Recently in Women's Tennis Category
Last week, we played the in the ACC Championships in Cary, NC. We left a day before our first round. It was nice to go to North Carolina last
week, because it was cold and rainy in College Park and much warmer in Cary. After we arrived at the Tennis Center in Cary, we practiced for a couple of
hours and then went to the hotel.
As usual, we had team dinner at a restaurant the evening before the
match. The restaurant was situated in a big shopping mall, so after the dinner,
we had time to hang out in the mall. It was team shopping, and it was fun!
Imagine: you and your friends are getting free samples of tea. The shop
assistant is happy that you came, and she begins telling you a long story about
benefits of green and black tea. However, when your friends are done with their
tea, they just disappear... and you are left one-on -one with the disappointed shop
assistant. You never get this feeling if you are shopping alone...
Unfortunately, the next day was not lucky for our team. We lost to
Georgia Tech 0-4. In doubles, we definitely did better than in our
previous match against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, but our singles results were
not good enough to raise our score from our previous defeat to the Yellow
However, some good things also happened last week. For the first time,
our senior Vroni appeared in the ITA singles rankings. Vroni also became the Terp of
the Week, and was named to the All-ACC team! It is cool when all these things
take place in one week, especially if it is the last week of your college
We have not had tennis practice since our last match. Now it is the time
to have a few days off and to study intensely, because it's the end of the semester
and final exams are coming. It is also a good time for team activities. For
example... last Friday, we were told to come at the Varsity Team House at
1 p.m. Since our conditioning usually takes place at VTH, everybody was
ready for a hard practice. But, as we learned later, our "practice"
on that day was to write letters to thank the Terrapin Club donors!
I think last Sunday was one of the first times that freshmen organized a
team activity without the participation of our coaches, Welma or Vroni. Tali,
Olya, Sarah and me went to yoga class. That was the first yoga class in my
life. I think that was actually quite hard and very useful for tennis players
who often have problems with their backs because of weaker muscles of the
Hopefully, during the next couple weeks, our team will enjoy studies and
get good grades on our finals!
We beat Duke! Yes! I just wanted to start writing my blog after this great
After our unfortunate
loss against NC State, we had a brief meeting after the match, during which
Coach Panova told us that next week we were playing against some of the best
teams in the country, so the last thing we should be is scared to play. We have
to get out there and enjoy ourselves during our last matches this season, and
just fight and do our best.
The week passed by
pretty fast and I thought I just played against NC State yesterday, but nope,
it was already Friday and time to fight against Duke! I could feel the excitement
and tension in the air on Friday morning when we were having lunch in the team
room. Although everybody was pretty quiet, I could see in my teammate's eyes that
they were hungry to beat the No. 11 team in the country!
The doubles matches were
played at No. 1 and No. 2, so me and Gaby were cheering on the side. How hard it is
to watch from the side, and not be able to play! Sometimes you just want to run
on the court take the racquet and help your teammates to finish that
point/game. It is so much more stressful to watch them play. Maros, Dasha,
Welma, I understand you now completely! (Well, Welma is going to play with us
already next season, yay!!) When Sarah and Vroni won their doubles, which got
us a doubles point, my sixth sense was telling me that it's going to be a great
day for the Terps.
Even during my match
this feeling of overexcitement would not let me make smart, wise decisions on
the court. After I unfortunately finished my not so a long match, I started to
put all of my energy that wouldn't let me play calmly into cheering for my
teammates. After Gaby won her match (great job, it was awesome!) I was just
overwhelmed with feelings! That was the time when Vroni got to her third set.
It was really tight. Everybody was jumping and screaming after every point. I
honestly thought that I would cramp from the tension in my body! Those last few
points that Vroni played were probably one of the most stressful (in a good way
though) minutes of my life! Even when she was down 5-3, we were even
trying to follow some rituals before every point she played. And our senior did
it! Even being down 5-3, she beat that girl in the end! To say that I was happy
is like saying nothing. The only one who didn't really show any emotions was
Vroni, but considering that Vroni is one of the calmest people I ever seen in
my life it wasn't that surprising. How I understood that she was really happy?
