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!
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
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
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!"
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!
all for now. GO LIONS!
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
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
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!
Hey there tennis fans!
am sorry that I did not post last week. I have decided to combine this week's
blog with last week's as it was our Spring Break. Although us student athletes
who have spring sports don't have much of a "spring break" because we are in
the very height of our seasons. That is just the nature of being a collegiate
student athlete. Our will power is ultimately put to the test with our most
competitive foot forward as we carry on through the remainder of the
season. It definitely helps to not
have to attend classes during this "spring break" though. Actually, thank
goodness we don't have to...We had three matchs upon us, two of which would be home games.
began our spring break with a tough match against USD. The Torreros had a
pretty similar record thus far this season so we knew it would be a close one.
And a close one it was indeed. Doubles gave us a little trouble. Even though we
all possess awesome doubles knowledge, we still battle some execution problems
that sometime we cannot afford to give up when doubles match are so incredibly
quick. Doubles did hurt us, but each singles match was fought so well from us
that it could have been anyone's match. The outcome did not go our way and it
left us at 2-5 loss, but once again this loss was not due to a lack of talent.
It was simply USD staying a little more mentally tough until the bitter end.
They just wanted it a little more than we did.
to the above quote, (Coach Jamie's of course) "You can't outplay your self
belief. Building belief is your secret weapon." Before we can focus on results,
we must have belief in ourselves. Having self-belief is essentially a
foundation for success. They go together in a sense.
How can you expect to be
successful when you don't even have faith in yourself? With this said,
self-belief is a key ingredient, ergo our secret weapon to see the results we
want to on the court. We need to keep up the encouragement amongst the team in order
for us to be reminded how truly amazing each and everyone os us and that anyone
can beat anyone any day of the week. The sky's the limit!
next opponent: Santa Clara on Thursday. Our doubles didn't give us a chance to
start strong but our singles matches were super well fought from 1-6. And every
single match was incredibly close until the bitter end.
That brutal 3-4 loss
struck again. And as easy as it is to dwell on a loss especially as close as
that one, we had to hang our heads high for the next one. Any negative energy
carried on from a loss can really affect the next match. This is because as
tennis players, we realize how much of a mental challenge it is. Have you ever
heard the quote, "tennis is 90% mental and 10% physical?" Odd to think about
initially but when you think about how much the sport gets to your head.
you miss an easy approach shot going to net, it's hard not to get mad at
yourself and erase it from your mind entirely when you are given a 30 second
break before the next point. Or how about the instance when you are up 4-3,
Deuce (because we don't play add's in the new format).
If you think too hard
about it, you can lose the point and bring it back to 4-4 or if you play
fiercely, you can win that game and put yourself in good position to win the
set with a 5-3 lead. Minds are crazy and they are racing constantly. And we are
only human, but we can control our minds to the best that we can.
past Saturday (on Easter-eve) we played USF. This match was no different than
our battles against USD and Santa Clara. These players are just as hungry and
feisty and competitive as the girls before. And never in my mind do I doubt
that we aren't ready. The matches against USF were tight until that very last
Special shout out to Kristine for her clutch win at 4 after facing
some obstacles throughout the match. The ending match score did not end up
giving LMU the overall victory but I was still so impressed with the fight from
my teammates. We are in every match we play we never give up. And at the end of
the day, that is all you can ask for in a player.
That's all for now! GO
Hey there tennis fans!
The grind is real. Not one
match we have played has been an easy one. We are facing all ranked teams that
are just as feisty and tenacious to win. No mercy, right? What sets us back a
little bit is that we lack the confidence we need to stay strong and hang tough
through every single match situation. When we start to lose that fire, we see
this energy carry out into our other matches that follow and it becomes really difficult
to bounce back and secure the wins.
We hosted our first home
conference match of the season against Gonzaga. Although the result was not in
our favor, we battled as best we could. San Diego State was our next opponent
and they always have a strong squad so we could not afford to show any signs of
weakness. Unfortunately we fell short as well and it seemed we felt both
physically and emotionally defeated. It breaks my heart to see my team so
We need to find it in
ourselves to believe that we can beat any team we play. We don't lack the
talent nor the passion. We have it! We just have to find it again. The season
is still young. We are just getting into our conference matches and we have
time to make a strong turn around. The results will come and it's important in
these times that we stay motivated and support each other because although
tennis is an individual sport and our results are based on the individual
performances, we still are a team at the end of the day, and any sort of
support we can get can only help us moving forward.
