are sending eight players to Provo, including sophomore Donika Bashota, who won the singles and double brackets at the Cougar Classic. Her doubles partner, senior Lize Leenkecht, will also make the trip.

Both Bashota and senior Trang Huynh are seeded in the singles bracket – third and fourth, respectively – and Bashota and Leenkecht represent the No. 2 seed in the doubles bracket.

This will be the first time during the 2015-16 season that the Cougs will play away from their home courts. Hart said tackling this challenge early in the season is critical for her younger players’ development.

“You are sleeping in a different bed,” Hart said. “It is a curious altitude to deal with. The ball will fly a little bit more, but our players are ready. They are doing their normal routine and stuff. So, I expect that they will be ready for it.”

In spite of the difficulties that come with playing on the road, Hart said she and her team are looking forward to playing outside of Pullman this weekend.

“In a way I feel like it is easier to focus when you are on the road,” Hart said. “You don’t have the stuff at home to deal with.”

The BYU Invitational begins at 9:30 a.m. today in Provo, Utah and will last through Saturday.

Reporting by Alex Clark and Dustin Brennan