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
Hey there tennis fans!
This week we had a pair of
matches. The first team we battled was No. 74, UC Irvine at Ivine. Doubles
looked a little rocky, so we were off to a slow start. But we managed to pull
together solid singles play where our intensity was at a high level throughout.
It was not enough to win the overall match (2-5) but it definitely was a test
to the kind of performance we can deliver out there! And each time, it will get
better and better and our execution will be there so we will be able to clinch
Our next match-up was
against Long Beach this past Friday. Every year, our matches with them get
super competitive and this year was no different. Our doubles looked a little
weak and we had trouble keeping our confidence up going into our singles
matches, which ultimately cost us the victory at the end. I think our loss was
not due to any physical disadvantages but I think we struggled mentally. This struggle
has led us to make several unforced errors in unfortunate situations. Considering
the doubles matches are so quick now with the new 6-game pro-set format versus
the previous 8-game pro-set, we cannot afford to make so many unforced errors. We
can overcome this. I know we can. Losing these matches help us realize what we
must not repeat and we will do everything we can to improve upon that and be
best prepared for the next match!
On Saturday, our team helped
out with a tennis clinic at the Stub Hub Center or more commonly known as the
Home Depot Center. The athletic facilities were amazing. I have never been and
I have always wanted to make a trip to see it at some point. On the soccer
fields, we peered at the LA Galaxy soccer team having a practice.
definitely cool to see. The kid turnout for the tennis clinic was great. We had
about five rotations going of different stations of passionate tennis kids. I
love seeing how excited the kids all get to hit the ball around because my
teammates and me can call relate to how they feel when we were growing up and
becoming so hooked on the sport. Not to mention, there were definitely some
future tennis studs on the horizon that I observed. All in all, we had a blast!
Our next match is on
Valentines Day actually against Cal Poly on their home courts! Why not spend the
day of 'love' playing the sport we love?
That's all for now! GO
Hey there tennis fans!
How about that super bowl,
huh? It is amazing to see that no matter what the sport it is, the game is
never really over until it's over. And the final two minutes can really make
all the difference. Normally, I cheer on any team from Boston especially
considering I am a die-hard Red Sox fan, however, I am not huge on the
Patriots. So I decided to pull for the Seahawks but, wow what a brutal finish,
am I right? Pete Carroll and the rest of Seattle are going to be bitter for a
while. It was an incredible game nevertheless.
As for a tennis update: Fighting
back from some minor injuries, we finally are looking like a fairly complete and
healthy team. I was battling bicep tendonitis for a couple months, Julia had an
ab strain and others had some ankle injuries here and there. What's important
is that we took the necessary steps and proper care in order for us to bounce
back on the court in a timely manner.
On Thursday, we took on No.
1 and last year's NCAA champs, UCLA. As we put their obvious reputation aside,
we lady lions put up quite a fight against the Bruins. Jess had an amazing
match at 1 and came close while the others gave everything they had. After all,
we had nothing to lose and we are still testing out our strengths and
weaknesses in these early season matches. I am really proud of the tenacity my
team showed out there.
We celebrated my fellow team
captain, Lisa's birthday on Friday. Our initial plan was to have a giant
bonfire for her because we have always tried to plan that as one of our team
bonding adventures, but naturally, Friday was the only day of the week that the
rain gods decided to grace us with their presence. And it was not a light rain,
mind you. It was a pour. So to our misfortune, a birthday bonfire was out of
the picture. Our back-up plan: C&O's for some killer Italian cuisine. And
it was a round 2 C&O's outing considering we went the previous year for her
birthday. We know how much Lisa loves her pasta. It was a lot of fun!
This coming week, we have
two matches scheduled. Our first one is up against UC Irvine on Tuesday away
followed by CSU Long Beach at home on Friday. The grind is going. And we can
use all the support we can get! As the reality of being a senior has really set
in for me, I have this hard-core LMU spirit pumping through my veins. I don't
want to graduate knowing that I missed out on showing some Lion love to all the
other sport teams who work equally as hard to compete at such a high level and
do our school proud.
Thus I decided to attend
four sport games on Saturday. I first went to the guys tennis match, then the
baseball game, followed by rugby and finally ice hockey. I have never been to a
single LMU rugby or ice hockey game so that was a blast to watch. All of our
teams ended up winning too, which was awesome. I am hoping that by showing my
support at those games, perhaps some of those athletes will return the favor
and come out to some of our tennis matches! I am going to make that a goal this
semester. Count on it!
That's all for now! GO
Hey there tennis fans!
The season is rolling and what a season we have ahead of us!
We have been in the midst of formulating solid doubles team combinations as
well as organizing a fearless singles line-up. Our very first home match took
place on Thursday against UC Riverside. No matter what group of talent we face
from a team, my teammates realize that we need to block out any preconceived
notions and just play our games.
What's important is that we deliver OUR best performances on
the court while staying true to our game styles. That means don't get caught up
into our opponents game styles because that shift can lead us to lose our
confidence, and fast. Coach Jamie and Ivan constantly reiterate that every
match is beneficial for us because we can be exposed to all sorts of situations
that simply aim to strengthen our experience as collegiate players. Getting
exposed to different situations in these early season matches will be extremely
beneficial for us as the season progresses and we play more and more matches.
