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By: Chip Bromfield, ProMotion Ltd.
Senior Erin Sanders claimed a win in her final regular season match.
Sanders Shines As Buffs Fall 5-2 To No. 53 Utah
Release: April 20, 2013
By: Marlee Horn, Assistant SID
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BOULDER – Erin Sanders stood out in her final regular season match as a Buffalo as the University of Colorado tennis team fell 5-2 to No. 53 Utah on Saturday at the Millennium Hotel Harvest House.

The Buffs end the season with a 7-14 overall, 2-8 Pac-12 Conference record, matching last year’s overall win total, but marking a milestone with their two conference victories (Colorado entered the match tied for eighth in the conference standings). All 12 of CU’s final opponents were either ranked, had at least one ranked player or doubles team or both (as is the case for eight of the teams). The No. 53 Utes, who boast No. 92 Tereza Bekerova in singles and No. 32 Bekerova/Miles in doubles, improve to 11-8, 5-5 Pac-12.

“Congrats to Utah,” CU head coach Nicole Kenneally said. “They played a great match. It’s a bummer that we didn’t get the win. It would have been really nice to get our last match at home, with it being senior day. We’ll continue to work hard. I think we have a bright future ahead of us. I look forward to next weekend in Ojai. It’s all individual play, so it’s a little bit different.”

Senior Erin Sanders claimed the 29th singles victory of her career with a win in straight sets over Natasha Smith. She eased through her first set 6-2, and looked poised to blank Smith in the second set. Sanders was up 5-0 when Smith came fighting back, winning four straight games, but Sanders cut the comeback short to claim the set 6-4.

“I think it was honestly just the fact that I really wanted to win,” Sanders said. “I wasn’t going to let her take it to a third set.”

The win was Sanders’ third in the Pac-12, in addition to her two match-clinching victories over Arizona and No. 59 Oregon. Sanders recorded eight wins in dual play in her final season. The win also marked her 23rd victory in straight sets.

“It’s always great seeing a senior finish on their last match with a win,” Kenneally said. “It’s really great. I know she’s really happy, and we’re really happy for her. We wanted the team win, but it’s really great that she finished it off with a solid performance.”

Though she dropped her first set 2-6, Carla Manzi Tenorio earned a victory over Lucia Kovarcikova when Kovarcikova retired before the start of the second set. Manzi Tenorio now leads the Buffs with 41 career singles wins, including four in the Pac-12. 

With the regular season now complete, the Buffs head to Ojai, Calif. for the Pac-12 Conference Championships beginning Thursday, April 25. The tournament consists of a 32-singles draw with three players from each of the top 10 Pac-12 schools and two players from the 11th place team, based on regular season standings. The 16-team women’s doubles draw will have one doubles team from each of the 11 schools and five additional teams selected by the Draw Committee.

Utah 5, Colorado 2
UU (11-8, 5-5 Pac-12), CU (7-14, 2-8 Pac-12)
Saturday, April 20 Millennium Hotel Harvest House
Boulder, Colo.

1d) No. 32 Bekerova/Miles (UU) def. Steur/Sanders, 8-4
2d) Janssens/Manzi Tenorio (CU) vs. Smith/Najera-Salas (UU), 7-4
3d) Pham/Craig (UU) def. Quevedo/Watrous, 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1*

1s) No. 92 Tereza Bekerova (UU) def. Julyette Steur, 6-3, 6-1
2s) Sarah Pham (UU) def. Dhany Quevedo, 6-4, 6-3
3s) Callie Craig (UU) def. Winde Janssens, 0-6, 6-2, 6-4
4s) Erin Sanders (CU) def. Natasha Smith, 6-2, 6-4
5s) Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) def. Lucia Kovarcikova, 2-6 (ret.)
6s) Paige Miles (UU) def. Mazy Watrous, 6-2, 6-0
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*, 4, 5, 6
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