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BACK-TO-BACK HOME WINS FOR THE LADY LIONS

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Hey there tennis fans!

It was a successful week for your Lady Lions this past week! We had two awesome wins over schools we lost to last year. We beat Cal State Northridge 4-3, and we lost to them 4-3 last year. We beat Long Beach State 5-2, which we lost 7-0 to last year. I was so impressed with how well this squad competed. We really gave it our all and the results shows it.

Something that stood out to me about these past two matches were how much we won as a team and how much we competed as a team. Every single person contributed to winning these two matches and it was really awesome to be a part of. It didn't matter who was playing what, who was playing doubles or who was even in the line up. Every teammate from positions 1 through 6 and the one's on the sidelines really contributed. What a lot of people from the outside don't see is how much of a team effort winning a match is. If one person is being negative, it's going to bring the whole team's energy down. I know it may not sound true because we are all playing our individual matches, but it happens. You really feel it when you play. You feel it when the team's energy is bad and you feel it when the team's energy is good. I thought that was something we really did well in these past two matches. Everyone kept their heads up and kept fighting no matter what the score was. Our teammates on the sidelines kept yelling encouraging words to us and that plays a big part as well. It's really important that your team is on the same page and has the same positive energy because that's how you pull off team wins like the one's we just had. If we keep going with this positive energy and attitude, we're only going to get better.

Your Lady Lions are on a two week break now, which means we're back out on our normal practice schedule. This break from matches is a good way for us to keep practicing hard and striving for our goals. It's also good for us after coming off two wins because it's a good opportunity to work harder. Now that we have seen a little preview of how well we could do this season, I think we are more motivated than ever. Keep an eye out for this squad this season!

GO LIONS

Jessica

LADY LIONS BATTLE AGAINST UCLA

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Hey there Lion fans!

Your Lady Lions played a very competitive match against UCLA this past Saturday! Even though we lost, we really gave a good fight out there. It was the best match LMU has played against UCLA in a long time, so that was major motivation for us starting out the season. Huge shout out to our two freshmen Cami and Vony who got singles victories! They fought and competed so hard in their first season match and we're all so proud of them!

This match was really good for us to play because it really shows what we are capable of this season. We had so many close matches with a top 10 team and it was a confidence booster for us. Something that Agustin pointed out after the match was how good our team chemistry is. I couldn't agree more with that because our team chemistry is awesome. Being an individual sport, it's hard to create good team chemistry because naturally tennis players are most likely not accustom to a team environment. I'm really amazed with how much of a team we are and how much we work as a team. We just all seem to be on the same page with everything when it comes to the team and we created team goals we want to accomplish this season together. Of course we are going to get a little selfish sometimes because that is just the nature of the game. At the end of the day, we're still by ourselves out there on the court. Nonetheless, I think our team chemistry is going to be an essential part for this season so I'm excited with what this team is going to do!

We continue the start of our season this week with back-to-back home matches this Thursday and Friday. Even though we had a positive experience from the first match, we're always in the mindset that we always have more work to do. We play Cal State Northridge Thursday at 1 and Cal State Long Beach Friday at 1. We love when our fans come out and support us, so we would appreciate if you guys could stop by this week!

GO LIONS

Jessica

SEASON IS UPON US

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Hey there Lion fans!

It's been a while since the last update on your Lady Lions! We all had a nice and long winter break with our families and friends. Now we're back at school and getting ready to start the official season!

We had a busy first week going full speed with practicing. Along with practice, we also had fitness testing this week. There was some solid improvement in the fitness testing this week and a lot of us improved our records from December, so that was a great way to start off the semester. We also had solid practices this week and we are all playing well in all different ways.

Even though we had a solid start to the semester, Agustin and Katie always emphasize that we have to always aim to do better. It's something we really have emphasized as a team as well. It's really important to never be satisfied with what we are at because if we are we won't keep improving. At the beginning of the week, we made goals we want to accomplish this season as a team. We are constantly reminding ourselves of these goals we want to accomplish, so we can always focus on getting better every day this season.  

We open our season this coming Friday playing UCLA at the Riviera Country Club at 1!

GO LIONS

Jessica

ONE TOURNAMENT LEFT FOR THE FALL SEASON

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Hey there tennis fans!

