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LADY LIONS GEARING UP FOR THE FALL SEASON

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Hey there Lion fans!

It's been a tough week for your Lady Lions. This is our first week of our full training schedule, and Agustin and Katie have us working hard! Even though we're experiencing some soreness from the rigorous training, we are still dedicated to giving all we got every day whether it be on the court, in the weight room or on the field running sprints. Fall season is really a time for us to get in shape and really work on things individually and as a team. What I've learned from each year is that the way you train in the fall really sets up and prepares you for the spring. We have a tough training schedule and tough tournaments we're playing this fall, but I can see that each one of us is trying their best every day no matter what amount of soreness or fatigue we have. It's such an awesome atmosphere to be around when you have a squad that's constantly cheering you on in the tough drills or when you're pushing at that last rep of bench in the weight room. It truly is a great feeling.

With fall season just around the corner, we've been slowly working our way into match play in both singles and doubles. Although it's tough to play your own teammate, we all understand it's a part of the game and it's all a choice we've made to play it. We're all such great competitors with so much drive and it's a great thing to see in a tennis team. Everyone knows that playing against one another will only make us that much tougher for the spring when we compete together as a team.

This week at practice, Agustin and Katie emphasized that we're not always going to feel 100% in every match we play. There's only a few matches a year (if you're lucky) that you play a match where everything feels good. Whether your first serve, second serve or forehand is off we have to find a way to deal with it. Agustin said "sometimes you have to win ugly." When something isn't working we have to find a way to shift our mindset to finding a way instead of focusing on what's not working. It's a really hard thing to do, and that's what makes this sport so tough mentally and physically. We have to find a way to grind it out in these situations, and it only makes us that much tougher.

With the first tournament less than two weeks away, we are working harder every day. With the way this squad is training, I can sense we're going to have a great outcome this fall season!

GO LIONS

Jessica

HAVE TO OR WANT TO

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Hey there Lion fans!

This is the last 8 hour week for your Lady Lions. Next week we're going full speed and start our 20 hours of training! Even though we haven't had a lot of training time with the coaches or as a team, that's not stopping this hard working squad. All of us have been out on the courts hitting on our own almost every day hitting with one another. It's so motivating to have teammates that are so self motivated, especially the freshmen. We all know how hard of an adjustment it is when you first come to college, but I'm so impressed with our freshmen. They are adjusting so well and so self motivated to practice and train. As a senior, it's really a great thing to see the younger teammates so motivated and willing to work hard, so props to the freshmen!

We are only 2 weeks away from our first tournament, which is the beginning of our preseason! Even though we've had limited hours, Agustin and Katie have really been getting us ready fitness wise. I have to admit we're all pretty sore these days, but we know it's going to be worth it in the end. Our weights trainer, Jack gave us new training shirts this week and on the back it says "have to or want to." Sure we have to be at practice and be at weights when we're told to, but your mindset going in can really make a difference  in your performance . If we go into a practice or weights wanting to be there and ready to get better it can really change the outcome. It's really important for this squad to have a good mindset during practices and training this year because we have so much talent and potential to do well this year. It's hard not to have this mindset sometimes when you're a college athlete because we all know things happen that are out of our control whether it be school or other issues. That's one of the challenges of being a D1 college athlete, we have to learn to balance a lot of different things including mindsets. It's not a bad thing though, it's something we should embrace because not many people can do what we can do. I have so much confidence in this team that we can have the right mindset this year. I already see it in each one of them and I know we're going to strive to get better every day this year.

That's all for now tennis fans!

Jessica

LADY LIONS ARE BACK IN ACTION WITH SOME NEW TALENT

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Hey there Lion fans!

After this long summer, school is officially back in session! That means new school year, new classes and new teammates. This is pretty much a brand new year for your Lady Lions. We have four new freshmen, which means almost half of the team is new! We have Cami from Argentina, Vony from Australia, Caisey-Lee from Ventura and Siena from Orange County, which is where I'm from as well! All of these players come from awesome backgrounds and are ready to work. My teammates and I were excited to welcome them to the squad! This past week, we've been doing a lot of team bonding to get to know each other and everything. So far the team has had awesome chemistry and each one of us is so motivated and excited for this year!

We started off the first week with the brutal fitness testing. This testing includes a running test and different tests in the weight room our fitness trainer Jack tests us on. I thought we all did pretty well in all the testing, but we are always striving to get better. We are always looking to improve our scores and results. Agustin and Katie firmly believe we have so much talent and so much potential this year. They always emphasize that we always have to strive to be better and know we can do better.

