Gophers Off to Pullman For A West Coast Test
Feb. 21, 2018

The University of Minnesota women’s tennis team (7-3, 0-0 Big Ten) will head to the west coast for a doubleheader against Washington State and Eastern Washington.

The Gophers and the Cougars have only met one time ever, with that coming in 2014 in Missoula, Mont. Minnesota dropped that dual 4-3, coming up just short after picking up the doubles point, but falling 4-2 in singles.

The Gophers will have a tough day of competition, as they will begin play at 2:00 p.m. CT in Pullman, Wash. The Gophers will play through and take on Eastern Washington right after at 6:00 p.m.

Washington State provides a live video webcast that can be found here. Follow along live scores with Washington State's live stats page below. You can also check out the Gophers Twitter where you will also get updates and more all weekend.

Minnesota at Washington State Live Stats

Live Video Webcast

Although the Gophers dropped two straight duals for the first time this season, there were some silver linings. The doubles pair of Caitlyn Merzbacher and Mehvish Safdar picked up a pair of ranked wins over both Missouri and Memphis. In the first match, they took down No. 49 Clare Raley and Serena Nash convincingly 6-0 and then they took down the No. 54 ranked pair of Hanna Sohn and Katherine Cao on Saturday, 6-3.

"We did a good job at the top of the lineup against Missouri, and then a better job at the bottom against Memphis,” head coach Catrina Thompson said after the weekend. “Now we just need to string four points together to finish the match. It’s time for us to get back to the practice courts and get ready for two more matches on the road next weekend.”

After winning just eight singles matches in her first two seasons, Caitlyn Merzbacher has done nothing but win for the Gophers this season. She is 9-1 in singles this season, and has an 8-2 doubles record with Mehvish Safdar. Find out more about Merzbacher and Safdar’s doubles success in the feature later this week.

The Cougars will arguably be one of the toughest tests for the Gophers this season. They bring in a 7-1 record, including a 2-0 record over Big Ten opponents (7-0 over Purdue and 5-2 over Iowa). Washington State brings in one ranked player, Michaela Bayerlova, who is No. 34 as a freshman. Bayerlova has played all eight matches at the No. 1 spot, and brings in an 8-0 record.

The Eagles bring in a 3-3 record, but are 1-3 in their last four duals. Eastern Washington’s best singles player comes out of the No. 3 spot, Zoey Nelson. Nelson has a 4-2 record this season, and is also a part of the No. 2 team who is 3-3 this season. The combo of Rylee Braeden and Janaya Smith is also 4-2 this season at the No. 1 doubles spot.



The Last Meeting
Washington State4
February 1, 2014
Missoula, Mont.
Gophers Suffer First Setback Against WSU
Washington State defeated Minnesota, 4-3, in Missoula, Mont. Saturday, handing the Gophers their first loss of the season.


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