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

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

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

That's all for now!

GO LIONS

Jessica

DALLAS UP NEXT FOR LADY LIONS

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Hey there Lion fans!

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

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

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

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

That's all for now tennis fans!

GO LIONS

Jessica

REGIONALS UP NEXT FOR THE LADY LIONS

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 Hey there tennis fans!

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

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

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

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

GO LIONS

Jessica

LADY LIONS BACK AT IT THIS WEEKEND

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Hey there tennis fans!

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

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

That's all for now!

GO LIONS

Jessica

FIRST TOURNAMENT OF THE FALL SEASON

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Hey there Lions fans!

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

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

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

GO LIONS

Jessica

LADY LIONS GEARING UP FOR THE FALL SEASON

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Hey there Lion fans!

It's been a tough week for your Lady Lions. This is our first week of our full training schedule, and Agustin and Katie have us working hard! Even though we're experiencing some soreness from the rigorous training, we are still dedicated to giving all we got every day whether it be on the court, in the weight room or on the field running sprints. Fall season is really a time for us to get in shape and really work on things individually and as a team. What I've learned from each year is that the way you train in the fall really sets up and prepares you for the spring. We have a tough training schedule and tough tournaments we're playing this fall, but I can see that each one of us is trying their best every day no matter what amount of soreness or fatigue we have. It's such an awesome atmosphere to be around when you have a squad that's constantly cheering you on in the tough drills or when you're pushing at that last rep of bench in the weight room. It truly is a great feeling.

With fall season just around the corner, we've been slowly working our way into match play in both singles and doubles. Although it's tough to play your own teammate, we all understand it's a part of the game and it's all a choice we've made to play it. We're all such great competitors with so much drive and it's a great thing to see in a tennis team. Everyone knows that playing against one another will only make us that much tougher for the spring when we compete together as a team.

This week at practice, Agustin and Katie emphasized that we're not always going to feel 100% in every match we play. There's only a few matches a year (if you're lucky) that you play a match where everything feels good. Whether your first serve, second serve or forehand is off we have to find a way to deal with it. Agustin said "sometimes you have to win ugly." When something isn't working we have to find a way to shift our mindset to finding a way instead of focusing on what's not working. It's a really hard thing to do, and that's what makes this sport so tough mentally and physically. We have to find a way to grind it out in these situations, and it only makes us that much tougher.

With the first tournament less than two weeks away, we are working harder every day. With the way this squad is training, I can sense we're going to have a great outcome this fall season!

GO LIONS

Jessica

HAVE TO OR WANT TO

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Hey there Lion fans!

This is the last 8 hour week for your Lady Lions. Next week we're going full speed and start our 20 hours of training! Even though we haven't had a lot of training time with the coaches or as a team, that's not stopping this hard working squad. All of us have been out on the courts hitting on our own almost every day hitting with one another. It's so motivating to have teammates that are so self motivated, especially the freshmen. We all know how hard of an adjustment it is when you first come to college, but I'm so impressed with our freshmen. They are adjusting so well and so self motivated to practice and train. As a senior, it's really a great thing to see the younger teammates so motivated and willing to work hard, so props to the freshmen!

We are only 2 weeks away from our first tournament, which is the beginning of our preseason! Even though we've had limited hours, Agustin and Katie have really been getting us ready fitness wise. I have to admit we're all pretty sore these days, but we know it's going to be worth it in the end. Our weights trainer, Jack gave us new training shirts this week and on the back it says "have to or want to." Sure we have to be at practice and be at weights when we're told to, but your mindset going in can really make a difference  in your performance . If we go into a practice or weights wanting to be there and ready to get better it can really change the outcome. It's really important for this squad to have a good mindset during practices and training this year because we have so much talent and potential to do well this year. It's hard not to have this mindset sometimes when you're a college athlete because we all know things happen that are out of our control whether it be school or other issues. That's one of the challenges of being a D1 college athlete, we have to learn to balance a lot of different things including mindsets. It's not a bad thing though, it's something we should embrace because not many people can do what we can do. I have so much confidence in this team that we can have the right mindset this year. I already see it in each one of them and I know we're going to strive to get better every day this year.

That's all for now tennis fans!

Jessica