When she suggested to celebrate our win by going into pouring rain and swimming in the pool that is on the mall! And guess what, we did it! That's how we
celebrated our great win over No. 11 team in the country. Also one of the greatest
things is that our coach Dasha promised to dye her hair red if we would beat
Duke. And surprisingly, she really did! Well, it wasn't really red, it was pink,
but that's not the point. The point is, my great respect to Dasha for keeping
After the day off on
Saturday we were about to face the No. 1 team in the country, and this day was
really special also because it was last match for Vroni, senior day! So everybody
got up early and went to the team room where we were supposed to meet for
breakfast. Welma and Sarah did a great job on organizing things. You should
guys do a major connected with creativity for sure! We made a surprise for our
dear Senior citizen by decorating the team room and presenting her a photo
frame with the picture signed by all of us. Before the match, we put a
"war paint" of our faces with red and black colors. Some of us even
painted our hair red with the washable paint so our coach didn't feel as bad.
It was a really fun preparation, I think we should incorporate it more in our
To be honest, playing
against UNC showed me how much we are capable of. Not taking into account
scores, we weren't much worse than our opponents. There are small, but
essential things that we need to change, but we are working on it! We are a
young team and still have a some things to learn, but I am sure that we are on
our way to success. Next season is going to get much better. And I want to say
thanks to our senior Vroni again for being a great leader of our team. I can
imagine how hard it is when there five freshman and you are the only one
experienced. But you taught us things, I remember you saying that the most
important part is that we have to be like a family. We're getting there, and
you played a large role in it. Great person, great roommate, and a great
teammate! I'm sure you will do fantastic in your life!
We are leaving to ACC championship this week, so good luck to us!
On Friday, we drove down
to Wake Forest. We slept for most of the way, lulled to sleep by Coach Panova's
wonderful road trip karaoke/sing along.
Despite getting caught in
traffic, we arrived in time to practice for an hour and eat dinner.
This time Olga and I were roomies, and as all good
roommates do, we took part in deep, thought-provoking conversations. The
question of the day was this: if a tree falls and nobody is around to hear it,
does it make a sound?
The team insists that no, it doesn't...
But *I* still believe in you, tree-noise. I
believe in you like I believe in unicorns and Disney magic...
Agree to disagree.
Over dinner, the twins, Olya and I discussed
countries, different languages and our dream destinations (some of which
include Iceland, Thailand, France and New Zealand). In fact, we're in the
process of planning a great team trip to Siberia. (Better pack your parkas,
kids! It's gonna be cold!!!)
The next day, we played against the Wake Forest
Demon Deacons. We won the doubles point, which marked my and Olya's first win
as a doubles team, but we eventually lost in a very close singles match.
Afterwards, we drove down to Raleigh, where the team spent the rest of the
afternoon outside enjoying the beautiful weather, while I went and met up with
my Aunt and Uncle.
We went to dinner (Italian again... you gotta love
Italian), where we ate and attempted to decipher the strange and mysterious
hieroglyphics written on the walls. After seeing all of the unique and
inspiring 'artwork', we just had to get crayons. Unfortunately, there was a
strict 'no drawing on the walls' rule... but that's ok, the tables were covered
in paper. Of course, Olya and I spent dinner filling it with doodles and
Meanwhile, Welma and Waiter Dan shared a very...
*special* moment. (By the way, Welma, Waiter Dan says 'Hi'...)
On Sunday, we played the NC Wolfpack. My family
came and cheered us on, and even though we lost again, we fought hard and
worked together as a team.
Unfortunately, teamwork and positivity just don't
numb the pain... so we stopped for comfort food on the way home, and Welma used
this opportunity to find many new and creative ways to scare Dasha.
After a long and tiring weekend, we arrived back
at campus, where we will proceed to kick our butts into high gear for this
week's upcoming matches.
Hello Terp Fans!
After our sing along
jam session during the drive back from BWI on Sunday and a day off on Monday,
we got back to preparing for our matches against no. 10 Miami and no. 20 FSU.
