THIS WEEK: Washington State will host a doubleheader Friday as they face No. 64 Houston at 10 a.m. followed by Missouri-Kansas City at 3 p.m. at the Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. Houston brings a 5-1 mark into the match, with four of the five losses coming against ranked teams. Hosuton has two players nationally ranked, No. 122 Elena Kordolaimi and No. 125 Despoina Vogasari. UMKC enters the weekend with a record of 3-5.
LAST WEEK: The Cougars cruised by a pair of nationally-ranked programs, defeating No. 66 Fresno State 5-2 followed by a 5-2 win against No. 65 San Diego in Spokane. After dropping the doubles point against Fresno State, WSU captured five singles matches, including Maria Biryukova’s match-clinching 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 win against Fresno State. Against USD, the Cougars’ won the doubles point then saw Charlotte Koning clinch the team victory with a straight-set win at No. 6 singles.
WSU ENTERS NATIONAL RANKINGS: Washington State entered the national rankings for the first time this season, coming in at No. 59 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. The Cougars appear in the rankings for the first time since being No. 70 on April 9, 2013.
COUGARS OFF TO FAST START: Washington State is off to a 10-1 start this season, its best start to a season since the Cougars began the 1983 campaign 11-1.
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. The weekend continued a great start for Luzina, who saw her singles record improve to 21-3 overall and 10-1 in dual match play, all at the No. 1 position. 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 133 wins over her Cougar tenure, and 178 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.