This coming weekend we start
our spring break. So yay for the no classes! We do have quite a jam-packed
match schedule however with three conference matches lined up the following
week. So we must keep that focus strong and be ready to battle! To tip off
Spring break weekend, we will travel down to San Diego to play USD. Wish us
I love my team and I know we
can get through this little speed bump. So let's go lady lions and lets embark
on this comeback trail!
there tennis fans!
are well into the height of our season and things are heating up. Our bodies
are getting stronger, more agile and somewhat more flexible but we would be
lying if we said that our bodies aren't taking a beating from all of the
matches we have played one after the other. As Division I players, we
understand the discipline that is required, the caliber of tennis that we must
compete against and the brutal travel schedule; it is simply the nature of the
game. With this said, of course we are going to feel fatigued from time to time
but because we know what is expected of us and what level so many aspiring
junior tennis players out there aspire to be at, it is crucial that we recover
and bounce back quick and as fresh as ever. Easier said then done sometimes,
but hey, if tennis was easy, than everyone would do it!
Thursday we ventured over to Logan, Utah for back-to-back matches. We had a
huge first win on Thursday over the No. 69 ranked, Utah State. That was a major
test of our tenacity and our "refuse to lose" mentality. We were right into
every single match until the bitter end. They made me so proud out there!
Special shout out to Kristine and Julia who had clutch wins at No. 4 and 5
singles to clinch our victory. BYU was our next match-up not to mention, our
first conference match of the season. They were tough, no doubt about it.
Ranked No. 52, BYU gave us some tough competition to work against but we held
our own and fought as hard as we could. The match didn't go our way but we know
we couldn't get too down because we had another match on the horizon.
a day of practice in between, we were faced with yet another day of competition
against No. 75, Sacramento State. The matches were tight, but Sac State pulled
out the victory a little fresher and tougher than we did. A little mental and
physical break from tennis is much needed after a crazy week that we went
were thankful to get this past Monday off to regroup and catch up on sleep and
schoolwork that all added up upon our absence in Utah followed by our match
against Sac State on Sunday. That's three matches in four days! Yikes!
are going to try to hang mentally and physically strong throughout this coming
week so we are ready for our duel set of matches for Saturday: Gonzaga and San
us luck and GO LIONS!
Hey there tennis fans,
This past week was an extremely moving week at LMU to
celebrate women. LMU hosted its first annual Title IX celebration.
And I just happen to know someone who is a strong proponent of Title IX: my
coach. Not only does Title IX hold a special place in his heart, but he basically
started Title IX at our university by introducing the first ever women's sports
team (tennis) and athletic scholarship on campus. He's a living legend I tell
Just as a refresher as to what this whole Title IX thing is
about... 1972 marked the date when Title IX of the Education Amendment passed
as a primary law barring sex discrimination in education, activities and sports
programs. Since then, Title IX required schools and colleges to receive federal
funds to give women and girls equal opportunities to compete in athletics as
well as receive scholarships, equipment, coaching, facilities (all of which had
been given to men and excluded from women before). It is fascinating to hear
how impactful Title IX has been for female athletes. In fact, the number of
female college athletes is nearly five times the pre-Title IX rate.
In order to honor and celebrate Title IX at LMU, ASLMU
(Associated Students of LMU) organized a series of events throughout the week.
The celebration opened up with a field day, (an open activity day during convo for
both genders to play sports in a fun atmosphere), followed by an amazing
speech, which was delivered by the incredibly admirable and poised former
professional basketball player, Lisa Leslie. It was fascinating to listen
to her experiences as a woman in professional sports. She was a perfect representation
of what Title IX is all about. And hey, she was the first woman to ever dunk in
basketball! Coach Jamie insisted I take a picture with her in the end. So I
snagged this one (attached). She's pretty tall, eh?
Continuing the Title IX festivities, Mid way through the
week, there was a "dinner and dialogue" event where female faculty and staff
members discussed working in academia at a professional level as women. Lastly,
ASLMU arranged a panel that discussed what college was like for women prior to
Title IX and Coach Jamie was on it! The more times I hear about Jamie's journey
at LMU from a student-athlete to a coach of both the men's and women's team to
now professor and the copious amount of achievements made in between then, I
will forever be in awe.
