In what has been a rough conference season thus far, the CSU tennis team has two more chances to pick up its first Mountain West Conference win this weekend.
The Rams travel up Highway 287 Friday to take on Wyoming. The Cowgirls are 11-8 this season but have only managed one win in conference so far to go along with five losses.
â€œTheyâ€™re a good team even though theyâ€™ve only won one match in the conference,â€ CSU coach Jon Messick said. â€œThatâ€™s going to be a tough match for us.â€
CSU has lost six out of its last seven matches, with its only win coming 4-3 at Northern Colorado. During the stretch, Messick said the fact the team played so poorly overall is even more troubling than the losses.
â€œIn our last win we didnâ€™t feel like we played very well, and it almost didnâ€™t feel like we won,â€ he added.
The players are also beginning to feel the weight of frustration due to the lack of success.
â€œIt deeply affects us,â€ senior Caitlin Fluegge said. â€œSome of us have been pretty self destructive when weâ€™re playing out there. Weâ€™re beating ourselves up when we play sometimes.â€
Despite the negativity in the past weeks, the Rams remain optimistic going into this weekendâ€™s matches. Following the match against Wyoming, CSU will return home to play the Air Force Academy on Saturday at the University Tennis Center in Fort Collins.
â€œBoth teams this weekend are definitely beatable,â€ senior Melissa Holzinger said. â€œWe did have that rough patch, but I feel like now because weâ€™re closer to home weâ€™ll have more of an advantage.â€
Saturdayâ€™s home match against Air Force will be Senior Day for CSU, and the Rams will honor three seniors during intermission. The Falcons have compiled a 15-9 record but only won three out of their last 10 matches. First serve is set for 1 p.m. and free pizza will be provided.
â€œ(Being able to close out the season at home) is definitely a plus for us,â€ Messick said. â€œWe always have good fans, so to play our last match at home and win it in front of our fans is really important to us.â€
Tennis Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._