February 16, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State women's tennis team is ready to shake off any memories of its last visit to Las Vegas.
After making their first NCAA tournament appearance last season, the Cougars' postseason run abruptly ended with a loss to then No. 30 ranked Nevada-Las Vegas 1-5 at the NCAA West Regionals.
However, WSU isn't shouldering the weight of the loss any longer. With their sites set on the future, the No. 52 ranked Cougars (1-3) hope to snap an 0-6 all-time record versus No. 31 UNLV.
"We are continuing on a high from our New Mexico win," WSU coach Cari Groce said. "We are playing solid from top to bottom and are feeling really confident. They are not the same team as last year."
The Lady Rebels (3-2) host WSU, Fresno State, and Tulsa this weekend in a three-day tournament at the Frank and Vicki Fertitta Tennis Complex.
Tulsa (1-1) is the only team this weekend that the Cougars have never met in its 16-year history. The No. 63 ranked Golden Hurricane is led by senior Anousjka Van Exel, who is ranked No. 5 in the nation in singles competition. Groce was head coach at Tulsa in 1991.
No. 38 Fresno State (2-2) is no stranger to the Cougars. Last year, WSU captured its first dual win against the then No. 27 ranked Bulldogs to put the all-time record at 1-5 versus the regional opponent.
"There is going to be some good tennis this weekend," Groce said. "We are looking to beat teams ahead of us in the rankings and if that happens, everything will be for the better."
Tennis Recap ... The Cougars upset No. 29 New Mexico with an 8-1 win on Saturday, Feb. 13 in Seattle ... Sophomore Erica Perkins (Seattle, Wash.) defeated yet another nationally ranked opponent at No. 1 singles beating No. 60 Ana Friganovic 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 ... Notes ... With the exciting win over the Lobos, WSU coach Cari Groce (91-69) needs three more victories to become WSU's winningest tennis coach in school history ... Sound bite ... WSU fell to rival Washington 1-8 on Feb. 14, but Groce has this perspective, "Our whole world doesn't revolve around the Huskies - we have bigger fish to fry" ... Groce will be on the Tuesday press conference call at 1:30 p.m.