Rams end impressive weekend with two wins in 2018 home opener

Michelle Gould

In their first home match of the 2018 spring season, the Colorado State Rams walked away with two successful victories over the Omaha and Presbyterian, giving the Rams their seventh and eighth wins of the season.

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CSU’s first day of action came against Omaha at the CSU Tennis Complex. To begin the day, Emily Kolbow and Emily Luetschwager paired up against Omaha’s Rylee Tucker and Emily Behling, beating the duo swiftly, 6-0, and setting a strong tone for the day. Following behind their teammates, Riley Reeves and Emma Corwin secured the Rams’ doubles team point with a victory over Marie Kapelevich and Janelle Wilson, 6-1.

As the sun continued to shine, the 60-degree warmth enhanced performances in singles competition.

All six Rams in singles defeated their respective opponents. Luetschwager picked up a win over Janelle Wilson, 6-0, 6-2. Luetschwager’s win marks a streak of five straight singles victories.

Kolbow beat Natalie Lorentz, 6-3,6-4, and Grijalva followed suit, improving her singles record to 8-2, with a win over Kapelevich. Corwin, recently named Mountain West Player of the Week, secured the fourth win, beating Behling 6-3, 7-5. Reeves and Priscilla Palermo claimed the final two team points with wins over their opponents. 

After 10 matches spent traveling, the home court advantage and the Colorado sun proved to be beneficial for the Rams.  

“We had a very good crowd and couldn’t have asked for better weather to begin March,” coach Jarod Camerota said in a news release. “We started well in doubles and kept it going into singles. We can still get better, but any 7-0 win is a good win.”

The next day for the Rams concluded with another win over Presbyterian at the Fort Collins Country Club.

Despite Presbyterian besting the Rams in doubles play to secure the initial team point, the Rams utilized their depth in singles play to turn the match around. Five out of the six Rams were victorious in their respective singles competitions to outlast Presbyterian, securing their seventh win in eight matches.

Palermo began the streak defeating Brittany Nuttall, 6-2, 6-2. Luetschwager continued her reign with a win over Tracy Johnson, 7-5, 6-1. Grijalva claimed yet another win in a lengthy matchup against Samantha Calais, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. To conclude the day, Corwin and Reeves bested Caroline Ferrari, 6-1, 0-6, 6-4 and Katie Thompson, 6-2, 6-0, respectively. 

“We got up in singles and we learned our lesson from doubles,” Camerota said. “We closed it out and didn’t take anything for granted or assume someone else was going to get the point. That’s a lesson learned in team tennis.”

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The Rams’ impressive execution during spring season sets them up well for Mountain West play. CSU’s 7-1 record in the last eight matches is the best eight-match stretch since 2004.

“I think the changes we are making are paying off,” Camerota said.

The Rams’ next action will be March 15 at UC San Diego with a quick turnaround against Creighton March 24 at the CSU Tennis Complex.

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