Practice was a bit different this week because some of us were sick or had a lot
of studying to do, but everybody worked hard on the court and in the gym to get
ready for our ACC sunshine state schools.
On Friday, we had team
breakfast at Plato's before heading to the courts. During warm-up Tally got
accidentally hit by a ball which gave her a bad nose bleed a few minutes before
the match. The twins had to take a bleeding time-out to stop Tally's nose
bleed, but unfortunately they had to retire doubles. The other 2 doubles were
fighting hard to get the doubles point. Even though Sarah and I had a great
doubles win, we weren't able to secure the doubles point. Luckily, Tally's nose
bleed had stopped and she was ready for singles. But it didn't go as well as we
wanted to and lost all our singles matches. It was a disappointing loss but we
had to look forward to our next match against FSU on Sunday.
The next day, we had
team practice and Welma got to play in her first field hockey game after
joining the team earlier this semester. Welma was really excited to finally
compete again. Her last tennis match was in October before having shoulder
surgery. We (Olya, Sarah, Tally, Burce, Dasha and I) went to see Welma and our
field hockey team play against the defending national champion Princeton and
beat them 3-0. After the game, we all went to dinner at Ledo's where we had a
great time especially Welma.
Back to tennis, on
Sunday we had team breakfast again at Plato's (they should know our orders by
now) before our warm up against FSU. It was our second home outdoor match of
the season. In the morning it was chilly, but after the warm-up the sun was out
and it seemed like a beautiful day for an upset. Unfortunately, we weren't able
to get into the match and make it hard on FSU. We were already down 5-0 before
we got our first win of the day at no. 1 singles.Gabby came close to our
second win for the day but fell in the super tiebreaker.
Overall, we didn't
have our best weekend of the season but there are still a few matches left to
fight back as a team and show people how good we can really be. We're looking
forward to take on Wake Forest and NC State and get our first conference win of
Hey Terps Fans!
After a few days on the road in the
South, the team and I just finished wrapping up back to back matches against
Clemson and Georgia Tech. It was a refreshing change of peace to finally have
some long awaited warmth and sunshine. It was great to be able to play outdoors
in nice weather (granted, we did move inside halfway through the Georgia Tech
match due to rain). The trip as a whole had its ups and downs, but was full of
memorable experiences none the less.
Leaving our dorms bright and early
at 6:30 a.m Friday morning, we left for BWI to travel to our first match
against Clemson. As always, we were kept entertained throughout the flight by
sitting next to Dasha (who by now I'm sure you guys are aware of her fear of
flying). Welma and I comforted her by explaining in detail the safety
procedures we should take in the event that we crashed. After arriving in
Clemson, we got a bite to eat at their famous Mellow Mushroom, or as I mistakenly
would call it, the Marvelous Shroom. Tomato, tomahto. As if I wasn't already
hungry enough, we had to wait for our food for a good hour and 15 minutes! Not
sure if they were growing the food in the back, or if it had something to do
with us being Terps from Maryland, but we have a feeling it was the latter. In
any case, the food was, as Welma would say, yumm-a! The rest of the day was
spent getting used to their courts, having a nice dinner, and resting up for
the following day.
I love the hotels we stay at
because they always have a great breakfast, one that I can go to any time I
want in the morning. So, me being me, I woke up extra early Saturday morning to
be able to enjoy a long relaxing breakfast. Unfortunately, we were not able to
pull a W against Clemson, losing 1-6. But we did win the doubles point! All three
of our doubles matches were awesome, and probably our best yet. So even though
we lost overall, we have some good matches to feed off of for the future. After
playing Clemson we headed even farther down South into Atlanta to play Georgia
Tech on Sunday, but of course not before making a stop at Dasha's (and now
Welma's) favorite, Pita Pit. For me though, the highlight of that meal was
watching on replay, the UConn women's basketball head coach going CRAZYY over a
call in the game against Maryland in the NCAAs.
