Sept. 29, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Rams tennis team wrapped up play at the Air Force Invitational on Sunday afternoon and Head Coach Jon Messick was pleased with improvement that his team showed.
Injuries have forced Messick to reshuffle his lineup as Colorado State begins the 2013-14 season but this has allowed players to gain valuable experience and in certain situations impress the 29-year coach.
Junior Natalie Heffron put together, arguably, the best performance of her career finishing third in her respective bracket after defeating Air Force’s Tiffany Tran 6-1, 3-6, 10-8.
“Natalie (Heffron) had a great tournament,” Messick said. “She had a solid win against Air Force to take third place in her bracket and I’m just real pleased with how she is playing.”
The brackets were altered entering Sunday because some matchups originally pitted teammates against each other. The Rams still held their own in singles as junior Adriana Wojakowska defeated West Virginia’s Ikttesh Chahal 4-6, 7-6 (11), 10-2, while sophomore Mollie Cooper beat in-state competitor Beth Coton from Northern Colorado 6-2, 6-4.
“It was great to get more experience,” Messick said. “We had two players make the semis in their bracket. I thought Mollie Cooper had a great tournament. The rest of the players I thought competed well against a higher level of competition.”
In doubles action the Rams lost all three matches but Messick, who was disappointed in how the team performed Saturday, saw noticeable improvement.
“Today was a lot better even though we lost all three,” Messick said. “We had two tiebreakers, we lost them both but we had our shots.”
The Rams will host their first tournament of the season, starting on Friday Oct. 4.
“I think it’s going to be good to return home,” Messick said. “We’ll have our fans out there and we are looking forward to that. Getting more match play and more experience for some of our players who didn’t get as much experience last year is great.”