We are currently on eight hour weeks, which means we can only do eight hours of training as a team per week. Even though we aren't doing as much team training with the coaches we still motivate each other to train on our own before the full practice schedule starts. It's awesome when I see my phone light up and it's my teammates asking who wants to practice. When I see a team constantly motivated like that and always looking to get better it motivates me to want to get better and go that extra mile.  I'm still in denial that I'm a senior, but I'm excited for what this team can do this season and the potential we have. Even though it's only the second week of school, I already see great team unity and culture developing in this team and it's really exciting!

That's all for now tennis fans!

GO LIONS

Jessica

2015-2016 SEASON COMES TO AN END

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Hey there Lion Fans!

I'm posting my final blog for the school year because your Lady Lions just concluded their season this past weekend. We had a rough trip up North falling short in both matches, which kept us from making the conference tournament. Such a bummer we weren't able to accomplish this goal of ours, but we are trying to look at the positive side. We improved so much this year and worked so hard. We showed that we are a tough team within the conference now and we are only going to get better. 

It was an emotional weekend for our seniors as they played their last college match ever. My heart melted when Andy finished her match and I had to tell her it was over. Seeing her burst into tears reminded me that we really have to enjoy every moment of this wonderful experience we are given. To play college tennis at this level is truly a blessing. No matter how much we say we don't like the stress of it sometimes, we know deep down we actually do. The famous saying "it's the little things" really comes into play when it comes to playing college tennis or college sports in general. Winning that clinching match for your team, being able to be apart of an awesome win, accepting a tough loss and just representing a school are really those "little" things that keep college athletes getting up every day and keep going. During stressful times, college athletes including myself begin to think "Wouldn't it just be easier to quit?" We always seem to come to the conclusion that it might be easier, but we simply could not just walk away so easily because we actually love it (even if we have a hard time admitting it sometimes). When I hear these types of questions or start thinking them myself, I always remember the quote "When you feel like quitting remember why you started" (This can relate to other aspects in life as well.) We come to the realization that we can't stay away no matter how much we try because we could not just walk away from something we love and is such a big part of our lives. Deep down we actually thrive off of those tough experiences because we know how great and rewarding the good experiences are. We also know how the tough experiences only make us stronger, and that it's part of the journey. Experiencing those moments is what makes us different from the rest. We know how to handle certain situations that others do not. We learn how to thrive off the great experiences and to accept the tough ones. We grow as individuals and build character along with other qualities during this four year journey that others do not get to experience. With all of this in mind, it's crazy thinking I only have one more season left! I'm going to enjoy every moment of it until the very end.

Once again, I want to congratulate Ellie, Kristine and Andy for a fantastic college tennis career! With all of the qualities these girls contain they are going to do nothing but great things in the future!

I also want to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog it's great knowing we have fans that want to keep up with the team! I'll be back in the fall ready to talk about the fresh new school year and welcome our four new freshmen that will be joining the 2016-2017 squad!

GO LIONS

Jessica


Hey there Lion fans!

It was a busy weekend for your Lady Lions this past weekend! As I said in my previous post, we had 3 matches in a row this past weekend. We had another big conference win over University of San Diego on Friday which is bringing us closer to our goal of making the conference tournament. On Saturday, we had a super tight loss to BYU. I was the deciding match and lost 6-7 in the third. Talk about a nail-biter! At that moment I was so angry that I could not win that match for my team, but I was reminded by our coaches and my teammates that we are not done yet and we have to keep moving forward. On Sunday, we had a nice win over No. 44 Oregon 5-2. It was an awesome turn around for us as a team. After the heartbreaking loss on Saturday, Agustin told us that a team who has a tough loss one day and is able to turn around and win the next day is a tough team. It was an overall successful weekend for the Lady Lions, everyone fought until the very end.

This past Sunday was also our senior day. Andy, Kristine and Ellie had their very last home match, and it was great that we got a win over a ranked team! It was an emotional day for our seniors. I would like to thank all three of them for what they have done for the team in the time that they have been here. I have developed very close relationships with each of them. I'm so happy they were apart of my experience here at LMU, and I know the rest of the team feels the same way. Although it might be a sad time for them at the moment, they have accomplished so much and they should all be proud of themselves that they did it!

I know it may sound like it's the end, but it sure isn't! The Lady Lions still have two more matches to go. We are traveling this Thursday to beautiful Northern California to play our final matches of the season! We start off playing University of San Francisco on Friday and play Santa Clara on Saturday. We are all pumped for these upcoming matches because we are determined to reach our goal of making the conference tournament.

That's all for now tennis fans!

GO LIONS

Jessica


LADY LIONS CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD

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Hey there Lion fans!

