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Rams tennis knocks off North Dakota moving to 13 consecutive wins at home

Senior+Zara+Lennon+after+hitting+a+shot+against+Creighton+University+in+her+doubles+match+at+Colorado+State+University+Complex+Mar.+19.+CSU+won+5-1.+
Collegian | Dylan Heinrich
Senior Zara Lennon after hitting a shot against Creighton University in her doubles match at Colorado State University Complex Mar. 19. CSU won 5-1.

The Rams took care of business against North Dakota 6-2 Saturday, extending their home win streak to 13 consecutive wins. 

Although this is the Rams first appearance of the season, North Dakota has already played three duels in which they lost their first two against Montana State (3-4) and Seattle (2-5), and beat Air Force (4-3) on Friday.

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Coach Mai-Ly Tran was optimistic for this squad heading into the home opener, and they not only got the job done, but exceeded expectations. 

“It’s always a good test and the first one is the hardest,” Tran said. “ Because you’re measuring up, you’re trying to see how the lineup measures up against each other, especially after the fall, I mean we enjoy the competition and there’s a win as a team there’s a loss as a team, so it sets the tone for the year to what level we are at.” 

Kicking off the singles for the day, Zara Lennon was able to knock off her opponent in 2 sets, 6-1, 6-2, notching the Rams first win of the day.

This was Lennon’s last first match and it was special for her to walk away feeling proud of what she was able to accomplish as a Ram.

“Well I think It’s a good start,” Lennon said.  “Obviously it was our first week back to practice and we would like a good win. It’s definitely reassuring to us. Tomorrow we are playing Denver, so another good match and we are just excited for the rest.”

After recording 25 singles wins last season, graduate student Radka Buzkova was also eager to get back out on the court.

Her match took 3 sets to come to a decision 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, and fortunately it was in favor of the home team. It was a nail biting match, especially after trailing 3-0 at the start of the 3rd set.

“I was just in a flow today, I wasn’t really thinking about anything my coaches were helping me do, and so I was just listening to them,” Buzkova said. “I didn’t really pay attention to my opponent at all, just trying to focus on myself.”

This is no shock as she is the only Ram to be named All Mountain West in both singles and doubles, and it was evident in Saturday’s duel.

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The Rams also received wins from Sarah Weekly, who also had an impressive 2 set match, 6-2, 6-4, Luana Avelar who sealed the win for Colorado State with a 6-2, 6-2 and with the final match of the day Freshman Logan Voeks winning 7-6, 6-2. 

 Tran has high expectations for her team and really believes they can exceed expectations as the season progresses.

“I wanted them to enjoy today because I know there’s a lot of excitement and nerves,” Tran said. “But to enjoy it but to know that there is some mental focus that we need to work on that its going to be challenging to keep that the entire time just with how our practices are and we haven’t played an entire match this year, it’s going to be up and down but to really keep our focus.”

The first duel match of the season looks promising for the Rams, but they have much more in mind as they hope to continue their win streak Jan. 21 in. Denver at 4 p.m. 

Reach Luke Hojnowski at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @lukehojo.

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