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NORTHRIDGE TOURNEY AND ALABAMA THIS WEEKEND

Hey there tennis fans!

The end of October is approaching and us Lady Lions are grinding away out on the courts improving and getting stronger each and everyday. Five of us ventured to a tournament this weekend not too far away at Cal State Northridge. There were roughly 12 teams that competed from all over including Seattle University, Portland, Montana, and University of Arizona. And then of course a plethora of California schools including, UC Irvine, UCSD, Cal Poly, Northridge and Fullerton. Northridge has 24 courts, which was crazy so there were lots of matches played all day long throughout the weekend.

Each of us, (myself, Lisa, Ellie, Julia and freshmen, Audrey) all played at least two matches a day which was prime for us to get some quality matches in as well as try out things we have been working on in our grueling practice sessions.

Lisa and I were a doubles team and had a rocky start in our opening matches but had a key win against a couple ringers from UC Irvine where we came back from being down 2-5 in the 8-game pro-set to win 8-7 in the end. We held our heads high. We also took advantage of being a lot more aggressive with being on top of the net because that's very much our game styles. We caught ourselves regressing to the baseline too often where we could not capitalize cutting off angles with a sharp volley or put-away. We figured it out when it mattered most and were happy to get with W.

Audrey and Julia also played doubles together and fought some great battles. They had a solid first round match victory.

In singles play, Lisa played a great round this weekend and won 3 out of 4 of her matches. I went 2-2 with my singles. Ellie, Julia and Audrey faced some tough competition but never gave up and had some awesome matches.

With some fire in our bellies after a fun and competitive week of tennis, us five and Anna, Kylie and Andy are all off to Alabama this weekend for a tournament in Tuscaloosa for our second trip. I did not go on the trip last year but I heard it was quite a culture shock and should be a great time! I have personally never been to the South so I am excited to take in a little of the Southern hospitability upon our visit. We also will have a busy weekend playing some big teams.

The other three members of our team, Kristine, Jessica and Laura will compete in another big tournament, The Jack Kramer's tournament, local in LA. Wish us all luck! Those of us heading to Alabama will hope to rep some serious Lion pride.

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

REGIONAL RESULTS AND SUNDAY FUNDAY AT THE RACES

Hey there tennis fans,

So our squad tripped it back down to San Diego for regionals this past weekend. We knew going in that every opponent and team we faced would be no cinch. Some of the teams included USC, UCLA, SDSU, ASU and others. Minor injuries here and there got the unfortunate better of us and we could not all produce our best results. However, there were still some stellar performances out at Barnes Tennis Center to note. 

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In singles, Ellie advanced the farthest in the main draw after winning in the first round and then clinching a win over the No 13th seed from Pepperdine the Round of 64. 

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Laura advanced to the third round in the constellation round, Andy advanced to the quarterfinal round of constellations as well as Julia.  As a doubles team, Laura and Jessica reached the Round of 16. Shout out to all the girls who gave it their all! All these teams are tough no doubt about it but we were right in there and hung tough through and through.


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On Sunday, my co-captain, Lisa and I met Coach Jamie and Ivan along with other athletes and coaches from the Women's basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball team at the Santa Anita Race Track for a "Day at the Races."

Our LMU Athletic Director, Dr. Husak was there and joined by other LMU Athletics staff, alumni, boosters, family and friends. It was a great event and we all had an awesome time in honoring all of the amazing women sports here at LMU. Just to add another feather to my coach's cap, he actually started the very first women's sports team! So without him, LMU would not have a female sports program!

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Lisa and I had a blast mingling with some of the alumni who were eager to hear how our team is looking thus far this season. We had our own private designated area for our event as we enjoyed a delicious buffet and took in the sights of the beautiful race track, and tried our hands at a little horse gambling while we were at it.

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I actually have been to the Santa Anita Race Tracks numerous time with my family during the holidays. My grandparents were very much into the horse racing scene so I got to learn a lot about the horse racing culture and whatnot. It was definitely fun to come back there and spray a little knowledge on those who had not been to the race track before. 

