THIS WEEK: Washington State takes an 11-2 record into their Thursday morning match up at Boise State. The Cougars, ranked No. 51 in the latest ITA poll, have captured the last two meetings against the Broncos, including a 5-2 victory last season in Pullman. Overall the Cougars lead the series 14-7 dating back to the 1980 season. Boise State brings a 4-4 record into the match up, having lost four straight after a fast start.
LAST WEEK: The Cougars split their two matches last weekend, defeating UM-Kansas City 6-1 and falling in a hard-fought, 5-2, decision to No. 64 Houston. Against Houston, WSU dropped the doubles point, won the first two completed singles matches, but three, three-set matches went Houston’s way for the 5-2 win. In the UMKC match the Cougars swept the doubles point then won the top five singles en route to the victory.
WSU MOVES UP IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: After entering the national rankings last week, the Cougars improved eight spots this week as they moved up to no. 51 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. In addition to the team moving up, junior Elizaveta Luzina appeared in the singles poll, checking in at No. 116.
COUGARS APPROACHING 20-WIN MARK: While junior Elizaveta Luzina leads the team with 22 singles victories this season, three others are also approaching the 20-win plateau. Sophomores Maria Biryukova, Lize Leenknecht and Dajana Ognjenovic all stand at 18 wins with more than half the season remaining. Last weekend Biryukova and Leenknecht, who have gone back and forth at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, swept their singles matches against Houston and UM-Kansas City.
LUZINA NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WSU junior Elizaveta Luzina was named the Pac-12 Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week for Feb. 11-17. Luzina won both of her singles matches to help the Cougars post back-to-back wins over nationally-ranked Fresno State (No. 66) and San Diego (65). In Friday’s victory, Luzina won two hard-fought sets as she defeated the nation’s 41st-ranked player, Sophie Watts, 7-5, 7-5. It marked the highest-ranked opponent Luzina has defeated while at Washington State. The following afternoon she needed a first-set tiebreaker before completing the 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 win over San Diego’s Shani Blecher. Luzina is the first Cougar to receive Player of the Week honors since Liz Fournier did so March 19, 2012.
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 (captain) 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.
COACH HART: Lisa Hart is in her 11th season as the head coach of Washington State. Hart has accumulated 134 wins over her Cougar tenure, and 179 in her career that includes three years as head coach at Virginia Tech. 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.
LIVE STATS: Fans wishing to follow Cougar home contests on line can go to wsucougars.com to get live stats throughout each match.
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.