March 16, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University swept all six singles matches en route to a 6-1 upset win over No. 26 Arizona in a Pac-12 Conference tennis match Friday afternoon at Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse.
The victory by the Cougars (11-4) was its first against a ranked team this season and the highest-ranked opponent WSU has defeated since a 4-3 win over No. 23 Oregon during the 2007 season.
"I am so proud of the character our team showed today," said WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart. "After dropping the doubles point to come back and sweep the singles against a very good Arizona team says a great deal about our players."
The Wildcats (10-4) opened doubles play by sweeping all three matches for the opening point. At No. 2 Sarah Landsman and Hailey Johnson posted an 8-0 victory over Liudmila Vasilieva and Olga Musilovich at No. 2. At No. 1, the Cougar duo of Andjela Kankaras and Ksenia Googe rallied from 5-2 down to tie the match at 6-6, but the Wildcat pair of Lacey Smyth and Natasha Marks captured the final two games for an 8-6, clinching the doubles point. At No. 3 the match went to a tiebreaker where Arizona's Susan McRann and Laura Oldham saved four match points in the tiebreaker to win 8-7 (9-7) over Elisabeth Fournier and Charlotte Koning.
In singles play it was a different story. The Cougars quickly evened the match as Fournier defeated Marks, who entered the match ranked No. 85 nationally, 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2. The win was Fournier's first this season against a ranked opponent and improved her season record to 24-5.
WSU's Ksenia Googe followed with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 3 over Sarah Landsman, giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead. Googe's win was her 20th this season, the third-straight year she has posted 20-plus wins. Kankaras extended the lead to 3-1 as she recorded a 6-1, 7-5 win over McRann at No. 4.
In the feature match of the afternoon, Vasilieva, ranked No. 43, rallied for a three-set win over No. 79 Smyth, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), clinching the team match for WSU. After dropping the first set, the Cougar earned her first service break late in the second set to go up 5-4. She held serve the next game to win 6-4 and force the deciding set. After the two exchanged service breaks, Vasilieva went up 5-3, missed out on her first match point, and then trailed 5-6 before forcing a tiebreaker. In the breaker no player held more than a one-point advantage, with Vasilieva holding match points at 6-5 and 7-6, capitalizing on her third match point to close it out.
With the victory Vasilieva improved to 27-2 this season and improved to 3-1 against nationally-ranked opponents.
With the match outcome no longer in doubt, the Cougars completed the sweep as Koning defeated Oldham 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) at No. 5 followed shortly by Musilovich's 7-5, 7-5 win over Debora Castany at No. 6.
WSU returns to conference play Sunday when it hosts No. 27 Arizona State at the Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. Match time is set for 11 a.m.
WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY TENNIS
Washington State 6 def. No. 26 Arizona 1
March 16, 2012
Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse
No. 1 No. 45 Lacey Smyth/Natasha Marks (UA) def. Andjela Kankaras/Ksenia Googe (WSU) 8-6
No. 2 Sarah Landsman/Hailey Johnson (UA) def. Liudmila Vasilieva/Olga Musilovich (WSU) 8-0
No. 3 Susan McRann/Laura Oldham (UA) def. Elisabeth Fournier/Charlotte Koning (WUS) 8-7 (7)
No. 1 No. 43 Liudmila Vasilieva (WUS) def. No. 79 Lacey Smyth (UA) 2-6, 6-4 7-6 (6)
No. 2 Elisabeth Fournier (WSU) def. No. 85 Natasha Marks (UA) 6-2, 6-0
No. 3 Ksenia Googe (WSU) def. Sarah Landsman (UA) 6-1, 6-3
No. 4 Andjela Kankaras (WSU) def. Susan McRann (UA) 6-1, 7-5
No. 5 Charlotte Koning (WSU) def. Laura Oldham (UA) 6-2, 7-6 (4)
No. 6 Olga Musilovich (WSU) def. Debora Castany (UA) 7-5, 7-5