BOULDER—After back-to-back losses, the University of Colorado tennis team bounced back with a big victory over regional rival Wyoming at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center on Friday.
The afternoon actually began on a sour note after the Cowgirls claimed the doubles portion of the competition with a victory in the third match. The Buffs then recovered to win five of the six singles matches and ultimately won going away, 5-2. The Buffs are now 4-0 against teams from the Front Range area and with consecutive home games upcoming, head coach Nicole Kenneally’s squad seems to be once again headed in the right direction as they leap into the gauntlet of their schedule.
“Every win feels great but, for us to come back and compete the way we did after losing the doubles, especially considering how the doubles finished, was really good,” said Kenneally. “I’m really happy with how we competed in the singles today. It didn’t start off as well as I would have liked but overall, we played well.”
The doubles competition began with a one-sided CU victory as Ashley Tiefel and Julyette Steur eased their way to an 8-3 victory. The final two doubles matches were possibly the two-most competitive matches of the entire afternoon. Both sides went back and forth until Wyoming finally got the upper-hand with back-to-back tiebreaking victories to claim the competition’s first point.
Colorado then rapidly turned the tide of momentum as they dominated their way to victory in the singles competition. They won each of the first five matches, four of which in straight sets, before Wyoming claimed their lone victory in a nip and tuck finale.
Picking up singles wins for CU in straight sets was Steur, Janssens, Quevedo, and Ormeño Ruiz, while Alex Aiello rallied to win her match in three sets.
“I was really happy to see that because we’ve been talking about finishing and closing and taking advantage of these opportunities. We definitely took advantage of those kinds of opportunities in the singles,” said Kenneally.
After winning three of their first four matches, the team took a huge step back with consecutive poor performances in road games at Kansas and Kansas State. Friday’s game the first of a crucial three game home stand, became all the more significant with the realization that play within the deepest conference in the country is just around the corner.
As the non-conference schedule winds down, the team knows it is important to rack up as many victories as possible before the competition stiffens. The Pac-12 is littered with top-notch talent as four of the country’s top ten teams reside in the top ten of the ITA rankings.
“Wyoming is a good team, we’re a good team and we’re always going to have a lot of good battles with very good teams,” said Kenneally. “With the matches we have coming up, we have to play the same way. Obviously, we’re glad to get the win just like any win and hopefully we can build on this.”
Colorado 5, Wyoming 2
CU (4-3), UW (2-2)
Rocky Mountain Tennis Center at Millennium Harvest House
Friday, Feb. 14, Boulder, Colo.
1d) Popovici/Parizher (Wyoming) def. Janssens/Ormeño Ruiz (CU) 8-7 (0)
2d) Gecheva/Espinosa (Wyoming) def. Aiello/Manzi Tenorio (CU) 8-7 (5)
3d) Tiefel/Steur (CU) def. Jonas/Vasileva (Wyoming) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2*
1s) Julyette Steur (CU) def. Veronica Popovici (Wyoming) 6-2, 7-6 (9)
2s) Alex Aiello (CU) def. Dorottya Jonas (Wyoming) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4)
3s) Winde Janssens (CU) def. Jessica Parizher (Wyoming) 6-4, 6-4
4s) Nuria Ormeño Ruiz (CU) def. Christa Gecheva (Wyoming) 6-1, 6-3
5s) Silviya Zhelyazkova (Wyoming) def. Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (6)
6s) Dhany Quevedo (CU) def. Alma Espinosa (Wyoming) 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2, 4*, 6, 5