Feb 052004
 
Authors: Rob Bombard

The Colorado State women’s tennis team kicked off its spring

2004 campaign with back-to-back losses in Lincoln, Neb. The team

faced stiff competition on Saturday from Big 12 opponent Nebraska,

losing 5-2, and matched that same losing effort the following

Sunday, falling to the University of Illinois- Chicago.

“I think there is a lot we still need to work on,” said head

coach Jon Messick. “Our five and six slots really need to play to

their abilities and step it up.”

Despite the disappointing start, freshmen standouts Charity

Malone and Emily Kirchem played well both in singles competition

and as doubles teammates.

Also playing well was No. 1 singles player, Dasha Zuhrin who

closed out the weekend with a 1-1 record.

“Dasha has been playing really well, she’s been working hard and

should have a very successful spring,” Messick said.

Problems with singles play include the No. 3, 5 and 6 spots –

all lost twice over the weekend.

“We really need better play out of our singles lineup,” Messick

said. “Those girls can play much better than they did and compete

at a far higher level.”

On the doubles side of things, the freshmen tandem of Malone and

Kirchem had the lone doubles victory over UIC, winning at the No. 4

spot with a commanding score of 8-1.

“Doubles play has been a problem for us in the past, but I think

they all played pretty well together and lost some close matches,

they have improved a lot and have become more competitive,” Messick

said.

The Rams can now look ahead to improving their 0-2 record on

Feb. 13 against another Big 12 opponent in the Texas Tech Red

Raiders. The team will make the trip to a neutral site at the Air

Force Academy in Colorado Springs and hopes to build off of last

weekend’s stronger performances.

“This is a very talented team with a lot of good athletes,”

Messick said. “There are just some adjustments that need to be

made.”

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