(CQ for all)
WSU tennis lost their first dual-match of the spring season last weekend versus the No. 49 Sacramento State Hornets in a 5-2 defeat that was much closer than the scoreboard indicated.
“Everybody felt disappointed not for lack of effort, but because we were right there and just couldn’t quite get over the hump,” senior tennis player Elisabeth Fournier said. “We look back at that match and know we could have won. We know we deserve to be in those national rankings, and we’ll keep working hard until we get there.”
If WSU beat Sacramento State they would have had a very real chance at breaking into the national rankings, however Head Coach Lisa Hart said it is not the victories, but the defeats that athletes often learn the most from.
“Our players are definitely not satisfied,” Hart said. “You can always tell a lot about a team by how they react to losses. All the girls showed up early to practice and are ready to start preparing for Nebraska. That’s a good sign.”
The Cougars will look to simultaneously take the lessons from their loss, all the while looking ahead to their first road-match of the spring season.
“It was a tough experience, but we learned a lot of things in our loss to Sac. State,” freshman Elizaveta Luzina said. “We’ve been pretty aggressive in our approach to practice since. We’re not as much disappointed about our loss, as we are excited to get a chance to beat Nebraska.”
WSU will head to Lincoln this weekend to take on the No. 29 ranked Cornhuskers on Friday as well as Miami (Ohio) in Lincoln on Saturday.
““It was a tough pill to swallow on Saturday, I think we all took a day to digest the loss,” Fournier said. “But today at practice it was just like, alright, let’s go beat Nebraska, we don’t have time to linger and think about the loss. We look at what we learned and that’s perfectly fine, but now we throw it away and head to Lincoln. There’s so much of the season still left.”
WSU’s dual-match record fell to 7-1 with the loss last weekend, but Fournier said she feels the team chemistry of the Cougars will be valuable as they enter the heart of their season.
“We’re an individual sport trying to become a team sport at the college level,” Fournier said. “We’re not worried about work ethic or chemistry on this team. The intangibles are all there, which is great because sometimes that’s not case and it’s really hard to rectify. But with this team it’s like okay, we each have specific, tangible things we can work on and everyone trusts each other to do their part.”