CSU tennis returns to form with pair of home wins


Collegian | Dylan Heinrich

No. 3 singles Sarah Weekley returning a shot against San Jose State University April 1. The Rams won 4-0.

Mike Walsh

Dylan Heinrich, Staff Reporter

The Colorado State University tennis team bounced back with two conference wins under completely different circumstances.

First up was their showdown April 1 against San Jose State University.


The Rams won the doubles point against the Spartans after a nail-biting final matchup. Even though it’s only worth 1 point, the doubles portion is a great way to set the tone early in the match. Three doubles teams play one set each in a battle to be the first to 6 points, where they have to win by two.

On court one, Radka Buzkova and Emily Dush lost their matchup 6-0 after falling behind early. On court two, Zara Lennon and Ky Ecton secured a 6-3 victory to even the score. As a result, it all came down to Sarka Richterova and Viktoryia Zhadzinskaya on court three.

The duo fell behind 6-5 late in the match, and all eyes turned to their court. Richterova and Zhazinskaya came up big late in the match to win a point-saving game to knot things up at six and force a first-to-seven. They then smashed the Spartans in the tiebreaker 7-2, giving CSU an early 1-0 lead in the match.

Ky Ecton, left, and Zara Lennon, right, during their doubles match against San Jose State University April 1. The Rams won 4-0. (Collegian | Dylan Heinrich)

During the singles portion, each individual match is worth 1 point with the win going to the first team to reach four wins, including the doubles point.

The other singles sweep came from Richterova. After going up 3-0 early in both sets, she finished the job at 6-2 and 6-4. This gave the Rams a commanding 3-0 lead over the Spartans after another win from Buzkova, needing only to win one of the last four singles matches for an overall victory.

Zara Lennon, left, and Ky Ecton, right, celebrating a point won against San Jose State University April 1. The Rams won 4-0. (Collegian | Dylan Heinrich)

CSU completed the sweep as Luana Avelar came from behind to win the No.5 singles. Avelar started on the wrong foot, losing the first three games to eventually drop the first set 6-3. The Brazilian freshman boldly bounced back, winning the next two sets 6-1, 6-3 to secure the 4-0 sweep and the first conference win of the season for the Rams.

“I try to convince myself that I’m starting the match over,” Avelar said. “I feel like that mindset really helps me.”

Colorado State loves playing in front of its home crowd as they remain undefeated in Fort Collins. Avelar has noticed a major difference between the home and road dynamics in her first season.

“It just means a lot for me for them to come and support as well as the Fort Collins community,” Avelar said. “They are here supporting us every match, and that just helps me a lot.”



Their second matchup of the homestand came April 2 against the University of Nevada, Reno.

This one featured two of the same doubles teams as the day before, with the only exception being Avelar, who stepped into the doubles for Dush, who continues to recover from a nagging knee injury. The Rams lost the doubles portion 2-0 but put up a fight throughout. Buzkova and Avelar and Ecton and Lennon both lost their matches by a score of 6-4, unable to pick up key points down the stretch.

After losing the No. 6 singles in two sets, CSU found themselves down 2-0. However, their fortunes changed after a pair of sweeps from Lennon and Richtovera tied the team score up. A

third point was added by Avelar, who completed her second comeback victory in as many days. After a loss in the No. 3 singles, it all came down to Buzkova in the No. 1 singles. But even after dropping the first set, she wasn’t worried about her chances.

“I never think I’m going to lose,” Buzkova said.

The Czech Republic native stayed collected despite the deficit, eventually fighting her way back with two consecutive set wins to give the Rams their second consecutive win.

Colorado State (13-4, 2-2 MW) hopes to keep this momentum rolling as they head up to Laramie, Wyoming, for another set of Mountain West Conference showdowns against San Diego State University April 7 and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas April 8.

Reach Dylan Heinrich at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dylanrheinrich