It's time to put away the snowshoes and bring out the tennis shoes. Tennis season is coming into full swing.
The CSU tennis season begins this weekend when the Rams journey to Lincoln, Neb., to challenge Creighton and Nebraska in a two separate matches. The Rams have been practicing since Saturday to prepare for the matches.
"Practices have been going very well. We leave tomorrow to play in Nebraska; we had to get ready pretty quickly," said tennis head coach Jon Messick. "I think we got good in practice. We've been practicing indoors so we have really good quality time. You never know (in) your first competition if you are ready, so hopefully we are ready,"
However, the Rams may need more than hope to surpass Creighton and Nebraska. Despite not having a pleasant fall, Creighton may still be a force to be reckoned with. The Bluejays will try to prove themselves against the Rams after having a fall in which they went 26-32 in singles play and 13-15 in doubles play.
Nebraska is are ranked No. 1 in singles play in the Central Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and is ranked No. 44 nationally. The Huskers also have senior Gitte Ostermann, who is ranked No. 19 nationally and received a No. 1 singles regional ranking for the start of the 2005 spring season. In doubles play, Ostermann and freshman Imke Reimers earned a No. 11 doubles ITA Central Regional ranking.
The Rams have spent the last five days working through practices specifically catered to counteract their upcoming opponents.
"The first thing we did was make sure that we hit a lot of balls to start with so that everyone got their timing pretty much under control. Then we started competing against each other pretty quickly because we are going to be competing on Saturday," Messick said. "We started among ourselves a little sooner then we normally would just because we are playing a little sooner (then in years past) and we started focusing on shot patterns and tactics."
After the matches, the Rams will return to Fort Collins to prepare for the New Mexico Lobos in a match on Feb. 12.