Fall season shows progress of women's tennis team

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 28, 2004

What a difference a year makes.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women's tennis team concluded its fall season Tuesday with a 6-3 loss to the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves at the Country Club of Colorado. That loss, though, was only a minor hiccup in what has been a remarkable turnaround.

The Mountain Lions went 2-1 in fall play, all Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference matches, a marked improvement over last season's 3-11 mark. CU-Colorado Springs has now won five of its past seven matches since opening the 2003-04 season with 10 straight losses.

"It's been a really good start to our season," said sophomore Jessika Kardel. "We're really focusing on playing as a team. We've come together and we're kind of like a family now."

"Family" has become a common theme among the Mountain Lions players, who suffered through a chaotic season last year. They lost their coach to an automobile accident and their confidence to a string of close losses early in the season. Men's coach Matt Hays took over the women's team as well and was instrumental in giving them guidance and improving their morale.

"We're all so much closer now," said sophomore Lauren Daniels. "Knowing each other, being there for each other and having so much better of a support system helps a lot."

Tuesday, Natascha Vander Molen and Nikki Duvall teamed to give the Mountain Lions their only win in doubles play. Duvall went on to win her singles match 6-3, 6-2 over CSU-Pueblo's September Sisneros at the No. 6 position. CU-Colorado Springs' other point came at No. 4 singles, where Kardel topped Shirley DuVal 6-4, 6-2.

Unlike many other collegiate sports that have a fall and spring season, fall tennis results count towards the team's record the following spring. CU-Colorado Springs will resume its season on March 25 at Metro State.

That's a date the Mountain Lions have circled on their calendar. They believe that by then they will have bridged the small gap that still remains between them and the RMAC's elite.

"We're really close to beating the tough teams now," said Kardel. "We'll be there in the spring season to kick butt."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lauren Daniels Lauren Daniels
Lauren Daniels Lauren Daniels
Lauren Daniels Lauren Daniels
Jessika KardelJessika Kardel
Jessika KardelJessika Kardel
Jessika KardelJessika Kardel
Jessika KardelJessika Kardel
Nikki DuvallNikki Duvall
Nikki DuvallNikki Duvall
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