McPhail, Schmidt shine in loss to Sonoma State

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 18, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS - Katie McPhail scored her second consecutive singles victory over a hard-hitting opponent but the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was unable to overcome the No. 6 ranked team in the West Region as the Mountain Lions fell 7-2 to the Sonoma State Seawolves Tuesday at the Country Club of Colorado.

McPhail used a patient, steady approach to frustrate Sonoma State's Becky Kiehn at No. 1 singles. McPhail didn't try to overpower the hard-hitting Kiehn, opting instead to play a volley game.

"I was just trying to stay in the point," said McPhail. “After about three balls she wasn't as consistent, so I just kept hitting it back to her and eventually she missed."

Tuesday's match showed the continued maturation of McPhail's game. The senior, who improved to 8-10 on the season, doesn't try to force her game. Her approach of carefully measuring each opponent also helped her beat CSU-Pueblo star Cyndi Nagy on Monday.

"I'm trying to focus on their weaknesses," said McPhail after Tuesday's match, "and keep that focus the entire match."

Also winning for UCCS was Lauren Schmidt, who scored a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-3) victory over Laura Robertson at No. 2 singles. Natascha Vander Molen also took her opponent to a third-set tiebreaker but fell 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-8) in part because she was extremely generous with line calls.

While UCCS (7-11) lost Tuesday's match, playing a team that hits with the velocity that the Seawolves do is good preparation for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament, which will be played Friday through Sunday in Denver.

"We get a lot of benefit," said McPhail. "Mesa State and CSU-Pueblo are both right up there as far as hitting hard is concerned. Every day we can get out and play is good for getting us ready for this weekend."

UCCS coach Matt Hays was very pleased with the way his team played. With only one match remaining (Colorado Christian on Wednesday at the Country Club of Colorado), he feels the Mountain Lions are well prepared for the RMAC tournament.

"It's excellent to play (Sonoma State) because they hit the ball hard and our girls have to stand in there and hit the ball back," said Hays. "It gives them a lot of confidence."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Katie McPhailKatie McPhail
Katie McPhailKatie McPhail
Katie McPhailKatie McPhail
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