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Although I have been there before, my knack of winning in the gambling department is slim to none. I came home empty-handed and lost a little dough as it turned out. I was so set on betting on the long-shot for the final race of the day and because I always love to pull for the underdog, however, this time around, I was a little far-off....okay a lot...the poor underdog came in dead last. But hey, I gave it a shot, and had the outcome been differently, I could have proven a lot of people wrong and walked away a huge winner!

All in all, I think I speak on behalf of everyone who attended the event that we had a blast and it was a success! A Sunday well spent...We got to meet and greet with a jockey and we also got to go through a behind the scenes tour of where horses and their jockeys warm-up before they head out to the race track. It was awesome!

Going back to tennis, next up, we have a tournament in Northridge and six of your lady lions will be competing. Wish us the very best of luck as many of us hope to battle back from some of these little health kinks.

That's all for now!

Logan

REGIONALS THIS WEEKEND

Hey there tennis fans!

Our team is building not only in our skills on the court but also in our friendships. Both components are crucial to being a part of a team. Team chemistry can make such a difference with our performances on the court, and when we spend so many hours together with each other everyday, you only hope that your team enjoys the company of one another! We're all a big family after all. With four years experience as a lion, I can say that's undoubtedly true. And then dazzle that team chemistry in with killer skills on the court and then we are a fierce squad to be battled against.

We collected all of our raffle/fundraising money for our team in the beginning of the week in time for the Puppy Plop event that took place this past Saturday. Overall, we raised a solid amount and we are so excited for all those proceeds to go toward our equipment and traveling fare, etc. Perhaps one of the lucky people we sold a ticket to won the big prize!

Jessica, Laura, Andy, Kristine, Ellie, Kylie, Julia and Anna will all be heading to San Diego this weekend for the ITA Regional tournament. With a solid week of practice last week and double days on our academic day off (look at that dedication), we should be in great position to do really well this weekend! Wish these lady lions luck!

That's all for now!

Logan

FRESHMEN ANNA ROMEKA ADVANCES WINS BIG IN LONG BEACH TOURNAMENT

Hey there tennis fans!

Four of your Lady Lions competed in a tournament in Long Beach this past weekend. Overall it was a huge success all around. Two of our freshmen Kylie and Anna teamed up in doubles to win the back-draw dubs finals over Grand Canyon University. Anna also killed it in singles and won her flight against the host team, Long Beach. Congrats to her... we expect big things from the little lady!

The conditions were not easy this past weekend that's for sure. We are hitting another heat wave once again so it was especially scorching on the courts this past week and well into the weekend. Talk about a never-ending summer, am I right? It's important that we are eating and staying hydrated more than usual when the weather is wildly hot like this.

This coming weekend we have a bye week from a tournament. We also are given the Friday off due to Autumn Day which was initiated by LMU. That doesn't mean that tennis team will be off however. We will kick up our practices a notch so we will be best prepared for the following week where matches and a tournament will resume.

On Saturday, we are hosting our fundraiser on behalf of athletics. It is a puppy plop competition and athletes have been responsible in asking for donations that go toward our athletic program. The proceeds go to equipment, traveling, transportation, etc. Sometimes we underestimate how big of an impact all of these things play as members of our respective teams so it's very important that we all are appreciative for being a part of a Division I sports program as it is indeed a privilege. 

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

ALUMNI WEEKEND AND FIRST TOURNAMENT KICK-OFF

Hey there tennis fans!

This past weekend was a big weekend for your Lady Lions as we started off our very first fall tournament of the season! Three of our players, Andy, Laura and Jessica, tripped it down with our assistant coach, Ivan to San Diego State. Andy made quite the debut with us and we are so happy to have her!

Jessica, Laura and Andy all competed in different flights of the tournament. Jessica and Andy both won their flights! Jess triumphed over from SDSU in the final. On route to the finals, she beat out the No. 1 player from University of San Diego (USD), in the second round. Andy had some great wins as well and successfully cruised for a final victory in her very first tournament with us! Laura advanced to the finals in her flight but unfortunately had to pull out due to a foot injury. With a little rested time and some healing, she will be able to bounce back! Not to worry! Laura and Jessica played an awesome weekend of doubles together and won a couple matches.

