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CSU claims first victory of season against Milwaukee, falls to Wisconsin

The Colorado State women’s tennis team traveled to Wisconsin for back-to-back matches against Wisconsin and Milwaukee last weekend, picking up a win and a loss against the Panthers and Badgers, respectively.

The first day of action in Madison, Wisc. began with doubles matches as CSU’s Riley Reeves and Emily Luetschwager fell to the Badgers’ tandem of Kelsey Grambeau and Lexi Keberle, 6-1.

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Junior Emily Kolbow prepares to serve to a South Dakota opponent during her singles match at the Jon Messick Invitational on Oct 8. (Joshua Contreras | Collegian)

This loss was followed by a doubles win from Emma Corwin and Emily Kolbow against Wisconsin’s Christina Zordani and Michelle Linden. Alyssa Grijalva and Priscilla Palermo battled against Sara Castellano and Melissa Pick in the final doubles match of the day, ultimately falling to the Badger duo, 4-6.

The first game point was awarded to Wisconsin with singles play following. In singles, Alyssa Grijalva defeated her opponent Kelsey Grambeau, 7-5, 4-6, 1-0, for Colorado State’s sole victory.

“After I won, I was excited. I kept my emotions under control during the match when I lost the second set but I fought until the end and never gave up,” Grijalva said. “I really appreciated my team, coaches and the CSU fans’ support in the tiebreaker. They gave me so much energy every time they cheered for me.”  

The trip to Madison was special for team captain Emily Kolbow who is from Hartland,Wisc.

“This past weekend was a lot of fun. The energy our fans and team brought was unreal,” Kolbow said. “It is such a good feeling to have your friends and family supporting you on and off the court.”

Following the loss to Wisconsin, head coach Jarod Camerota felt hopeful going into the next day of play agianst Milwaukee.

“I feel good about this group,” Camerota said in a press release. “We had a chance for the doubles point but just didn’t get it. We competed well in singles, but outside of Alyssa Grijalva, we didn’t play great. We need to keep learning from match to match, use our techniques and relax in pressure situations.”

Coming off a tough loss in Madison, the Rams headed to Milwaukee for the second day of matchups. Finally finding their niche, the Rams secured the doubles point and five singles wins to beat Milwaukee, 6-1.

The Rams’ No.1 duo of Priscilla Palermo and Alyssa Grijalva earned the first win for the Rams against Milwaukee’s Labina Petrovska and Anna Daniel Fuentes, 6-2. Shortly after, Riley Reeves and Emily Luetschwager brought the Rams their first team point, quickly defeating Loren Nelson and Agata Jurczak, 6-2.

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With motivation and energy from the prior loss, the Rams surged into singles play. Luetschwager’s victory over Anna Daniel Fuentes won CSU’s second point of the day. Momentum from Luetschwager’s win led to additional singles victories for Grijalva, Crawley, Kolbow and Palermo.

“It’s great to get the first win of the year,” Camerota said. “We had good energy in singles. Now we just have to get some rest and some more good practices in and we will be ready our next road trip to Nebraska next weekend.”

The Rams will head to Lincoln, Neb. for a match against Nebraska and Eastern Michigan on Jan. 5-6.

Collegian sports reporter Michelle Gould can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @michellegouldd.

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