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2023/24 TENNIS pre-season and season news, results and discussion (Team opens Pac 12 play hosting Oregon Friday, March 8th; 11:00 AM)

AztecBuff

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With tennis being one of those Buff sports that has MANY tournaments in both the fall and spring semesters, I wanted to set up a thread that as normal we can use to cover anything that comes up on and off the courts related to the team up through the Pac 12 Championships (usually held late April in Ojai, California). (I'll give the NCAA Championships their own thread if/ when the Buffs team earn a NCAA Championships berth.)

I'm starting this thread now as I see the team released its current year fall schedule (https://cubuffs.com/sports/womens-tennis/schedule) a few weeks ago. Per that, the 1st tournament is scheduled to be the Battle of the Bay tournament in San Francisco being held from Sept. 21-24.

A tweet with the spring schedule as it now stands -




And, an accompanying article about the subsequently announced 1st main (spring) season tourney at Stanford from 1/26-29/2024.. -

 
Congrats to the team overall and to Ms's. Balzert and Puzak for the individual academic honors!




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/8/2/t...award-balzert-puzak-ita-scholar-athletes.aspx

"
BOULDER—The Colorado Buffaloes Tennis team was honored with the ITA Academic Award and Antonia Balzert and Ellen Puzak were both named ITA Scholar Athletes for the 2022-23 season, the organization announced Wednesday.

To be honored as a team, all members must cumulatively achieve at least a 3.2 grade point average for the fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters, and the eight Buffaloes that made up the 2022-23 team achieved a 3.37 team GPA. ITA Scholar Athletes must have a 3.5 grade point average for the same two semesters and Puzak led the way with a 3.67 followed closely by Balzert with a 3.61.

Balzert also completed 35 credit hours in those two semesters to graduate with a double degree in Business Marketing and Psychology. She finished her final season in Boulder with 31 overall wins, including 17 in singles action, 10 of which came at the No. 1 position. She finished her career with 84 overall wins, including 50 in singles play, 25 of which came at the Nos. 1 and 2 positions.

Puzak is achieving at a high level in the classroom with a major in Applied Mathematics and minor in Physics. On the court, she picked up 17 wins between singles and doubles in the 2022-23 season, including 15 in doubles action with three different partners, compiling the third-most doubles wins on the team. She will enter her final season with 34 combined wins, including 27 in doubles action, second most on the team of the returning players.

The two players were the upperclassmen leaders for the Buffs, which had one of the best seasons in recent memory. CU won 13 dual match wins, won the first match at the Pac-12 Tournament in program history and advanced to the postseason for the first time in 16 seasons.

Four other Buffs on the team individually maintained above a 3.2 grade point average over the two semesters.
"
 


For the Battle of the Bay (hosted by the California Tennis Club):
Live streams - https://web.track.tennis/#/@public-QQLN_g9kpvE/@public-QQLN_g9kpvE/evt-hNlyJTAG9NE .

Draw/ bracket - https://colleges.wearecollegetennis...77B5EFFC/398D7448-E9FD-4A66-8FB4-5E006E1F8CB3

For the SoCal Intercollegiate Championships (hosted by the Univ. of San Diego (USD)):

Live streams - https://web.track.tennis/#/@031d159...2-fcac-4e49-a766-6ccdc5e62c67/evt-j3VbFs3xR1Q

Draw / bracket/ schedule - https://colleges.wearecollegetennis...ts/draws/BC153867-6C41-4BFD-95A8-045ECFDFD9A9
 
Last edited:
Preview for this weekend's action -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/9/28/tennis-buffs-set-for-a-big-weekend.aspx

"
BOULDER – The Colorado Buffaloes Tennis team is once again appearing in two different tournaments in two different cities this weekend, the only difference this time is the team will no longer be playing in the same state. Part of the team will stay in state to compete in Fort Collins at the Colorado State Invite, while Aya El Sayed was selected to participate in the ITA All-American Championships in Cary, North Carolina starting on Saturday September 30.

After just one year in Boulder junior Aya El Sayed has accomplished something that has not happened here since 2019, she was selected as one of 96 players across the country to compete in the ITA All-American Championships. She will start playing in pre-qualifying matches on Saturday September 30.

For those who watched her battle on the court last season this should come as no surprise. El Sayed primarily played at No. 4 singles, posting a 14-2 dual match record for the season, the second-best winning percentage in CU history in dual matches. She won 12 straight matches, going undefeated in February, March and April and was a perfect 5-0 in Pac-12 matches earning her All Pac-12 Honorable Mention.

Head coach Anthony Pham is confident that while this is an achievement for her, after last weekend she is ready to compete against the best. "For her it's an achievement for sure, you have to get selected for this you don't enter," he said on El Sayed. "You go there understanding that she's going out there and getting an opportunity to compete against the best in the country. She got five really good matches last weekend so she should feel more confident and comfortable on the court. We have the same kind of expectations for her going down there, give it our all, do our best, and represent Colorado and keep controlling what we can control."

Back home the four Buffs who did not compete in California (Ema Bubalo, Willow Gretch, Anya Nelson, and Ellen Puzak) will go up north to Fort Collins for the Colorado State Invite. This is the first opportunity to hit the court this season for Nelson and Puzak and the first chance for Bubalo and Gretch to suit up as a Buff.

"We use these as opportunities to get better," Pham said on the Colorado State Invite. "There will be some good competition up at Colorado State. For some of them they haven't played matches in a couple of weeks, maybe a month or two. It's just getting out there and doing the things we're asking them to do in practice and try to get comfortable using those in match situations. The hope is with each match we get better and better and we come back and we keep working."
"
________________________________________________________________________________________

Link to home page for the ITA All-American Championships (From which it looks like live scoring and live streaming links will be available) - https://www.wearecollegetennis.com/championships/ita-womens-all-american-championships/

Live scoring for CSU tourney (Based on the link, I'm a little nervous it may actually be for the ITA tourney, but this is the link CSU's schedule shows for its own tourney.) - https://colleges.wearecollegetennis...BAA15282/C33A688F-65B7-41FD-82C2-16743B97E15A
 
Preview for the Salt Lake tourney beginning tomorrow-




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/10/17/tennis-buffs-ready-for-regionals.aspx

"
BOULDER- For the first time this season, the Colorado Buffaloes tennis team will travel as a full team to compete in the ITA Mountain Region Championship in Salt Lake City, Utah October 18-22 with an opportunity to qualify for the ITA Fall National Championships in San Diego November 7-11.

