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THE CONCLUSION OF FALL SEASON BRINGS BACK OUR BELOVED TESTING

Hey there tennis fans!

            We may all be wrapped up with our competitive tennis portion of our fall season, but that is not to say we don't have a little more competitive edge left in us! We have to because all the work off the court (weight lifting and fitness) is all being tested in order to see if we how much our strength and conditioning has improved throughout this preseason. First test to conquer was....the beep test...the one we look forward to the most (just kidding). Most of us were discouraged with our results, but Coach Jamie reiterated that at this point in the semester, our bodies are slightly fatigued. Surely we are not supposed to produce our best results. We have spent so many hours on the court and have competed our hearts out nearly every weekend at tournaments. Throw in spin and pilates and strength training three times a week and you can imagine after almost 4 months in, our bodies are feeling it.  

            Following the beep test on Saturday morning, we all commenced for a team meeting. Coach Jamie delivered a friendly reminder of what we should always keep in the back of our minds when we come to tennis everyday, even if it is just for an ordinary practice. We must think of our long-term goal, the ultimate goal of winning the WCC (West Coast Conference) Championship. When season rolls around in January, we have to take each match, whether it's in our conference or not, and play as if it is a critical match in our bitter competition conference of the WCC. We have 23 matches to play and we must compete in a system that is moving backwards more or less. When we get our first match win down, we think okay, now we let's win the rest that we have ahead of us. Jimbo really emphasized how optimistic of a coach that he is and he wants to train us all to be optimists as we approach our season. Confident in what we can and are capable of accomplishing if we simply just believe and set our mind to it.

            We hit the strength training gym this week for testing for bench press, squats and an assortment of others. I think this will be interesting to test because we have definitely underestimated how strong we really are. But we have definitely pleasantly surprised ourselves throughout the course of this semester session.

            On Saturday night, we put our tennis gear aside and got all dressed up for athlete formal. Last year was the first year LMU hosted an athlete formal, and it's definitely a great way to bring all the athletes together in a completely different environment than what we see of each other everyday. I love seeing how nicely people can look.  I hope they continue the tradition of this for years to come. It was definitely team bonding at its finest. The turnout was a lot more than last year too, which was great to show that each year it's improving in the number of athletes attending.

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            We're coming in the home stretch, and I know we are very excited to get a little mini break next week for Thanksgiving!

That's all for now!

Logan

AND THAT'S A WRAP FOR THE FALL TOURNAMENTS

Hey there tennis fans!

            Moving right along into November, we are little over a month away from finishing the semester and our fall pre-season. We know in the academic world, this means lots of final projects, papers and tests to do. The stress load is inevitable. Lucky for us, when it comes to school, your Lady Lions will get our work done! Tennis has taught us so much discipline and we can definitely utilize that discipline in our schoolwork. After all, after last season, our team finished with the highest collaborative GPA among all the sports teams here at LMU. That is so awesome, and people might overlook how incredibly difficult that is to maintain good grades at a prestigious university while playing a Division I sport. We have some smart ladies upon us, and who are all driven to accomplish their goals in college as well as look beyond the future as far as careers go after college.

            We are finishing up our last few weeks of strength training with our strength and conditioning coach, Nick Longo. Although hesitant at first to start this brand new workout program, I have to say that I have really learned to like it as the weeks went on. I never thought I would be able to bench press 90 pounds. Sure that sounds scary but Nick reaffirmed to all of us that we are strong and can definitely handle it. And he knew to push us without leading us to injury. We would do few reps, with spotters in sight so that we were super careful with our weights. It's super important that the form is correct and that we are sticking to the weights to which we have been assigned and what Nick has done a great and meticulous job of putting together for our whole team. We're very lucky to have him! Going on three years with that guy, and I really have learned so much from him and he really cares about all the teams he coaches because he believes in us and wants us to do well and compete at the highest level.

