Oct 212003
Authors: Rob Bombard

After another solid showing at the Lloyd Stockstad Invitational

last weekend at Drake University in Iowa, the CSU tennis team

leaves for Salt Lake City where they send six players to the

International Tennis Association Regional tournament hosted by the

University of Utah.

The tournament is comprised of over 30 teams from the Central

region covering the Big 12, Mountain West, Big Sky and Western

Athletic conferences. The competition begins Wednesday where four

Rams will try to qualify for the main draw tournament later on in

the week. The tournament determines individual players’ spring

rankings and also plays into the NCAA tournament selections later

in the spring.

“We just want to play as much tennis as possible,” said head

coach Jon Messick, “The tournament is single elimination and I just

want to see these girls go as far as they can and get a chance to

see the competition out there.”

About 135 players are expected at the tournament, providing the

added incentive of getting exposure before the off-season.

“We want to use this tournament to measure ourselves and see how

we stack up against these other programs,” Mesick said. “Heading

into the off-season it will be good to see what works and what we

need to improve on. We’ve been doing that all season, but I think

the girls will be prepared to do well this weekend and show some

people how talented of a team we are.”

The Rams not only have the talent to have a successful spring

campaign, but a young team as well that returns the entire squad

next year.

“We have all our girls coming back next year so if we can

solidify these problem doubles spots now, then there will be a lot

of time for the girls to adjust and get comfortable with their

pairings,” Messick said.

The Rams have two singles in the main draw including freshman

standout Emily Kirchem, who is seeded in the main draw, along with

junior teammate Dasha Zhurin.

The other four girls have to qualify for a main-draw bid on the

first day of the tournament on Wednesday.

“This will be a great chance for our team to get some exposure

and see how we compete in this kind of situation,” Messick


The Rams’ tennis team kicks off the spring season Jan. 30 in

Lincoln, Neb., against the Cornhuskers.

“The off-season should be very productive for our team,” Messick

said. “We know what we need to do to prepare for a successful

spring. These girls are focused and aren’t afraid to work.”





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