In the first month of the fall season the Buffs have traveled to four different tournaments with four different configurations of athletes to improve and grow as much as possible following a big year of firsts under head coach Anthony Pham.

"It's gonna be good for the team," Pham commented on the team all competing together. "We're lucky with the group we have with good leadership from the upperclassmen. I think the freshman join the group but also bought into what we are about. It'll be fun to get them familiar with how the team operates, their team matches, the travel. All of that together will be a good experience."

While the team is at the same location, playing at the same tournament there will still be some separation with some in the "A Draw" and others in the "B Draw" for singles competition. Those in the "A Draw" are Aya El Sayed, Pia Rebec, Mila Stanojevic, Betina Tokac, and Elys Ventura. They will have the opportunity to qualify for the ITA Fall National Championships with a top two finish. The remaining athletes (Carri Hayes, Anya Nelson, and Ellen Puzak) will compete in the "B Draw".

When it comes time for doubles play Colorado will have both experienced and first-time duo's take the court together. Stanojevic and Ventura will return for a second year together after going 19-12, good for fourth all time in a single season for a double pairing at CU. The other returning partners competing this weekend are Puzak and Tokac. The duo will look to improve on their 12-16 season a year ago, starting this week in Utah.

While two of the three doubles pairings have at least a year together under their belts, El Sayed and Rebec will take the courts for the first time together this week. While they haven't had the time together Pham believes they will complement each other well.

"I think we feel comfortable with what to expect from Ellie (Puzak) and Betina (Toakc) and Mila (Stanojevic) and Elys (Ventura)," Pham said on his doubles pairing. "I think Aya (El Sayed) and Pia (Rebec) can work well together. I think they will complement each other well. Obviously, this is their first time playing together, so there's going to be some things for them to learn about each other on the court. But I think there's three really good doubles teams we're putting out there this week. The two teams that have been playing together, they've gotten better too, so we look forward to seeing that."

Through the early portion of the season the team has faced players and teams from all across the country and have continued to improve, this week is no different. There will be 20 different school from across the ITA Mountain Region brining payers with different playing styles to get the team ready and give them a measuring stick on what they still need to improve.

"Every opportunity is a chance to get better," Pham said on the competition this week. "I think for everyone that competed the first time, whether that was in San Diego, San Francisco, or Fort Collins I think we have gotten better. They all feel like we are making improvements whether that's in singles or doubles. There's a lot more comfort with the product we are putting on the court."

Action will begin Wednesday in Salt Lake City at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center and run through Sunday.
"

ITA's Event homepage - https://colleges.wearecollegetennis...J*MTY5NzU3NzU1OS4xLjEuMTY5NzU3NzU4OC4zMS4wLjA.
 
Looks like the team had a nice 1st day in SLC, especially in singles -




Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/10/18/tennis-colorado-cruises-through-day-one.aspx

"
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Colorado Buffaloes tennis team competed in the first day of the ITA Mountain Region Championship at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center on Wednesday. As a team they went a combined 7-5 record between both singles and doubles play.

The action began early with all four of the double's teams competing in the first round. Unfortunately, the Buffs struggled to find their footing early. Ellen Puzak and Betina Tokac fell to in state rival Zara Lennon and Sarah Weekley from Colorado State 8-4. For the first time as a duo Anya Nelson and Carri Hayes took the court together during doubles against Pac-12 conference foe Samantha Horwood and Emma Kamper from Utah. But like Puzak and Tokac, they were unable to finish the deal losing the match 8-4.

For the other two doubles matches in the first round they came down to a seven-point tiebreaker after having the score tied up at seven a piece. First, Mila Stanojevic and Elys Ventura found themselves evened up needing only seven points to advance against Idaho's Annabel Davis and Ida Johansson. After battling the entire match, the ball bounced the other way leading to an 8-7(1) loss for the Buffs. On the other side for first-time doubles partner's Aya El Sayed and Pia Rebec also found themselves in the same predicament. For the first time at the tournament and together as a duo they found a way to gut it out advancing to the next round after a nail biting 8-7(2) win.

While doubles did not prove the results Colorado wanted, singles play was another opportunity and they took advantage going 6-2 for the first day. That started early behind a dominant 6-0, 6-2 victory by Stanojevic over Alexis Odom from the Air Force Academy. Meanwhile on the other side of the Flight A bracket Ventura was putting forth a business-like approach, winning 6-4, 6-3 over Anna Pinaieva from New Mexico. The next two matches in the flight A bracket did not go as smoothly. Both Rebec and Tokac lost their first-round matchups 6-2, 6-4 and 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 respectively.

In the Flight B bracket the Buffs had no problems winning all three matches in straight sets. Puzak got them started with a 6-4, 7-5 defeat of Weber State's Dylan Lolofie. Nelson continued the winning way's against Natsuki Nishimura from New Mexico State. She dominated the first set winning 6-0, but felt resistance in the second set. Ultimately, she closed the set and clinched the match with a 7-5 win.

In only the second third set match of the day for the Buffs El Sayed played an up and down bout against UTEP's Carlotta Mencaglia. After a rough first set loss of 6-4, El Sayed would come back to tie it up with a 6-4 second set win of her own. It would all come down to the third and final set, and it sure did deliver. In a back-and-forth affair both players took there shot at ending the match but neither could pull away, leading to a third set tiebreaker with the score all knotted up at seven. El Sayed would come out of the gates firing in the tiebreaker, winning 7-2 clinching the set and the match. The final score would read 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) in favor of El Sayed.

