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Tough Opening Conference Weekend

Hey there tennis fans!

"Instead of leaning back, lean in and lean on . . ." -Jamie Sanchez

            I hope you all had a nice Easter. In our weekly meeting, our coach, Jamie brought up to us that he cares a great deal for us and not in the way that he feels obliged to say that because he is our coach, but because he truly and genuinely cares about each and everyone of us. I know I speak on behalf of the team that that means the world to us. Each member of the team has a different role and we all have different personalities that make our team a whole. Sure we may be a handful at times and drive our coaches crazy, but they wouldn't want us any other way. We are leaving a memorable legacy for our years at LMU.

Being a part of a team that has great chemistry and are so tight-knit, we tend to 'lean in' and 'lean on' more than we 'lean back.' This can be as little as reminding each other what color we are supposed to wear for practice or match that day or just being that supportive cushion when someone is having a rough day. I think Jamie knows we do this but he just likes to make us aware that just these simple factors can contribute to our success in our matches.

            And our wins thus far this season hold true to this notion. We've jumped to No. 61 in the rankings last week in the rankings! So so proud of my Lions!

            After the conclusion of a successful pre-conference season, we finally started our conference matches this week. We opened with Santa Clara on Thursday, and I could tell going into the match that we all were a little nervous and anxious. I would say that those emotions toyed with our game play especially in the doubles. We started off a little slow, and didn't seem to capitalize with the games and mentalities that I know I we all possess.  A big shout out to April playing at 1 who upset the No. 28 ranked player in the nation, Katie Le. Similar situations seemed to have taken place. Similar unfortunate situations happened in our match against USF. The doubles point could have been ours with the difference of a game or two and that partly shifted our fired-up intensive energy into the singles. But all the singles matches were well fought and super close throughout.

A pair of 2-5 losses were not the results we wanted into our Easter weekend. It is difficult to take any conference loss match lightly because every conference match is crucial. This is when it really counts. But I have so much faith in our team! I really do. Like Jamie always says, "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all." I know that the passion and unconditional support that we all have for each other will help us get through the tough losses and bounce back for our next round of matches.

This week we have back to matches on Friday and Saturday. Friday we play Portland and Saturday, we play Gonzaga. I know everyone out there has busy lives, but if you could spare some time to support your LMU Women's Tennis Team, it would mean so much to us!

 

Until next time!

Logan

A Couple Ivy Wins for the Lions

Hey there tennis fans!

"Your destiny is in your hands."-Jamie Sanchez

Our team always jokes around that our coach, Jamie comes up with these captivating quotes that need to be documented in some way. My teammate, Miya thinks that his 'daily quotes' need to be written in those calendars where there's always an inspirational quote featured on the top of each page. Well at least for the sake of the blog, I am going to try to capture a memorable quote from Jamie throughout the week that I can use as my opening thought and could in fact inspire you readers as much as it does to my team and me. Some might even humor you as much as some do to us as well.

Our team mascot, Munchie (the squirrel) seems to have been M.I.A. these days...and it has started to worry us. It is no wonder, though,  when all we did was feed him a ridiculous amount of trail mix...How can he turn down an ample supply of the munchies? So he's clearly been overdosing on the nuts...I mean, it's normal for a squirrel to be nuts about 'nuts' but we may have taken it a little far. We'll definitely have to ease up on those generous donations of food to our beloved mascot.

Your LMU Lady Lions clinched a huge win over Princeton on Thursday against No. 62 ranked Princeton! After fluctuating in and out of the rankings, we jumped back into the No. 75 this week, and only to prove that we will continue to fight for a deserving spot in the top. After losing the doubles point, we knew we had to come out strong for the singles. It came down to Kristine's match on court 5, and she won so we claimed a 4-3 victory over the Tigers! On any given day, I know we can beat any team. That is just so 100% confident I am in my team. Not only do we have the talent to do so, but because we have the heart and determination. Jamie and Ivan always reiterate to us that are capable of beating any team we come across as long as we are disciplined enough to execute the games that each of us do have and that can really become effective for us as we get into the crucial part of the season.

I want to give a huge shout out to Kristine who is a perfect example of someone who put up a tenacious fight against Princeton this past week. She proved that she will do whatever it takes to win...to give every last bit of energy and drive to get there. She is such an inspiration!

The Lions continued the dominance into Saturday after our win over Dartmouth to cap off our Ivy League-filled weekend of competitors. Both of these teams played with strategic and tactical approaches that took a little time to adjust, but it was nothing that our Lady Lions couldn't handle. We played with patience and perseverance and it showed!