On Sunday we suffered a
disappointing 0-4 loss to Georgia Tech. On the bright side, near the end of our
post match meeting I think we were ﬁnally able to make some headway and
progress in what we need to do for the future. So after showering and packing
up we headed off the airport to ﬂy back home. The Super Shuttle drive back from
BWI was one for the books. The 45 minute drive from Baltimore was made short
with the team's sing along jam session. The entire ride, Olya, Welma, (and at times
Dasha and Maros), and I sang along and danced to different songs: Chicken Fried,
Don't Stop Believin' and Hey Mickey, to name a few. A thanks to Dasha, for videotaping
most of it, videos in which I've watched over 20 times since. It doesn't get
old. In fact, our singing was so pitch perfect that I was thinking we should
just ditch the whole tennis team thing, and start an a cappella group. But then
I was like eh, betta not. But in all seriousness, that was one of the most fun
experiences I've had this semester.
Overall, despite the losses, it was
a great trip and learning experience for us. We're now back at home, using this
week of practice in preparation for Miami and Florida State this weekend on our
home turf. Come support! GO TERPS!
Thanks for reading,
While other Maryland students were traveling in search of
warmer weather to enjoy spring break, we traveled to a snowy Providence to face
Brown University. In the days leading up to our match we worked hard in the gym
and on the court to get ready to face our Ivy League opponents.
We arrived in Providence around noon on Friday and headed
straight to Brown University to practice and get a feel for their courts. At
the end of practice the coaches played in so that everyone could play some
doubles points. After practices we checked into our hotel and had a couple of
hours to relax before dinner.
After dinner at Outback Steakhouse some of the girls came up
to our room and we watched a movie together. This weekend I got to room with
Tally and even though I would say I know my teammates pretty well, I always
seem to learn new things about them during this time.
We are allowed to go down for breakfast whenever we want to
since some of us prefer more time than others. I don't want to mention any
names, but Sarah is a bit of a slow eater. Needless to say she was at breakfast
before any of us got there.
Our match did not go as well as we had hoped. We started off
by winning the doubles point, but could not bring that momentum into singles. This
was a disappointing loss for us as a team and it shows us that there are still
a lot of things that we need to work on. The exciting part about all of this is
that this team has so much potential. We are still young and we are growing and
learning every day.
Even though we did not perform as well as we would have
liked to, this is another hurdle we have to overcome as a team. We will learn
from the mistakes we made against Brown and work hard to improve for our
matches against Georgia Tech and Clemson.
I think this
week was probably one of the toughest weeks of the season. First, most of us
had midterm exams. Second, we had two very close matches over the weekend. One
of them we won, and the other one we lost.
We started the week out by analyzing our
weaknesses. After two defeats in a row last weekend, it was perhaps the only
right thing to do, because you get stronger only if you learn from your losses.
the team remembers the first practice of the week. We had to do synchronized
jumping jacks as a team. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn't finish
this exercise as many of us simply lost attention. This showed us that the
reason we're losing very close matches is simply because of a lack of focus.
Over the weekend, we had two games. The one on
Saturday against Penn was really inspiring for me, and I hope the whole team
feels the same way as I do, as this match is one of my best memories from the
first half of the season. As I recall from one of our losses several weeks ago,
we were told, "You don't look like a team. If you were a team, you would
feel it". It was on Saturday that I truly felt it.
On Sunday we
lost. Though every single loss brings disappointment, it also gives motivation.
We were close, and it means that we have to work harder from the very first
practice. Surely all of us should bring more excitement and interest to every
single drill, because if you are really motivated and enjoy doing even the
toughest drills, there will not be a team strong enough to beat you... We
must do it, Terps!
Coming to Maryland has brought a lot of new in my
life, but surprisingly, the most considerable changes for me were not the new
climate, language or the different style of life, but understanding that I am
now a part of a team.
This has a great amount of advantages since tennis
is usually an individual sport, and now I feel support and help from the team.
It also requires a lot from me because I must respond by giving best attitude
towards what I am doing and help and support the people with whom I have got to
work, travel and hopefully make progress. Even though I have been playing
college tennis for just two months I feel that this experience has already made
me learn something very important. Now I am far more concentrated on the court
than I used to be even 2-3 months ago, because now I represent not just myself,
but also my university and my team.
