Thursday, November 15, 2012

Turkey Time

It has become a wonderful tradition to meet each year the week before thanksgiving to have a potluck with the guys team.  It's amazing what the players bring as many professors have exams and papers due before we take a week off for the holiday next week.  So, Jeff and I provide some of the main dishes, everyone else pitches in and we all enjoy a relaxed meal as a break from all the studying.

Jeff took photos which he has kindly shared and are linked on our team flick page - click here to view.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week next week; especially Maggie, Hadley and Hannah who are studying abroad.  We miss you but we're excited to hear about your experiences!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall ITA Rankings. Missionaries on top.

Hello everyone,

I can hardly believe its November!  The Fall season was so much fun and so productive, but it absolutely flew by here in Walla Walla.  Now, the team has settled into the rhythms of mid semester academics, lovely warm fall days broken up by cold spells that tell us winter is on its way and their independent off season training.  This final item makes me initially grumpy because it is just so much fun to be a part of what they are doing every day, but as each week goes by I feel more and more pride in the growing ability as a team to maintain balance between the amazing and dedicated athletes and the engaged students each one of them is.

That being said, everyone needs a fun'll have to ask the team or maybe you've seen their facebook photos of Halloween Costume doubles with the guys.

But wait, this post was about fall rankings.  It is that polling time of year and before yesterday's elections (actually I'm a week tardy on this), the ITA released its Fall rankings.

Our fall season, like most in DIII, did not have any dual matches.  Because a team ranked a couple spots behind us beat two teams ahead of us, we dropped one spot to #29 nationally, but that is a ranking we'll put on the line and work to improve during our Spring dual matches.

Individually, we have had many strong falls, but this one takes the cake and continues to showcase how our team just gets better and better.

First, you can't say enough about what it takes to sweep singles and doubles in the Fall USTA/ITA Regional, and by doing so, Courtney is #3 in the West for singles and she and Alyssa after finishing 4th at Fall nationals have earned the first #1 regional ranking for our team in my time here as coach.

Not far behind is Morgan, who with her regional finals appearances in singles and doubles can be a fan of the number 6 as she is #6 in the West region singles and with Jenna is #6 in doubles - two top 10 doubles teams! go Whitman!

And what about that doubles partner of hers?  Jenna's strong first year fall campaign led her to a quarterfinal showdown with Courtney, where she won more games than anyone that weekend against her teammate and it put her in the West's top 25 at #22.

Certainly, these rankings are early and usually change as we get more results in spring (for example, Alyssa was unable to compete in singles due to a nasty illness and her previous ranking was #3 so you expect a few players around the region to earn a spot somewhere in the next rankings).

However, this is such a strong affirmation of how hard Jenna, Morgan, Courtney and Alyssa all worked this summer and fall and while there is only so much room in the rankings, I believe it also is indicative of what the rest of the team has done this fall.  KKP, Liv, Erin, Maddy, Rubes, Katrina all stepped up and played so well in the the tournament and their level each day in practice and their support during matches helped make these rankings possible.  I also can't say enough about the leadership and coaching talent Emily is showing.  She keeps us on track and pushing forward always with a smile.  What a team!

With tremendous pride,


Next blog:  Community involvement