We are approaching Conference matches this coming week! Yeah, it's getting real. This is when it really counts! So we gotta keep that fired-up intensity. As we go into our Spring Break long weekend, we will get into two heated battles against University of San Francisco (USF) on Thursday and Santa Clara on Saturday.

Wish us luck! And have a Happy Easter!

Until next time!

Logan

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Back on the Grind

Hey there tennis fans!

            We found out that our coach is a celebrity this week...On our schedule for the week, Coach Jamie informed us that we would attend the baseball game on Tuesday against Long Beach which came as somewhat a surprise to us considering most baseball practices/games normally conflict with our tennis practices/games. Our initial thoughts were, "Cool, we can go out and support the baseball team since we rarely get to see them play" Jamie, however, had ulterior motives for our attendance of the game.

"Isn't anyone going to ask why we're going to the baseball game"? Jamie asked us. Little did we know that our very own coach would be throwing the first pitch in the game. Our faces all lit up when he told us. We are in the presence of a celebrity! We know how big of an impact Jamie has made to LMU, as an alum, coach and inspiration, so we should have realized that who better to throw out one of the first pitches for a baseball game than him. I mean, let's be real, he basically is an LMU celebrity...

            This week in strength training, Nick stressed how important it is for us to maintain our same workouts in the gym each week and to refrain from changing up the routine. This is so we will not feel fatigue from pushing too hard in weight on a particular exercise. I think that's a definitely a safe move considering we are in the middle of season and have matches on average at least once or twice a week. By sticking with the same exercises, we are challenging ourselves to peak in strength by progressively going up in weight each week. That's right, us Lady Lions got muscles! I know I can personally admit that I have not woken up the following day from lifting where I was so sore and couldn't move. So that's a plus for sure.

            This past Saturday, we faced New Mexico for an 11 am game time. We took care of business and ended up with a 5-2 victory. Despite some neck and neck battles, we came up on top, which gave us a little ego boost for working well with pressure situations. Getting through tough situations like these will help us be more prepared for Conference matches just around the corner, come the end of the month in fact.

            We have two matches this coming weekend. The Ivy schools are making their way to the 'west coast' aka the 'best coast' for some competitive matches. We play Princeton on Thursday and Dartmouth of Saturday. Come support the Lady Lions in their final matches before we get into Conference matches. We would really appreciate it! And spread the word!

 

Until next time!

Logan

Spring Break for the Lions!

Hey there tennis fans!

            First and foremost, I must announce that your LMU Women's Tennis team has just jumped into the rankings for the first time in 6 years! We have now captured the No. 72 spot, and are only moving up from here! This was great news to start off our Spring Break, that's for sure...

            While Cabo was on a lot of LMU students' agendas this Spring Break, our tennis team had other plans. I can finally cross 'hiking the Hollywood sign' off the bucket list because that has been a long-time goal of mine ever since I moved to LA to go to college. Than it was off to Palm Springs for the BNP Paribas Open. It was such a blast! Who needs Cabo when we are making unforgettable memories in the desert with the best team around?

The night we arrived, we unexpectedly ran into tons of pro's who were playing in the tournament. It seemed every time we would turn a corner, we would recognize someone, as if it was just an old friend, and not the fact that we are simply star-struck tennis fans. The adrenaline that was going through our heads at that point was through the roof. We were casually walking off our dinner in this outdoor mall and boom, tall, hunky tennis players galore. You can spot that tennis player's physique from a mile away!

It was a quick trip, but jam-packed nonetheless. Coach Jamie would get us up for an early 6:45 wake-up call so we can have a nice breakfast and than head out to the courts for some training. It's amazing how cold and windy the desert can be in the morning, which created quite the obstacle playing tennis in the early hours. But hey, it's good for practice.

            After we got our work done on the court, it was time to watch the pros in action! It's amazing to see how much more inspired we become to play better after watching the pros battle. Their athleticism and mental toughness is hard not to notice. I think our team enjoyed watching the pro's play on the practice courts so we could get an exclusive look to their warm-up and practice routines. And the best part about the practice sessions is that they spend quite a bit of time pleasing the fans with pictures and autographs. So naturally, the Lady Lions flocked to the front of the crowd to get close to the players any chance we got. And I must say that we got quite a few pictures with the big stars. You can say it easily made our lives to get that 3 second pose with the top players of the game. I think I can speak on behalf of my whole team that we would love to make an annual trip to the BNP because it conveniently falls during our Spring Break each year. Food for thought Jamie...

