It’s been a year to remember for WSU tennis star Michaela Bayerlova. The fifth-year senior known as Misa was named the WSU student-athlete of the month in February, picked up a win over the nation’s 14th ranked player back in early April and, just a week later, earned the honor of Pac-12 scholar-athlete of the year. But, after that red-hot run, she wasn’t ready to stop just yet.
Earlier this week, Bayerlova started play in the NCAA Singles Championship in Champaign, Illinois. It’s her third trip to the tournament, tying a program record for WSU. She won a match in each of those previous two appearances, but this year she was able to take things a step further.
On Monday, 36th ranked Bayerlova topped 37th ranked Eden Richardson in a dominating performance. Bayerlova never trailed in the match and dispatched of her opponent in just over an hour to punch her ticket to the second round for a third time in her career. Then, on Tuesday, Bayerlova kept things rolling with another big win in the second round. She knocked off ninth ranked Chloe Beck from Duke 7-5, 6-2 to punch a ticket into the Sweet 16.
With her second win in two days, Bayerlova becomes the first WSU player to ever reach the third round of the NCAA Singles Championship. That honor also means that she will earn All-America status from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association next month, another first for Cougar tennis.
“It has been fun to watch Misa’s performance at the NCAA’s so far,” WSU Head Coach Raquel Atawo said via a university release. “Not only is she getting the wins, she is composing herself despite nerves and the emotions that high-level athletes experience, and still able to play some of her best tennis. It is so well deserved, after a year of hard work and dedication. Although we are still playing and looking forward to a long tournament, we couldn’t be prouder of Misa’s historical year as a Coug!”
As Atawo mentioned, the road is far from over for Bayerlova. The fifth-year senior now sits at 19-2 on the season overall and is getting ready for another showdown later this morning. Bayerlova will take on North Carolina’s Carson Tanguilig at 9 a.m. in the round of 16. Tanguilig is ranked 51st in the nation and is fresh off of an upset win over her own over Mississippi’s Sabine Machalova on Tuesday.
Bayerlova Cruises into Round of 16 at NCAA Championship - Washington State University Athletics
By reaching the Round of 16, Bayerlova becmes the first player in program history to earn All-America honors.
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