NCAA Womens Tennis

Alvarez Sande makes debut atop singles lineup, grabs first nationally ranked win


PULLMAN, Wash. β€” Freshman Eva Alvarez Sande (15-11) defeated 24-ranked Eryn Cayetano, 10-7, in a decisive, third-set tiebreak for the first nationally ranked singles win of her career as Washington State women’s tennis (7-5, 0-1 Pac-12) fell, 6-1, Friday at Simmelink Tennis Courts.

Alvarez Sande came out firing with a hold and a double-break to begin her first-career match playing the No. 1 spot in the Cougs’ lineup. Facing a second-consecutive deuce point on her serve, she prevailed with a huge forehand winner cross court to take the set, 6-2. After dropping a tight second set, 7-5, Sande recovered from a slow start and won three consecutive points to even the third-set breaker at 6-6 going into the second changeover.

Following a quick chat with Assistant Coach Fons Verberne, she won three of the next four points to close out the match. The freshman Spaniard then watched a forehand fly past the baseline at the end of a long rally for a 9-7 lead before outlasting No. 24 Cayetano one last time on her first match point opportunity, winning the deciding tiebreaker, 10-7.

Washington State kept the doubles point close to begin the day as Stefaniia Mikhailova and Tiffany Phout grabbed an early double break to go ahead, 3-0, on court No. 3. After the Cougs won a deuce point to even the No. 2 matchup at 4-4, USC backed up its win from its ranked No. 1 pairΒ with a 6-4 comeback win at No. 3 doubles to clinch the point.Β  USC later claimed wins at Nos. 2, 3,…

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