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The only thing louder than the pounding of the tennis balls on the Millennium Harvest House Boulder courts on Friday was the emphatic message that the CU’s woman’s tennis team sent to the entire Big 12 with their performance.
The message was that this team doesn’t care who’s supposed to win. Just ask the Arizona Wildcats. The Buffs, ranked 56 in the country, easily handled the Wildcats, ranked 34, out of the Pacific-10 Conference. Arizona is the highest ranked opponent CU has defeated since the 2002-2003 season when the Buffs defeated Oklahoma, then ranked 24.
“For us to come out and compete like that at all nine positions is a key ingredient to winning any match,” said Buffs head coach Nicole Kenneally. “For us to come out and play like that right down the line is a good sign early in the season.”
The win for the Buffs puts their record at 2-0 on the season. They defeated Air Force on Tuesday by the final of 7-0.
The Buffs match on Friday was very similar in the final. The only losers of the day were CU’s No.1 doubles pair who lost to the 40 ranked doubles pair in the nation. Despite the lone loss in doubles, Kenneally saluted her doubles groups for setting the tone.
“For three doubles to win in a tiebreak was huge. Our one, two and three came out very strong and that was great,” Kenneally said.
CU’s No.1 singles player, Monica Milewski a sophomore business major, set the tone for the singles matches with a 6-3, 6-4 straight set win over Arizona’s Danielle Steinberg. Milewski, ranked 36 in singles player in the nation, was happy with the result.
“From the start I was just trying to stay aggressive,” Milewski said. “(Steinberg) was really fast and athletic and because of that she got to a lot of balls. I just had to stay aggressive and I was happy that I did.”
Joining Milewski in victor’s circle after the first three singles matches was CU’s No.2 singles player, Camila Belassi, a freshman pre-journalism major who defeated her opponent 6-3, 6-3.
Needing one more victory for the match win, CU looked to its No.4 singles player Franziska Jendrian, a junior accounting major. Jendrian was up against 5-foot-11 Wildcat freshman Natalia Toporowska. After playing to a first set win thanks to a tiebreak, Jendrian capped off CU’s great day with a 6-1 victory in the second set. The win for Jendrian gave the Buffs the wins needed to take the match.
“Awesome. Awesome. Arizona is a very good team and to step up like we did and beat them is a great feeling,” Jendrian said.
After defeating the Wildcats, the Buffs have the rest of the weekend off before traveling to the South to face Southeastern Conference foes Mississippi State and Alabama. Kenneally said the Arizona win could do nothing but help her team’s confidence.
“Having a good win like this early in the season kind of lets us know where we are a little bit and obviously we need to keep working, but it’s definitely a good thing,” Kenneally said.
Milewski summed her team’s day up pretty well.
“I definitely think it gives us a lot of confidence and lets us know we can do a lot of great things this season.”