After a wonderful Spring Break trip, it is so good to be back on campus together again. The joy in this team is the daily work we do and I was hoping we would continue to demonstrate the fruits of that work in our match play. This is something the team certainly did this weekend at home versus George Fox and Lewis and Clark.
Both teams we have already played with resounding 9-0 wins on the road. This time, I can't tell you how excited I was to get back into conference play and show that the competitive matches over break have resulted in many players finding a new level in their game. There were certainly opportunities to play as Friday we rested Courtney to save a match date (she would have gone over from competing in the Fall National USTA/ITA event), Erin was out of town for a family event, and Olivia was taking her senior written exam.
Against George Fox, early rain gave way to mixed sun and clouds and we got to play outside; having 6 courts is a phenomenal upgrade and I still can't get over how beautiful the setting is to play.
|No Better Place to Play - the view from the Rose Garden by Maxey Hall|
We started out with some different doubles and it paid off in a sweep. Maddy and Tree were focused and aggressive at 1, Hannah and Jenna stayed tough at 2, and our all first year team crushed it at 3! We carried that momentum into singles with highlights being Maggie stepping in at 6 with her Dad visiting from Maine and taking a solid straight set win! Allie is back to full strength and is looking great and Hannah also performed in front of her Mom (thanks for coming Tom and Johanna!) with solid wins. Tree and Maddy showed that moving up in the lineup was no problem as did Jenna who played some wonderful tennis getting a win at the #1 spot, way to go JD!
Saturday was our campus kids day and our young fans were treated to a rematch of last year's NWC tournament final. LC is not the team they were, but they did get a key player back from injury and it bolstered their lineup especially at 2 doubles where San Francisco natives Katrina and Seana were outplayed to give LC their only point. It is great to see Tree continue to grow as a leader and confident player; also for Seana I have been chomping at the bit to get her into some bigger and bigger doubles matches. She has impressed all along and this match is one she knows that on a different day she and Tree have the tennis to win so I'm excited to see her continue to develop. At one, Maddy and Court dominated and also did things we wanted them to after Spring Break, and at 3, Hannah and Allie outgunned their opponents with solid groundies and aggressive net play to put us up 2-1.
In singles, Courtney was back and dropped one game for a total of 2 on the day; seeing her tennis improve at this point in the season is perhaps one of the most exciting things on our team considering she has been at such a high level for so long. Jenna took a break and Tree, Allie, and Hannah all kept the focus and efficiently worked through their matches to clinch it 5-2. On court 6, Seana also rolled through her match, again, something she needed in her game was the composure to play her game against any opponent and when its in the top 6 sometimes people let the moment get to them. This was a breakthrough for Seana who really stayed consistent mentally and had great energy winning 6-0, 6-2. The closest match was court 4 where Maddy and her opponent both struggled for consistency in the first set with LC taking it. Then, Maddy focused and came out strong in the second, going up 4-1 before her opponent stepped up to bring it back to 4-4. At this point, both big hitting players were finally in their groove at the same time and the tennis was excellent. Maddy finished off the set 6-4 and took that momentum into the match tie break, winning it 10-4 to give us an 8-1 win and a home sweep!
After the match, we enjoyed a clinic and games with local kids. It is so much fun to give back and share in the enthusiasm of kids learning the game. Thanks goes to the ITA and USTA for initiating these events!
We're now 8-0 in conference with 4 matches to go. This weekend is a huge one as we square off with rival Whitworth who are 9-0 in conference and it marks the first dual match in the Wallin twins careers at their respective schools.
The match is at 2pm Saturday at Whitman and we also have senior/family/alumni weekend. If you have RSVP'd, I'll be emailing you today with details, if not and you'd like to come, please contact me ASAP and we'll get you involved in:
Friday - Watch practice (4:30pm) and men's match (3pm)
Saturday - Whitworth match (2pm) and Dinner (7pm)
Sunday - Fun Tennis Day (10am)