BOULDER — The University of Colorado women’s tennis team opened the spring portion of its schedule here Saturday, recording a 6-1 victory over the Air Force Academy at the Millennium Harvest House indoor courts.
Colorado, ranked No. 60 in the opening spring Campbell/ITA rankings, is now 23-12 in season openers, 8-3 under 11th year head coach Nicole Kenneally, and improved to 11-0 all-time versus the Falcons. Saturday marked AFA’s season opener as well.
“Season openers are always season openers, you just kind of see where you are,” Kenneally said of the match that signaled the start of the school’s 35th as a varsity program. “It’s always great to get out and compete and to see what you need to work on as a team.
“We have a really good match coming up against a top 25 team in Vanderbilt,” she continued. “We had a great effort today, but as with every coach in their first match, I definitely see where we need to improve.”
Senior Monica Milewski cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Christine Molina at No. 1 singles, posting her 76th career win in the process. That ties her for ninth all-time at Colorado with Nathalie Dickson (1991-95). Her win in doubles was her 67th, giving her sole possession of third place all-time.
Senior Melisa Esposito, the 64th-ranked player in the nation, posted a 6-2, 6-2 verdict over Hannah Drake at No. 2 single, giving her 69 career wins to tie her for 18th all-time.
The Buffs won the doubles point, claiming all three matches, though only Esposito and Camilla Belassi had an easy time of it, defeating Katrina Eromin and Allie Chermel, 8-3; the other two were hard fought matches decided by 8-7 and 8-6.
Belassi cinched the match at No. 3 singles, doing so after dropping the first set to Christen Monreal, 6-0. Belassi battled back to take the next two sets, 6-4, 6-0, giving CU a 4-0 lead at that point and guaranteeing the win.
The remaining three matches all went to super tiebreakers; when the match is already decided, they close out play by playing one tiebreaker to 10 points if the first two sets are split.
“That was a great effort by Camilla in what turned out to be the match clincher,” Kenneally said of her senior. “After a rough start, she really pulled through after some adjustments.”
The Buffs return to action next Saturday, Jan. 23, jumping right into ranked competition in just the second outing of the year, hosting No. 22 Vanderbilt in a 10 a.m. match at the Millennium.
Colorado 6, Air Force 1
#1—Monica Milewski (CU) def. Christine Molina, 6-1, 6-2
#2—Melisa Esposito (CU) def. Hannah Dake, 6-2, 6-2
#3—Camila Belassi (CU) def. Christen Monreal, 0-6, 6-4, 6-0
#4—Abbie Probert (CU) def. Melissa Cecil, 6-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-8)
#5—Tahlia Smoke (AFA) def. Michala Jensen, 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7)
#6—Ania Anuszkiewicz (CU) def. Sarah Cassman, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5)
#1—Esposito/Belassi (CU) def. Katrina Eromin/Allie Chermel, 8-3
#2—Milewski/Anuszkiewicz (CU) def. Dake/Cecil, 8-7
#3—Probert/Jensen (CU) def. Monreal/Molina, 8-6