Even after a very long first day Hayes did not let the Colorado momentum dip even slightly. From the very first serve she was pushing for a win, and that exactly what she did in straight sets. Against Kylie Kezos from Dixie State, Hayes won 6-3, 6-2.

Up Next
The Buffs are back in action at the Ita Mountain Region Championships tomorrow with the round of 32 in both doubles and singles as well as the round of 16 for singles. One doubles duo and three singles players will be alive in the Flight A bracket with a chance to qualify for the ITA Fall National Championships.
...
"
 
Although it sounds like none of the CU team is left in the main brackets, they're still getting a LOT of work in in this off-season tourney - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/10/20/tennis-colorado-continues-at-regionals.aspx

"
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Colorado Buffaloes tennis team had three athletes lose in the quarterfinals at the ITA Mountain region championships at the George S. Eccles Tennis Center on Friday. For the third day in Utah there would be two rounds of doubles matches, followed by one round of singles. The remainder of the day was extra matches being played.

The morning began in the round of 16 for senior Aya El Sayed and freshman Pia Rebec against Alice Otis and Claudia Martinez de Velasco of Denver. After two days of learning how to play with each other, they came were hot out the gates and didn't slow down winning the match 8-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.

There was no time for rest as the next round began immediately after and would not be an easy task against the No. 1 seeded Jacque Dunyon and Yujia Huang from BYU. After a back and forth match the Buffs would take a 7-6 lead after an amazing return by Rebec to clinch the point. BYU would battle back to tie the set up and force a tiebreaker. Despite the efforts, El Sayed and Rebec would fall just a few points short of the upset, losing the match 8-7(3).

After the tough defeat in doubles the Buffs would turn their attention to the singles quarterfinals where senior Elys Ventura would take on No. 16 seeded Marcela Lopez from Utah. Ventura would drop the first set 6-3 and was unable to recover losing the second set 6-0.

After two tough losses the Buffs would still have chances to improve with extra matches in both singles and doubles. Colorado would go 8-2 overall in extra matches today.

Up Next
The Buffs are back in action at the Ita Mountain Region Championships tomorrow with extra matches in both singles and doubles play starting at 8:30 a.m. at the George S. Eccles Tennis Centr.
...
"
 
Preview in front of the team's last fall season tourney, being held in San Diego starting tomorrow.




Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/11/2/tennis-buffs-prepare-for-final-fall-tournament.aspx

"
BOULDER – The Colorado Buffaloes tennis team travel to California to compete in their final tournament of the fall tour at the San Diego State Invitational November 3-5. This will be only the second time this season the entire team is competing at the same tournament.

Progress has been the word for the fall for the Buffs. Making progress every practice, every match, and every tournament towards being better than the one before and Elys Ventura highlighted that feat at the ITA Mountain Region Championships. After falling in the first round of her first tournament of the season in late September she bounced back and made progress her next time out winning three matches to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

That run was highlighted with a 7-5, 6-4 straight set victory over the No. 6 seed in the tournament. After another win to advance to the quarterfinals Ventura would ultimately end up losing to the No. 16 seed in the tournament. Regardless of the outcome of the last match everyone could see the progress in just one month.

When looking forward to this weekend head coach Anthony Pham envisions this as another opportunity to compete and continue progressing as they head to San Diego for their last competition of the fall.

"I think it's just another good opportunity for us," Pham commented on the San Diego Invitational. "I just told the team that we're making good progress and it's just another good opportunity for us to put it into match play against some good competition."

As much as Pham and the team wants to win every match, they know that they are preparing to win matches in the spring and compete in the Pac-12.

"All of this is preparation for the spring," Pham said on the fall tour. "I tell the team all the time, we win matches in the spring and February, March, April because of the work we do in the fall. Every practice, every match, every tournament is important. It's preparation for us to get better and prepare for the spring."

As the team travels for this weekend, they will experiment with different doubles duos to continue to find who works together the best come January.

"This weekend presents a good opportunity for us to mix some things up and see what seems to produce for us," Pham said on doubles pairings this weekend. "The goal is to get some different teams out there and see what works and who plays well with who."

Action will begin Friday November 3 at the Aztec Tennis Center at San Diego State. Each player will get at least one singles and one doubles match a day regardless of outcome. The tournament will finish on Sunday November 5.
"
 
Article after the team finished its fall competition schedule yesterday. (If like last year, the formal main/ "spring" season matches will begin in late January (it was 1/20 in 2023).) -




Direc link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2023/11/5/tennis-colorado-closes-out-fall-tour.aspx

"
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Colorado Buffaloes tennis team closed out the fall tour at the San Diego State Invitational at the Aztec Tennis Center on Sunday. As a team they went a combined 6-6 on the day combined between both doubles and singles matches.

While the team as a whole might have had an up and down weekend, senior Aya El Sayed went the entire tournament without dropping a single set in both singles and doubles going 6-0 overall. The standout performance was stamped with a 6-2, 6-4 straight set win against Sophie Luescher from Oregon in singles.

In doubles El Sayed finished unblemished with freshman doubles partner Pia Rebec, taking down UCSD's Cincy Chen and Sophie Pearson 6-4. Rebec faced off against Katelyn Vu also from UCSD to close out her first singles match of the fall. As she has gotten more confident the victories have continued to come through, winning 6-2, 6-3.

The junior duo Mila Stanojevic and Betina Tokac once again left the doubles court victorious after a 6-4 defeat of Grace Gamal and Naomi Nguyen from UCSD. Although a small sample size, the pairing is now 3-0 together throughout their careers.

Two other Buffs earned their first singles wins of the weekend. Sophomore Carri Hayes took down Shauna Heffernan from Boisie State in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. For senior Elys Ventura she had to battle back after dropping the first set 6-3 to Oregon's Nina Geissler. She would rally back to win the final two sets 6-2, 10-5 to capture the win.

After a tough start to the weekend, the team continued to battle and compete through each day. For head coach Anthony Pham, he was very please with how his squad closed the tournament.

