Apr 082010
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

Everyone appreciates coming home from a long road trip, and none more than the CSU tennis team. With their return home, the Rams will host BYU today and Utah on Saturday at the Maramount South tennis courts at 1 p.m. for both matches.

BYU (4-12) comes into the match having lost five of their last six contests. The Cougars began their conference slate on a high note, defeating San Diego State 5-2 in Provo before losing to UNLV the next day to stand at 1-1.

McCall Jones, ranked No. 52 nationally, leads the BYU singles team with a 24-7 record in singles and is 3-2 in doubles matches with Kristina Doerr.

Last week, Doerr was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week after not losing in either singles or doubles play during her four matches that week.

“They have an outstanding player, and if she gets an award that’s fine,” CSU head coach Jon Messick said. “Over the years, with the number of times we’ve played BYU, we know what they’re like, and we know a lot about their players and we’ve never been intimidated by them.”

CSU returns to Fort Collins after playing on the road for nearly a month. So far, this season, CSU has not lost a single match at home, going 4-0, but they have not played a conference match this season at the Maramount South courts.

“It’s definitely a different environment,” sophomore Tori Arneson said. “I think we have some of the (bigger home crowds) in the Mountain West Conference.”

The team will provide free pizza for the first 30 fans who attend today’s match.

During their road trip, the Rams posted a 2-2 record. In their most recent match, the Rams lost to TCU 7-0.

“I don’t think BYU is quite as strong as TCU,” senior Laura Neal said. “We have a good chance, match up wise.”

Following today’s match, CSU plays at home against Utah Saturday and will travel south down Interstate-25 to face the Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs on Sunday.

“If you watch these guys play, they could be out here three or four hours for each match. They’re on the court the whole time,” Messick said. “It’s tough not only physically, but mentally to concentrate for three days in a row.”

Sports reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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