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JESSICA ADVANCES TO FINALS AT REGIONALS

Hey there tennis fans!

            Us Lions have been quite busy this past month. Intensive practices during the week sprinkled with a heavy school work load wipes us out! Yes, it's midterm season again, but then again, it feels like it's always midterm season! And I know I'm not alone in saying this! Because there is a tournament every weekend, it's important that we are on top of our workload during the week and coordinate with our teachers in terms of rescheduling tests or whanot.

            Being a student-athlete has really taught us to be proactive with everything we do whether it's getting to practice on time, eating and hydrating appropriately throughout the day, meeting with our professors during office hours if necessary, getting our homework done, and then squeezing some down time to ourselves because it is so important to take breaks because it seems that free time is limited. This week, I really found how valuable breaks really are.

            I had a really tough academic week last week with a ton of papers and a couple midterms that all seemed to pile all at once....typical. At every free second, Ihad when I wasn't in class or at tennis, I was doing my work. I didn't get enough sleep and was not taking care of my body. It hit me Thursday afternoon that I was completely exhausted and burnt out. My roommates approached me because they were somewhat worried about me because I seemed to look way too stressed out.  I realized I was so consumed with my work that I never gave myself "me" time to just sit down and relax a little bit.

I was so concerned I wasn't going to finish my work on time, but the truth of the matter is, by spending so much time doing all of my work, I never refreshed my brain to continue working. I was probably not as productive as I would have been if I took breaks. That was my big lesson of the week and from here on out, no matter how much work I know I have to do, I am going to make sure that I give myself some quality time to myself to just chill and not do anything. I will definitely be in better shape in the long run. Moral of the story, 'balance' is key especially when you are a collegiate athlete.

8 girls headed down to San Diego this weekend for Regionals at Barnes Tennis Center. Everyone put a lot of great efforts in practice during the week and they looked in great shape for competition this past weekend. This tournament format was different than the others in that there was one main draw for all the competitors and there was also a back draw. Three girls (Laura, Miya and Kristine) advanced to the Round of 32. Our very own freshmen superstar, Jessica did an amazing job this past weekend!  She reached the finals and lost a nail-biter match against UC Irvine's Kat Facey in the finals, 7-6. 7-6. We know there's only more great things to come from her! She really repped our school well and I am so honored to call her my teammate. We are all so proud of her!

That's all for now!

Logan

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LIONS ROCK IT AT ST. MARY'S TOURNAMENT

Hey there tennis fans!

            We would be lying if we didn't say that our soreness has gotten the best of us. But in a great way... It's the type of soreness that we know we are getting stronger from and are really reaping the benefits from the weight room as well as on the court. By altering the weight program compared to previous years, I personally feel that more muscles are being worked and our bodies will be healthy and capable of tackling anything long term. We are lifting heavier than what we are typically used to as tennis players but we do them in small reps which is tolerable.

            Besides keeping our bodies athletic and strong at practice, another huge part about being an athlete that some people overlook sometimes is nutrition. Nutrition is so so key for providing us with fuel before and after workouts and as well as throughout the day. Nutrition can absolutely affect performance. You have to eat something that will give you enough energy to sustain through the duration of practice sessions, otherwise you will eventually fatigue. Coach Jamie does have us on those UCAN shakes, which we all are getting in a much better habit of using regularly.

In addition, we just had our first round of meetings with our nutritionist, Sarah. She is awesome! She actually trains Jamie when he hits the gym every morning at 5 AM....what a stud! We are so lucky to have Sarah. She will be a great resource and is really excited about getting us all on individual meal plan programs so we will never have to question what the appropriate thing to eat at certain times. She will put together something for us. We all made individual goals for ourselves and meeting with her frequently will be great so we can check in with her and discuss the progress we've been making week to week.

This past weekend in Moraga for the St. Mary's tournament, Reka, Eli, Miya and Jessica all played amazing tennis against top ranked schools such as Stanford, Washington, Cal as well as other fierce teams like Cal Poly, St. Mary's, Santa Clara and University of Pacific (who just joined our conference this year.) Special shoutout to Miya for reaching the finals of her division. She fought hard and had an awesome weekend!

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This coming weekend is regional's at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego! Wish us girls luck this week! We'd really appreciate it!

That's all for now!

Logan/p>

 

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SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND AT LONG BEACH STATE TOURNAMENT

Hey there tennis fans!