It was an awesome week and we could tell how passionate Jamie was about each and every event that celebrated Title IX. Because of
this, my team and I made sure we could come support him any and every chance we
Back to a tennis note, we had a tough loss (3-4) to CSU Fullerton on Saturday. We are battling some physical hick-ups from the squad which I think affected our overall performance. At this point, it is super important that we are taking care of our bodies (physically and mentally) so that we are ready for all of these conference matches that come one after the other. We need to stay as healthy as possible and prevent this fatigue that tends to happen the more matches we play so often. We now gear up for two matches in Utah this week. First, we play Utah
State and BYU (our first conference match!)
That's all for now. GO LIONS!
Hey there tennis fans!
Can you believe it's March
already? I know I always say that time flies in my blog but I can't help but
realize it more than ever because I am a senior and deep into my final semester
of my collegiate career. And everything I do or have done this year could be
for the last time. Okay, it's too early on to get sappy, but I would be lying
if I said I didn't think about it from time to time. Anytime my co-captain,
Lisa and I bring up the thought of graduating, we have to stop ourselves... "Live
in the present," as Coach Jamie would say.
Speaking of Jamie's classic
quotes, we caught him revealing to The Loyolan (when he interviewed to
celebrate his 40th year as head coach) that this year's squad is his
favorite. However, we discovered that he likes us so much because it is part of
his nature to enjoy everyone he surrounds himself with in that present moment.
I guess we can consider ourselves special, right?
We focused this past week
primarily on doubles because we have been struggling a little bit with our
executions in matches. We have also been trying out different doubles teams. Additionally,
we decided to have a team intervention about our slow start problem in our
matches. Our energy tends to be lower than it should be especially with the ITA
format shortening our matches significantly. With that said, we cannot really
afford to start so slowly in our matches because it can be sometimes difficult
to switch momentums when are starting from behind. Easy fix, let's avoid the
slow starts, yeah?
This past weekend, we road
tripped to Las Vegas to face two teams where we would try to change some things
in our warm ups that could potentially help us with our slow start issue. And
well, I would say it worked pretty well for us. After basic hitting and pattern
play to get rhythm down in our warm ups, we decided to ad feed in drilling for
certain doubles situations (whether it was two up two back, one up one back or
even all four up at net). These drills really helped us with keeping our
reflexes in tact, not to mention, it kept us light on our feet and it kept our
Once it came to our first
match against University of Arizona on Saturday, I noticed that there was huge
improvement in our doubles play. We were all so effective with hitting the
right targets and closing out at the necessary times that we looked super
sharp. Our positivity was on point as well. We ended up clinching the doubles
point which was great for our confidence going into the singles matches. We
battled some pretty tough conditions out there as well. The winds were harsh
and gusty, and Coach Jamie reiterated to us that we needed to have that in our
heads that we were going to play some "ugly" tennis. However, it was out of our
control and we needed to do our best to keep moving forward in the match and
not dwell when things were not going our way. Singles was tough for us but we
stayed strong throughout giving the Wildcats a good run for their money. Shout
out to Anna for a great win at 4. Our final score was 2-5.
Because we had an early
match time of 10am, we had most of the afternoon off. We couldn't help but
realize that the Strip happens to be in the neighborhood. You toss a ball to
serve on the UNLV courts, (where our two matches were played), and you can
catch a glimpse of the Hard Rock, Cosmopolitan, Venetian in your peripherals.
Whoa. We decided to spend most of the afternoon and early in the evening
walking around the strip, which is ridiculously entertaining. The city is truly
amazing. The amount of crazy people walking around, the dedicated addictive
gamblers and well the incredibly luxurious hotels and sites is unreal. It tires
you out to take it all in, my gosh. But it was a great little trip and a great
way to clear our heads from tennis a little bit. We had a nice team dinner at
Yardhouse, followed by some Sprinkles cupcakes and headed back early for the
night so we could gear up for our Sunday match against UNLV.
