Apr 042005
Authors: Nate Ramos

After losing to Brigham Young and Utah in games where the Rams tennis team was plagued by injuries, the players traveled to Laramie, Wyo., with hopes of improving their conference record from 0-2 to 3-2.

But much like their previous week, injuries played a factor.

The week's first challenger was Wyoming. The game occurred on April Fools' Day, but the Rams would not be the fool against the Cowgirls. CSU got the win 4-3, but it was bittersweet because of an injury to senior Dasha Zhurin.

"Dasha Zhurin re-injured her elbow against Wyoming," said head coach Jon Messick. "She was able to play a set and a half, but we had to pull her out in the middle of the match."

With Zhurin out, the Rams players were forced to move one spot down in every match during the weekend.

On Saturday, the Rams faced the No. 37 New Mexico Lobos. The Rams players, now playing one position higher then they were scheduled for, struggled versus the Lobos. But despite the loss of Zhurin and the final score of 6-1 in favor of the Lobos, the CSU did have some success, with Emily Kirchem sliding into the No. 1 spot.

"We struggled against New Mexico," said No. 5 position tennis player Jessica Jones. "But the bright side of the match was when Emily Kirchem beat No. 64 Maja Kovacek."

Kirchem outscored Kovacek 6-2, 3-6, 10-7, moving to 12-3 on the season in dual action.

On Sunday, CSU met Air Force on the court. Air Force, who was on a four-game losing streak when it faced off against the Rams, looked to end its losing streak. But the Rams would have none of that, winning 6-1. But the match's one loss proved to be costly.

"(Jones) had a problem with her back and would have to retire against Air force," Messick said. "That was the only match we lost against Air Force and will have to see the trainer sometime (Monday)."

Zhurin, after seeing the team trainer, is listed as day-to-day. The team would like to see her play against UTEP, UNLV and San Diego State but would not like her to re-injure herself, Messick said.

CSU now stands at 11-5 (2-3 MWC) on the year and will play three-straight home matches beginning on Friday against UTEP. The first game is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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