CSU tennis ends perfect weekend with wins over Western Illinois, Drake

Michelle Gould

The Colorado State women’s tennis team spent the weekend in Des Moines, Iowa for back-to-back tournaments against Western Illinois and Drake, winning both matches.

Palermo hits ball with racquet
Freshman Priscilla Palermo takes part in practice on Feb. 21 at the Fort Collins Country Club. (Elliott Jerge | Collegian)

The Rams began their weekend with a 4-1 win over Western Illinois. Beginning the day with doubles action, the power duo of Alyssa Grijalva and Priscilla Palermo walked away with yet another doubles win over Western Illinois’ Courtney Lubbers and Natalia Bravo. To secure the first team point of the match, Emily Kolbow and Emily Luetschwager defeated their doubles opponents Cary Milanes and Maria Bessmertnaya.

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The Rams continued their winning streak into singles play. Grijalva added to her singles record (7-1), the best of the Rams, by beating Cary Milanes, 6-0, 6-1. Following in her footsteps, Emma Corwin and Kolbow defeated their Western Illinois competitors Ana Bjelica 6-1, 6-4 and Bessmertnaya 6-4, 6-1, respectively.

This gives Corwin and Kolbow their third singles wins of the season. The win put the Rams above .500 for the season, lifting them to a 5-4 record.

“We played with great energy and we were very vocal,” coach Jarod Camerota said heading into the second day. “We still need to pick up our level of play for tomorrow, but we are excited for it.”

With their fifth win of the season over Western Illinois, the Rams used the momentum and energy to hand Drake its first home loss of the season, 4-1.

The Rams clinched the opening doubles point over the Bulldogs. The winning duo of Grijalva and Palermo quickly beat Drake’s Tess Herder and her partner Liza Petushkova, 6-2. Riley Reeves and Emma Corwin added to the Rams’ winning streak with a victory over Joely Lomas and Mela Jaglarz, 6-4.

Luetschwager led the Rams through the singles portion of the tournament, winning her match against Herder, 6-2, 6-4. Corwin contributed to the team score, beating Lomas, 0-6, 6-2, 6-4. Reeves solidified CSU’s doubles team point with a win over Alex Koslowski, 6-2, 6-1.

This win against Drake was especially sweet for the Rams, after the Bulldogs bested them in Fort Collins last year, 4-3.

“I’m glad we won both matches and my teammates really helped me through my matches and gave me confidence,” Kolbow said. “We came out on top both matches and I am proud of my team.”

After 10 matches spent traveling, the Rams will finally head back home to the CSU Tennis Complex this weekend to compete in two matches, hosting Omaha on Saturday and Presbyterian on Sunday.

“We’ve learned a lot about what we’re good at and where we need to improve,” Camerota said. “Now we are excited to come home and play in front of our great fans.”

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