"The team as a whole ended the tournament on a positive note," Pham commented on the weekend. "Everyone competed very hard and did a good job of making adjustments throughout the weekend."

With the fall wrapping up Pham and the Buffs are looking to continue to grow and improve looking forward to the dual season.

"Overall, we feel like the squad has made some strong strides this fall," Pham said on the fall tour. "This group has a high ceiling and is continuing to make big strides both on and off the court. We are excited to continue our preparation as we look forward to our first dual match in January."

Up Next
The fall tour is over, see you back in Boulder in January.
...
"
 
Best wishes to the team as it begins its main season in CA today at noon (MT).

Go Buffs!




Preview from a few days ago -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/1/11/tennis-buffaloes-open-season-saturday-at-uc-riverside

"
BOULDER – It is time for the 2024 spring season to begin for the Colorado tennis team. The Buffs are coming off the heels of one of the best seasons in recent program history last year reaching the postseason for the first time since 2007.

Entering his third season as the head coach, Anthony Pham returns after leading the Buffs to their best record in a full season since 2015. Among other milestones that Pham led the team to last season include the most road wins since 2015 and the most wins outside of Boulder since 2019. CU will look to start the season 1-0 for the second straight year and the first time on the road since 2020 as they take on UC Riverside for the season opener Saturday.

This will start the first of three matches this month, all taking place in California. The Buffs arrived in Los Angeles for their spring training trip on Tuesday. This is the second straight year making the trip out west before the semester begins to prepare for the season.

"We did this last year, and it was really beneficial to get the team together," Pham noted. "Obviously going to California to be able to train outside is a big thing. This year we play at Stanford for the ITA Kickoff in a couple of weeks. This gives us a good opportunity to get a match under our belts as well as train outdoors and get some good team bonding time together."

With the first month of competition taking place in California the trip will prepare the team for outdoor competition in similar conditions to the first three matches.

"With the week of training as well as the match will give the team an opportunity to play a match outdoors, in what will probably be similar conditions to what we'll see at Stanford will be big," Pham said on the week of training. "A lot of the players have been training hard and preparing, but coming from colder climates. I think this will give us an opportunity to be outside and compete and experience different conditions."

The Buffaloes' makeup for the 2024 season will look nearly identical to last season. They return 83% of the dual singles victories and 71% of dual doubles matches from 2023. Of the returners five of the six singles and doubles positions return with Aya El Sayed, Carri Hayes, Anya Nelson, Ellen Puzak, Mila Stanojevic, Betina Tokac, and Elys Ventura all back and ready to pick up where they left off last season. El Sayed and Tokac are coming off All Pac-12 Honorable Mention last season.

Colorado will look to add to an experienced team with four newcomers to Boulder, starting with Alexandra Abyasova from Illinois State. Abyasova, an All-Missouri Valley Conference honors at No. 2 singles in 2023 will not be with the team this weekend but will begin with the team next week. Joining her are a trio of freshman Ema Bubalo, Willow Gretsch, and Pia Rebec. Rebec is coming off of a fall where she went 6-1 in the last two tournament with El Sayed as a partner.

With everyone returning from break after the fall tour, this week of training will be just a start to see where the lineup will look like moving forward.

"The lineup is always constantly evolving as you go through the season," Pham commented on the lineup. "Obviously health, how certain players are playing, and doubles teams play a role. But I think this gives us a really good jump start on things. Obviously, the lineup will change going into the ITA Kickoff but it is a good chance to see what we have."

The Buffs will look to get off to a fast start to prepare for the rest of their daunting schedule that features six teams in the ITA Preseason Top-25.

This will be only the second time facing off against UC Riverside, the first also on the road in 1992. The match finished with a 9-0 win over the Highlanders. UC Riverside is coming off of a 2-16 season in 2023.

Action begins Saturday at 12 p.m. MT with doubles. Follow along on our team's Instagram and X accounts @cubuffstennis.
"
 
Last edited:
Looks like the Buff schedule was a little off, and today's match just began (at noon PT rather than MT).

Doubles lineup -

 
Article after the team started its main/ spring season with a nice sweep over the Highlanders -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/1/13/tennis-buffs-top-uc-riverside-in-season-opener

"
By: Aiden Tank, Athletic Communications

RIVERSIDE, Calif. –
For the second straight year and the first time on the road since 2020 the Colorado Buffaloes tennis team opened its spring season 1-0 after the Buffs beat UC Riverside 7-0 here at the SRC Tennis Courts Saturday afternoon.

After a week out west for spring training, the Buffs started fast sweeping doubles play with two brand new pairings, Ema Bubalo and Mila Stanojevic and Anya Nelson and Elys Ventura, as the two doubles teams took the court for the first time together. For Bubalo it wasn't just her first match with Stanojevic, it was her first match as a Buff after missing the fall tour due to injury.

The hot start didn't stop at doubles, the Buffs kept the foot on the gas sweeping all six singles spots, finishing the season opener with a 7-0 win.

"The squad did a nice job today of working through some first match nerves and competed well today," head coach Anthony Pham commented on the 7-0 victory. "We've got a good group who gets along really well and the ceiling is high for them. We've got to keep focusing on getting better every day, but we are happy to head back to Boulder with a win under our belt."

HOW IT HAPPENED

...

UP NEXT
Colorado will return to California to compete in the ITA Kickoff against No. 4 Stanford, January 26. Exact times are to be determined.

