Tennis Preview: Texas Tech
Rams Drop Opener... The Colorado State women’s tennis team dropped two matches to open the spring season. The Rams fell to the No. 68 ranked Huskers of Nebraska, 5-2. Nebraska won 4-of-6 singles matches, and all three doubles matches in the victory. The following day the Rams lost a tough match to the University of Illinois-Chicago, 5-2. The Flames won 4-of-6 singles matchs and 2-of-3 doubles matches in the victory. A highlight for the Rams came from freshman Charity Malone who went 2-0 in singles play, and teamed up with Emily Kirchem to win the Rams’ only doubles match. As a team the Rams went 4-8 in singles play, and 1-5 in doubles. Colorado State is now 42-34 in singles matches for the year, and 9-23 in doubles matches. CSU drops to an 0-2 overall record for the season. “We played hard but this was a disappointing loss,” said head coach Jon Messick. “We needed to play better, especially at the bottom of the line-up. We know what we need to get better at and we have the talent to get it done.”
Nebraska... The No. 68 ranked Huskers proved to be too much for the Rams, and with the win extended their home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 47. The Huskers were without 19th-ranked Ostermann, who was sidelined with an injury. Milena Schulz-Garner stepped into the No. 1 spot in place of Ostermann, but was defeated by junior Dasha Zhurin, 6-3, 6-4. The second singles win for the Rams came from freshman Charity Malone, who defeated Rose Ketmayura, 2-6, 6-3 (10-2). Sophomore Jessica Jones had a tough match against Pamela Castillejos at the No. 5 spot, losing in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Colorado State is now 1-7 all-time against Nebraska.
Illinois-Chicago... Colorado State faced the Flames of the University of Illinois-Chicago for the first time in a dual match. UIC won 4-of-6 singles matches, and 2-of-3 doubles matches in the loss. The two singles wins for the Rams came from freshmen Charity Malone and Emily Kirchem. Kirchem, playing the No. 2 position, defeated Jaklin in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0. Malone won her second straight singles match at the No. 4 spot by defeating Steven, 6-4, 6-2. She is now 2-0 for the spring season. The team of Charity Malone and Emily Kirchem had the lone doubles win for the Rams, after defeating Molly Smith and Melanie Humphrey, 8-1. Head Coach Jon Messick believes there are a few areas his team needs work in. “We played a very good team today but we didn’t play up to our potential,” Messick said. “We need to re-focus and work on some weak areas. We have weak spots in our line-up where we need to get better.”
Texas Tech... Colorado State will face the Texas Tech Red Raiders for the fourth time in a dual match. The Rams are 0-3 all-time against the Red Raiders. The last time the Rams faced Texas Tech was in the 1998-1999 season in Lubbock, TX, where CSU fell 3-6. Texas Tech carries a 1-0 record, after defeating North Texas 4-2. The Red Raiders are led by Irina Tereschenko and Kendall Brooks. Brooks is ranked No. 9 in the Southwest Region, while Tereschenko is ranked 23rd in singles. Both players are 1-0 for the spring season in singles play, and 1-0 in doubles. Tereschenko (Moscow, Russia) and Brooks (Corpus Christi, Texas) finished the fall with a 6-5 doubles record as Texas Tech’s No. 1 doubles team. The duo is one of six Big 12 doubles teams ranked in the top 15 in the region. Tereschenko, who went 4-5 in the fall in singles, is one of 11 Big 12 players ranked in the top 31 in the Southwest Region in singles.
Looking Ahead... Colorado State will continue spring season play, when they head to Colorado Springs, CO, on Feb. 13, to take on Texas Tech of the Big 12. CSU will compete in 20 matches this season, five of which will be played at home. The spring schedule will bring many challenges for the Rams. Coach Messick feels CSU has a strong preconference schedule, and if the Rams play well enough they could move into the rankings. Colorado State could play up to ten ranked teams in the spring. The Rams are 0-1 against ranked opponents this season.