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September 2013 Archives

SAN DIEGO ROAD TRIPPIN FOR OUR FIRST TOURNAMENT

Hey there tennis fans!

Six of your lady lions including myself headed down to San Diego for the weekend to compete in our first tournament of the fall season. For most, it was the very first tournament of their collegiate careers, which is very exciting. I, however, was the lone veteran. I am glad that I came with all the new girls so I could give them some insight of what typically happens during trips. Eat, lots of tennis, a little free time, eat, sleep and repeat. It's hard to believe that I was that same curious freshmen not too long ago. My assistant coach, Ivan jokes that I'm a grandma now because I know the in's and outs of our team adventures having been on the team for the past two years.

Weekend tournaments out of town are always a blast because well for one, our full school week gets cut short, which sometimes can be good or bad if it's at the expense of missing an important class. It seems that all the new girls were really excited to get away from the LMU bubble for a little bit especially because we have been really sucked into that school grind for a solid month of getting full adjusted and finishing up our first round of midterms. San Diego came at a perfect time to escape all the chaos and compete our hearts out on the tennis court in the blistering San Diego heat. But seriously, it was hot out there!

            The tournament consisted of one singles and one doubles match each day for a total of 6 matches. Pre match jitters were all the rage, but hey it's natural! Especially coming into our very first tournament of the year! Eli and Jessica won two out of their three doubles matches this weekend with huge wins over our rivals, Pepperdine and SDSU! They showed fearless efforts, great chemistry and were aggressive up at net, which helped them overcome those big battles. Jessica also clinched a win in singles against one of our other conference rivals, USD. The rest of the crew faced some tough losses against some top teams with very high quality tennis throughout the weekend.


The girls were a little butt-hurt with their results, but with my two-year experience, I tried to brighten their spirits a little and sprinkle some words of wisdom their way.  I let them know how talented they are to play for such a highly competitive DI team in addition to balancing a heavy and rigorous workload at school.  It's incredibly difficult to play a long weekend of matches factoring in all the exteriors like adjusting to college life, being away from home (which to many means in a different country altogether) schoolwork and other things circling around. If it was so easy to do, than everyone would do it. It takes major talent to be a collegiate athlete and this is just the beginning of the road. This is why we're getting the experience in now early on in the preseason so we can know what we need to work on and grow from there. This tournament is a starting point, a foundation for the tennis ahead of us, and we are ready.

            On a separate note, I wanted to give out a personal shout out to our former teammate and No. 1 player and not to mention, the most disciplined and dedicated person I know, April Bisharat. She came to visit us last week at practice and we talked about her growing interest in journalism. In fact, she already caught the blog bug and it would mean so much if you can spread some lion love and check out her blog she just started. I am one of the first proud readers to take a gander, and I must admit that I was totally inspired! Check it out when you get a chance!

            This weekend, the Lions have a tournament in Long Beach, so wish us luck if you seem some ladies rocking LMU Women's Tennis gear around.

Have a great week! That's all for now!

Logan


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THE NOT SO PLEASANT RETURN OF 'MUNCHIE' THE SQUIRREL

           Our first full week of organized practice means the return of our dedicated No. 1 fan and team mascot, Munchie. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Munchie, he is a squirrel that has absolutely no boundaries when it comes to digging through our backpacks in hopes of finding something to munch on. He is a smart little cookie and always knows whenever we bring nuts to the court. He must have a great nuts scent tracker.

            This year, he has taken up his aggressive mentality immensely. He is constantly on the prowl. We have to literally pry him off our belongings about every 15 minutes which really disrupts our practice flow. This is not good considering we just completed week one. We may have to take drastic measures to stop his chaotic behavior. Miya, one of my teammates, suggested we invest in some squirrel repellent! (if there is such a thing...) I'm thinking we may have to hide our backpacks somewhere he can't find them or find another place to put them where he can't get to them. Despite Munchie's crazy antics, he really is our most loyal fan, (I mean he does come out to the courts everyday...) so we don't want get rid of him for good!

            Everyone's glad that we are all into a regular routine now. It's unfortunate this semester that classes conflict a lot of practice times so adjustments have been made to accommodate everyone's schedule so we can all get our practice sessions in even if a lot of us are in and out throughout the week. At least it makes us realize that we need to really maximize our time out on the court as much as we can. Our coaches, Jamie and Ivan always say it's always better to have a hard-core and intense shorter practice than a longer sometimes dragged out practice.

            Jamie has got us back on the UCAN shake grind again. He is a big believer of the UCAN program because it's a great pre and post workout drink that is low in sugar and provides all the necessary nutrients in order for us sustain our energy level throughout the day. Mardy Fish is a proud promoter of this program, which is another added benefit. Personally, after being on this program for the past two years, I am all for it and actually have really grown to like the flavors of the shakes. It's also really nice to have because a lot of the times, as college students, we are constantly on the go. So most of the time after an intense workout session, we won't have time to eat 30-45 minutes after (which is super important) because we will have class or meetings or other obligations. Taking the shake is so easy in that we just have to mix the powder with water and we are good to go!