            I hope you all enjoyed the warm weather this weekend! The fall months are vastly approaching, but the summer sun is still hanging around for a little longer. We have to take advantage of the nice temperatures as much as we can because yoga pants and uggs season is on its way!

            We were sad to hear that our pilates instructor, Roxanne (who's been our instructor since my freshmen year) is taking a leave of absence due to health reasons and should be expected to return next semester. For the returning players, this was sad news, because we have really established good relationships with her both on a personal level as well as in the yoga studio. She will be missed but we are optimistic about her return. In the meantime, we have a replacement instructor who is currently an LMU grad student and part time yoga instructor as well. She knows her stuff and is incredibly flexible. If only we were as incredibly flexible as she is...We are lucky she's so patient with us so we are attempting stretches correctly rather than running the risk of injuring ourselves.

            We finished our fourth and final week of our first circuit of weight training. Thank goodness, because those weights were getting heavy by that final week. Our strength coach, Nick, monitors our weight progression each week by recording what weights we started out with from week one to the final week. It's super important that we stick to the weights that are set for us individually because each person's set program varies slightly.

            Four of your lady lions traveled to Long Beach this past weekend for a tournament. It was definitely a major success! Every player went home with good wins. Miya Jin won her singles flight, Reka Rohonyi was a finalist in her flight, Kristine placed fourth in her flight and Laura Mueller placed third in her flight. Reka and Miya got third in their doubles division And Laura and Kristine won their doubles flight. I'm so proud of all the girls and this is a big confidence booster going forward with the tournaments ahead!

            This coming weekend, the girls will be heading up north to the bay area to compete in the St. Mary's tournament which is a big one with a lot of top name schools like Cal and Stanford so wish us ladies good luck if you see us around!

That's all for now!

Logan

 

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

Part One
By Paul Blanchette

As I report to you from the San Jose airport, I look back at the days activities.  It all started with a long, early morning as we boarded the bus once again for an experience of a life time.  Today we visited a daycare for children that are in families that lie below the poverty line and they were all six years old or younger.  These children were amazing and filled with energy, loving life.  One of the girls even said "this is the best day of my life".  After the visit to the daycare we had a walking tour of down town San Jose.  Concluding our day of activities we were given some time to shop at a flee market, where there were all sorts of goodies to choses from.  This lead to the long track to the airport and painful goodbyes.  From LMU men's soccer we sign off for the last time in Costa Rica.  Pura Vida
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Part Two
By Sean Sears

Today was our last full day in Costa Rica. We spent most of the time travelling from San Carlos to San Jose. While a four hour drive might sound boring it was far from that. For those who do not know, our soccer team is obsessed with napping and will use any break period as an excuse to lay down and get some shut eye, even if only for minute. This was the only ride where almost our whole team stayed awake to enjoy the view of the valleys and the mountains as we winded our way through to San Jose. The view from the curvy rode was something that none of us wanted to sleep through.

We arrived in San Jose with only a couple hours to spare before the game against Saprissa. We got our legs up and prepared for what we expected to be our most competitive game. Our expectations of Saprissa were spot on because for most of the first half they dominated possession and scoring opportunities. We were able to score a goal on a set piece and went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. We ended up conceding 3 goals in the second half and lost the game to a team that was better than us. While were all disappointed in the loss, it was very unreal to play in an actual stadium and we all appreciated the experience. The Saprissa players were all very fun and nice kids and I think they appreciated the experience of playing against us as much as we did playing against them. 

Part Three

By Jackson Criswell

Today is our final day in Costa Rica.  After a late breakfast, we took our last bus trip to a center for under-priveledged children in San Jose. Most of the children were from single mother or abusive households. The children lived at the center for a cost of $300 a month, paid for by donors from the United States or Canada. With their faces and hands pressed against the window, we were greeted with huge cheers.  s we walked in with LMU t-shirts in hand, we were mobbed by kids aged 1-8.  Captain Craig Nitti was a fan favorite, with a dozen kids rushing to his legs within seconds. After an hour of chasing, dancing, basketball and piggyback rides, we left the kids and the center for the second part of our day; the walking tour of San Jose. In the tour, Emilio walked us through the iconic buildings in the capital. He explained Costa Rican history ranging from their civil war in 1948, to their government system modeled after the United States. We concluded the tour at a local flee market, where we shopped through stalls containing everything from hammocks to bamboo knives. Boarding the bus marked the end of the most rewarding day of our adventure.  It was finally time to say goodbye to Costa Rica, and pura vida!

