Apr 212011
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

In what has been a rough conference season thus far, the CSU tennis team has two more chances to pick up its first Mountain West Conference win this weekend.

The Rams travel up Highway 287 Friday to take on Wyoming. The Cowgirls are 11-8 this season but have only managed one win in conference so far to go along with five losses.

“They’re a good team even though they’ve only won one match in the conference,” CSU coach Jon Messick said. “That’s going to be a tough match for us.”

CSU has lost six out of its last seven matches, with its only win coming 4-3 at Northern Colorado. During the stretch, Messick said the fact the team played so poorly overall is even more troubling than the losses.

“In our last win we didn’t feel like we played very well, and it almost didn’t feel like we won,” he added.

The players are also beginning to feel the weight of frustration due to the lack of success.

“It deeply affects us,” senior Caitlin Fluegge said. “Some of us have been pretty self destructive when we’re playing out there. We’re beating ourselves up when we play sometimes.”

Despite the negativity in the past weeks, the Rams remain optimistic going into this weekend’s matches. Following the match against Wyoming, CSU will return home to play the Air Force Academy on Saturday at the University Tennis Center in Fort Collins.

“Both teams this weekend are definitely beatable,” senior Melissa Holzinger said. “We did have that rough patch, but I feel like now because we’re closer to home we’ll have more of an advantage.”

Saturday’s home match against Air Force will be Senior Day for CSU, and the Rams will honor three seniors during intermission. The Falcons have compiled a 15-9 record but only won three out of their last 10 matches. First serve is set for 1 p.m. and free pizza will be provided.

“(Being able to close out the season at home) is definitely a plus for us,” Messick said. “We always have good fans, so to play our last match at home and win it in front of our fans is really important to us.”
Tennis Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com._

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