Second, I have started working harder
during practices than I used to before I came here because having matches every
week makes you finally understand that you have no time to procrastinate
and that every single practice may allow you to become a better player if you
have a great wish to work and a clear goal. Now, I enjoy tennis more.
Almost half of a
season has already passed. The time goes by really fast when we are excited
about what we are doing. Every day that we are here, we get new impressions and
We work hard both on
and off the court, and I think we all are getting better every day.
Most of our matches
are really tough, but it is adjusting to difficulties that makes us stronger.
Personally, I feel that I have a long way to go. But that's what I like
about being on this team and competing in the ACC. As long as I am not
satisfied with the way that I'm playing, I can keep trying to do better and
keep moving forward.
Being a Terp means
paying a lot of attention to the mental part of tennis. Since the first day of
practice, our coaches have been very careful about our attitude. Right away
they showed us that they will never accept a defeat.
I mean, we are
supposed to do everything to win and believe that we can win in any situation
and against any opponent.
last weekend was not lucky for our team.
We lost our Saturday
match against the University of Virginia and won only one doubles match.
However, I was very happy about that doubles match. We showed everything we
were able to do on the court on that day.
Also, I was very proud
of Vroni, who was very close to beat a player ranked in the top 10.
On Sunday, we played
at Virginia Tech. Thanks to the great job of Tali and Olya, we gained two
points on courts 5 and 6. But for most of us, that day was really hard, because
we were simply not able to implement what we had been working on the week
before. Again, we could win more matches. Sarah's singles match and Gabby
and Olya's doubles match were very close.
Anyway, we got a very
good learning experience last weekend. We fought hard and we revealed the
things that we need to improve to make a step forward.
We have four days to
practice and get ready before our next matches. I am sure that we will do
We began our week after a
tough weekend playing matches. We spent a lot of energy because playing both
Saturday and Sunday isn't that easy. Our Saturday match against Columbia opened
up my eyes to a lot of things. At this point, I realized how important it is to
act as a team. Before that, our opponents at home weren't that strong. This
time, we faced a team that was ranked in top 60. It was a challenging match for
us, and I felt like what we needed to do was stay together, but under the
pressure that Columbia created by being energetic, we were really quiet.
The coaches tried to explain to us that our main problem, wasn't
technique, physical condition, or that we were much weaker then Columbia. We
just simply needed to be more energetic and aggressive in positive way. After
our coaches talked to us, I had a lot to think about on the Saturday night. I
think we all did.
The most important thing
is that we didn't give up! We had a team talk, and decided to try bring our
team together. It is really tough goal for Coach Panova and ourselves to make a
team out of five freshman, even though for Sarah it's a second semester. So
during our talk, we tried to find our weak spots, and came to conclusion that
we should spend more time together! So on Saturday night the baby Terps
(freshmen), Vroni and Welma watched a movie in the team room. Sarah picked the
movie and proved that she has great taste because everybody seemed to enjoy
Spending time together
helps a lot. It helps us to get to know each other more, and helps the veterans
teach baby Terps what it's like to be a team. We could see the progress on the
court the next day as we beat Richmond 6-1!
We had the following
Monday off, to rest and think over our recent experience. It was important to
start our week off well, so we could move forward and get stronger before our
upcoming match against VCU. We had to work a lot on our energy, and our coaches
gave us a lot of exercises for that so we could practice our cheering and
acting as a team. We actually practiced for the first time outside on
Wednesday. What a great feeling! So much more freedom. I hope that spring will
come soon and that warm weather will come with it!
Friday morning we headed
to Richmond. It was a long trip, but we seemed to enjoy it, playing songs,
talking and making jokes. During lunch before the match, everybody looked
exited to play against such a great team. You could see that we were a team and even the waitress tried to join our conversation because it looked very
energetic and fun. We came on court with a different attitude, ready to fight
and support each other! Although you could see we were a little nervous,
because the doubles started a little tight. It was the second time Gabi and I
had played together and it was still sometimes confusing, but we were trying
hard and I'm sure we will get much better with a little more team effort and
time. We will get much stronger. In singles, we showed so much more energy than
before! Our opponents might have been a little more consistent, but the way we
were acting on the court, it looked like we had won. Losing 4-3 wasn't that
bad because we really showed the improvement in our attitude.
