Falcons Rout Colorado State, 6-1
April 24, 2011
For the first time since the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999, the Air Force women's tennis team won a true regular season road conference match, defeating Colorado State 6-1 Saturday night in Greeley, Colo. The match, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Fort Collins, was moved to CSU's indoor facility due to inclement weather. With the victory, the Falcons improved to 16-9 overall and 2-5 in the MWC, while the Rams fell to 8-13 overall and 0-8 in league play.
In addition, the Falcons clinched at least the No. 7 seed in next week's MWC Championships in Fort Collins and avoided playing in the opening round on Wednesday, April 27. Air Force will move up to the No. 6 seed with a victory over Wyoming in Laramie on Sunday.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead by sweeping all three doubles matches. Senior Sarah Cassman and sophomore Hannah Dake were off the court first with an 8-4 victory over Veronika Wojakowska and Kaitlin Wooldridge at No. 3. AFA's No. 1 team of junior Tahlia Smoke and sophomore Melissa Cecil clinched the point for Air Force with an 8-3 decision at the No. 1 spot over Caitlin Fluegge and Tori Arneson. Senior Christen Monreal and freshman Anastasia Hueffner completed the sweep with an 8-7 victory at the No. 2 spot over Lauren Mulhern and Kaley Schultz. The Falcon duo won the tiebreaker, 8-6.
In singles play, Air Force won five of the six contests, two of them in three sets after losing the first set. Smoke put AFA up 2-0 with a decisive, 6-2, 6-1 win over Mulhern at No. 3, followed by Monreal winning 7-6(3), 7-5 over Fluegge at the top spot. Dake then clinched the team match with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Wojakowska at the No. 5 spot.
The next two matches went the distance, with Air Force rallying from a set down in each. Cecil took the No. 2 match, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 over Arneson, while Cassman beat Schultz, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4. Melissa Holzinger posted CSU's lone win, defeating Hueffner, 8-6, at the No. 6 position.
It was a great team effort and everything you would expect from Air Force cadets," said head coach Kim Gidley. "Waiting all afternoon and playing at a site we have not practiced at, our team handled the adversity well. The doubles point was huge again and it was great to sweep all three. In singles, Melissa (Cecil) and Sarah (Cassman) each came back from losing a tight first set to win in three sets. Those were huge momentum turners."
Air Force 6, Colorado State 1