Mar 232005
Authors: Nathaniel Ramos

Ten games, eight wins and six-straight shutouts lead the CSU tennis team to Utah to begin conference play this weekend.

Beginning with a trip to Utah State today, the tennis team looks to continue its six-game shutout streak. The Utah State Aggies have an overall record of 4-3 and are coming off a loss against Air Force. Overall, the team has three doubles teams and two players with a record above .500. Collectively the team is 66-78 in all its matches.

The first conference game of the year and weekend for the Rams will be against No. 22 Brigham Young on Friday. BYU is also coming off a loss, but unlike Utah State, BYU has 15 players in both singles and doubles matches with a record above .500. BYU's last loss occurred against No. 26 Oregon but did have a win against Utah March 11. The game against CSU is also BYU's first conference game. Since BYU is highly ranked and is in the CSU's conference, the Rams are not taking the Cougars for granted.

"In conference matches they are all going to give you a run for your money," said team captain Dasha Zhurin. "But nationally ranked BYU will be our biggest challenge."

The Rams are aware of BYU's capabilities and are anticipating the game.

"It would really be nice to get a win against BYU. Obviously our goal is to be at the top of the conference but it'd be nice to beat BYU," said tennis player Emily Kirchem.

After facing BYU on Friday, the tennis team will have a 24 hour break and then face off against Utah. The Utes are 9-7 this season and are coming off a win Thursday against Stetson.

To improve its chances of winning, the CSU tennis team is working on a few things.

"Right now I am trying to work on being more aggressive. I am not where I would like to be," Kirchem said. "I need to finish the point on every play."

The Rams have had an attitude adjustment from their last series of games, in which they were perfect.

"You just got to take it one day at a time," Kirchem said. "We got a few tough matches coming up but we got to take it one day at a time."

The Rams ride through Utah will begin today and end on Saturday. They will then have another road trip beginning on April 1 when they face Wyoming in Laramie.

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