During the weekend we got
some rest and we are now ready to work hard, be energetic, and have fun as a team
on and off the court. We have to enjoy hitting every ball, as Coach Panova said,
that's where the energy will come from. Now we know that and will work on
improving our tennis skills for our next match against Virginia on Saturday!
Lets go Terps!
Like most college students, we started the week off by simply going through the motions. It was one of those weeks that we were just trying to get over with; one of those weeks where getting out of bed each morning could be considered a monumental achievement. Everything hurt, everything ached, and we were all exceptionally tired.
Between long nights spent studying for (and stressing over) exams, early morning classes, difficult practices and constantly rushing from one place to another, our energy was practically nonexistent. For us freshmen in particular, the life of a college athlete was starting to take its toll. We were literally sick and tired. Now, I am not a morning person, nor have I ever claimed to be a morning person. And judging by how we all stumble out of our rooms in the morning looking like death warmed over, I'm sure I'm not alone in my sentiments.
With the team already feeling burnt out and a whole week still ahead of us, it seemed nothing short of an IV full of caffeine would get us through each day. But Terps being Terps, we carried on like brave, racket-wielding warriors. Albeit, tired, cranky and seriously sleep-deprived warriors.
I can tell you from experience that nothing brings a team together like the combined effort to avoid running sprints... and nothing cures constipation quite like having balls shot at you while you're at the net.
Despite how tough these sort of practices can be, it's meant to be getting us ready to play more difficult matches and to refine our great warrior skills. Personally, I think we're partaking in some ancient tribal ritual meant to cull out the weaker ones as a sacrificial pre-game offering to Testudo... but that's just me.
Unfortunately, if we thought that the week had been difficult, we were in for an even harder weekend. To put it simply, on Saturday, we lost our footing... and then proceeded to make quite a marvelous landing on our backsides. The coaches took us aside afterwards and gave us a speech that was both extremely motivational and deeply inspiring.
Unfortunately, I can't recall the exact conversation, but I do know that the words "6 a.m." and "sprints" were used repeatedly...
On Sunday, we were finally able work together as a team to turn things around. We won of course, and afterwards we had a celebratory meal which consisted of sandwiches and more than enough junk food to make up for all of our extra effort. What can I say? Victory is sweet...both literally, and figuratively.
If anything, the matches on Saturday brought us closer together as a team, and I hope I speak for everybody when I say that I'm proud of the us. We may not have 'blitzed' the Spiders or held up our "spotless home record", but in the end, we came out better for it. And after all, that's what counts.
Hello Terp Fans!
After some tough and disappointing losses
against BC and Harvard, the Terps were ready to go back on the courts and
prepare for the next match against Towson in two weeks. The losses against BC
and Harvard showed us that we still had to improve individually and more
importantly as a team. For many of us, tennis has always been an individual
sport, but college tennis is all about being part of a team. To be part of a
team means that you're not only responsible for your own actions, but also for
your teammate's actions. As Coach Panova says, "A team is only as strong as it
The first week of practice contained some
struggles and challenges that we had to face as a team. One of the challenges
was to lead practice on our own. The coaches were at practice to help, but
wouldn't tell us what to do. The first time we had to lead practice on our own
was quite unexpected, which resulted in an interesting and uncoordinated
practice. The next day, we got a second chance on leading our own practice.
This time we knew what was expected from us. The practice was better
coordinated and we had more energy as the day before, but we still had important
improvements to make as a team.
The second week started off with the giving
out iPads to all student-athletes by the athletic department, funded by the
NCAAs Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund. Of course, we were all very excited to get
the iPads that will help us in the classroom and help us academically when we
are on the road for matches. After getting our iPads before practice on Monday,
the Terps were ready to work together, improve individually and as a team, and
to prepare for the match against Towson. The next few days of practice showed off
the improvements we're making as a team, but the real test would come against
Towson on Friday.
