Sep 192002
Authors: Joelle Milholm

The CSU tennis team is geared up for its first tournament of the fall season, which is set for today through Sunday at the University of Denver Invitational.

The Rams will be one of four teams participating, including the University of Colorado, Denver University and the Air Force Academy.

CSU sophomore Dasha Zhurin has high hopes for the team as she enters her second year.

“We have been practicing for three weeks and we have three new players,” Zhurin said. “We should be ready for this weekend. The team is looking solid.”

The tournament is the first of four that will take place this fall, which is preseason practice for the regular season that starts in February. Head coach Jon Messick looks at the fall season as a way to evaluate the team.

“It helps us get a feel for possible lineups and mix players around to see where they fit in best. It is a great way for our players to relax and see where they stand,” Messick said.

CSU lost three seniors last year, but the team is very optimistic about the new recruits.

“I believe our overall talent is better this year,” Messick said. “We may be young, but I have high expectations for them this season.”

The six-player roster is made up of one senior, Sanja Hannson, and returning sophomores Zhurin and Alexandra Paganetti. Jessica Jones and Carla Pallares are the freshman additions and sophomore Tatyana Ugorich also joins the team after transferring from Illinois State.

So far Pallares enjoys playing for CSU.

“Practices have been going good. It is a lot of fun, but it is a lot of hard work,” Pallares said.

This year looks to be very promising for the Rams partly because of their schedule. This year they will have home court advantage with six home matches in the spring compared to only one last year.

Upcoming matches this Fall include the Brigham Young University Invitational Sept. 26-28, the Drake Invitational Oct. 17-19 and the Omni Hotels Regional Championships in Tulsa, Okla. Oct. 23-27.

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