Rams triumph over Eastern Michigan after loss to Nebraska

Michelle Gould

The Colorado State women’s tennis team claimed another victory in Lincoln, Neb. against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at the Dillon Tennis Center last Saturday, bouncing back from a tough loss to the Nebraska Huskers on Friday.

Sophomore Alyssa Grijalva serves to South Dakota opponents during the doubles match at the Jon Messick Invitational in the University Tennis Complex on Oct 8. (Joshua Contreras | Collegian).

The Rams traveled to Lincoln, Neb. to face the Huskers for their first match of the weekend. The day began with the Rams quickly falling to the Huskers in doubles play. Nebraska’s Claire Reifeis and Hayley Haakenstad defeated CSU’s Riley Reeves and Emily Luetschwager, 6-0. Emma Corwin and Emily Kolbow teamed up against Vasanti Shinde Katerina Matysova with the Huskers eventually claiming a 6-1 victory over the Rams. Doubles play ended quickly, leading into singles play.

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CSU continued to struggle as Luetschwager lost the first match for the Rams 6-2, 6-1. Corwin and Solene Crawley fell to Katerina Matysova 6-2, 6-0 and Jeannie Lozowski 6-4, 6-2, respectively. CSU’s Priscilla Palermo was bested by Vasanti Shinde 6-2, 6-1 with Alyssa Grijalva following, losing to Brianna Lashway, 6-2, 6-3, in her first singles loss of the season.

“I thought we fought hard but as a whole did not do as well as Nebraska at making one more ball,” Corwin said. “They were more prepared to outlast in the rallies than we were, so ultimately they won the games and closed out the matches.”

Fueling off their loss against Nebraska, the Rams burst into the second day of competition with eagerness and energy, giving the Eastern Michigan Eagles their first loss of the season.

The Rams led the day with a successful round of doubles. Winning at No.1 and 3, the power duo of Grijalva and Palermo aggressively secured a victory over Eastern Michigan’s Marie Mayerova and Giuliana Ansaloni, 6-1.

Luetschwager and Kolbow dropped their doubles set against Ani Gogvadze and Andrea Martinovska, keeping the score tight until the final doubles match.

CSU’s Riley Reeves and Corwin concluded the doubles portion with a successful win over Alejandra Barcelo Almoyna and Natalia Regalado, 6-1, to claim the first team point.

“Winning that takes a lot of pressure off, with us only having to win three out of the six singles matches to clinch,” Corwin said.

The Rams headed into singles play full of momentum. Taking advantage of her opponent’s fatigue, Grijalva defeated Anna Veleva, 7-5, 7-6.

“Day 2 I had a mindset to be more positive and even if you lose a point just pump yourself up,” Grijalva said. “I was just trying to cheer on my teammates and we all had more energy, it just felt more fun.”

Following in Grijalva’s footsteps, teammates Luetschwager and Corwin defeated their opponents Marie Mayerova and Andrea Martinovska, respectively, to earn the team victory over the Eagles, 4-1.

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“We came out with good energy and played for each other,” head coach Jarod Camerota said in a statement. “We played intelligently and went after them from the start without worrying about the result. That’s how we need to approach every match.”

The Rams will travel once again on Friday, Feb. 10 for three matches in Las Vegas against UC Riverside, Youngstown State and fellow Mountain West member UNLV.

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