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CSU tennis finishes short in Rocky Mountain Showdown loss

Colorado+State+Womens+Tennis+player+Radka+Buskova+bounces+the+ball+in+preparation+of+serving+Feb.+25.
Collegian | Avery Coates
Colorado State University tennis player Radka Buzkova bounces the ball in preparation of serving Feb. 25. CSU lost 4-1 against the University of Colorado Boulder.

Colorado State tennis snapped their 16-match home win streak, dropping to Colorado 4-1 with two unfinished matches at the CSU Tennis Complex Sunday.

With a strong start to the weekend — defeating Northern Arizona on Saturday 5-2 — the Rams looked to continue their momentum against the Buffaloes for the second match of the weekend.

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The last time these two teams faced off, the Rams took home the victory, beating the Buffs for the first time in program history.

“We were super hype before the match, and we wanted to win the second time in a row,” Radka Buzkova said. “It’s always a different game day for us, but we were really excited, and sometimes, when you want it too much, it is stressful too.”

Unfortunately for the Rams, they didn’t fulfill their winning agenda, but it was surely one of the toughest matches so far this season, as the Buffs were on a nine-game win streak, playing incredibly well.

The first point of the match favored the Rams when they won the first two doubles matches of the day. Sarah Weekley and Zara Lennon were first off the court, winning their match 6-3, with Buzkova and Viktoryia Zhadzinskaya reciprocating the other double’s score, also picking up a 6-3 win.

The doubles combinations have worked well for the Rams ever since the change against Missouri and once again gave a boost in their match against the Buffaloes.

“As long as we are winning doubles points, we should probably stick with what’s working,” coach Mai-Ly Tran said. “That doesn’t mean it can change in the future — there’s some things you can’t predict — but we do like our teams right now and are still working on improving those.”

Despite the spark from the doubles matches, the rest went downhill from there. 

The Rams couldn’t get a win in the singles portion of Sunday’s match regardless of the pressure put on the Buffs. 

Buzkova — playing at the No. 2 spot for the second match in a row — came up short, losing her match 6-1, 6-2 against CU’s Elys Ventura, and there is certainly room for improvement.

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“Make the match longer,” Buzkova said. “I was the first one off the court today, so I guess just finding a way to make it longer, whatever that is.”

She has been consistent throughout the dual season. Being moved down to the second court hasn’t stopped her from playing to what she is capable of.

Lennon, Sarka Richterova and Luana Avelar joined Buzkova in the loss category for the Rams with Weekley’s and Zhadzinskaya’s matches going unfinished.

When matches are not favoring the players, it makes it extremely difficult to stand tall, and it seemed like the negative body language got the best of the Rams on Sunday, except for Richterova.

“Positivity is always nicer to play in than negativity,” Richterova said. “I try to not focus on what I did wrong but focus on what I did right because, obviously, if you smash (the ball) into the net like I did, then you’re going to keep holding onto that. It’s not going to help you.”

Certainly, it was going to be a competitive match between CSU and CU, and despite the loss, the Rams never backed down without a fight.

“There was heart, and there was fight in this match, which is expected,” Tran said. “Everyone was excited to play CU. We knew they’ve been on a streak, they’re playing well, and honestly just proud of how they fought.”

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

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