Apr 132004
 
Authors: Rob Bombard

The CSU women’s tennis team continued its road woes over the

weekend in San Diego with back-to-back conference loses to ranked

opponents San Diego State and UNLV.

The team struggled to find its rhythm all weekend and could not

find a way to finish off close matches. With the lingering effects

of an injured ankle, junior Dasha Zhurin struggled at the No. 1

position and lost both her singles matches over the weekend.

“Dasha is still not 100 percent (recovered) from her injury, and

being at the No. 1 slot, it’s very difficult to perform at that

level with a nagging injury,” said head coach Jon Messick.

Both conference matches were hard fought and decided by key

tiebreaker points in both doubles and singles play. The two losses

dropped the Rams below .500 in Mountain West play to 2-3 and

dropped the team’s overall record to 10-8 on the season.

“Both matches were very close,” Messick said, “against San Diego

State we lost two of the three tiebreakers and came very close to

winning doubles play, but small mistakes here and there cost us the

matches.”

The Rams are still vying for the fourth seed in the Mountain

West Conference tournament but will need to find ways to win close

road matches.

“We’ve been good this season in keeping it close,” Messick said.

“These have been hard-fought matches, we just need to find a way to

come out with a win.”

However, despite a disappointing trip to San Diego, a bright

spot for the Rams emerged with the return of sophomore Jessica

Jones, who, coming off a shoulder injury, went 1-1 over the

weekend, losing her only match on a tiebreaker point.

“It was really great to see Jessica play the way she did,”

Messick said. “To play that well after being out most of the spring

was very impressive.”

Coming up for the Rams is tomorrow’s meeting with the University

of Denver in Denver. The Rams faced Denver last fall and won,

narrowly.

“Denver is a talented team that gave us a run for our money this

fall. I expect this match to be a dogfight to the end,” Messick

said.

Messick’s squad looks to learn from its recent struggles and

make a push for a higher seeding for the MWC championships May 1 in

San Diego by taking on Utah Sunday in Salt Lake City. The Rams have

had little trouble with the Utes recently.

“Hopefully our team will be healthy and we can compete at full

strength,” Messick said. “Right now we’re just trying to get back

on track and start making a push towards the end of the

season.”

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