            I was working a lot of the time behind the scenes with Media because I landed an internship with "Inside Tennis" magazine as a journalist. I have been working with them since last November, and I have had the privilege of interviewing a lot of people in the professional tennis industry who I truly admire, so that's been an incredible honor. Specifically at the BNP, I had the opportunity to listen into press conferences and "take in" the daily routine of what a journalist goes through during the midst of such a great and credible tournament like the BNP Paribas Open. My boss, Bill Simons who is the Editor and Publisher of the magazine had faith in me to strike up a question during a press conference. My first thoughts were, "there's no way...I would be so nervous!" But I think eventually, I will have the guts to speak up and compose a question.

            Following the tournament, our coach went to Las Vegas to attend the WCC Hall of Honor Bruch of former athletes. One of his former players was being recognized in a huge honor. Edit Pakay was not just a star tennis player, but she also shined in cross-country as well. As a two-sport athlete, she set the bar so incredibly high for future athletes at LMU. She did cross-country in the fall and tennis in the spring. Wow! As a cross-country runner, one of Pakay's biggest accomplishments was winning the WCC Women's Cross Country Championship 5K. In tennis, Pakay led the Lady Lions to a victory over Pepperdine to win the 2002 WCC Women's Tennis Team Championships. She also managed to post a 63-41 singles record in her career which placed her ninth in the LMU record books for career winning percentage. That's awesome to know that such an accomplished athlete made her mark on the LMU grounds.

            The momentum of landing the No. 72 spot in the rankings has worked to our advantage as we managed to take the "W" over Cal Poly on Sunday 5-2. I am so proud of our team for finishing off our spring break with a solid win.

            This coming Saturday, we will face New Mexico at 11 AM. We would really love to see you all out there!

Until next time!
Logan

(check out some of the pictures from our trip)

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Midterms Are Over!

Logan's Thoughts - Feb. 25, 2013

Hey there tennis fans!

            We are just a week away from Spring Break. We can do it! It's hard to believe that we are nearly halfway done with the semester. It has been midterm season here on campus which has given students the excuse to walk around like zombies from class to class. When it's time for tennis, however, we have to block out that stress that is hitting us like a ton of bricks. At times, it is super difficult, but with such a supporting squad that we surround ourselves with, I think we do a great job of keeping our minds off of the cruel papers and evil exams with our jokes, oh and of course Munchie, our pet mascot.

            Exercise in general is such an amazing stress reliever especially in times like these, and we are so lucky that tennis is a part of our everyday lives. It feels so good to get through a tough academic day and escape to the courts where we can just forget about our studies for a while to grind out our strokes. Our daily dose of tennis helps us carry on the rest of our day refreshed and of course, fit. We try to maximize every minute that we're on the court because we know our homework will come soon enough. It's part of the trade-off of being a student athlete. We get to play the sport but we gotta put in our studies too.

A lot of my friends who are not on athletic teams at LMU envy that we are guaranteed at least two hours of physical activity a day. They wish they can make trips to the gym everyday, but it's difficult to fit it in their schedules sometimes because they are involved with a number of things. I admire that my fellow students keep themselves busy and are so engaged with the LMU community and all the opportunities that it has to offer.   

            We were on the road this past weekend against SDSU. Our No. 2 player, Tory and No. 4 player, Miya were overcoming injuries this past week so they weren't able to compete in our match so we made a few adjustments in our line-up. Everyone who was playing came out ready to compete and we faced some tough battles. Clau and April had an amazing 8-4 victory at No. 1 doubles. Their intensity was high throughout the whole match; it was so great to watch their chemistry work so well together. Kristine was happy with her win at No. 4. singles. She claims, "I stuck with my patters and didn't get impatient." April almost walked away with a win at the 1 spot and had unbelievable points while keeping that 'aggressive April mantra.'

In our team meeting following the match, Coach Jamie advised us the importance of discipline and that we need to implement it a little more not just for tennis, but it's all the factors that contribute to our performance on the court such as getting our proper warm up series in (band work, stretching, dynamic warm up) and drinking the appropriate amount of fluids and staying fueled so we never lose our energy on the court. Then we have to make sure we are drinking the U-Can shake Jamie wants us to take, get ice wrapped if necessary and then get our foam roll on to flush out those tight muscles. There is so much that we have to incorporate besides playing a match, but I have learned how crucial it is to our actual performance on the court. All of these factors are supposed to prevent us from fatigue during our demanding in-season schedule.

