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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


LMU WOMEN'S TENNIS IS BACK AT IT

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Hey there tennis fans!

Jessica from the LMU Women's tennis team here! I thought it would be great to keep the tradition of our team blog going, so I will be taking over since Logan graduated. Big thanks to her for starting a team blog and for starting a tradition that I hope future team members will keep up in the future! 

It's been quite a while since we have updated you with what is going on with our team, so let me give you a little update! We started the 2015-2016 with new classes, new teammates, new coaches and new beginnings! In the fall, my teammates and I were welcomed back with a new coach taking charge, Agustin Moreno. Agustin came from an impressive background coaching at the University of South Florida and had tremendous success such as a pair of conference championships and six NCAA appearances. He also had his own success with being an All-American at Pepperdine and participating in the 1988 Olympics and 1988 French Open. Shortly after Agustin was hired he brought in our assistant coach, Katie Vasenina. Katie actually played under Agustin at University of South Florida from 2009-2013. She played at the #1 spot and got a ranking as high as #26 in the nation! We're so lucky to have someone like her who has this experience in college tennis and know what it's like to be in our shoes!

With these two brand new coaches on board, we were excited to start the new school year and of course tennis season! Also, I wanted to take a minute to introduce our newest members of the team! We have three new freshmen: Tatijana, Jackie and our newest one who just came in January, Elvira. They are all such fantastic new members of our team all coming from such strong tennis backgrounds. They are such great teammates and tennis players with great attitudes!

With all these new changes, we started out the fall with a tough fall schedule with practice, running, weights, yoga... everything! Agustin really believes in us as a team, so he wanted us to start off with a good training schedule and pushing us hard. We played a few tournaments, had pretty good results in the fall and got used to the new coaching and all that.  More importantly, now tennis season has officially begun! We started the season end of January with a couple of close matches with Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton. We lost both 4-3 in super tight matches, but Agustin kept encouraging us to keep fighting and that the wins were going to come soon and to keep believing! Sure enough, we had our first win of the season against Sacramento State 5-2, which gave us a huge boost of confidence since we lost 7-0 to them last year.

In the past two weeks we have had a couple of tough losses against UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State (both really tough teams), but we didn't let that drag us down! This past Tuesday, we had a great win over San Diego State 5-2. Unfortunately, we had a couple girls get injured at the last minute and they couldn't play, but that didn't stop us!  It was such a great win for us because not only did we beat a good team, we had such a fighting attitude.  I even played so well and was able to beat a ranked opponent because my teammates gave me so much motivation, I couldn't have done it without them! San Diego State was another team we lost 7-0 to last year, so we got another huge boost of confidence! After the match, Agustin and Katie asked us what we learned from the match. As a team, we learned how tough we really are and how we can really beat any team if we set our minds to it. It's amazing how these kinds of wins and experiences really bring us closer as a team and get us even closer to reaching our goals!

This next week, we got three home matches in a row Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. We're finally back at home after being on the road for almost a month. We're playing a couple teams from the East Coast, so it will be a good mix up for us to play some players we've never seen before. We start off our busy week playing Georgetown on Tuesday!

That's all for now lion fans!

GO LIONS

Jessica



BIG LAST WIN OF THE SEASON!

Hey there tennis fans!

It's been a long road! Your lady lions have been through a whirl-wind of a season. Emotions have been run high and blood, sweat and tears has been put into every practice and match we have had all year long. It's a true testament to the tremendous tenacity each and every player has each and every day we hit the court.

We finished up our last two matches on the road....literally a road trip as in, we drove. We drove up to Northern California for our match against St. Mary's followed by a Stockton trip a little farther north to play University of Pacific. The heat was brutal. St. Mary's was our first opponent and they were tough. The match didn't go our way but Jessica had a solid win at 1 singles.

Pacific was next and our final match of the regular season before the conference tournament. We literally left it all on the court. The match was close throughout. There were two hugely important matches in the end that ultimately determined the overall outcome of the match. Both Anna and Julia were initially down in their matches at no. 3 and 6 singles, but that fire in them that I admire so much kept them grinding away and they both made huge comebacks so we could ultimately secure those matches and clinch the victory 4-3 over Pacific! It was amazing and such an awesome way to end the regular season.

Coach Jamie was so proud of us and he texted us after we traveled back home after the long trip to let us know how proud he was of us and it made us feel so great. Of course we work so hard to achieve our own satisfaction of winning but we also do it for our team and for our coaches who sacrifice and incredible amount of time and effort to helping us be the best version of ourselves not only on the tennis court but off as well. It is the biggest treat for a coach to see his players utilize the skills we have been taught from our rigorous hours on the court. We're making him proud!

This is what he texted us after the big win: "Everyone, I want you to know that yesterday's match was a monumental team effort. It was one of the best experiences that I had the pleasure of experiencing as a coach. Thank you for the privilege of sharing it with me!" Jamie

Okay, I would be lying if I said I didn't get a little teary-eyed. This is exactly what we need to hear as we head into the conference tournament this coming week. On Tuesday, we head down to San Diego to play at the infamous Barnes Tennis Center for the tournament. Our first round match is "to be determined" but we more than ever, the lady lions are hungry to battle our hearts off for one last time. If you see any of us around campus this week, wish us good luck and we hope to make you all proud and bring home the championship!

That's all for now. GO LIONS!

Logan

SENIOR DAY

Hey there tennis fans!

We wrapped up our final home matches of the season with Pepperdine on Thursday and Portland on Saturday. Our doubles looked so strong and we almost snuck the point away from Pepperdine. I was so impressed and we had great momentum going into singles play.

The No. 16th ranked Pepperdine is a long time rival and always puts forth a solid squad but like all of the matches we play, we were right in there the whole time. Special shout out to Jess at 1 for her huge singles win. That was a huge win for her! Unfortunately that was the only win we got in the match, but this match in particular was a prime example of the final score on paper does not reflect the performances out there in the slightest.

Our next match up was against the No. 48th ranked Portland Pilots on Saturday. That was also Senior Day since we acknowledged that was our very last home match of our college careers. We recognized the five individuals who have been a member of the team since freshmen year. And I know every individual out there brought out their fiercest inner lion to make the seniors proud. Portland is once again a very tough team as every single team in our conference. We had such clutch singles wins from Anna and Kristine at 3 and 4. They were ultimate tenacious battlers and I know those were great wins for their confidences.

Followed by the match, some fans, friends, and family joined our team in a conference room for a little ceremony to honor the seniors for Senior Day. I did not have the intent that I was going to cry, but the minute we sat down to start the ceremony, the tears started shedding. We hadn't even started yet! Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck. And they were contagious! My fellow team captain, Lisa's eyes started to water and then some of our teammates as well. Oh gosh. It did not make it easy to get through that ceremony. 

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Coach Jamie talked about all five of us seniors individually including Ana Lucia, Madison, Kristine (who will be tennis eligible for one more year), Lisa and myself. Jamie shared a quote for each of us for which he thought would be an accurate depiction of us. And they were. It was really sweet but very emotional. It really hit me how enormous an impact the tennis team has been on my college years. Those strenuous practices 6 days a week, the cross training, the meetings, the matches, the team bonding....what an incredible ride it's been! But I would not change any bit of it for the world. I don't want to get too sappy yet as the season is not completely over and I don't want to start tearing up again as I am writing this. To be continued...

This coming week, we finish up our last two matches on the road with St. Mary's followed by University of Pacific. Here it is! The final two before the big Conference tournament. So let's keep the positive vibes going the Lion way and wish us luck for the last leg of the season!

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

 

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