Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 33: CSU Women's Tennis

I had a scheduling mix-up last week. I won’t go into the boring details, but suffice it to say that both February and March had a Saturday the 26th, and apparently that’s all it takes to confuse me. For my Plan B, I decided to watch the CSU women’s tennis team play their match against Weber State. Then I panicked. “I’m not a sportswriter,” I told my husband—which is rather a statement of the obvious, I admit. “I don’t know how to write about tennis.” And he, the ever-practical man that he is, replied, “It will be fine.”

On the morning of the match, I read in the Coloradoan that it was to be the first official competition to take place at the school’s new $2 million tennis facility on Research Boulevard just north of Drake Road. It was also a fund-raiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Feeling slightly more confident that I could at least write about those things, I donned my pink jacket and headed out.





My neighbor Michelle had kindly agreed to join me on my tennis adventure. After we arrived and helped ourselves to hot dogs and chips (yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch) we chatted with Julie, proud mom of Mountain West Player of the Week Melissa Holzinger. A tennis player herself, Julie organized the fundraiser and lunch. A Canadian who came to Colorado via Texas, she could not have been warmer or more welcoming. The same can be said for her daughter and the other Ram team members we met. They’re a gracious and friendly group of girls, and not a prima donna among them.





















In a brief pre-match presentation, Pat Reed, a representative from the Denver branch of the Komen Foundation (which also serves Larimer County) and a two-time breast cancer survivor, reminded us that no woman is immune from breast cancer. The national average for breast cancer diagnosis is 1 woman in 8. In Colorado, it’s 1 in 7. It was sobering to look at the players from both schools—young women who are the picture of health and fitness—and think that two or three of them might face the disease in their future.

I like watching tennis, and the new facility is a great place to do it. It has twelve courts—eight of which are lighted—seating for 150 people, and handy-dandy restrooms. The tennis balls even have Ram logos on them. (Never read that in the sports section, have you?) The coach, Jon Messick, is in his 26th season at CSU, and the Rams rank ninth in the country in average attendance.
























Michelle and I practiced our shout-outs (Go Ra-ams!) while we cheered the girls on. CSU played well and extended their win streak to 3 by defeating Weber State 6-1. (Read Amanda Bader’s Media Relations recap for the details.) I had a great time, and I was also reminded of how important teams of all kinds are in our lives. A team might be as small as a mother and daughter, as large as the Komen Foundation, or any size in between. What matters is having someone who will support us whether we’re serving aces or double-faults.

CSU hosts Air Force on April 23 and the MWC Championships on April 27-30.

On an unrelated note, The A to Z Blog Challenge begins Friday. Check in tomorrow for more information.

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