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Alyssa Grijalva’s return not enough for CSU tennis in two losses

The Colorado State women’s tennis team continued Mountain West play by hosting Utah State and Boise State in two matches last weekend. The Rams dropped both matches, losing to the Aggies, 5-1 and Broncos, 4-2.  

a tennis player swings at the ball
Sophomore Alyssa Grijalva hits against her opponent from Omaha during the Rams’ first home matches of the season on March 3. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

High hopes were instilled in both coaches and players despite the tough weather conditions on Thursday, prompting players to keep warm up sweats on during play. The Rams started play against Boise State as snowfall began.

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With Alyssa Grijalva’s return after a concussion caused her to sit out of competition last week, all six matchups were played. Emily Luetschwager and Priscilla Palermo set up on courts one and two battling against Aggies opponents Sasha Pisareva and Sabrina Demerath, respectively. Both freshmen were successful in their first sets, but eventually lost the matches.

With doubles play only to occur in a result of tiebreaker, the Rams continued to stay motivated with four more singles matches to decide a victor. Alyssa Grijalva clinched a win at court three against  Maggie O’Meara, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. This improves Grijalva’s standing singles record to 11-3.

Unfortunately for the Rams, Grijalva’s win was their only singles victory of the day. Solene Crawley, Riley Reeves and Emily Kolbow all lost their singles matches.

“They’re right there,” coach Jarod Camerota said in reference to the freshmen performances. “I’m happy with how they competed. A couple points here and there and we might have been 3-all playing doubles for the win.”

After a tough loss, the Rams regained energy and much-needed practice time to prepare for Sunday play against Boise State. The second day of play looked promising for the Rams with clearer skies and warmer weather.

CSU bested the Broncos in doubles play, proving the utilization of two days away from their loss against the Aggies. With Grijalva’s return, Palermo performed with her signature doubles partner once again. The two dominated their doubles competitors Wiktoria Nosek and Anja Dokic, 6-3. Reeves and Kolbow also claimed a doubles point after taking down Lilian Poling and Wilhelmina Palmer, 6-4.

“I think we train them up well in doubles and they are doing the right things,” Camerota said. “I’m proud of what they’re doing in doubles and they’ve committed themselves to playing smart doubles.”

Holding onto this energy, the Rams headed into singles. Grijalva mirrored her recent victory again Utah State, with a straight-set win against Poling to improve her record once again to 12-3 this season.

Boise State quickly took over the lead, as Grijalva was the only Ram to defeat her Bronco counterpart. Despite the second consecutive loss, Camerota remained positive.

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“I was proud of the fight today,” Camerota said. “There were several points that were right there, back-and-forth. We keep getting right there and we will find that match to get over the hump and get a ‘W’ soon.”

This was CSU’s fourth consecutive loss in the past two weeks. The Rams look to improve their record in Mountain West play on the road against New Mexico on Friday and Air Force on Sunday.

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

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