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ONE TOURNAMENT LEFT FOR THE FALL SEASON

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Hey there tennis fans!

Your Lady Lions just returned from Dallas, Texas a couple of days ago where we were playing a tournament over at Southern Methodist University. It was a really great experience for us playing different schools from different parts of the U.S. and different opponents. We had some really good matches with schools such as Tulsa, Oklahoma State and Wyoming. It was also a tough tournament for us because we had to play matches indoors and outdoors, but it's good preparation for us for the spring.

On our way back home from Dallas, Agustin asked us what we learned from this tournament and what did we learn playing these big teams we don't normally play. We came to the conclusion that these girls are tough, fit and they don't give up. This fall, Agustin has been really emphasizing to us how we have to learn to suffer out there while we're playing these matches. We have to figure out a way to compete well no matter what the circumstances are. If something is hurting or if the forehand isn't working well we have to find a way to stay in the match. We have to show our opponents that we are never going to give up and if something isn't working well we don't show it to them. We break our opponents down mentally by doing this, by showing them we're not going to break down first. It's something we're really working on as a team and if we really improve on this, this squad will be dangerous in the spring!

Believe it or not our fall season is coming to an end! We have our last tournament at Cal State Northridge this weekend which most of us are going to. It's crazy to think this is my last fall season, but to keep the sadness away I think of the full season we have up ahead. We'll be out there competing this Friday through Saturday this weekend, so wish us luck!

That's all for now!

GO LIONS

Jessica

DALLAS UP NEXT FOR LADY LIONS

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Hey there Lion fans!

Four of your Lady Lions got back from regionals this past Saturday. We had some tough matches out there against some tough schools, but we got some really great matches in to prepare us for the spring.

This week we have a full training week Monday through Saturday! This is one of our last full training weeks this season. It's so crazy how fast it goes by, but I know everyone is really looking forward to the spring. Fall is such a good preparation for our season in the spring, but it is really a grind. Playing tournament after tournament along with full training and practices in between is tough. I can really see how strong we are getting physically and mentally from this fall season. It's really exciting to see in preparation for the season.

 Something I've really noticed the past few weeks is our team chemistry with each other and the coaches. Everyday we are becoming more and more of a team and the chemistry between all of us is something you don't see often. Good team chemistry is something that is also very important when we compete in season, and knowing we're getting that now in the fall will only make us stronger for the spring.

We only have two tournaments left believe it or not! Next weekend we have our big trip of the fall season to Dallas, Texas to play a tournament at Southern Methodist University. Everyone is really excited to travel as a team and play some new opponents. It will really be good experience for us and a new experience for our newbies on the team! I know we're going to compete well and show other schools what we're capable of!

That's all for now tennis fans!

GO LIONS

Jessica

REGIONALS UP NEXT FOR THE LADY LIONS

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 Hey there tennis fans!

Your Lady Lions had some tough matches this past weekend in the Cal State Long Beach tournament. We all took home a win on the first day, but faced some tough matches the second day. One of our freshman, Vony got to the semifinals and lost a tight match against the University of San Diego. Shout out to her for competing so well! I was able to make it to the finals again, but lost a close one in the finals to Cal State Long Beach. Overall, all four of us competed hard this weekend.

We have this weekend off from tournaments, but that means a full week of training! We have regionals next week which is one of the biggest tournaments of the fall season. We're really focusing and practicing hard this week, so we can compete hard against the tough schools we're going to face. We've been doing a lot of drills this week to work on consistency. Agustin has pointed out to us that consistency is a little bit of a weak spot on our team. We've been doing a variety of drills to help us keep every ball in and run every ball down. Agustin and Katie always emphasize to us to run every ball down and do whatever it takes to stay in the point. Even though sometimes we may lose the point because the opponent played a tough point, but that's okay because we want the opponent to have to play to beat us. If we constantly stay in the point and show our opponents we're going to run every ball down, it will most likely make them miss first. This also shows we're always in the match, and we're never going to give the opponent anything. This type of mindset for the tournament this weekend is going to help us compete hard against these tough schools.

I can already see this mindset taking place in practice this week, and it's really motivating to see. If we keep this intensity and mindset up and maybe even increase it a little bit, we can really do some damage at regionals next week!

I'll be putting up another blog during the tournament next week for an update!

GO LIONS

Jessica

LADY LIONS BACK AT IT THIS WEEKEND

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Hey there tennis fans!

Your Lady Lions had a pretty successful first tournament last weekend! Our freshman from Argentina won her first match as a Lion last Friday in a tough three setter. She unfortunately fell short the next round losing to a tough player from University of San Diego in another tough three set match. Congrats to Cami her for winning her first match as a Lion and for competing so hard. Our junior, Anna fell short in her first round losing to a tough player from San Diego State, but bounced right back and won the consolation draw! Big congrats to her as well! Our other freshman, Vony played a tough first match losing in a tight three setter to a girl from Cal State Northridge. As for me, I had a good tournament and won my bracket in singles. It was a pretty good start for your Lady Lions!

This weekend we're back to competing again! Unfortunately, we have a few teammates with some injuries that's preventing them from competing this weekend. However, they are on the road to recovery and will bounce back in no time! With that being said, the same four players will be competing in the Cal State Long Beach tournament this weekend. With a tournament under our belt, I know we will be competing even harder this weekend. We will be playing a few more matches this weekend than last weekend, so it'll definitely be a bit more of a challenge.  Agustin always tells us to fight for every ball in practice and matches because it will only make us that much tougher when we compete in the spring. With the way we've been training and practicing, I know we'll be able to battle through any match this weekend.

That's all for now!

GO LIONS

Jessica

FIRST TOURNAMENT OF THE FALL SEASON

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Hey there Lions fans!

Today your Lady Lions are hitting the road for our first tournament!  Four of us will be competing this weekend in San Diego at San Diego State University. After all this training we've been doing, we're really excited to finally compete! I've played this tournament every year since my freshman year, and it's a little emotional that this is my last Fall season but I'm going to make the best of it. 

This week we've been doing a lot of match and point play to prepare for this weekend. Agustin has been emphasizing to us how important it is to play high percentages in these tournaments. Especially in the first few matches it's natural to feel a little nerves, it's just the way players deal with them that makes players tougher than others. It's part of sports to feel nervous or tight sometimes, but we have to learn to accept it and get passed it. It's also a good thing to remember that your opponent is most likely experiencing the same nerves as well, or maybe even more. This is what makes tennis so mental. Sometimes it's not about the kind of strokes or power you have, you can break your opponent down mentally as well. If your opponent sees you're never giving up and you're going to do whatever it takes to stay in the point, they're probably going to experience more nerves and eventually break down. College tennis is such a mental game and I've learned that it's the mentally tough ones who know how to break their opponents down are the ones that are the toughest.

We've been training so hard the past few weeks and I can see we're all ready to compete this weekend. I'm excited to see the beginning of what this squad can do this year!

GO LIONS

Jessica

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


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