Your Lady Lions had a tough weekend. We traveled up to the Pacific Northwest to play Gonzaga and Portland, but unfortunately fell short in both matches. I would have to say now that I have done this trip twice it is definitely the most difficult. Jumping from plane to plane and having to play indoors is tough. We were all pretty disappointed in the results, but we are going to continue to move forward because we're not done yet!

Even though we did not do the best, the team had a really good chance to bond. I thought this was very important because we are in a very crucial part of the season right now, and even during these tough times it's amazing a team is still able to bond like this team is. I've watched this team show tremendous progress and grow this year. Not only individually, but as a team. When we beat St. Mary's last weekend there was so much emotion because we all felt that "we did it" moment. When we had a couple of tough losses this past weekend we were upset together, but still kept each other's heads up. We have all learned to accept the tough losses and to embrace the good wins. That is really hard for a team to do especially in such an individual sport like this one.

Despite our rough weekend, we are continuing to move forward because we have another busy weekend ahead! We are back on our home turf this weekend playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This weekend is going to be extra special because Sunday is our senior day! That's right we are already playing our last home matches of the season! Crazy how time flies! We would really appreciate it if some of you guys come out on Friday, Saturday or especially Sunday to support Kristine, Andy and Ellie as they play their very last home match! I know they would really love and appreciate your support!

We start the weekend off playing University of San Diego on Friday, BYU on Saturday and the Oregon Ducks on Senior Day Sunday!

That's all for now tennis fans!

Jessica



TWO CONFERENCE VICTORIES FOR THE LADY LIONS

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Hey there Lion fans!

It was an awesome week for your Lady Lions! We got two big conference wins at our home courts this past weekend, we beat the Pacific Tiger's on Friday and got a huge win over St. Mary's on Saturday! The big win was against the St. Mary's Gaels, winning in a super tight 4-3 match! The Lady Lions started off strong in doubles and got that doubles point at the No.1 and No. 2 positions. Once again, our super freshman Elvira was the clincher. It was tied 3-3 against St. Mary's and down two match points, and she battled all the way back and won in the third set tiebreaker. It was definitely a nail-biter! We are all so proud of her she is such a little fighter!

This weekend was such a huge confidence booster for the team. Since the season started Agustin told us if we keep working this season that the wins will come, and sure enough it's starting to show. It's been such a long journey for this team this year with plenty of changes and ups and downs. We're finally seeing some results and it feels so good. What I really admired about this weekend was it was a complete team effort. Every single team member contributed to both of the victories, and it just shows how much this team has grown and improved. We are more of a team than ever, it is these kinds of victories that really make us grow as a team. We have now proved that we want to be at the top of the conference this year and we're going to fight for it.

This week your Lady Lions travel to Gonzaga and Portland for some more conference play this coming weekend. We get to have a little change and play indoors, so we will use these next few days to practice hard and get ready to fight once again!

That's all for now tennis fans!

Jessica

LADY LIONS BEGIN CONFERENCE PLAY

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Hey there Lion fans!

Your Lady Lions have been busier than ever the past week or so! We were lucky enough to have Easter break last week to get a little breather from school, but we were still out battling on the courts! On Thursday, your lions killed it against Cal Poly 6-1. Shout out to Andy at the No. 3 spot for getting a 6-0 6-0 win! We all know how tough it is to get bagel sets in Division 1 college tennis, so congrats to her for staying so tough out there!

We had our first conference match against the Pepperdine waves on Saturday at their home courts, but unfortunately fell short and lost 6-1. We were disappointed we couldn't get the win against the biggest rival, but the waves did play tough. Once again, our super freshman Elvira shined on court No. 4 on Saturday! She posted an awesome 6-2 6-3 straight set victory. She has now won an impressive 7 matches in a row! We are all so proud of her for killing it her first year!

After the match, Agustin told us "We fought and that's all that matters." He always makes sure to emphasize to always fight. Even if it's not your day or something goes wrong, you must always fight. In fact, it is those bad days that you must fight the hardest because if you can fight through struggles it will make you that much better mentally. If you fight and try your best to win no matter what is preventing you from doing so, you have succeeded in some way even if you don't think so. The Lady Lions took this loss in a positive way and are more motivated than ever for the upcoming matches.

We have a chunk of some of the most important matches of the season ahead of us. We return back to our home courts this weekend taking on The University of the Pacific Tigers on Friday and the St. Mary's Gaels on Saturday. I can feel the team getting stronger and stronger every day and it is such a great feeling. It is not only that we are getting tougher, the belief is getting stronger as well. It is something I have seen grow so rapidly since the fall. I would keep an eye out for these girls the next few weeks because this is one tough squad who is ready to do great things. The Lady Lions have returned back to practice this week and everyone is healthy and ready for battle against tough opponents this weekend!

That's all for now tennis fans!

