The Rams tennis team started what looks to be a promising 2003-2004 campaign after a strong showing against in-state rivals Colorado and Denver at the Colorado Challenge this weekend.
The fall season may be used as a time of preparation and fine-tuning for spring league play, however the team treated it as they would any other regular season tournament playing with intensity and focus.
The Rams split a set with host team DU and dominated an unprepared Buffs singles lineup winning six of eight.
“Our players showed a lot of resilience and maturity out there. The girls came from behind in four matches to finally come back and win,” said head coach John Messick. “It was pretty unusual to have that kind of a comeback happen, but it shows the determination of these girls.”
Because it was a fall tournament, there is no score kept for team play. However, scores are kept for individual players for consideration for rankings and season awards.
The tournament was set up as a “mock-duel” where the team faced the singles and doubles lineups from CU and DU.
Freshman and Oregon native, Emily Kirchem played well beating a regionally ranked opponent in the number three singles tier.
“Emily played excellent this weekend beating a very tough opponent,” Messick said. “That kind of performance from a freshman is always exciting, she showed a lot of promise.”
The No. 5,6,7 singles slots also won their sets against the Pioneers and ended splitting the match in a 4-4 tie.
“We’ve been struggling a lot with our doubles combos, so to see the way the girls came together and played the way they did was very pleasing,” Messick said. “We mixed it up a lot rotating three new players, but all things considered the doubles looked good. CU has a very strong set of doubles so the competition was tough. Next week at the BYU invitational we expect to see a lot of different doubles match-ups again so that by the end of the fall everything will be set.”
This weekend the Rams will make the trip to Provo, Utah where they will face the host team and league rival, the BYU Cougars along with other non-conference foes ranging from the Pac-10’s Washington State to Western Athletic Conference opponent Boise State.
“We had a good weekend,” Messick said. “Anytime you beat CU it feels good. We hope to carry this momentum into next weekend and hopefully answer some questions we still have with the roster.”