            Two final tournaments took place this weekend. 3 girls competed at the Jack Kramer's Fall Invitational, Miya, Kristine and Jessica along with our Assistant coach, Ivan.  This was a big tournament because it welcomed the big top teams in California like UCLA, Stanford and others. Kristine and Jessica both won their first rounds with wins over Mississippi State and UCSB. Due to slight injuries, both girls had to pull out of their next round. With all of the tennis they have been playing it is likely to think somewhat of a setback of an injury might come into play. But they have done such a superb job competing this fall and could use a little break!  

            Miya, our lone senior for this weekend, competed in her final fall collegiate tournament, which she admits was bittersweet. "I loved playing my last tournament at my home tennis club," she said. As a Palos Verdes native, she admits, "It was awesome having that home court advantage but I didn't do as well as I had hoped which was pretty disappointing. 

           She got a bye first round but lost a tough match against a girl from Baylor. She had a great first round constellation win over TCU before falling a little short in a tight 3-setter against a girl from Ohio State. "It's crazy to think that was my last tournament ever, but I am so excited for spring to start!"

 Julia, Ellie and Lisa went separately down with Coach Jamie to San Diego to compete in the other tournament for the weekend. Ellie and Julia were victorious in the doubles draw with a final win over CSU Northridge! So big congrats to them!

            If you see any of your LMU Lady lions walking around campus, we would appreciate some love to all our hard work this pre-season. Although we are not technically in season, most of the tournaments we played in featured a lot of the West Coast Conference teams so we got a taste of our competition for the upcoming season and more.

            I want to give a special thanks to our coaches for being so supportive and putting up with us on the weekends for these tournaments. It isn't easy traveling with a bunch of girls, but our team has some goofy characters, so I would hardly say it is ever dull being around any of us!

That's all for now! Go Lions!

Logan

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LMU WOMEN'S TENNIS HITS THE SOUTH TO ALABAMA

Hey there tennis fans!

            I hope you all enjoyed your Halloween weekend. Halloween came at a funky time this year and it even spread to two weekends long. How can people come up with so many costumes for two full weekends? My 21st birthday also happened to overlap with Halloween weekend 2 (this past weekend), so I couldn't tell if my birthday needed to be Halloween-oriented or not! It was a great weekend, nonetheless.

            The rest of the crew, 8 girls, headed down to Alabama for the Alberta Alison Fall Classic. It was quite the memorable trip to say the least. Just heading over to Alabama by plane was a giant production. There was a sudden change in the flight reservation which forced the team to leave a day earlier than intended and have to sit through major layovers in Houston before getting to the final destination. It was rough, and quality sleep did not seem to come into play for what seemed like a 24 hour traveling experience.

The team finally arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. You can say that we were the only team from California.  We looked practically foreign to them. LMU is not to be confused with LSU! I know I seem to get that perplexed comments from people from time to time. The tournament welcomed big teams like Georgia Tech, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Michigan, LSU, Northwestern, UNC Greensborough, Furman, Mississippi State, Tulane and Alabama. Lots of team and lots of tennis.

Despite the tough competition among the likes of these teams, your lions rep'd LMU well, not going out there without a fight and with poise and pride. Special congrats to Lisa who played fiercely and reached the finals of her flight with wins over Tennessee and Tulane before falling to Georgia State. Kristine also made an impressive run and cruised to a back draw victory after a win over Northwestern and LSU in the finals. In the doubles action, Ellie and Miya reached the finals of their flight. Overall the weekend was a success and I am so proud of all my teammates for all their efforts this past weekend. They have been working so hard and it shows that they can compete against any team even outside the west coast bubble

The trip back home was once again, a big production. Somehow the Alabama airport shut down and your lions had to stay there for yet another day. Humor seemed to replace the frustration that everyone had with wanting to get home, back to Cali. The exhaustion they felt made everyone delusional. And they finally arrived back Monday morning. Despite the traveling mishaps and lots of airport lounging, these are the memories that our team takes with us for the rest of our lives.

This coming weekend, we have a tournament back in San Diego again, so wish us luck this week! 

That's all for now!

Logan

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