Apr 102003
Authors: Luke Cornish

It’s crunch time. With just four more matches before the Mountain West Conference Tournament April 24-26, the CSU tennis team will look to improve on its 1-3 record and current No. 6 ranking this weekend.

The good news for the Rams is that the rest of their games will be played on the Moby tennis courts, weather permitting. The Rams have hosted two matches this season; one last Friday when they beat New Mexico State 6-1, and the other when they beat Creighton in February.

The team plays Utah today, Brigham Young on Saturday, and then closes out conference play with Wyoming on Sunday. All those games will be played at noon. CSU will then host the University of Denver on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the last regular-season match of the season.

The Utes are currently last in the conference with an 0-5 record and they are coming off a loss to San Diego State. This will be an opportunity for the Rams to beat the Utes for the first time under head coach Jon Messick, who has gone 0-9 against Utah in his tenure at CSU.

“Utah has always given us trouble,” Messick said. “On paper, we should do well against them, but then again, we’ve always thought that.”

No. 45 BYU will be more of a challenge to the Rams. The Cougars have an 8-10 overall record and are 3-2 in MWC play. The Cougars are another team the Rams have yet to beat under Messick; they are 0-4 against them.

“If we beat Utah and Wyoming, then the match against BYU will just decide who’s fourth seed and who’s five,” Messick said. “So as long as we get wins over those two we’ll play BYU in the Championships either way.”

The Wyoming Cowgirls currently have a 7-10 overall record and are 0-4 in the conference, but will face both Utah and BYU before taking on the Rams on Sunday. The Rams do have a winning record against the Cowgirls, going 6-3 all-time.

“We’ve done fairly well against Wyoming in the past,” Messick said. “But they’ve got some new players this year and they are capable of giving us a lot of trouble if we don’t pay attention.”

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