Jessica

LIONS CONTINUE TO WORK AS CONFERENCE APPROACHES

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Hey there Lion fans!

Your lady lions dropped another tough 4-3 loss against Harvard at home this past Wednesday afternoon. It was another one of those close nail biters! The lions dropped a close doubles point, and fell short in singles. As always, we had a few lions shine! Anna and Tatijana rocked it at number 3 doubles winning a clean set! As for singles, we won on courts 1, 2 and 4 all in three sets. Even though we fell short and lost the match, the lady lions still fought until the very end as always!

As always, the lady lions bounced back on the courts the next day and got right back to work! We were able to learn from this tough loss and put it behind us. I really admire this team for this because it's really hard to put losses behind you individually and as a team. The fact that this team can take a tough loss  that can really easily turn into a negative environment and make it a positive one instead is really quite amazing. That is really hard to do, especially with tennis players. Playing in this team environment when it's supposed to be a individual sport can be really challenging because it is the only college sport where you can win and lose at the same time. In the match against Harvard I was able to pull out my match, but my team lost.  I'm sure my teammates and other college tennis players can relate to this; having those mixed feeling is really tough. It's just so great the way this team handles that type of situation. When we lose and some girls win, those girls that win look just as disappointed as the girls that lost their matches. This just goes to show that this team lives up to that motto "There is no I in Team."

Believe it or not we are already halfway done with season, which means conference matches are just around the corner! We open up conference play next Saturday at Pepperdine. What better way to open up conference play than to play a match against a big time rival! We are so excited to start conference play because we have so much confidence that we're going to do so well in the conference this year, and this is what we've been working so hard for. Before our first conference match, we're going to continue to battle at home against Cal Poly on Thursday!

That's all for now lion fans!

Jessica


LIONS BUST OUT 3 HOME MATCHES THIS WEEK

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Hey there lion fans!

It was a tough week for your lady lions. We had 3 matches in a row this week Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but it was great playing back at home again! Nothing is better than playing on your home turf!

We opened up our busy week with a tough match against Georgetown. The lions started out tough clinching that doubles point with a win at the #1 and #3 spots. Georgetown came out tough in singles defeating 4 out of the six singles spots, which brought it to an overall score of 4-3 for Georgetown. Even though we lost the match, the girls fought so hard. I was actually the deciding point at 3-3, but lost the match in a tight 3rd set. It killed me not being able to win that point for my team, but I'm so lucky I have teammates that were still so proud of me for fighting and to encourage me to keep my head up.

We didn't let that loss to Georgetown bring us down! The lady lions turned it around on Wednesday and posted a big victory over Utah State. Once again the lions claimed that doubles point and started singles off with a 1-0 lead. Our freshman, Elvira was the first lion to post a singles victory defeating her opponent in straight sets, which was her third straight win in a row! So proud of her for doing so well this season, and killing it with me in doubles! It was a tough start on courts 1,2 and 3 for the lions all dropping the first set, but we all fought back and won in three sets. Unfortunately, our number 5 singles lost a tough one bringing our final score to 5-2. The coaches were so proud of us for fighting so hard today and battling back. Agustin always emphasizes to us that no matter what the score is you've got to keep fighting and that's exactly what the lady lions did!

As for the final match of the week, the lions faced a tough match against Boston University. We had a rough start in doubles losing that doubles point, but as always the lions battled back in singles. In my match on court 1, my opponent retired in the middle of the first set due to illness which brought the score automatically to 1-1. Over on court 2, our mega fighter Kristine fought so hard the first set winning in a tiebreaker 7-6. After winning that set, she closed it out nicely in the second 6-1 bringing the score to 2-1. Unfortunately, on courts 3, 5 and 6 the lions fell in all super tight matches. Once again, Elvira was able to win her singles match winning that nasty 3rd set tiebreaker! That brought the overall score to 4-3 for Boston. Losing those tight 4-3 matches is such a heartbreaker especially for how much we fought.

After the match we had a team meeting, and Agustin told us that matches like these are ones you can learn from the most. Even though we lost, we know we are so tough and soon we'll be the ones winning those tight 4-3 matches. What really caught my eye this week was how tough this team really is. Something about this team is we absolutely hate to lose. When we do lose, it only makes us stronger and want to win the next match even more. After we lose a tough match, we always exchange positive and encouraging words with each other to keep on fighting and to keep our heads up. That's something I really admire about this team, and I'm so proud to call each one of these girls my teammates. We are so confident as a team that all the hard work we've been doing this year is going to pay off soon!

The lions get a little bit of a breather the next few days from the tough week, but we are back at it again with a match at home against Harvard next Wednesday!

That's all for now lion fans!

GO LIONS

Jessica


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