Women’s Tennis

Mar 042004
Authors: Rob Bombard

A much-needed trip to Hawaii is in store for CSU’s women’s

tennis team. After fending off tough competition all weekend the

team fared well, all things considered. With the relentless rain,

unpredictable wind and tiresome delays, the team managed to come

out of El Paso, Texas with a win and two tough losses in a

tournament at the University of Texas-El Paso, dropping its overall

record to 4-5.

“We just didn’t adjust well to the conditions,” said head coach

Jon Messick, “however, even though we struggled, I was pleased that

we were able to stay in position late and kept the matches


After falling to New Mexico State Friday, the Rams traveled to

El Paso where they split the series defeating UTEP of the Western

Athletic Conference and losing to North Texas of the Sun Belt


“On Friday we had a real hard time playing against the wind,”

Messick said. “It was our first match outdoors and I think that

defiantly hurt us.”

The following day the Rams were exhausted with rain delays and

poor court conditions, however they ended up defeating UTEP for

their lone win of the weekend.

“Last weekend was just crazy,” Messick said. “The rain delays

really prevented us to get into a rhythm, it was just a hectic

situation, everybody was tired and we really drained a lot of

energy after beating UTEP.”

Notable performances came from junior Dasha Zhurin who stymied

the competition going undefeated and leaving her season mark at an

impressive 12-6. Freshman standout Emily Kirchem continued to play

well for the Rams winning 2-of-3 matches and improving to 13-5 on

the year. Zhurin, Kirchem and No. 6 singles player Tatyana Ugorich

have combined for a record of 34-14 overall and continue to carry

the singles lineup for the Rams.

“I am very happy with the way Tatyana has been playing, she’s

coming off shoulder surgery and has been having a great spring,”

Messick said.

Ugorich came into Sunday riding an impressive six-match winning

streak before falling to North Texas in a thriller.

With little rest from their previous two matches the Rams were

surprised by North Texas and closed out the weekend 1-2.

“Our kids hung in there and played hard, it was just a really

tough situation. I was very pleased with our (No.) 1, 2 and 6

spots, however the 3-5 singles has still been a place of concern

for us,” Messick said.

The doubles pairings struggled against New Mexico State and

North Texas, but looked outstanding against UTEP winning 2-of-3,

Messick added.

The Rams will likely get a reprieve from the harsh weather and

poor conditions next weekend when they cross the pond to Hawaii

where they’ll have an opportunity to break .500 against the

University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University.

“Were very excited about our matches in Hawaii,” Messick said.

“We’ll have a great opportunity to practice out there and hopefully

play some good tennis. Hopefully (we) come back with a win.”

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