RESULTS
Colorado 7, UC Riverside 0
January 13, 2024
Riverside, California (SRC Tennis Courts)

Doubles
1. El Sayed/Rebec (CU) def. Nair/Youssef (UCR) 6-0
2. Bubalo/Stanojevic (CU) def. Mcintosh-Adams/Kim (UCR) 6-4
3. Nelson/Ventura (CU) def. Shahbazi/Tran (UCR) 7-6(4)
Order of finish: (1,2,3)

Singles
1. Aya El Sayed (CU) def. Brionna Nguyen (UCR) 6-1, 6-1
2. Elys Ventura (CU) def. Maya Youssef (UCR) 6-3, 6-1
3. Mila Stanojevic (CU) def. Crystal Kim (UCR) 6-2, 7-6 (5)
4. Betina Tokac (CU) def. Kamya Nair (UCR) 6-0, 6-4
5. Pia Rebec (CU) def. Niki Shahbazi (UCR) 6-0, 6-2
6. Carri Hayes (CU) def. Sydney Tran (UCR) 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish: (1,5,4*,2,3,6)
"
 
As I type this, the team just finished a non-conference matchup against conference foe and #2 ranked Stanford, losing 1-4 at Stanford (Per Stanford twitter). (Live scoring and streaming wasn't working for me, but per the below tweet the match started off great with a 1st ever double points earned against the Trees.)

They're also scheduled to face either Maryland or UNLV in Palo Alto tomorrow.



_____________________________________________________________________________

Preview for this weekend's matches -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/1/25/tennis-colorado-heads-to-ita-kickoff

"
BOULDER – For only the second time in program history, the Colorado Buffaloes tennis team will travel to compete in the ITA Kickoff Weekend which has been a staple of the Division I Tennis landscape ever since its founding in 2009, now with it's 15th iteration.

A total of 15 host sites are determined by the 2023 year-end national rankings with those ranked 16-60 participating in the ITA Kickoff Weekend Draft which determined each team's location.

For the Buffs, this weekend will take place at a familiar destination against a conference foe Stanford. The Cardinal are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation after defeating No. 9 Texas A&M and are 3-0 early in the season.

"Stanford is Stanford," head coach Anthony Pham said. "The program speaks for itself. It's a good opportunity for us to get out there and battle and compete."

The Buffs will be rolling out a combination of returners and newcomers this weekend, featuring the first match for new Buff Alexandra Abyasova, transfer from Illinois State. After missing the opening match against UC Riverside Abyasova will look to hit the ground running in her first match of the season.

"This will be our first matches with Alex with us," Pham said. "We are excited to see her compete for the first time as a Buff."

From the returning perspective the Buffs will look to lean on Aya El Sayed who enters the weekend leading the team with a singles record of 11-4 and doubles record of 8-3. This comes off the heals of her first season as a Buff where she finished with 34 total wins. She has begun to etch her name into the record books, currently sitting at seventh all time in singles win percentage at 69.5% with an overall record of 32-14. She will look to continue her streak of 10 consecutive matches won between singles and doubles, six in singles and four in doubles with partner Pia Rebec.

El Sayed is just one of the players that Pham believes can have success in doubles action, though he is happy with the ability to put different combinations on the court, he is always working to find the best three duos.

"I think doubles is always evolving," Pham commented doubles. "This year we have a lot of people who we feel comfortable that we can put in the doubles lineup and have success. It's just about finding the three best teams that we feel like can put out there and go get us the doubles point. The good news is we feel very comfortable with the personnel we have and we're improving a lot in doubles. It's just a matter of finding the three best teams that we feel complement each other and win the doubles point ultimately."

Two of the players Pham feels comfortable putting out in doubles are freshman Ema Bubalo and Pia Rebec. Both earned their first dual wins of the season last week against UC Riverside, Rebec at No. 1 doubles and No. 5 singles. Rebec was the first freshman to win at No. 1 doubles since Tallulah Farrow against Northern Colorado in 2019.

"Pia (Rebec) has had a lot more time with us," Pham said on Rebec. "She played a lot more matches in the fall, so I think she is much more comfortable on the court and she has a much clearer understanding of her identity and how she should be playing."

For Bubalo, she saw her first match as a Buff due to an injury keeping her out of competition in the fall and she made the most of it winning at No. 2 doubles with partner Mila Stanojevic.

"It was good for Ema to get her first match," Pham said. "Every day she is getting more and more comfortable on the court. Obviously being healthy has been great. We feel like her and Pia are progressing well, and they'll be important pieces for us as we progress this spring."

Action begins on Friday at 2 p.m. MT against Stanford with doubles and will return Saturday against either Maryland or UNLV. Follow along on our team's Instagram and X accounts @cubuffstennis. Live scoring and video will be available here.
"
 
The team is scheduled to be starting ia match in Wyoming against U. of North Carolina - Greensboro in a couple hours -




(Note - the link in the above tweet does not work for me. From Wyoming's schedule linked to below, https://web.playsight.com/live/university-of-wyoming/101 may end up working.)
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Preview for the 2 matches scheduled for this weekend -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/2/2/tennis-buffs-travel-to-wyoming-for-two-matches

"
By: Aiden Tank, Athletic Communications
LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Colorado Tennis team closes out its season-opening five-match road trip with two in Wyoming this weekend starting with UNC Greensboro on Saturday morning before taking on the host Cowgirls Sunday.

The Buffaloes (2-1) will look to earn their first win against UNC Greensboro (0-2) in the first match-up between the two programs. The Buffs will look for its sixth straight win against non-Power-5 opponents in the regular season when they match up against the Spartans at the Wyoming Tennis Complex.

"For us it is a continuation of not only last weekend, but everything we've been doing in the fall and thus far in the spring," head coach Anthony Pham on the first two weekends. "The goal is to get better match to match, and I thought we took some good positive steps last week. We'll have two good matches this weekend. We just want to keep getting better."

In that five-match win streak, the Buffs have outscored their opponents 24-5. Throughout, Colorado won all but one doubles point going 10-4 overall, coupled with a 17-5 singles record.

This season CU's doubles lineup has been instrumental in starting the match with momentum, having yet to lose with a 7-0 record in the first three matches. This includes a 6-2 win by Mila Stanojevic and Elys Ventura over the No. 28 ranked Stanford team last week.

"It's a combination of things," Pham said on the success in doubles. "We obviously have people and teams that are very comfortable playing with each other, but also just people who understand doubles. It is something that is a point of emphasis for us every practice is working on that. It's a great thing for us to see because whether we win or lose, I want to make sure we're doing the right things. It's encouraging to see us continue to do the right things over and over. When we keep doing the right things, we keep making the right decisions and those things carry over from practice to matches."

