After ending its winning streak and falling to 0-2 in conference play, the CSU tennis team looks to improve its conference record with three games this weekend in Laramie, Wyo.
"One team I would really like to see us beat is Wyoming," said sophomore Emily Kirchem.
Kirchem will get a chance to fulfill this goal with the team's first game of the weekend. On Friday the Rams will challenge Wyoming. Rams tennis has historically been the better team and holds an overall 9-3 record against Wyoming. The team has a 9-4 overall record this season. Wyoming has a 7-7 overall record this season and is 0-2 in conference play.
After Wyoming, the next contest – and perhaps the most challenging this weekend – will occur on Saturday when the Rams face the No. 37 New Mexico Lobos. So far this season, the Rams have been shutout against the two nationally ranked teams they have played (No.35 Wisconsin and No. 26 Brigham Young). New Mexico is 10-7 overall this season with a 2-0 conference record.
But the Rams do have a plan for challenging the Lobos.
"First we need everyone to be healthy and play their positions," said head coach Jon Messick. "Once we do that, I think we will be able to really challenge these nationally ranked teams."
In 15 regular season meetings, the Lobos have beaten the Rams every game and in their last game beat CSU 7-0. The Lobos also have this week's Mountain West Conference Player of the Week Maja Kovacek, who is ranked No. 64 nationally for singles and No. 8 along with teammate Iva Gersic for doubles competition.
After playing the Lobos the Rams will end their weekend by playing Air Force. On Sunday the Rams will take on the Falcons in their last conference game of the week. The Falcons are 8-9 overall this season with a 0-2 conference record. The Falcons are on a three-game losing streak. Air Force is looking to rebound after a 7-0 loss to No. 35 UNLV and a 6-1 loss to San Diego State. CSU is 8-5 all-time versus the Falcons.
Dasha Zhurin and Anne Anderson, who became injured in last week's play, are expected to play this weekend. On Monday they were feeling better, Messick said.
After this series of games, the tennis team will return home for four games. The first will be against Texas-El Paso on Friday.