This Thursday, we play Nevada-Reno at home and we would love to see you out there on the courts at 1:30!

Until next time!

Logan

Cathedral City Re-cap!

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Eager and ready to play the lions softball team headed to Cathedral City to face some great competition last Thursday. Our first game against Florida started off with a lot of energy and a run in the first inning. Although we ended up taking a tough loss of 8-2 we had plenty of great at bats to get a couple of runs against the 5th ranked team in the country. Our next game against Cal State Fullerton did not go as expected. The teams energy seemed a little down from our long break in between games and ended up with another loss of 1-7. 

A new day and a good nights sleep gave the team the energy and excitement we needed for our game against #14 Arizona. A run scored in the first inning gave us the confidence to play as a whole. A battle was faced throughout the entire game and we ended up with a score of 3-5. Although this was a loss it was probably one of the best games we have ever played as a team before. We hope to continue this energy and attitude for the rest of the season.

The last and final day of the tournament left us with games against Northwestern and UNLV. The Northwester game went into extra innings thanks to the home-run from Meghan Harman to keep us at a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 7th inning. The game went for 9 innings and Northwestern ended up with some timely hitting in order to have a final score of 3-7. The energy and attitude that we have been working on was apparent during the entire game. Keeping that focus brought us with a win against UNLV! Finally our hard work and great energy is paying off. We cannot wait to keep this up and show everyone the team that we can be in the future!


The Week That Was in Lion Sports - February 19

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This blog is written by Ray Ferrari, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Eugene, Ore. Ray works in the LMU Sports Media department, is a leader of the ROAR Student Section, is a former sports writer at The Los Angeles Loyolan, and is a member of The Crimson Circle service organization. His weekly recap of LMU Athletics will be posted here every Tuesday allowing for a quick glance at the week that was in Lion Sports.

With baseball and golf beginning play last week, spring sports are now in full swing and hoping to provide some Lion success as the basketball teams continue to struggle towards the end of the winter season.

The baseball team started their season at home over the weekend with a series against the visiting Utah Utes. After a sloppy Friday game left LMU with a 6-3 loss, the Lions then turned the series around with stellar pitching. The Lions won 1-0 on Saturday and 11-2 on Sunday to take the series and advance to 2-1.

The golf team had its first tournament of the spring last week at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. The tough course conditions left the Lions scrambling all week, which resulted in a tenth place finish out of 12 teams. Now, LMU is currently playing in the Folino Invite at Industry Hills Golf Club in Industry Hills, Calif., which will finish play later this week.

After a strong 3-1 start, the women's tennis team hit a bump last weekend in Santa Barbara. A long match with UCSB brought play into dusk and with no lights on the court, two of the singles matches had to be decided by quick tiebreakers rather than a third set, which led to a heartbreaking 4-3 loss for the Lions. LMU was then defeated again the next day 6-1 by the University of Colorado.

LMU track and field competed at the Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers meet over the weekend. The highlight of the meet for the Lions was junior Kevin Joerger winning the 3000-meter race. Many other lions set personal records at the meet as well.

The men's basketball team went 0-2 on the weekend yet again, extending their losing streak to ten games and dropping them to 1-12 in WCC play. At Pepperdine on Thursday, it looked as if the Lions were finally going to get a win but a pair of missed free throws by the Lions and a basket by the Waves in the final minute gave Pepperdine the 52-50 win. At home against Saint Mary's on Saturday, the Gaels roster was just too big and too deep to handle, defeating the Lions 61-50 in front of the parents' weekend crowd.

The women's basketball team only had one game last week, which was a home loss against San Diego on Thursday. The 66-59 defeat was close, but LMU trailed the entire game. The loss dropped the Lions to 3-9 and seventh place in the conference.

Swimming, women's water polo, softball, and men's tennis were off last week but will return to play next weekend.

Logan's Thoughts - Feb. 18, 2013

Hey there tennis fans!

            I hope you all had a well rested weekend and enjoyed the weather reaching into the 80's believe it or not. It's about time! We're so spoiled living in Southern California sometimes. Anything in the 60's and below is freezing to us. We can't even fathom what the harsh winters are bringing the east coasters right about now.

            Most of our team battled little hick-ups of injuries, which prohibited them from carrying on full practices this week. However, they properly took care of themselves in the training room and built up each day with more hitting in order to gear up for our big weekend of back-to back matches in Santa Barbara.

