Men's tennis extends Steel ans Silver lead

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 4, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs extended its lead in the Steel and Silver Series Tuesday with a 9-0 men's tennis victory over the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves at the Broadmoor.

Tuesday, the Mountain Lions swept all three doubles matches in under 45 minutes. In singles play only one match went to three sets as CSU-Pueblo's Brandon Beauvais won the first set at No. 1 6-3 before UCCS' Sean Voorhies regrouped to take the final two sets 6-1, 6-2.

UCCS No. 2 singles Eric Rivera defeated Mitch Joyce 6-1, 6-0 for his third straight singles win against Division II opponents, For the season, Rivera is 7-5 overall and 7-3 against non-Division I opponents. Sean Voorhies and Josh Johnson also improved to 8-3 and 8-2 against non-Division I opponents respectively.

Johnson made a particularly memorable impact Tuesday. Several people were watching Marc Knutila's match against James MacIndoe when a thunderous "thwack" turned heads. The noise was Johnson's serve, which is likely the hardest seen at UCCS since Ronnie Stutz played for the Mountain Lions.

"It's kind of developed over time," said Johnson. "I basically went out there and served as hard as I could until I got it under control."

"It was a big advantage (Tuesday). I came into the net a lot because of my serve to finish off some points."

Johnson has another advantage. He's a student of Kung Fu and that background has given him a higher level of mental and physical discipline.

"I got my black belt when I was 16," said Johnson. "A big part of athletics is mental attitude. It's really helped me maintain my composure. (It helps) in both academics and athletics."

Then there's the physical aspect.

"In Kung Fu we stretch a lot," said Johnson. "That helps prevent injuries and helps my movement on the court."

The Mountain Lions improved to 8-5 on the season and 1-0 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. CSU-Pueblo fell to 1-11, 0-1.

The Steel and Silver Series was established prior to the 2005-06 school year to acknowledge the rivalry that exists between the two southern Colorado institutions.

"I think it's a great thing," said UCCS senior Jason Schultz, a veteran of nine matches against the Thunderwolves. "(The series against) CSU-Pueblo has always been really competitive. To have a college that close and to have a rivalry like this makes it more competitive."

"When you come into a match against them, you want to win it just that much more."

The Mountain Lions lead the rivalry series between the schools 21-11. Contests remain in women's tennis (two points), softball (two games, one point each), golf (two tournaments, one point each) and cumulative grade-point average (five points). Although only 11 points remain available as scheduled, UCCS' magic number cannot be determined because any playoff games will also count two points each. Playoff games between the schools are possible in softball, men's tennis and women's tennis.

"Hopefully, tennis will help clinch that thing," said UCCS coach Matt Hays.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Ronnie StutzRonnie Stutz
Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Jason SchultzJason Schultz
Sean VoorhiesSean Voorhies
Sean VoorhiesSean Voorhies
Sean VoorhiesSean Voorhies
Marc KnutilaMarc Knutila
Marc KnutilaMarc Knutila
Marc KnutilaMarc Knutila
Josh JohnsonJosh Johnson
Josh JohnsonJosh Johnson
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