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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



ST. MARY'S AND PACIFIC AND SENIOR DAY

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Hey there tennis fans!

It's just starting to sink in that we are approaching the tail end of our season! Holy cow! Time flies.  Although we have had our fair shares of ups and downs throughout the season, we have played some unbelievable matches and our team has grown so incredibly close and not to mention, we have created countless memories that we will remember forever. I would have to say that the team chemistry this year is probably the strongest we have had in my three years here. Although when we are out there individually on the court, we still are a part of something bigger, a team. And we are so lucky to be surrounded by such caring, supportive, hard-working and fun group of girls.

Coach Jamie had us do this activity at our Tuesday meeting this past week. He understands that we have been a little hard on ourselves with our recent losses and he wanted to remind us through this activity that a loss is a loss and it shouldn't lead us to individually self-destruct. Jamie thought of a perfect quote the other day when Lisa was having her frustrations get the better of her on the court, and by that I mean she was considering throwing in the towel and becoming a professional ball picker-upper....a promising career? Jamie said, "You don't know what love is until you hate it." Obviously we come to the courts everyday because we love the sport so much, All those hours spent everyday...we wouldn't come out and keep grinding out there if we didn't love the sport.

Jamie tried to reassure us that we can't always love tennis. We have to hate it at some point in order to really appreciate it and love it all over again. That's the way of the world not just with tennis but with anything important to us in our lives. Like I mentioned before, we are a part of something bigger than just ourselves, we are part of an amazing squad that has our backs. We work hard day in and day out, together. We get through the good, the bad and the ugly, together.

For this activity that he wanted us to take part in during the meeting, Jimbo gave us all these small sticks. He had us all recall our recent frustrations and stresses and take it out on the stick essentially and break it in half. Than he got another group of sticks he handed out and he wanted us to put them all together and than individually try to break that. We quickly found out that that was way too hard to do. From this exercise, we learned, we are only as strong as our team together, (so all the sticks together) and we are not nearly as strong on our own. This really hit home for me because it shows how valuable team dynamics are.

It's been so long since we've talked about our pet mascot, Munchie the squirrel, but it is not to say that he's not around, because he most certainly is, but he definitely is a lot more in and out than he used to be. This past week, he really wanted to remind us that he is back on his aggressive food-seeking grind. Some how, I can't even begin to tell you how, Munchie chewed his way through Lisa's Tupperware full of nuts. He actually broke into Tupperware with his apparent razor sharp teeth. I mean that's just impressive. Lisa is supposed to be Munchie's favorites! But hey, a squirrels gotta do what a squirrels gotta do I guess. He peeked to see nuts and he absolutely went after that. I honestly don't know how its little teeth didn't break off after tackling that Tupperware. Lesson learned, Munchie is forever on the prowl. We should never for a second think that he's found new territories to claim or other teams to interrogate with his hunger and killer instincts.

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Saturday's match was against University of Pacific and it also happened to be REPRESENT DAY for all student athletes. Represent day is a day where we try to show our utmost support and LMU pride for all the athletes and go out to watch a game or two. It was not just us who had a match. Soccer, softball, baseball, volleyball and water polo also had games going on. 


So needless to say, there were ample opportunities for fans, peers, family members, or other athletes to come out and game-hop. There was a decent crowd that came out for our match, which was nice. And we won, which was even sweeter! It was a close 4-3 and everyone took care of business and we did what was necessary to win. We were happy to solidify this win because going into the match, they had our same win-loss record, so winning that match can put us in better position for the seeding in the conference tournament.Sunday 

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Senior day was a success. Although the win did not go our way against No. 43 ranked, St Mary's. Kristine's opponent at 1 is ranked No. 8 in the country. All considering, Kristine fought a great battle. The other girls' scores were super close as well but we were not able to come out on the top in the end.

On a happier note, Lisa and I put ourselves in charge for putting together gift baskets for our three seniors--Miya, Reka and Claudia in order to commemorate senior day. Lisa and I love to get cute gifts for friends so we had fun putting together a basket of little trinkets that we knew our teammates would enjoy. We also made them their own picture collages of fun team pictures that we compiled throughout the year.

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As clichĂ© as it sounds, pictures are really worth a thousand words and it warmed my heart to see their reactions when we gave those collages to them. They were all so touched. 

There is always something about getting gifts where you actually spent time to create it yourself compared to buying something at a store that might not have any really emotional connection to it.

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This coming week we have our very last game of the season against Pepperdine on their turf. It would mean the world if you wished us luck or wanted to even make a trip out there in Malibu to watch us go out with a bang one final time....before the conference tournament of course.

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

LADY LIONS WIN ONE LOST ONE IN PORTLAND AND SPOKANE

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Hey there tennis fans!