It was also Alumni weekend this past weekend and as I have noticed in past years, LMU makes it a big deal. They love their alumni and all that Lion Pride. I know this to be true because when I would wear any LMU gear around the neighborhood off campus, some alum would get really excited to see students like me repping their alma mater. 

On Sunday, they organize a BBQ for all the alumni where there are a plethora of booths that represent a lot of amazing organizations on campus, as well as some live music and endless food stations and food trucks. It was an event not to miss. This year, our tennis team had its own booth. 

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We were celebrating my coach's 40th year as the head coach in addition to the 40th year that LMU Women's Tennis has been present. Needless to say, Coach Jamie was the founding father of our program! So Sunday, was definitely a call for a celebration!






Throughout the day during the BBQ, my teammates would work shifts at the booth where we were met by tennis alumni as well as others who were interested in hearing how our program was doing. I personally had a lot of fun 

IMG_2596.JPGtalking to the alumni. Getting to hear about some of the alum's highlights and experiences from their time here was a real treat, and it's crazy to think that in just a year from now, I can be attending this BBQ on the other side, as an alum...All the more reason to fully embrace and soak up my last year here. You only college once right?

This coming week, our tournament No. 2 is a local one, in Long Beach. Wish us luck! We seem to have a healthy squad for the matches ahead so we are looking forward to it!

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

LIONS GIVING BACK

Hey there tennis fans!

For the better three years that I have been a student athlete here, I have really liked our opportunities to give back to the community not only with the athletic program as a whole but specifically within the tennis team. Our involvement in community service keeps us well-rounded so we are not exclusively seen as "athletes" around campus. On Saturday was the "California Coastal Clean-Up Day." So naturally, Coach Jamie wanted to round up us troops and spend some time picking up trash at Dockweiler Beach right near LMU. It's so important to do things like that. And it's great to bring an organization such as our tennis team to participate because it shows that we, as a team are making a difference in the community. Impressed with our efforts to get down and dirty on the beach, Coach Jamie treated us all to a Panini brunch. Back-to-back Panini brunch outings with the team is not too shabby! (we also went last Saturday) I think it's impossible to order anything bad there.

We started up our kids clinics again as another way to contribute community service. We have done this every year since I have been on the team and it's a lot of fun! We work with about 20 kids ages around 3-6 each day after practice finishes up. Three or four of us girls facilitate clinics for the kids each day and we try to teach them a few pointers about the game and hopefully get them hooked! It's a lot of fun and the kids are so cute so we enjoy and look forward to those clinics!

Battling the ongoing heat has been no sinch this past month, but I will say it's a real test of our endurance out on the courts. If we can play in the heat, we will surprise ourselves with how much more energy we will have to perform at a more normal climate based setting. As Division I college athletes, we accept any challenges that are thrown our way because we do hold ourselves to high standards and we know that we can overcome them and excel.

In practice this past week, we played a lot of match-situation points and worked in some match play as well started to form possible doubles combinations. With a new squad this year, we are doing a lot of experimenting and we definitely have amazing talent so it is all about us utilizing that talent in the most effective way in order to play at the highest level and be a mighty force to be reckoned with come spring season time.

For now, we are gearing up for our very first fall tournament in San Diego this coming weekend. Four of our players, Jessica, Kristine, Laura and Andy (transfer from Stetson in Florida) will be representing from our team. So best of luck to those ladies!

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

FULL PRACTICES START UP

Hey there tennis fans!

Your lady lions have just switched from an eight-hour maximum hours of tennis in a week to 20 hour-full practice sessions. This finally means we can all get a regular routine going so we can arrange our other responsibilities, homework time, meals, downtime with friends, etc. around our mandatory practice time. As Coach Jamie highlights in practice this week, our "time" is valuable.