By Vince Paldino

Day eleven. After zip lining, today was a much more relaxed day. First we woke up and had breakfast before leaving San Carlos. Our next destination was the country's capital, San Jose. Throughout the entire trip I have been waiting to travel to San Jose because it is the country's capital and is much more crowded than the previous cities we have stayed in. However, we had to take a long bus ride which turned out not to be to bad because almost everyone fell asleep on the bus. When we arrived to our new hotel I couldn't believe how nice it was. I felt like I was traveling with a professional team because of the way everyone was treating us. After the long bus ride, my stomach was starving and lunch couldn't have came at a better time. I had salad, fish and chicken. The food hit the spot. After lunch, everyone went back to their rooms and rested for the big game. We played against the most known team from Costa Rica, Saprissa. Whenever someone thinks about Costa Rican soccer, they think about Saprissa and how good they are. We not only got to play against their team, we also got to play in their beautiful stadium. Although we ended up losing the game, I will never forget that feeling when I took my first step on to the turf field. We played very well, but towards the end of the game we became fatigued and Saprissa took advantage. Once the final whistle blew, we gathered together and took pictures with the other team. They were really nice and welcoming. Hopefully one day I playing in a stadium like theirs. When we got back to the hotel everyone was tired from the game and decided to take it easy tonight especially because we have community service tomorrow and want to save our energy for the little kids. I can't wait to hang out with the children tomorrow and put a smile on their faces. With that said, Costa Rica has been a life changing experience and something that I will talk about for the rest of my life.
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Part One

By Ryan Felix


The day began early with the usual breakfast at the Tilajari Resort, consisting of rice, beans, potatoes, French toast, and an assortment of fruit. We boarded the bus around 8 A.M. and took off to go zip lining near the Arenal Volcano. Upon arriving, we hiked up to the main area and were quickly in our gear. A gondola took us up near the top of the mountain that we would soon be zip lining across. The view from the top was incredible. Looking down from the mountain we could see a huge lake which, using a hydroelectric dam, generates roughly 60 percent of the electricity in Costa Rica. We could also see the volcano, which was very steep, but the most shocking scenery for most of us was the view of the third zip line across a huge valley, over a thousand feet up in the air. Although most of us were very excited about the zip lining, there was an overlying feeling of nervousness and anxiety among the group, especially upon the viewing of this third zip line. Nevertheless, we all strapped up (everyone except Vince), and began our descent down the mountain on the zip lines. The first two were very short and helped us become accustomed to the technique of breaking when we arrived at the platform at the end of the line. Then, it was time to take on the third zip line. I was extremely excited to go and see the amazing view of the lake, the volcano, and the canopy of the rainforest below me while flying through the air. The journey across the valley was exhilarating to say the least. Flying through the air, getting whipped in the face with raindrops and getting to see such an amazing view was an unbelievable experience. We continued down a few more zip lines and eventually traveled down a zip line roughly a third of a mile long. When we all finished, we ate lunch at the main area again and then took off for La Fortuna Waterfall. Although it was not my first time zip lining, it was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

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Part Two

By John McFarlin


After our adrenaline filled morning, it was time to head for our last adventure in the Costa Rican Rainforest. I, like many of my teammates, took advantage of the one hour bus ride by taking a quick nap. We eventually arrived at the foot of a trail that would lead to the La Fortuna Waterfall. It was a tricky hike as we descended countless stairs, but the pay off was well worth it. We were all amazed at the massive size of this fall and the power of the water. Everyone got in  and took turns trying to swim towards the waterfall as it pushed us back, with Jack McCracken, Mark Dotseth, Craig Nitti and Dylan Seedman giving the most valiant attempts. There was also a cool river running down where I enjoyed trying to catch fish with Cameron Krumpe as Coach Paul Krumpe watched on with amusement at our numerous failures. We found the climb back up the stairs to be quite the workout after last night's game, but experiencing this natural wonder was awesome.

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Paul Blanchette in front of La Fortuna Waterfall


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Alex Lam and Bryce Bacic exploring the river


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Vince Paldino and Peter Velazquez taking in the sights


After dinner it was time for a soccer tennis tournament on an indoor court at our hotel. As always, competition heated up right from the first game. As teams got eliminated, the crowd grew and the atmosphere became more of a factor. In the end, Mackenzie Kim, Sebastian De Rada, Cameron Krumpe and Craig Nitti were left standing as the championship team.


Pura Vida.

-#LMULIONS-

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