Jan. 20, 2011
PULLMAN, Wash. - After a challenging 2009-10 season, the women's tennis team is looking to grow while taking their play to the next level. Last season the Cougars faced 12 ranked teams, seven of which were members of the Pac-10, while posting a 12-14 record and an eighth place finish in the Pac-10 with a 1-7 record.
Entering her eighth year as WSU's head coach, Lisa Hart is looking to continue the success the Cougars had this fall.
"Our goal this season is to win every match and ultimately be selected to the NCAA Team Championships. This team was all together last year, with the exception of Olga, and we are looking to build off of last years' progress."
WSU returns all top seven players from the 2010 season, including Elisabeth Fournier and Liudmila Vasilieva, both of whom qualified for the NCAA Singles Championships. With six of nine athletes being underclassmen, the young team will continue to establish itself in the Pac-10 conference and build on past success. The Cougars will also look for leadership from seniors Jessica Gomez and Marina Nicolas.
This fall, eight of WSU's returning players finished with a winning record. Vasilieva led the field with a singles record of 9-2. Fournier advanced to the quarterfinal round at ITA Regionals. Additionally, Marina Nicolas won the Crimson Singles bracket at the Cougar Classic, her fourth consecutive year. Ksenia Googe finished second in the Gray Singles bracket. The Cougars also brought home a doubles championship from Andjela Kankaras and Ksenia Googe in the Crimson Doubles bracket.
This year's roster includes two seniors, one junior, five sophomores, and one freshman, Olga Musilovich from Moscow, Russia. Musilovich had a successful fall season, going 6-4 in singles competition while advancing to the round of 32 at the ITA Regionals.
"Olga has jumped right in and we have big expectations for her," said Hart.
The 2010-11 Cougar squad will compete against some of the top teams in the nation, with 15 opponents ranked at the beginning of the season. Six of WSU's Pac-10 opponents were ranked in the top 75 at the beginning of this season, which will present the Cougars with a challenging conference schedule.
WSU will host 14 home matches during the 2011 spring season, either at the Simmelink Tennis Courts of Hollingberry Fieldhouse or the WSU Outdoor Tennis Center.