As a senior who has watched these past three years fly by, I am living proof that time really is precious and it's super important to maximize what seems like so little time to work hard and get things done so that you can fully enjoy other times that are carefree-- times that can provide you with an outlet from the occasional stress from school and tennis. Maybe that's finding other organizations to get involved with on campus because LMU offers countless opportunities for its students.

Perhaps it's just as simple as a quick escape to the beach down the road once a week or finding time to squeeze in a trip to get acai bowls in Manhattan Beach every once in a while. Whatever it is, my advice is to keep an open mind and take advantage when you are presented with an opportunity as long as it is not conflicting to immediate responsibilities at hand.

On the tennis court--the workouts were intense this week and it's been encouraging to see the team support going around to help get us through the tough love and intense practice sessions especially in these blistering hot days that seem to loom around the first couple months of school. In the beginning of the fall season, there tends to be a heavy emphasis on the fitness portions of our practices. We are very fortunate for this because, fitness is most definitely a foundation for us to be a little bit quicker, more agile and athletic as we get into match play.

Coach Jamie treated us to our traditional team lunch at Panini Café, which has definitely been a team favorite spot for many years. Due to their extremely diverse items on the menu, and not to mention, delicious, it's nearly impossible to reach a quick decision of what to eat. The goal is try everything on the menu at least once!

This week, we will continue our 20-hour practice sessions and keep grinding as we inch closer to our first tournament at the end of the month in San Diego.

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

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My co-captain and I had a captain's night out on Saturday. A perfect example of a solid friendship that formed since day 1 of freshmen year. I am so lucky the tennis team has brought us so close and I am so excited to be working side by side with her for our last year on the team!

WEEK TWO DOWN

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Hey there tennis fans!

We have successfully gotten through our second week of school. Things are starting to settle down and we all seem to be getting the swing of the whole school thing. It takes a little time to adjust and manage our time with all the responsibilities we have as student athletes, but no one is expected to get that all down right away. It takes time.

As an encouraging captain and as someone who's been in the freshmen shoes before (it seems like just yesterday) it's important to know to be proactive but patient during this first month or so of school. We are thrown with a ton of information constantly from professors, coaches, friends to family so it's nice to monitor everything that we are hit with. However, that doesn't mean that we are not going to get stressed or make mistakes along the way.

On the tennis front, we wrapped up our last week of 8-hour total practices for a week's time. We utilized that time for individual workouts, pilates, spin, strength training and conditioning. We also took advantage of practicing with each other on our own time. We're all looking strong and healthy and pumped to be out there on the courts. We are excited that we can finally start full practices this coming week so we can get a routine going and can work our lives around our designated and required tennis hours.

Bring it on week 3!

That's all for now! Have a great week

GO LIONS!

Logan

THE LADY LIONS ARE BACK WITH SOME NEW ADDITIONS

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Hey there tennis fans!

Summer has come to an end but the warm weather certainly hasn't! But hey, I'm not complaining and I bet everyone else who is fortunate enough to go to this amazing school in beautiful southern California isn't either. For those of you who are avid LMU Women's Tennis bloggers, you remember me, Logan Finnell. For those of you don't know who I am, Hi!  I write a weekly blog for the tennis team and I'd love for you all to check it out!

I am now entering my final season as co-captain with one of very best friends on the team, Lisa. I can't believe it! It is definitely a bittersweet feeling knowing I am headed for the real world at the conclusion of this year but I know I'm going to cherish every day because I am so incredibly blessed for every opportunity LMU has given me both on and off the court.

We welcome four new ladies to our team this year. A transfer sophomore from Spain, Andy Crespo, Kylie Waschuck from Canada, Audrey Marquard from Florida and Anna Romeka who is a hometown friend of mine from Monterey, CA. Anna and I grew up playing together and competed on the same high school tennis team. It's awesome that I can spend my last year as her teammate once again. I am so excited to get to know all of these new girls and I think we will have such a fun year ahead of us!

Since the first week of school is very overwhelming (especially for the newbies) figuring out our class schedules, seeing what books we need, finding pockets of free time for meals, homework, a social life and then of course, carving out that time in the afternoon for tennis practice it is nice that tennis is not as strenuous right off the bat because we ease back into it. 