Colorado is the only school in the Pac-12 to currently stand undefeated in doubles matches this spring.

It has been the depth of Colorado that has made such a difference for the team early in the season. Eight different Buffs have won a match either in doubles or singles thus far between different combinations in doubles or the singles lineups.

Two of the contributors are sophomores Carri Hayes and Anya Nelson. Both went through the ups and downs of their freshman season in 2023, Hayes seeing consistent time at No. 6 singles and Nelson getting two doubles matches. Despite the different paths, both are have grown to become major contributors in the young season.

For Nelson, she has played at No. 3 doubles in all three matches splitting her time with Elys Ventura and Ema Bubalo. After a tight first match win with Ventura against UC Riverside, Bubalo and her in their first match together made a statement against Stanford in the ITA Kickoff. The duo finished the match with a 6-3 win that not only clinched the doubles point, but also clinched the first doubles point against Stanford in program history.

Hayes has continued to spend time in the singles lineup, but has seen big improvements from last season. After a splitting the first two matches of the season against UC Riverside and Stanford, Hayes took the court at No. 6 singles against UNLV and closed the weekend for the Buffs. With the match inching towards the clinch Hayes finished the match with a 7-5, 6-4 win to give the Buffs their first match win at ITA Kickoff in program history.

"There's obviously a level of maturity that they would agree there's still a lot of room for growth, but they are much more comfortable," Pham commented on the progression from freshman to sophomore year. "The expectations, the standards, just overall they have more confidence in what they are capable of doing. Overall, it's been a positive thing to see them continue to grow. Obviously, there's still a lot more room for growth, but they've done a good job and we're excited to see them continue to grow."

In only their second season's both Hayes and Nelson are making an impact that is setting the program up in the right direction.

Wyoming (2-3) comes in off of a 5-2 win over Buffalo last weekend. The Cowgirls who open the weekend against UNC Greensboro, have won two of their last three matches.

"It's always tough to play up at Wyoming," Pham said. "They always do a really good job, so we are looking forward to the challenge."

For Colorado, wins on both Saturday and Sunday would match last year's record of 4-1 to start the season.

Follow along on our team's Instagram and X accounts @cubuffstennis. Live scoring and video will be available here.
"

(Per Wyoming's schedule ( https://gowyo.com/sports/womens-tennis/schedule/2023-24), they earned a 6-1 win yesterday over UNC - Greensboro.)
 
With my travels, fallen way behind on Olympic sports news. For tennis:

1st, looking back, the team had a nice 2-0 weekend last week at Wyoming which included a win over the host Cowgirls.

Article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/2/4/tennis-colorado-sweeps-the-weekend-in-wyoming

"
The Buffs defeat the Cowgirls 4-1.

By: Aiden Tank

Laramie, Wyo. –
The Colorado Buffaloes Tennis team finished the weekend with a sweep after taking down Wyoming 4-1 at the Wyoming Indoor Tennis Complex Sunday afternoon. Colorado would win the first four singles matches after dropping the doubles point.

After the longest road trip of the season to open the season, Colorado (4-1) has continued to find different ways to win. After dropping the doubles point for the first time this season, the Buffs would win every singles match against Wyoming (3-4) to clinch the match.

Doubles was not the strength it has been for the Buffs, losing at both the No. 1 and No. 2 spots giving the Cowgirls the doubles point and the lead 1-0.

At the start of singles Wyoming continued to put it on the Buffs, until the end of the first sets for Aya El Sayed and Mila Stanojevic. Both down most of their first sets battled back to win the first set and act as catalyst for the rest of the match. Both would go in to win their matches in straight sets and giving the Buffs the lead.

"Aya (El Sayed) made great adjustments, she figured out what she needed to do and she stayed with it," head coach Anthony Pham said on Aya El Sayed and Mila Stanojevic. "For Mila she's grown in so many ways and she's a much smarter and more mature tennis player. She handles the situations in such a mature fashion now. She did a good job managing her court, managing her emotions, and then really problem solving."

As the match continued the next two followed a similar blueprint, Betina Tokac and Elys Ventura both dropped their first set 6-2, but that was not the end for them. Quickly they mounted their comebacks, first Tokac and then Ventura to clinch the match and give the Buffs a 4-1 victory.

"I'm really proud of our group, and I told them that we've been on the road for the first month and they've done a really good job of handling every test that they have been put in front of them.," Pham said. "We won the match in a different way, today we dropped the doubles point for the first time this season, and toget the first sets from Mila (Stanojevic) and Aya (El Sayed) made a big difference. Then seeing Betina (Tokac) and Kiwi (Elys Ventura) battle and win the second set, it was huge.Our group did a great job of problem solving today."
...

RESULTS
Colorado 4, Wyoming 1
February 4, 2024
Laramie, Wyoming (Wyoming Indoor Tennis Courts)

Doubles
1. Borodina/Zehender (WYO) def. El Sayed/Rebec (CU) 6-3
2. Brink/Dobrilova (WYO) def. Stanojevic/Ventura (CU) 6-3
3. Bubalo/Nelson (CU) vs Ante/Malinak (WYO) 4-5, unf.
Order of Finish (2,1*)

Singles
1. Aya El Sayed (CU) vs. Sophie Zehender (WYO) 7-5, 6-0
2. Elys Ventura (CU) def. Noesjka Brink (WYO) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. Mila Stanojevic (CU) def. Violetta Borodina (WYO) 7-6 (4), 6-4
4. Betina Tokac (CU) def. Jeselle Ante (WYO) 2-6, 6-2, 6-0
5. Pia Rebec (CU) vs. Nikol Dobrilova (WYO) 5-2, unf.
6. Carri Hayes (CU) vs. Lucia Malinak (WYO) 2-1, unf.
Order of Finish: (1,4,3,2*)
"
___________________________________________________________________________________________


And, looking forward, the team is back home (both scheduled for indoors due to weather) for a couple this weekend.