            Coming up this weekend, we have our first tournament at San Diego State! There will be four players going so they will get a lot of good tennis in. We will keep you posted with how they do next week!

That's all for now!

Logan 

FITNESS TESTS FINALLY COMPLETE AND REGULAR PRACTICE REGIME BEGINS

Hey there tennis fans!

            After 3 weeks of dragged-out fitness testing, we are finally done! Having "dragged-out" testing wasn't too bad though because it allowed us to gear up for each one appropriately instead of them piling up on each other all at once. It also helped us all get settled and adjusted to our classes. After all, we are "student athletes!" The school component is an equally large part of our LMU experience. And we are so fortunate to attend such a prestigious university that really dedicates their time to helping students best prepare themselves for the real world. I'd say, we have it pretty good here!

            8 am bright and early Saturday morning was our beloved beep test part 2. Thankfully, this time around didn't get stopped mid-way through forcing us to postpone the test for a later date. Everyone gave it their all and looked great especially for first thing in the morning! That test is not just a physical endurance test, but it's such a mental challenge as well because we have to run a certain distance in a certain amount of time, and that time is altered each time, forcing us to run faster and faster. It's tough. But we feel so great after it's over!

            And finishing stong in our final test, it called for a little celebration. The full team has yet to have a big gathering as a big group because some of us miss each other in the weight room or on the courts due to classes. So it was nice to organize a team gathering for dinner at my house close to campus for some much needed bonding time! We also invited the guys tennis team to join as well so both teams could get to know each other better. I'd say it was a success!

            As we get into this week, we are officially on our regular practice regime! We start on a strength program in the weight training room three times a week with our strength trainer, Nick. Then we have pilates, spin and SAQ (speed and agility on the court) all once a week, and finally, organized tennis practices.

Our coach, Jamie, really values community service. So in addition to our training, we put together tennis clinics with children at the LMU Daycare center. We work with 4 and 5 year olds. It's a nice break and a little stress reliever from school and intensive practice hours to spend some time with the kids and who knows, maybe get them hooked us on this little game we call tennis. It has begun! Get ready to work Lady Lions! It's going to be a great season!

 

That's all for now!

Logan

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LMU WOMEN'S TENNIS RETURNS WITH A BANG FOR 2013-2014 SEASON

Hey there tennis fans!           

     My name is Logan Finnell, and I am a current junior on the LMU Women's Tennis Team. This is my second year serving as the team weekly blogger. I am so excited to start this up again as I am a devoted player of the game as well as a passionate and aspiring sports journalist. I have had a wonderful experience thus far in my college tennis career, and I love to show fellow athletes, fans, family members and peers just what it is like to be a college tennis player in addition to keeping everyone up to date with our tennis and team adventures on and off the court.

     Fall pre-season commences with fresh new faces with even fiercer games. Saying goodbye to former lions is never easy, (especially since you are used to spending copious amount of time together on and off the court), however life must go on and we must continue the traditions that were instilled in us as passionate players with tons of lion pride.

     We have welcomed 5 new additions to the team this year who hail from a variety of different locations ranging from Germany to Sweden to Russia to Oregon as well as a somewhat local spot of Newport Beach. Right off the bat, our team chemistry was strong and everyone is getting along and well acquainted into their new environment of collegiate tennis here at LMU.

      Transitioning into college is no cakewalk, not to mention becoming a member of a Division I sports team at such a high level. I definitely have been there, and sure I had my challenges! But I am really impressed to the see the team's enthusiasm and willingness to work hard and enjoy their early experience along the way. It also helps that the veterans of the team are showing the new ladies the ropes especially when it is necessary for an understanding to the shenanigans that we start the year off with....the dreaded fitness testing.

      All summer, we are given time to train and prepare for the series of fitness testing that happily welcomes us back to school. The testing features a timed 2 mile run, another running test called the "beep" test which challenges our mental and physical endurance as well as an agility test. The tests continue in the weight room where Nick Longo, our strength and conditioning coach checks in to see if we have been keeping up with our weight program we were assigned in the summer time. He even threw in a bench press test, which is new for the tennis team since we have never done it before, but Nick was confident in our strengths that we could handle it. And hey, he was right.

     Everyone challenged themselves to the best of their abilities, and it was evident that we impressed the big guy. Unfortunately our testing has dragged out a little longer than we hoped. We had a minor malfunction with the beep test last week and we must re-do it on Tuesday. Once that wraps up, the Lions will be ready to get into our regular practice routine and the weekend tournaments will start. 

    I hope you all had a wonderful summer and you are all getting excited to hear about your LMU Women's Tennis Team kick some lion butt this year!

That's all for now!

Logan

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