Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Whittie of the Week is a super sophomore

On a short week -we played Monday during the holiday in Salem, had Tuesday off, practiced Wednesday and Thursday and then Friday morning drove to Tacoma to play 3 matches in two days - I'm proud to say that Hannah was voted WoW by her teammates.

You can read about her contributions on this link:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Whittie of the Week is...Maddy

Check this link to read about Maddy's great contributions this last week!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First weekend of Conference Play

Hi everyone.

So, hitting the road for a full weekend of three DIII matches including our first two in NWC play and our only scheduled match vs a California school this season leaves A LOT to talk about, so I'll try to hit the highlights and summarize a very solid weekend of tennis and a super fun trip.

First, we traveled with all 14 members of our team and everyone got to play.  If you've been around this group at all, you'll know that as a unit these young women are exceptional at working together and supporting each other and they have a great time being together so a road trip to start the NWC season was terrific.

They also are probably the most talented and competitive group I've coached, so it did sting us a bit to go down 3-0 to Linfield in doubles.  It was a day of turnarounds with 1 dubs going up 5-2 before losing and 2 and 3 coming back from big deficits to lose narrow 8-6 prosets.  Anything can happen in these and we found that out at the cost of being down 3 points headed into singles.  Fortunately, our resolve was amazing and we fought back to a point where it was 3-3 in matches, Kate was down a set, Hannah was up a set and Emily was up a break in the first set.  It looked promising, but we couldn't quite pull it out and so we started the season bravely, but must learn from a conference loss in a very winnable match for us.

I can't say enough about resolve and the ability to compete and it showed the next day as we rested some of our key players and still got the best of a much improved LaVerne team 9-0!  We also won every exhibition for a total of 16-0 on the day including some big comebacks from Kate, Emily and Lizzy.  It was great to play a non conference team in the Northwest and Coach Duron really has the Leopards of LaVerne on the right track from when we played them two years ago.

Our weekend concluded with a Presidents day tilt with NWC foe Willamette.  Again, learning from the Linfield match, we stepped up in doubles to take 2 of the top 3 and score 2 exhibition wins.  This was Sara's first point for the team and she earned Whittie of the Match honors with her solid play, great teamwork and amazing energy from the start.  Alyssa was not getting much better, so I decided to let her rest and Maddy subbed in at 1 doubles where she and Courtney played a brilliant match; on serve at 2-3, they held Maddy's serve and rolled off 5 more games for an 8-3 win.  I've been looking for Maddy to consistently play at the level I know she can and it was terrific to see it in action.  HP and Lizzy gutted out a win and Charlotte and Maggie took command in their proset to score exhibition wins.  After splitting the singles for a 5-4 win, we got three more exhibitions on and Erin again showed that her consistency and composure are as big as her huge serve while Olivia managed her match really well and Hadley took care of business to all win prosets.

So, we are 2-2, 1-1 in conference, but we do get another shot at Linfield on our home courts and it should be a terrific match between two great teams.

We are on the road again this weekend before having two weekends at home prior to Spring break.  If you are in the Tacoma area, you should definitely watch us take on PLU Friday at 3:30pm and UPS Saturday at 11am followed by Bellevue CC at 4pm.

Both Saturday matches will be at UPS and in between we'll have an afternoon reception with the team and some between match snacks, so please email or call me if you will be at the matches and we'll make sure to have food for you.

Happy post presidents day!

(509) 301-8502

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two matches down, one to go on the long weekend

Just a quick update of scores since not all of the exhibitions will be on the official website:

Sunday vs LaVerne (CA) at Courthouse Athletic club in Salem:

1. Courtney/Alyssa def Matsuda/Moncrief 8-4
2. Emily/Morgan def Krishnamurthy/Tucker 8-1
3. Erin/Maddy def Lezin/Lednesma 8-1
4. Sara/Kate def Broussard/Mullis 8-5
5. Charlotte/Olivia def Perez/Monteilh 8-4

1. Courtney def Matsuda 7-5, 6-2
2. Kate def. Krishnamurthy 7-5,6-2
3. Emily def Moncrief 2-6,6-2,6-4
4. Lizzy def Tucker 1-6,6-4,6-2
5. Maddy def Lezin 6-0,6-1
6. Erin def Monteilh 6-2,4-6,6-4
7. Sara def Ledesma 8-1
8. Hadley def Mullis 8-5
9. Charlotte def Broussard 8-2
10. Olivia def Perez 8-2
11. Maggie def Patton 6-3

Saturday morning in McMinnville, our NWC season started with a rough learning experience at the hands of Linfield:
1. Courtney/Alyssa lost to Olbrich/Brigham 8-5
2. Emily/Morgan lost to Nip/Nip 8-6
3. Lizzy/Hannah lost to Thomas/Watanabe 8-6

Erin/Maddy def Allison/Jernstedt 8-2

1. Courtney def Olbrich 6-4,6-1
2. Alyssa def Brigham 6-3,7-5
3. Morgan def Thomas 7-6(3), 6-1
4. Kate lost to Kaila Nip 6-1,6-2
5. Emily lost to Kiana Nip 6-4,6-3
6. Hannah lost to Watanabe 3-6,6-4,10-3

Hadley def Crofcheck 9-7

Last for the weekend is a presidents day bash with the Bearcats of Willamette at 12:30pm in Salem at the Courthouse

Sleep tight Whit tennis fans!