Preview -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/2/8/tennis-buffs-set-for-home-opener

"
BOULDER – The Colorado Buffaloes Tennis team will finally play their home opener after five road matches to start the season, beginning with the Air Force Academy on Saturday morning followed by Missouri on Sunday.

Each match to start the season for Colorado (4-1) has come and gone in many different ways, clean and dominating in the season opener against UC Riverside winning 7-0, an ugly grind it out match against UNC Greensboro, or a match where comebacks are required in the case of the most recent win against Wyoming.

Throughout all of those, different lineups called for different players to step up and perform. For head coach Anthony Pham no matter who is in the lineup the expectation is the same, to go out compete and finish matches the right way. The team is proving the ability to win any way they have to.

"At the end of the day you want to be able to win matches straight forward, but that's rarely the case because everyone you play is good," Pham said on the wins early in the season. "For the team I told them after the match against Wyoming, we're showing that we can win matches in many different ways. I think that is a sign of a good team, but also a sign of a team that believes in each other. At no point in any match have we panicked, its just a matter of continuing to build the belief that if we win the doubles point great, if we don't, we still have six singles players that can go out and compete."

Up to this point eight different players have secured a win for the Buffs this season across doubles and singles play as well as five different doubles duos.

Within the depth of the team, Colorado is witnessing veteran and new players alike contribute to winning. The contributions are split between the upperclassmen and underclassmen. Veteran players like Mila Stanojevic and Betina Tokac who started their career at Colorado the same year as Pham took over the program in 2021, have become mainstays in the lineup and the scoreboard.

On the other side new players Ema Bubalo and Pia Rebec who began their time as Buffalo only six months ago, have quickly joined the likes of Stanojevic and Tokac in being a key factor of securing each win. Each team is different but this year's team has blended the younger and older players to create something special.

"I think it is great," Pham said on the mix of veteran and new players. "It's just buy in across the board. We've had two people who've been here for three years now (Mila Stanojevic and Betina Tokac) and have only been here since we got started. We have some people who are brand new here and it's just one of those things where we are all doing this together. We're all learning, it's a unique team every year with new team challenges. As coaches we're very pleased to get the buy in overall and the camaraderie that the team brings every day."

As the Buffs look to continue their dominance in home openers having won 11 of the last 12 dating back to 2012. To do that they will have to take down Air Force (1-3) who are coming in after losing to Buffalo 4-3 a few weeks back.

"We're always excited to be able to play at home in front of our fans," Pham said on the home opener. "I we will look to have this be a continuation of getting better each day of practice and prepare ourselves for the opportunities that come to us. It's exciting to be able to play at home after a month on the road."

Following the match against Air Force on Saturday, the Buffs will need to be ready again on Sunday to take on Missouri (2-6) who come to Boulder one a two-match winning streak after sweeping James Madison and Liberty in Virgina last weekend.

Both matches will begin at 10 a.m. MT at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center with Air Force on Saturday and Missouri on Sunday. Follow along on our team's Instagram and X accounts @cubuffstennis. Live scoring will be available here.
"

Link to links for live scoring - https://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statbroadcast.php?t=1&gid=colo
 
The team earned a sweep over the Falcons today, and get ready to face some Tigers early (10:00 AM start) tomorrow.

Article after today's W -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/2/10/tennis-colorado-cruises-to-win-in-home-opener

"
BOULDER – First home match for the Colorado Buffaloes Tennis team, first home win of the season. The Buffs defeated the Air Force Academy 7-0 at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center Saturday morning, sweeping the double followed by six singles victories.

After battling through the first month of the season on the road in tough conditions, Colorado (5-1) returned to Boulder and used the home court advantage over visiting Air Force (1-4) dominating the match from start to finish.

Last weekend the Buffs struggled in doubles against Wyoming losing the point for the first time this season, but they got back on track Saturday sweeping doubles winning easily at No. 1 and No. 2 to give Colorado an early 1-0 lead.

"I thought we did a really good job across the board today," head coach Anthony Pham said on the win. "We brought pretty good energy; doubles have shown to be a good component of ours. They did a good job of handling all three doubles teams."

Much like doubles play, singles came and went with a dominant effort for the Buffs. Starting at No. 3 singles Mila Stanojevic took care of business extending the lead for Colorado to 2-0.

"I thought last week was a little tougher with the conditions, but playing at home is always nicer to play," Stanojevic said. "We had some fans come out and that was amazing, it always feels better to play at home. It was important that we got the doubles win and I think that set us up for a lot of success in singles matches. Everyone competed, it was a good win for us today."
...

UP NEXT
Colorado finishes up their first home weekend back at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center tomorrow against Missouri, first serve at 10 a.m.

RESULTS
Colorado 7, Air Force 0
February 10, 2024
Boulder, Colorado (Rocky Mountain Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. El Sayed/Rebec (CU) def. Kojonroj/Odom (AFA) 6-3
2. Stanojevic/Ventura (CU) def. Flodin/Van Houweling (AFA) 6-3
3. Bubalo/Nelson (CU) def. Limbago/Sanchirico (AFA) 5-2, unf
Order of Finish: (2, 1*)

Singles
1. Aya El Sayed (CU) def. Alexis Odom (AFA) 6-2, 6-1
2. Elys Ventura (CU) def. Arian Van Houweling (AFA) 6-3, 6-2
3. Mila Stanojevic (CU) def. Isabella Flodin (AFA) 6-1, 6-0
4. Betina Tokac (CU) def. Nadia Kojonroj (AFA) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (8)
5. Alexandra Abyasova (CU) def. Giovanna Sanchirico (AFA) 6-4, 6-2
6. Pia Rebec (CU) def. Joselyn Limbago (AFA) 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: (3,1,2*,6,5,4)
"
 
Tennis earned their 5th straight win by a 4-1 score over Missouri earlier today. (Next up is a busy 3 match in 2 day road trip next weekend to the Hoosier State.)

Way to go Buffs!

