| 03.18.2018

Falling into routine — Women’s tennis to play at WSU for second straight week


After highlighted achievements by the women’s tennis team in the Cougar Classic last weekend, the Vandals return to Pullman from Friday to Sunday for the Washington State Invitational.

Highlights from the Cougar Classic included junior Sophie Vickers who reached the singles championship match and worked with Belen Barcenilla to win in the Gray flight doubles match.

“Sophie was injured last year so she couldn’t contribute as much as I would have wanted. But she’s definitely a great part of this team and a strong asset for us and she proved it this past weekend by playing a strong tournament,” Idaho coach Myriam Sopel said.

Sopel is in her second season as coach with a 13-12 record and an experienced 2012-13 squad. The Vandals have one freshman,  two sophomores, a junior and five seniors on the team.

“We have a new freshman who has been doing very well, so I think we’re going to have a good year if we keep our objective in line and we work really hard as we’ve been doing,” Sopel said. “We should be doing well and we’ve been showing that since the beginning of the semester.”

Freshman Galina Bykova, from St. Petersburg, Russia,  was ranked No. 76 in Russia in the women’s open and No. 536 in ITF world juniors before joining the Vandals. Bykova reached the singles quarter-finals at the Cougar Classic winning her first two matches. She also performed well in the BSU Fall Invitational in Boise on Sep. 22. Bykova won the first three singles matches in her first appearance as a Vandal.

Vandal star player, returning senior Victoria Lozano, also made it to the quarterfinals in singles last week and she had another solid finish last year at 16-12 in singles play and 21-7 in doubles.

The Vandals are back and ready to continue a fall season that has already featured some personal accomplishments going into the season and personal growth going into The Washington State Invitational Friday through Sunday.

“We need to show the intensity we’ve been showing and keep working. It’s really tournament preparation for the rest of the fall for the spring season and I expect the same intensity from the girls and they’re all going to have nice opportunities against Washington State girls again,” Sopel said. “Get some revenge for some matches that we lost really closely last weekend. I think the girls have a good attitude and willingness to do well, we’re just going to have a good tournament.

Aaron Wolfe can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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