A few months after the Idaho women’s tennis team won the WAC Championships, the team returned to action over the weekend in Pullman for the Cougar Classic.
Without its top two players from last season, Idaho exceeded expectations in its first action since May. The team competes again Friday in the WSU Invitational in Pullman.
“It was exciting to watch the team play for the first time and see where we stand,” Idaho coach Mariana Cobra said. “The goal I gave them at the start of the tournament was to compete at every spot and improve every day. I think we did that.”
Fall tennis tournaments don’t factor into a team’s overall record. In fact players will often compete against each other, which was the case for the Vandals last weekend.
Belen Barcenilla and Sophie Vickers won the Gray Flight championship in doubles play for Idaho. The pair beat teammates Beatriz Flores and Lucia Badillos, 6-1.
Cobra said she was impressed by the play of Vickers, a senior from Australia. Vickers went 2-1 in singles play, losing in the semifinals of the Gray Flight to Boise State’s Sammie Watson, 3-6, 6-4, 5-7.
“Our MVP was Sophie,” Cobra said. “She competed hard in every match — singles and doubles.”
Galina Bykova, a sophomore from St. Petersburg, Russia, finished 5-1 in the tournament. Despite losing her first match, she defeated Seattle U’s Kelli Woodman (6-1, 6-2) in the semifinals of the Crimson Flight singles consolation bracket and was eventually awarded the victory via walkover.
Senior Illinois State transfer student Emmie Marx was victorious in her first action in a Vandal uniform. She beat Lewis-Clark State College’s Stephanie Buckingham 6-0, 6-3, in the Crimson Flight singles, before losing to BSU’s Teal Vosburgh.