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
“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.”