Senior finance major Melisa Esposito eyes the ball during her singles match against Air Force's Hannah Dake (not pictured) Saturday at the Millenium Harvest House. Esposito won 6-2, 6-2, and the CU Buffs tennis team won 6-1. (CU Independent/Stephanie Davis)
The original verson of the photo caption incorrectly stated Air Force’s Hannah Dake’s name. It was originally Hannah Drake. 1/17/10; 10:19
The first match of the spring season is usually a time when teams work out the kinks after winter break.
It didn’t look like many kinks needed to be worked out for the No. 60 Colorado Buffaloes tennis team as they defeated the Air Force Academy Falcons 6-1 Saturday at the Millennium Harvest House indoor courts.
The Buffs (1-0) are now 11-0 all-time against the Falcons (0-1).
Even with the big win, CU head coach Nicole Kenneally said she saw some aspects in her players’ games that need a little work.
“Always in the first match of the season, you see things that you need to keep working on,” Kenneally said. “We had a good week of practice prior to the match and I think we followed that up with some good tennis.”
Colorado won the first four points to seal the win and the final three matches went into a super tiebreaker, which is the first player to 10 points in the third set if the first two sets were split and the match had already been decided. CU went 2-1 in the super tiebreakers.
The Buffs earned their first point by sweeping the Falcons in all three doubles matches. At No. 1 doubles, seniors Melisa Esposito and Camila Belassi rolled over their competition as they defeated Katrina Eromin and Allie Chermel 8-3.
In No. 2 doubles, sophomore Ania Anuszkiewicz and senior Monica Milewski had a tougher time but still managed to come away with the 8-7 victory over Hannah Dake and Melissa Cecil.
CU sophomore Michala Hedelund Jensen and junior Abbie Probert defeated Christen Monreal and Christine Molina 8-6 at No. 3 doubles.
The No. 2 doubles match was the last of the three to end, which didn’t give Milewski much time as she began her No. 1 singles match against Molina minutes later.
The short rest didn’t seem to have an effect on Milewski as she won the match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. Milewski said she prefers to not have a long break between matches.
“I really like that because then I’m warmed up and I’m ready to go for my next match,” Milewski said.
Milewski made her senior spring debut again as she was awarded a medical redshirt after being injured in last season’s opening match against these same Falcons. Milewski won her only match of 2009, defeating Christine Abayan 6-3, 6-3 in Colorado Springs.
Esposito earned her No. 2 singles victory in straight sets as well, defeating Dake 6-2, 6-2.
However, Belassi had a tougher time in her No. 3 singles match as it came down to a third set. After losing the first set 6-0 to Monreal, the Uruguay native fought back to win the second set 6-4 and broke her opponent three times to close out the match 6-0 in the third set.
Belassi said she had to change her game plan after losing the first set to become more consistent.
“I wasn’t playing my best tennis and I was going for it too much,” Belassi said. “I wanted to hit winners and I hit shots that weren’t quite there. So, I started playing the ball more in the middle and just be more consistent instead of going for the big shot.”
In the other three singles matches, Probert defeated Cecil 6-7, 6-1, 1-0 (10-8), Air Force’s Tahlia Smoke defeated Jensen 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7), and Anuszkiewicz defeated Sarah Cassman 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5). (cq)
Colorado’s next match will be against No. 22 Vanderbilt at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Millennium Harvest House.
Kenneally said her team needs to play their best against Vanderbilt if they want to get the win.
“We need to come out and play our best tennis and give ourselves the best chance,” Kenneally said. “So we’re going to have a solid week of practice and get ready to hit it up with them next Saturday.”
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Ron Knabenbauer at Ronald.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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