| 03.20.2018

Stopping the sweep — Idaho’s doubles duo halts Cougar sweep at WSU


The Vandal women’s tennis team had a strong showing in the WSU Cougar Classic this weekend, but the Cougars won three out of four draws on their home courts.

Junior Sophie Vickers reached the final of the Gray singles draw where she fell to WSU’s Lize Leenknecht 6-1, 6-2. Vickers beat teammate Belen Barcenilla 6-4, 6-5 before falling to Leenknecht.

Vickers also paired with Barcenilla to win the Gray doubles flight — beating another WSU duo and preventing a sweep of all the draws by the Cougars.

Heading into the tournament, coach Myriam Sopel said the field would be full of tough competition. In the Crimson singles flight, none of the Vandals made it out of the quarterfinals, with both the third-seeded Vicky Lozano and unseeded Galina Bykova falling in the round. The two paired up in the Crimson doubles draw where they made it to the semifinals before falling to a duo from Utah State.

Coach Sopel said she really liked the way the team dealt with challenging conditions over the weekend.

“On Friday, we were struggling with wind and cold conditions until about two in the afternoon,” Sopel said. “We moved indoors, going from 16 courts to four. On Saturday, we walked into the tennis center at 7:30 a.m. and left at 11:30 p.m.”

Sopel said she thinks the team made positive adjustments from their tournament last weekend. She said the team is excited to return to WSU next weekend for the first ever WSU Invitational, which will mark back-to-back tournaments in Pullman for the Vandals. Sopel said the tournament will include four teams: the Cougars, Idaho, and two teams that haven’t been announced yet. The tournament will have one day of singles play and two days of doubles play.

“It will be a little more relaxed than the WSU Cougar Classic, but we still want to do well,” Sopel said.

Andrew Deskins can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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