Apr 282010
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

Lady luck favored the CSU tennis team in Sin City Wednesday as it defeated New Mexico 5-2 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Championships.

The Rams fell behind early, losing the doubles point when New Mexico’s Manumea Durie and Kristin Eggleston defeated CSU’s Lauren Mulhern and Tori Arneson 8-2 at the No. 2 position.

“We came out a little flat in doubles,” head coach Jon Messick said. “Sometimes it’s hard to come back from that going into the singles.”

From there, CSU won five of the six singles matches, losing only at the No. 1 position, all in straight sets.

“We just had convincing wins on every court,” Messick said, “which really shows we improved from last time we played them. Plus, everyone’s playing at a good level going into the next match.”

CSU plays top-seeded Utah, ranked No. 39 nationally, today at 1:30 p.m. The Utes finished the regular season 16-6, going undefeated in conference play.
“The players really feel like they’ve got a shot at Utah,” Messick said. “They feel like they match up well against the Utah players.”

Earlier this season, Utah defeated the Rams 6-1 in Fort Collins. Since then, however, CSU has refined its doubles lineup, moving junior Caitlin Fluegge up to the No. 1 position with senior Laura Neal and sophomore Tori Arenson down to No. 2 with sophomore Lauren Mulhern.

“I feel like we’re playing better doubles right now,” Messick said.

A win would put the Rams into the semifinals against the winner of the BYUSDSU match Friday.

“Getting past Utah would be huge,” Messick said. “If that were to happen, I think the team would believe they have a shot at getting to the final.”

Tennis Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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