            My Peruvian teammate Claudia, but we call her "Clau" put on a lovely upbeat Spanish playlist for our strength workout with Nick this week. There's something about that Spanish flavor that is so catchy sometimes. Even Nick, our strength training coach and the most difficult to please when it comes to music, enjoyed the little Spanish mix.

            After drowning our sorrows in the thought that none of our team had valentines for Valentines Day (except for Adri who has a boyfriend who we all love and is one of our biggest fans) our coach, Jamie, or 'Jimbo' as we prefer calling him, gave us a glimmer of hope when he blessed our whole team with V-Day grams. It easily made all of our days! We couldn't have asked for a better valentine! We carried out the rest of day in high spirits and positive vibes, and then some of us treated ourselves to some Pinkberry later where I got my first medium sized fro-yo! I always settle for the mini, but in honor of this holiday giving me an excuse to binge on sweets, I thought why not go up in size! Oh man it was good.

            Unfortunately your Lady Lions faced two tough rounds of tennis in Santa Barbara this weekend. We fell just short to UCSB 4-3 on Saturday where we seemed to have had a rather slow start. On Sunday, we lost to Colorado State. I think our team has a lot of energy and spirit but we sometimes channel that energy elsewhere for a little. Winning that doubles point is so key and can really help our confidence towards the singles matches to follow. However, we have to keep up the intensity throughout the whole singles matches because they are not quick 8 game pro sets, they're 2 out of 3 sets. You gotta be in it to win it the whole time because the match doesn't end after the doubles point! There are definitely things we all need to work on but I am confident, without a shadow of a doubt that our team can improve and get there!

            In fact, I think we will make some improvements by this Friday against our match against SDSU. Wish us the best of luck for the upcoming week! We hope to kick some lion butt and do LMU proud!

Until next time!

Logan

The Week That Was in Lion Sports - February 11

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This blog is written by Ray Ferrari, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Eugene, Ore. Ray works in the LMU Sports Media department, is a leader of the ROAR Student Section, is a former sports writer at The Los Angeles Loyolan, and is a member of The Crimson Circle service organization. His weekly recap of LMU Athletics will be posted here every Monday allowing for a quick glance at the week that was in Lion Sports.

As the basketball teams continue to struggle, disappoint, and sometimes embarrass the LMU community, the fan base is beginning to look towards the spring sports season with hopes of Lion success.

The sun is out and the grass is looking good at Page Stadium, where the baseball team will open up its season this weekend when they host Utah for a three-game series. Tuesday night in the batting cages, the LMU baseball program is having its first event of the new "10th Man" project in hopes to gain more of a fan presence in the stands at baseball games for 2013.

Softball opened up their 2013 season last weekend in St. George, Utah, where they played five games in three days in true collegiate softball fashion. The Red Desert Classic gave LMU five games against five opponents to kick off the year. The Lions started off strong with a 9-0 win over Colorado St. and a 6-0 win over Weber St. The Lions also beat Utah St. 3-0, but lost games against Utah and Arkansas for a 3-2 tournament record. 

The women's water polo team also had a big weekend, going 3-1 with three of the four games decided by two goals or less. At the UCSD Triton Invitational, LMU opened play against the host team, #19 UC San Diego, which ended in a bitter 8-7 loss. The Lions then went on to win the rest of their games with big wins over Marist, CSU Bakersfield, and #10 Michigan.

Women's tennis also continued its early season hot streak last week with a 7-0 sweep of UC Riverside at home. The Lions are now 3-1 and undefeated at home to start the 2013 campaign. They will continue their full, tough non-conference schedule next weekend against UC Santa Barbara and Colorado.

The men's tennis team is still trying to find its rhythm early on in the season. The Lions are in the midst of a long and exhausting road trip, containing match after match of tough competition. This along with three crucial injuries has resulted in a 0-6 start after falling to UC Santa Barbara 6-1 and losing 5-2 at Cal Poly.

The women's basketball team finally got a much-needed win last week, when they took down Santa Clara 71-50 at home last Thursday. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak but was followed with a game against first place Gonzaga, in which the Lions lost 70-56.

As for the men's basketball team, most of you know the story. The Lions have displayed a fruitless offense all year and continue to live and die by the three. And for a team that is bad at shooting threes, that means lots of death. LMU continued to shoot terribly from the field in the Northwest over the weekend, as the team dropped to 1-10 in WCC play after a 69-60 loss at Portland and a 74-55 loss at Gonzaga.

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