The UNLV Rebels are a
competitive team and they were a perfect match for us. All three doubles team
had super strong starts, however we slipped a little bit and the Rebels
capitalized on some of our basic errors and we had trouble closing the matches
out. The doubles point went to the Rebels, but it was super close. I am still
impressed with how well we executed certain points. Things did not really go
our way in singles and it cost us making a comeback and ending the day with a
victory. Jessica played an amazing match at 1 where she won 0 and 1. So that
was awesome. Overall, I think there were some positive takeaways from the weekend
and we will carry this with us as we continue along into season and with
conference matches right around the corner.
This coming Saturday, we are
playing CSU Fullerton on their home turf. We hope to bring back a win for the
That's all for now. GO
Hey there tennis fans!
lady lions were graced with Spring Break No. 1 this past Wednesday, which was
much to our delight. Spring Break in February you might ask? Funky I know. We
have a different break schedule for this spring semester than normal, and one
of which happened to be this week. Coach Jamie gave us the day off on Wednesday,
which was nice because we had absolutely no obligations to attend. We did not have
to worry about rushing back for weights or practice from class. We could seize
the day and give ourselves a full mental break from all our responsibilities.
And it was smack-down in the middle of the week!
Ellie and I decided to go hiking in Malibu for the day. The day was warm with a
little cloud cover and I researched a prime hiking trail overlooking the ocean
as well as the Malibu hills that we could tackle. It was beautiful! After, we
decided to go to that ever-trendy lunch spot, Malibu Farms, on the pier. Not
surprisingly, it did not seize to disappoint. It was a day well spent.
rest of our team utilized that free-time appropriately and caught up on some
homework while others went to the beach to enjoy that rare February sunshine.
Julia was happy to spend some time with her family who traveled over from
Sweden for a couple weeks. They used that free Wednesday to go to Disneyland.
What a treat!
returned to practice mode full force on Thursday to gear up for our match
against UCSB on Saturday. It is amazing what one-day of rest can to your mind
and body. It was much needed. We traveled up to Santa Barbara Saturday morning.
The Gauchos were looking strong right out of the gates, and it was tough to
shift our momentum and play with reckless abandon. Anna had an awesome win at 5
but unfortunately we could not secure the win.
hang our heads high, however as we press on into this week. On Friday morning, we
travel to the city of Sin, Las Vegas to take on University of Arizona and UNLV.
It will not be your average Vegas adventure but we are excited for a little
road trip and to keep working on our games so we can improve each and every
match in order to best prepare us once the conference matches start.
Wish us luck as our season
continues to roll on through. That's all for now! GO LIONS!
Hey there tennis fans!
This week was a good week
for your lady lions. We finally got around to taking our team picture for the
website. It's only one picture that we need, but of course (because we are
girls) it almost seems virtually impossible to get the perfect picture and one
that everyone will equally like or at least, tolerate. So it may not surprise
you that a majority of us want to retake them this week. Girls will be girls,
am I right?
The Loyolan came to
interview Coach Jamie about celebrating his big 40th season as head
coach. Not too long ago, you might remember that I actually wrote an almost
identical article about Jamie for one of my journalism classes, which will also
be featured in March's issue of Inside Tennis Magazine. So definitely check
that out when that's released! In addition to Jamie's interview regarding his
40th anniversary, they requested that the two captains also be
interviewed for the story. So Lisa and I had to string some nice thoughts to
say about Jamie.
It was a struggle. Totally
kidding....we can go on forever about some of the crazy endeavors he's
experienced, the philosophical epiphanies, the corky jokes that come out on a
daily basis but also about how great of a mentor, coach and father figure he
has been to all of us and I imagine all of his former players over the past 40
years. Stay tuned for that article to be released in the Loyolan soon!
This past Saturday, which
happened to be Valentines Day, we traveled up north to play the Cal Poly
Mustangs. Our matches are always super tight with them year after year so we
were mentally prepared for a heated battle. After a tough doubles go, we
stepped it up big time in singles play and posted wins across the board except
for one. This left us with a final match score of 5-2. Shout out to my lions
for the big fight. It made that long 4 ½ or so hours or so drive worth it. Not
to mention on a day celebrating love, we could walk away playing the sport we
love with a victory. What can be better?
Entering our Spring Beak
this week, we have yet another travel trip to play UCSB this coming Saturday.
So we're looking forward to that.
That's all for now! GO