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 energy high.
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 Lady Lions!
That's all for now. GO LIONS!