Following our first match, Coach Jamie stressed that as much
as wins are great and we should be happy when they come, we cannot get too
comfortable. If we get too comfortable, then we start to lose our focus and
discipline about the matches ahead. This means taking care of our bodies
whether that means recovering from matches with a protein shake topped off with
some ice or treatment or taking the time to get a good long stretch in.
Recovery is huge. We have matches roughly once a week from
here until the end of the season in April. Not to mention, every match is
different. Therefore, we must take care of ourselves and prepare for the next
I personally am pumped about the road ahead and I love that
I can have one of my best friends and fellow captains, Lisa by my side to help
lead our team to our best season yet!
This Thursday, we play UCLA (last year's NCAA DI champs) on
their home turf. This should be an awesome challenge for us and we are excited
to get the opportunity to play our hearts out against these Bruin beasts
especially because we have nothing to lose.
Come our and support your lady lions. That's all for now! GO
Hey there tennis fans!
Happy New Year! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday
season and are excited about what 2015 has in store for all of us, I know I am!
Unfortunately, two members of our team, Laura and Audrey will not be returning to LMU due to some family complications. We will miss them and pray for
them and their families and wish them the best of luck with their future
endeavors. After a well-rested and relaxing Christmas break, The Lady Lions came back on campus a week early for some early training to gear up for our
first match against USC who is ranked No. 14. It was great to get settled back
in LA before schools gets back in session not to mention, get back our rhythm
on the court and knock out the dreaded fitness testing.
We were all pretty surprised and impressed with our fitness
testing results especially because we admittedly indulged in the fancy foods of
the holidays. It was reassuring to have our fitness is in tact because it will
be ultimately tested as we enter our long grueling matches when season starts
USC hosted our match at the Manhattan Country Club. The club
had awesome facilities and we were so fortunate to play over there. We had to be
on our best behavior! Because of USC's reputation, we knew we were in for a
tough match, but it was a perfect opportunity for us to work on things and play
with some of the highest caliber of players in the country. We had nothing to
Coach Jamie reiterates the importance of having confidence in ourselves
no matter who we face. Sure we are going to play other more talented teams, but
we can't become professionals over night. We have to use the game we have even
if it is super crafty and maximize it to put on our best performances on the
court. We did a lot of positive things in the match and Coach Jamie and Ivan
were proud of our intensity throughout. We put up a solid fight for the 'fight
This past weekend was the homecoming basketball game where we played Gonzaga. Some of our team including myself came out to support and contributed to an amazing turnout.
It's always good to root on the other teams who work equally as hard to make our school proud. It was also the annual athlete formal on Saturday night. Considering
all of us student athletes are used to seeing each other sweaty from practice
or from weights, it's nice to have an event where we all get dressed up. We can
actually clean up pretty good and it's fun to see all of the athletes come
together. It was a great time!
This week, we
are excited to host our first home match against UC Riverside at 1:30. We'd
love to see you all out there.
That's all for now! GO LIONS!
Hey there tennis fans!
Just like that, the first half of the year for the Lady
Lions is over, which means the seniors, including myself, only have one more
semester remaining, and the most important semester to look forward to, our
regular season of matches. WOW!
Once our pre-season ended the week of Thanksgiving, it
seemed like time was all a blur. That is definitely due to the dumping of
schoolwork on us for which we had to complete for the semester. It always gets
super heavy with final tests and papers in the homestretch, but once we get out
of that last final, there almost seems like no better feeling in the world.
One of my personal final projects for my sports journalism
class was to write a feature one someone that I admire in sports. When I think
about people in the tennis industry that I truly admire, naturally I think of
Coach Jamie Sanchez who has not been an amazing coach to me but a father
figure, mentor and biggest cheerleader of everything I do both on and off the
court. Considering we are celebrating the 40th year of the tennis
team and the 40th year as the head coach of the first women's sports
program ever at LMU, I thought Jamie would be the perfect person to choose for
a great article! I had a ton of fun interviewing him as well as multiple close
sources of him including former teammates, player, family members, colleagues
etc. I think it's safe to say that my brain is pretty filled Jamie Sanchez
knowledge, and he could possibly be one of the most interesting people I have
ever gotten the pleasure to know.
Since I freelance write for Inside Tennis magazine, a
regional tennis publication, I thought it would be perfect if I got permission
to publish the article that I was originally just writing for my final class
assignment. My boss at my magazine publication was thrilled with the idea! So
look out soon for my article about Jamie in the magazine. I will also post it
to the main LMU tennis website so you can all take a look!
We had a nice breakaway from our studies for our annual
Cheesecake Factory Secret Santa fiasco with our whole team and coaches. What
better way to take in some fuel for studying than some prime cheesecake, right?
It was really great to get everyone together one last time before we all leave
in different directions for the holiday! The gift exchanges were super cute and
people were so thoughtful with what they got each other.
Our assistant coach,
Ivan had me for Secret Santa and he got me Rafael Nadal's book, Rafa, that
recently came out on New York's Bestseller list and Ivan knew that I have been
dying to read that! I am so excited for my holiday read!
On behalf of the LMU Women's Tennis team, I hope you all had
a nice Christmas and are looking forward to a wonderful, happy and healthy
2015! Your Lady Lions return back to LMU for training on January 5th
and our opening match of the season is against USC on January 14th.
At your convenience, check out the goofy Lady Lions getting
silly in our annual Christmas video which is posted on the tennis homepage. Our
whole team talked about our Christmas traditions back home and what we are most
excited about for the holidays. You can get a taste of our personalities.
That's all for now. GO LIONS!