Women’s Tennis

Mar 232004
Authors: Rob Bombard

All distractions from a trip to Hawaii aside, the Rams’ tennis

team came back to the mainland last week with a pair of wins and

tans to match. After squeezing by host team University of Hawaii

4-3 and dominating Hawaii Pacific University 5-1, the Rams are on

an upward swing at just the right time.

“We were very lucky to get (to Hawaii) early and practice for

three days before the matches,” said head coach Jon Messick. “We

hadn’t competed in over two weeks so it took some adjusting to, but

the girls definitely came through.”

The Rams have continued to get productive outings from standouts

Dasha Zhurin and Emily Kirchem who went undefeated in Hawaii along

with teammate Tatyana Ugorich. After beating the Rainbow Warriors

Wednesday, the team rolled past Hawaii Pacific and did not play any

doubles matches, a weakness of the team.

“Our top of the lineup has been incredible this season,” Messick

said. “Dasha and Emily have really set the tone for the rest of the

lineup with their solid play this year.”

Last Sunday the Rams hosted their first home match of the year

knocking off Drake 5-2. The team rallied behind strong play from

the singles positions with victories coming from the 2-6 seeds, a

feat previously unrealized this season.

“The Drake match was very tough on the team,” Messick said. “We

had just arrived from Honolulu the day before and the girls were

pretty tired, but the team came through and fought hard.”

Riding their latest winning streak, the Rams will look to keep

the rally alive this Saturday against Mountain West opponent and

border rival Wyoming. This will be the first conference match of

the season and an opportunity for the team to measure up with

league competition.

“Wyoming was one of the weaker Mountain West schools last

season, but they’ve made some adjustments, gotten some new players

in and I expect them to be a very tough opponent this season,”

Messick said.

The Rams will host the tennis Border War showdown at the Varsity

Courts at 11 a.m., giving the team an advantage coming into a tough

stretch of the season.

“This is where the season really heats up,” Messick said. “Were

going to have to play real well against Wyoming to beat them and it

will only get tougher from here on.”

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