Article -




Direct link - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/2/11/tennis-buffs-close-out-the-weekend-sweep-with-win-over-missouri

"
BOULDER – It was a Super Sunday indeed for the Colorado Buffaloes Tennis team. At the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center Saturday morning the Buffs took down the Missouri Tigers 4-1 to close out the first home weekend of the season.

After splitting No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, it set up No. 3 doubles as the swing match to clinch the doubles point. For Ema Bubalo and Anya Nelson, they got up quickly in the match being one point away from clinching three times with the score reading 5-2 in favor of the Buffs. After Missouri continued its comeback attempt, Bubalo and Nelson closed the door winning the match and clinching the doubles point.

In singles, Mila Stanojevic continued her hot start to the season with a win at No. 3 singles extending her win streak to six matches.

In her first match against her former team, Elys Ventura had to battle through three sets to come out on top at No. 2 singles. Her victory put Colorado one point away from a fourth consecutive win.

"There was definitely some excitement and nerves seeing my old teammates," Ventura on playing her former team. "I haven't seen them in a while so I got when I started the match, I was pretty nervous but throughout the day I got through it. The girl I played I was there with her for two years, so I knew a lot about her and how she played. I think I had some advantages with that."

Missouri won its lone match of the day at No. 1 singles, bringing the score to 3-1.

Betina Tokac ended the match and clinched the weekend sweep at No. 4 singles after battling in the second set to clinch. After failing to finish a few match points, Tokac won the final two games to give the Buffs the win.

"We're proud of our team for just competing," head coach Anthony Pham said. "I think that's one thing we've learned about ourselves and about this group is good or bad, whether they feel good or bad, no matter the conditions we just we battle. As a coaching staff that's all you really ask is to battle, not only for themselves but for each other."
...

UP NEXT
The Buffs go back on the road next week for three matches against Indiana, Ball State, and IUPI February 17 and 18.

RESULTS
Colorado 4, Missouri 1
February 11, 2024
Boulder, Colorado (Rocky Mountain Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. Canete/Martinez (MIS) def. El Sayed/Rebec (CU) 6-1
2. Stanojevic/Ventura (CU) def. Artimedi/Schwarte (MIS) 6-1
3. Bubalo/Nelson (CU) def. Cardenas Rifka/McLellan (MIS) 6-4
Order of Finish: (1,2,3*)

Singles
1. Mae Canete (MIS) def. Aya El Sayed (CU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. Elys Ventura (CU) def. Gabriela Martinez (MIS) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
3. Mila Stanojevic (CU) def. Emelie Schwarte (MIS) 6-1, 6-2
4. Betina Tokac (CU) def. Andrea Artimedi (MIS) 6-3, 7-5
5. Alexandra Abyasova (CU) vs. Roma Cardenas Rifka (MIS) 5-1, unf.
6. Pia Rebec (CU) vs. Sophia McLellan (MIS) 2-0, unf.
Order of Finish: (3,2,1,4*)
"

 
The team went 2-0 yesterday.

Way to go Buffs!




Direct link to article - https://cubuffs.com/news/2024/2/17/tennis-buffs-win-two-matches-in-indiana

"
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Two matches, two wins for the Colorado Buffaloes tennis team on the road at the IU Tennis Center here on Saturday. Colorado started with a 4-2 win over Indiana in the morning, followed up with a 4-0 defeat of Ball State to give the Buffs their best start since 2015.
...

"Our team did a really good job today competing and finding a way to get the job done today," head coach Anthony Pham said on the day. "Playing a doubleheader against two good teams on the road is both mentally and physically draining and the team stepped up to meet the challenge. Very proud of our group. We look forward to another opportunity to get better tomorrow against IUPUI."
...

UP NEXT
The Buffs will look to finish up the three-match road trip undefeated tomorrow in Indianapolis, Ind. against IUPUI. Colorado will look to have its best start since 1997. The match will begin at 7:30 a.m. MT.

RESULTS
Colorado 4, Indiana 2
February 17, 2024
Bloomington, Ind. (IU Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. Schneider/Teodosescu (IND) def. El Sayed/Rebec (CU) 7-6(3)
2. Stanojevic/Elys Ventura (CU) vs. Nihalani/Hovda (IND) 5-6, unf.
3. L'allier/Lin (IND) def. Bubalo/Nelson (CU) 7-5
Order of Finish: (3,1*)

Singles
1. Aya El Sayed (CU) def. Lara Schneider (IND) 6-2, 6-4
2. Nicole Teodosescu (IND) def. Elys Ventura (CU) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
3. Mila Stanojevic (CU) def. Saby Nihalani (IND) 6-3, 6-3
4. Betina Tokac (CU) vs. Elisabeth Dunac (IND) 6-0, 6-7(6), 5-2, unf.
5. Alexandra Abyasova (CU) def. Lene Mari Hovda (IND) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
6. Pia Rebec (CU) def. Sarah L'allier (IND) 6-1, 7-6(4)
Order of Finish: (1,3,6,2,5*)

Colorado 4, Ball State 0
February 17, 2024
Bloomington, Ind. (IU Tennis Center)

Doubles
1. El Sayed/Rebec (CU) vs. Malykh/Hazelbaker (BSU) 3-3, unf.
2. Stanojevic/Ventura (CU) def. Shahbaz/Tanjuantco (BSU) 6-1
3. Nelson/Abyasova (COL) def. Hrehor/Pearsall (BSU) 6-1
Order of Finish: (2,3*)

Singles
1. Aya El Sayed (CU) vs. Elena Malykh (BSU) 6-2, 5-2, unf.
2. Elys Ventura (CU) vs. Sarah Shahbaz (BSU) 6-7, 0-3, unf.
3. Mila Stanojevic (CU) def. Sydney Hrehor (BSU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Betina Tokac (CU) vs. Isabele Tanjuantco (BSU) 6-4, 5-2, unf.
5. Alexandra Abyasova (CU) def. Ella Hazelbaker (BSU) 6-4, 6-1
6. Pia Rebec (CU) def. Jacqueline Pearsall (BSU) 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: (6,3,5*)
"
 
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