Starting out, we are only required a certain amount of hours whether it's for a team meeting, court time or cross-training of some sort like pilates or spin class. This way, our team can get better adjusted to school and then we can be fresh for tennis when the hours add up for more practice time.

Tennis time may not be as frequent right now, but it doesn't mean we all can't practice on our own time! And already, I have noticed some of my teammates finding the time to get out there on the court or working out so that's awesome! We have to stay in shape at this time because we have fitness testing with our strength trainer, Jack so he can get a gauge of where our fitness level is after a nearly a four month long summer break. 

The testing has been different than some of the returners are used to because Jack was just added to our tennis program last spring. We are excited for him to jump in as our new trainer from the start of the year so he can watch us all progress and improve our strength in the gym that will hopefully carry on to the court as well!

After a long first week of classes, we were all happy about a 3-day weekend. We used the weekend for some quality team bonding! It seems that the new girls are feeling comfortable with us already, which is great. I like to say we are a pretty welcoming and supportive team. 

Because we are such a small team of 13 compared to other sports who have 25+ players, we are bound to form tight unique bonds with one another. Team chemistry is huge and right now, we are developing that very well. It's going to be a long journey but I am ecstatic about the road ahead and stay tuned for the Lady Lions adventures to come when we get into our tournament play next month!

GO LIONS!

Logan

Hey there tennis fans!

It is always sad to end a season in a loss, but we can't win 'em all! Seeded 8, we were excited to face USD for round one in the WCC Conference tournament at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.. Yes, we didn't win the first time we played them, but as a refresher, that was our biggest nail-biting match all season; the result literally could have gone either way. It was like a winning loss. It came down to a final deciding match. Oh yes, that fateful match....the one that Coach Jamie said was one of the best matches he has ever seen play in his nearly 40 years of coaching. Miya, don't be embarrassed that I'm bragging about you again... More importantly than almost capturing that win, both Jamie and Ivan were so proud and commended our efforts as if we had been the victors. This time, we wanted revenge against the Toreros.

We met our match on Wednesday. Losing the doubles point was tough. The game scores were super close all throughout and we were fighting with the greatest strength we had in us. Getting into singles, we know we had to put on our A games. The clinch-clinch gives us a little added pressure as well. It was do or die; we had to leave it all out on the court. Unfortunately our No. 1, 2 and 4 lost giving the Toreros the 4th and final win that they needed to advance. Shout out to Ellie who played an amazing match at 6 to win with a score of 6-1, 6-1. Our 2 seniors, Miya (at 2) and Reka (at 5) were making serious comebacks and had the other matches not completed earlier, we would have been a threatening case to win the match! It was such a bummer that their last matches of their college careers were not able to be completed...It was also ironic that the seniors' matches were the only ones that were still in play.

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There is no doubt that clinch-clinch is brutal, but it teaches us how important it is to take care of business, and take care of it quick and effectively. For us players that normally start slow, it forces us to capitalize and play with reckless abandon right from the start of the match. Both physically and mentally, we know that's what we have to do. 



Easier said than done though, right? But hey, we're not perfect. We are forever learning and growing and improving. We don't settle. We are lions, we're hungry and we will keep fighting. This isn't the end. It just motivates us even more to keep working at our games so we can be the best we can and represent LMU in the greatest way possible. We want people to look up to us as tennis players and student athletes radiating lots of LMU pride. Jamie also gave a heartfelt speech commemorating the seniors. It was emotional. 




On a side note, and on behalf of the team, I am going to miss all three of the seniors so much. 

For the two seniors who competed this year, Miya and Reka and Claudia (who was unfortunately ineligible for competition this year), I admire and look up to you guys everyday and am so thankful to have grown so close to you guys these past three years not just as teammates but as life-long friends,...family. You have accomplished so much and have kicked some major butt on the court. I am so excited for what the future holds for you all but I know you will conquer whatever you choose to do just like you've done in school and in tennis! I wish you all the best with your future endeavors and love you all so much!

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Until next season! GO LIONS!

Logan



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