Monday, February 13, 2012

First match of the season at LC State

Yesterday was our first match of the season.  We lost 7-2 to the Warriors of Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC).  LCSC has a preseason ranking of #16 nationally in NAIA and in the years I've coached at Whitman the closest we have come to beating them was 6-3.
1 and 2 Dubs Returning Serve
Well, you wouldn't have known that as we came out just as we needed to, super competitive in all 3 doubles matches, with a fourth as an exhibition that showcased a bit of the future (maybe quite near future) of our team. At one doubles, Courtney and Morgan teamed up to take on a team that has already scored victories over two D1 teams this spring.  Not to be intimidated, I'm pretty sure no team ever had more than a one game lead at any point and down 6-7, the twins fought really well to level at 7-7 before some huge shotmaking from LCSC ended the match with a 9-7 score for the Warriors.  As a team, they were dissapointed not to find a way to win, but both Courtney and Morgan displayed all their years of doubles training as well as executing shots and plays they have needed to improve.  At two, we were on serve to 2-3, got down a break and that was all it took as the match finished 8-5 for LCSC; it is amazing how over three seasons Emily and Kate continue to grow together but maintain that amazing chemistry they've always had.
Lizzy and HP taking control
Three was our highlight, but it didn't come without intrigue as we got up 6-1 and Lizzy and HP were totally rolling, then some big serving and close points started going the Warriors way and it was slowly but surely knotted at 6 all.  Still confident, some clutch returning of their stronger server (today) had us up 7-6 with Lizzy serving for the match and with great teamwork, we pulled it out to keep the overall match close.  At #4, Erin and Maddy played some terrific doubles, and like their fellow first years at #1 each of them had definitely improved in areas they have been working hard at, but it wasn't enough in this proset as they fell 8-3.

Maddy and Erin closing together
Singles went on and at #1 Courtney and Dominika (the #10 player in the nation in NAIA) continued their battle from dubs with the first set edging 7-5 to the Slovakian who hits amazingly precise flat hard groundstrokes.  The second set seemed more on Courtney's terms and some of the points were absolutely unreal - the sound of the ball coming off Dominika's racket and the screeching of Claw's shoes as she tracked balls and worked to gain the offensive were like music to a tennis lover's ears.  Unfortunately, Courtney had to learn a few lessons in  this tough straight set loss.  Morgan at 2 faced a similar battle with a big hitter, and when she was executing well it was brilliant, but all credit to her opponent who gave her no room for error in a straight set win.  Similar stories with Kate at 3 and Em at 4, but different flows to the matches as both Whitties seemed to gain strength as their matches went on and I was really proud of the composure each showed even as the scoreline went away from them.  At 5, Hannah had a bit of a slow start in the first before a compelling second set with (I think) only one break of serve, it was a nice, mid match rebound from HP, but not quite enough to equal her doubles success.  Lizzy, however, was not dissuaded after dropping the first set and she looked fresh and ready as she moved through a tough opponent 6-3 in the third.

In exhibition matches, Sara showed many points of brilliance, and good composure against a very seasoned and tough player.  Erin then had the opportunity to play a proset with the same player and like HP, it took her a while to get going, but in the end they traded games and Erin learned a ton from this match, mostly that her game is already where it needs to be in so many ways.  A definite highlight of the afternoon's tennis was Maddy at #8 singles blowing her opponent out of the water with a 6-1,6-1 win.  Maddy came in this year thinking of herself as a doubles player (which she really is great at), but the way she stayed focused and followed her gameplan point after point was terrific to see.

Overall, it was a joy to compete and LCSC provides a team that really brings a great effort, terrific skill and wonderful sportsmanship every time.  I love the way this group competed and really look forward to starting our conference and DIII season this Saturday at Linfield.

Here is this weekends schedule:
Saturday at Linfield 10am
Sunday vs LaVerne at the Courthouse club in Salem 4pm warmup so start between 4:30-5
Monday vs Willamette at the Courthouse 11am warmup start between 11:30-12

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WoW Sabes - at it again

Now in our fourth week on court this spring with our first match moving tantalizingly closer this Sunday, there is no limit to the amount of pride I already feel for this group.  It is such a terrific group of people to be a part of and at the heart of much of what we do as a team is our three seniors.  This week Emily stood out for her consistent effort and attitude as always, but really we all just keep feeding on how much positive energy and enthusiasm she shares with us.

I've attached a link for her Whittie of the Week award, check it out and get ready for match updates which will be coming soon!

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