PULLMAN, Wash. – Sophomore Maria Biryukova rallied from a set down to pull out a three-set win and lift Washington State to a 5-2 victory over No. 66 Fresno State Friday afternoon at the Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. With the win the Cougars improve to 9-1 on the season while Fresno State falls to 1-7.
After dropping the doubles point, the Cougars won at each of the first four singles to take the match. With WSU holding a 3-1 lead, Maria Biryukova was down a set and a break at No. 2 against Rana Sherif Ahmed. Biryukova rode a service break while leading 6-5 to take the second set 7-5. In the third Biryukova never trailed and on her third match point, got another break of serve to close out the win, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
Play began with doubles and Fresno State captured the opening point, rallying to take the final two matches for a 1-0 lead. At No. 1 Elizaveta Luzina and Lize Leenknecht were first off the court with an 8-4 win over Aishwarya Agrawal and Sherif Ahmed. Fresno State’s No. 2 duo of Sofya Malysheva and Tanya Murtagh evened the match with an 8-5 win over Biryukova and Olga Musilovich, moving the decisive point to No. 3. There, The Bulldogs’ Sophie Watts and Anneka Watts held off Charlotte Koning and Dajana Ognjenovic for the 8-5 win.
Leenknecht evened the score at 1 as she recorded a 6-2, 7-5 win over Agrawal at No. 3. Musilovich followed with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Anneka Watts at No. 4 and Luzina made it 3-1 as she held on for a 7-5, 7-5 win over Sophie Watts at No. 1. Watts entered the match ranked No. 41 in the nation and became the second ranked player Luzina has defeated this season. With the win the Cougar junior improves to 20-3 for the season, her third-straight year with 20-plus victories.
With the team match decided, Koning, who was up a set and down 1-3 in the second, retired at No. 6, giving Fresno State their second point. The final match on court saw Ognjenovic rally from a set down to take a 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-5) victory over Malysheva at No. 5. With the team match decided, a 10-point tiebreaker was played in place of the third set.
The Cougars are next in action Saturday when they face San Diego at The Stevens Center on the Gonzaga University campus in Spokane. Match time is set for 1 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE TENNIS
Washington State 5 def. No. 66 Fresno State 2
February 14, 2014
No. 1Elizaveta Luzina/Lize Leenknecht (WSU) def. Aishwarya Agrawal/Rana Sherif Ahmed (FSU) 8-4
No. 2 Sofya Malysheva/Tanya Murtagh (FSU) def. Maria Biryukova/Olga Musilovich, (WSU) 8-5
Order of Finish: 1,2,3
No. 1 Elizaveta Luzina (WSU) def. No. 41 Sophie Watts (FSU) 7-5, 7-5
No. 2 Maria Biryukova (WSU) def. Rana Sherif Ahmed (FSU) 5-7, 7-5, 6-4
No. 3 Lize Leenknecht (WSU) def. Aishwarya Agrawal (FSU) 6-2, 7-5
No. 4 Olga Musilovich (WSU) def. Anneka Watts (FSU) 6-1, 6-1
No. 5 Dajana Ognjenovic (WSU) def. Sofya Malysheva (FSU) 4-6, 7-6 (2), 1-0 (10-5)
No. 6 Claire Yang (FSU) def. Charlotte Koning (WSU) 2-6, 3-1 ret.
Order of Finish: 3,4,1,2,6,5