PEACHTREE CITY, Ga.—The Colorado Buffaloes Tennis team saw its 2022-23 season come to an end Friday with a 4-3 loss to Stetson in the semifinals of the Universal Tennis NIT Championship.
The Buffs won the singles point and took wins at Nos. 5 & 6 singles, but fell in the top four singles matches to the Hatters.
“Congrats to Stetson on the victory,” CU Coach Anthony Pham said. “We just couldn’t’ get over the hump today. We picked a bad day to play not up to our expectations at some of the spots. We competed hard, the effort is always there with this group, we just couldn’t get it done today, Stetson was a big part of that.”
Up 1-0 after doubles, the Hatters took a 2-1 lead with wins and No. 2 and No. 3 singles before Betina Tokac tied it back up at 2-2 at No. 5 singles. Carri Hayes then gave the Buffs the lead back at 3-2 at No. 6 singles before losses at No. 4 then No. 1 ended the Buffs season.
While bittersweet, the Buffs still had a tremendous season winning 13 dual matches, including two in the post season with the program’s first Pac-12 win and second win in a post-conference tournament and first in 24 years. It was the Buffs first postseason appearance in 16 seasons and most wins in 15 seasons.
“I just talked to the team, with anything, you’re aways going 100 miles per hour, what’s next, what do we have going on,” Pham said. “You try not to get caught up in things because you don’t have the time. But taking a step back, you appreciate the group that we had, they worked hard, they bought in to what Brian and I are trying to establish with the program. We had a lots of firsts, a lot of steps forward, now hopefully with the group we have coming back and the group we have incoming, we’re hungry for more. We can’t be content.”
Looking ahead, the Buffs will return seven of eight players from this team but will have to replace Antonia Balzert, who had one of the best seasons in recent memory for the Buffs.
“I want to thank everyone who made it possible for me to be a part of this team,” Balzert said after her final match. “My family, teammates, coaches and staff at CU. Without them, this all would not have been possible. Looking back at my career, I am just thankful for all the opportunities athletics has given me and even through the harder times such as the pandemic, we made the best…
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