Feb 112004
 
Authors: Rob Bombard

Following a rough start to open the 2004 tennis season, the CSU

women’s tennis team will look to rebound Friday at the Air Force

Academy in Colorado Springs against Texas Tech of the Big 12

Conference.

The team kicked off its Spring 2004 campaign with back-to-back

loses in Lincoln, Neb. The team faced stiff competition Saturday

from Big 12 opponent Nebraska, losing 5-2. They 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 (Nos.) 5 and 6 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 in both singles competition

and as doubles teammates.

Also playing well was No. 1 singles player senior 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 3,5 and 6 spots, as 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 four

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 now look to improve their 0-2 record against the Red

Raiders. The Rams are 0-3 all-time against Texas Tech (1-0) and

last faced the team in the 1998-99 in Lubbock, Texas, where the

Rams lost 3-6. The girls will make the trip to a neutral site at

the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and hope to build off of

last weekend’s performance.

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

there’s just some adjustments that need to be made,” Messick

said.

Colorado State will face the Texas Tech Red Raiders for the

fourth time in a dual match. The Rams are 0-3 all-time against the

Red Raiders. The last time the Rams faced Texas Tech was in the

1998-1999 season in Lubbock, Texas, where CSU fell 3-6.

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