THIS WEEK: The Cougars continue their four-match swing away from Pullman with a pair of matches this weekend, playing at Montana Friday and against Minnesota Saturday. Friday’s match against Montana will be played at the Peak Racquet Club in Missoula. Match time is set for 1 p.m. local, noon Pacific. The Cougars are 28-4 all-time against Montana, which finished last season 15-8 and are picked to finished second in the Big Sky Conference in 2014. Minnesota enters Saturday’s match, to be played at 9 a.m. PT, with a 4-0 record this season. Last weekend the Gophers posted back-to-back 7-0 victories over North Dakota and South Dakota State. The Gophers are led by junior Tereza Brichacova, who is ranked T-65th in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s singles ranking. Saturday’s match marks the first meeting between the two schools.
LAST WEEK: The Cougars split their two matches in Hawaii, falling to Hawaii Pacific 4-3 then rebounding for a 4-3 win over Hawaii the following day. At Hawaii Pacific the Cougars took the doubles point then had victories from Elizaveta Luzina and Olga Musilovich. Against Hawaii, WSU again took the doubles point along with wins from Maria Biryukova, Olga Musilovich and Charlotte Koning. Koning’s victory at No. 5 singles clinched the win for WSU.
FALL RECAP: The Cougars finished the fall season with a combined 38-7 singles record. Junior Elizaveta Luzina led the way by finishing 11-2, including the Crimson singles title at the Cougar Classic. Sophomore Dajana Ognjenovic was 10-2 and captured the third flight of the WSU Invitational. Sophomore Maria Biryukova went 9-1 and won the Boise State Invitational and WSU invitational singles titles while sophomore Lize Leenknecht went 8-2 and captured the Cougar Classic and WSU Invitational second flight singles titles.
ROSTER BREAKDOWN: For the 2014 season the Cougars will have five new faces to go with five returners. The returning roster includes senior Olga Musilovich, juniors Elizaveta Luzina and Charlotte Koning and sophomores Lize Leenknecht and Dajana Ognjenovic. New to the squad this season are sophomore Maria Biryukova, who arrived in Pullman last fall after transferring from Baylor, senior Emily Funabiki, a Pullman native who arrived at WSU in January after graduating from Willamette, and freshmen Victoria Matejevic, Evie Li and Yumi Li.
LAST SEASON IN REVIEW: Washington State finished off dual match play with a 14-12 overall record and 2-8 in conference play in 2013. The Cougars finished eighth in a very competitive Pac-12 conference that had the top seven teams finishing with national rankings. Departed from that team were three seniors who finished their Cougar careers ranked among the all-time wins leaders in school history. Liudmila Vasilieva ended her career with 107 wins, one shy of Elizabeth Fournier’s leading mark of 108. Ksenia Googe left Pullman with 92 career wins, good for third all-time, while Andjela Kankaras ended her career with 87 victories, tied for fifth all-time.
COACH HART: Lisa Hart is in her 11th season as the head coach of Washington State. Hart has accumulated 123 wins over her tenure, registering a 14-12 record last season. In 2012 the Cougars went 19-7 as Hart was awarded the Pac-12 Conference Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year award for the 2011-12 season.
PARKING AT HOLLINGBERY FIELDHOUSE: Fans coming to Cougar Tennis matches this season can park in the Yellow 1 parking lot located directly south of Beasley Coliseum. There will not be any charge for parking on weekends, and daily passes can be purchased for weekday contests. Another option for tennis fans to park would be the Library Garage. The garage costs $3 for the entire day to park on either a Saturday or Sunday.