After getting Monday off of school due to Cesar Chavez Day, (we did not get that day off of practice however), we had just three days of school before we ditched the oddly cold weather (for LA) for even colder weather up in Portland and Spokane, Washington. And by cold for us, we're talking like 59 into low 60's. Yikes! But we had to bring our warmest clothes so we could bundle up in the bitter temperatures in Portland and Spokane. Thankfully we were playing indoors! A few of my international teammates have had a lot of experience practicing indoors back home so that definitely put us at some advantage going into our matches this past weekend.

Our first match up was against Portland. After losing the doubles point and our first two singles matches, your lions persevered and proceeded to win the next four singles matches to claim the win! It was huge and showed a true sign of teamwork. Being down in the overall match did not affect the remaining performances out there! It occurred to those still out there fighting, that they can still come back, we could still win this thing! With that mentality, we were confident to walk away with the victory and snatch that first conference win! This one was a true team effort!

The next day, it was off to a new state for a new match! The Gonzaga Bulldogs were up next. Although all of the traveling shenanigans wears us out, we knew we had to tough it out because we had to be sharp for our next match. We came all this way, we had to put our best games forward. Sadly, the win didn't go our way this time but we all played our hearts out nonetheless.

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(Coach Jamie on a casual phone call in the airport)

This weekend, we have two big conference matches. We play Pacific (who just joined West Coast Conference this year) on Saturday and St. Mary's on Sunday. Saturday is our REPRESENT game along with a few more sport events and we are trying to get as many fans, family members, alumni and peers to come out and support how hard us ladies have been working all season long. The end of the season is just around the corner and we would love your support more than ever! Sunday is our very last home match and it will also be our senior game so it would be another opportunity to come out and watch! The weather is supposed to be fabulous this week and into the weekend, so why not come out and enjoy a game or two in the sun? These matches are going to be so important, much like every match is but with just one remaining conference match left after this week, we've got to go big or go home, right? Thank you for all your support thus far this season!

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That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

LMU FIGHTS T'LL THE END

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Hey there tennis fans!

All rested from a rather mellow weekend off from matches, we were healthy and excited for the matches this week. Coach Jamie was very impressed with how hard we had been working in practice; he knew that we were gearing up the best and most effective way we can for Friday and Saturday. We were super focused throughout the week and were willing to put in the extra effort to work on areas where we felt needed a little more practice. We were picking up balls left and right with all the baskets we went through so quickly this week.

Friday was our match against BYU. Since our matches come down to clinchers now, every point was crucial. For doubles, once the first two matches in doubles are complete, the third doubles is automatically done. It came down to literally a few points for the doubles point against the Cougars and unfortunately they took the dubs point from us. Despite the opening loss, we kept our heads held high as singles was up next. The battles were hard fought but we fell short with a final score of 2-5. Shout out to Jess and Ellie for their big wins on 2 and 6.

USD was next on the agenda for our Saturday afternoon match. USD has predominantly had a really strong team so we know we had to give them every ounce of energy that we had out there. We clinched the doubles point after amazing matches played. Our 1 and 3 teams played so well as "team" members and executed tremendous game plans. That put us in high spirits and with great confidence going forward. Kristine won her first set 6-2 and her opponent retired due to an injury giving us our 2nd match win. We just needed two more! Ellie secured a win at 6 but we lost at 2, 4 and 5; all of which could have gone either way. At no point of their matches did they show signs of giving up.

The match decider came down to Miya's match at 3. She and her opponent split sets after she won the first set. She came out with so many clutch volley angle winners, which put a lot of pressure on her opponent. A few tough breaks cost her the second set but it was by no means that Miya was losing her fire. Although a little peeved after losing the second set, Miya kept fighting t'll she couldn't anymore. She barely lost in the end for a final score of 6-2, but she played an incredible match showing our team what it's like to compete at such a high level like this. We are so proud of her! Jamie said it was one of the best matches he has seen played in the 39 years he has been coaching here!

Next Thursday, we are off to Portland and Spokane to play the Pilots and Gonzaga Bulldogs. Wish us luck upon our travels and we hope to bring home the wins for you all!

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

USF FOLLOWED BY A MELLOW WEEK/WEEKEND

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Hey there tennis fans!

It was back up to the bay area for our match-up against USF at the fancy Olympic Club on Wednesday. They came out with no mercy and unfortunately we couldn't execute the way that we wanted to pull out the victory. It was a great wake-up call for us to remind us that every match that we are going to play from here on out is crucial and we all really need to keep the mindset of leaving everything we have on the court even if we are pushing through a tough 3-setter and battling the pain. I would like to give a shout out to Reka and Ellie for their tenacious energies battling through to push both of their opponents to third set tiebreaks. They really gave it everything they had showing off a lot of lion pride.

Every team in our conference is super competitive but I am so confidant that our team definitely has the talent to beat any team we face. We just have to keep up those positive vibes throughout the duration of the season and not let a loss discourage us. We have a lot of matches ahead of us to prove ourselves. 

Us Lions will bounce back next week for our back-to-back matches against BYU on Friday followed by USD on Saturday. We rested appropriately this weekend to recover so we will be more than ready for the week to come!

That's all for now! GO LIONS!

Logan

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