The women’s tennis team is looking to duplicate the success of CSU’s football and cross country teams with a team victory in its first action of the season.
The team departs for Provo, Utah for the BYU Invitational, which takes place from Sept. 21-23, and is the first tournament of the fall season.
The Rams have a talented and youthful team coming off a year in which it finished 10-13. The Rams’ roster is comprised of two freshmen, three sophomores, a junior and a senior.
“We’re a young team,” said Head Coach Jon Messick. “We’ve got more depth and talent this year than we’ve ever had, so the upside of the team looks real good.”
The Rams are led by senior Emily Kirchem. Kirchem was the Rams’ top-ranked singles player for all of last season and was also ranked 12th regionally, which was the highest ranking ever for a junior at CSU.
“My biggest goal (for the tournament) is to win my flight,” Kirchem said. “As a team I want all of us to win.”
The Rams are also led by junior transfer Hilary Tyler. Tyler transferred from Iowa and is playing for the first time in a year after sitting out last year due to NCAA regulations. Tyler has made a big impact since being named this year’s team captain.
“Getting back into it has been really good,” Tyler said. “Working with our assistant coach and coach Messick has helped me with my ground stoke game.”
For the Rams, this tournament is all about seeing what it has to work with and how the players will respond to playing against nationally ranked teams such as Brigham Young, Washington State and Boise State.
“We want to see where we are at,” Messick said. “We want to see how competitive players are at this point of the season.”
The team is very enthusiastic about what it can accomplish this year. Today will be its first shot to see what it can do.
“I’m really excited about the team, we’re young and full of motivation,” explained Kirchem.
Staff writer Andrew Woerpel can be reached at email@example.com.