Washington State University tennis will host four opponents this weekend in dual-match competition as they continue to try and break into the national rankings.
The Cougars will go up against Seattle University in Hollingbery Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. Friday, with a match against Portland State following at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, WSU will host both Montana State and Montana at 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. respectively.
Last weekend the Cougars were dominant in their doubleheader versus Lewis Clark State and Idaho; winning both matches 7-0. This weekend, Head Coach Lisa Hart hopes for more of the same.
“We were really happy with our performance last weekend. Everyone stepped up and played well,” Hart said. “Both of those teams are a lot better than they were last year. I think this coming weekend is going to be a huge challenge for us to have four matches in two days. That’s a lot of tennis.”
Senior Elisabeth Fournier could end up having herself a memorable weekend. With 89 career wins the Ottawa native is currently second in Cougar tennis history. Ekaterina Burduli, the team’s current assistant coach, holds the record with 90. This means Fournier could be the all-time wins leader if she wins both of her matches Friday.
“She’s an unbelievable competitor. For four straight years she gives 100 percent on the court and in the classroom,” Hart said. “She’s one of those kids that always does the right thing.”
Hart said it is her accountability to the team first, and herself second, that is really what makes Fournier so valuable.
“Obviously the record is important to her and the individual accolades she is proud of,” Hart said. “But more than anything she really wants to help this team get to the NCAA tournament. For her, that’s what will complete her career here.”
Fournier, along with junior Liudmila Vasilieva (No. 101 nationally ranked) and freshman Elizaveta Luzina (No. 123) will look to lead the Cougars to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Hart’s nine years of building the program.
“We obviously need to beat everyone we’re supposed to beat,” Hart said. “And we need to step up when we have opportunities. Beating the Sacramento State’s and the Nebraska’s. We have to beat those teams to reach our goals.”
These days, the goals of Cougar tennis are anything but small.