On Friday, we had our third home game of the
season against Towson. After the losses against BC and Harvard, the team was
looking for a W and to implement the improvements we made over the past two
weeks. We secured the
doubles point quickly with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, while No. 3 doubles
was 7-2 up. After a short break we went into singles where we cruised to wins
on 5 out of 6 courts. Only Gabby had a tight match at No. 5
singles, but secured the win and our third clean sweep of the season by winning
the super tiebreaker 10-2.
The 7-0 win over Towson was a great win for
us a team, especially since we were able to implement what we had been working
on for the past two weeks. There are still things we will have to keep working
on individually and as a team, but the important part is that we're getting
better every day. Overall, the
struggles and challenges of the past two weeks have made us stronger as a team
and we're looking forward to take on No. 70 Columbia and Richmond this upcoming
weekend to get some more W's.
Fresh from Boston, the Terps
just finished wrapping up an eventful trip after competing against Boston
College and Harvard this past weekend. These last few days have been
particularly exciting as it was our first away competition, but more importantly,
marked the first of our ACC matches this season. Surprisingly, traveling
together for the first time west a lot smoother than expected, but certainly
made for a hilarious and entertaining trip none the less.
The girls were able to get a few hours of
classes in before heading off to BWI Thursday morning. After grabbing some
lunch, we were off to Boston! The immense amount of turbulence, combined with
Coach Panova's fear of flying, made for a hilarious flight. Once in Boston, it was
time to hit the courts and get down to business. Luckily, we were to practice
on the same courts we were going to play on the following day, allowing us to
get used to the fast-paced courts of Boston College's home turf.
The following day during our pre-match lunch, Welma gave
the team a good quote to embrace. As said by John McEnroe, "Champions find a
way to win, even when they aren't playing well." Moving into our match later
that afternoon, we went into it with this mindset. We were all excited, but a
bit nervous, to play our first conference match against BC. We did well in
doubles, with Olga and Tally clinching the doubles point for us in a tight
tiebreaker. In singles, we were only able to capture two out of the three
matches we needed in order to win, causing us to fall short 4-3 for the overall
score. On a higher note, Vroni was able to win her match at the no. 1 position,
earning her first win over a ranked player. Congrats, Vroni!!
On Saturday, after packing
up, we headed into Cambridge to play our next match against Harvard. When we
first got to their athletic complex, we spent 15 minutes walking in a big
circle in the freezing cold trying to find the courts, when really they were
only about one minute from where we had parked. Let's just say that was part of
our warm up. We ended up having a disappointing 6-1 loss, but we know what we
all need to work on for the coming weeks, both individually and as a team.
From the courts, it was
straight to the airport; time to head home. While waiting at the gate, we all
huddled around Welma's laptop watching hilarious videos. The plane ride back was equally funny, making jokes alongside Coach
Panova while waiting for the impending take off. The
final leg of our trip was highlighted by a prank the coaches, Vroni, Welma and
I played on the four freshmen, as well as a stolen laptop score for me (that
These past three weeks have
been marked with a lot of "firsts" for us all, both good and bad. Even for the
upperclassmen, and second semester veteran like myself, we're being exposed to
new experiences as a team every day. All in all, our experiences so far are
propelling us forward and making us a better team. We look forward to working
hard in these upcoming weeks as we prepare for our next match against Towson,
and the future matches to come.
Thanks for reading!
Every week, a member of the women's tennis team
will write a short post about their experiences as a tennis player here at Maryland.
It will serve as a way for Maryland fans to get a more up-close look at the
life of a student-athlete. We're calling it "The Changeover", a term
that describes when the players sit down between certain games, rest, and mentally
prepare themselves for the next game. This "changeover" will be more
extended, but the posts will profile the same aspects of an in-match
changeover; a look inside mental and physical preparation needed to play
tennis. We hope you enjoy it!
Greetings from Terps Tennis!
After our first weekend of competition, it is hard to
believe that it is the same seven girls that arrived on campus two weeks ago.
With four freshmen seeing Maryland for the first time, the past two weeks have
been challenging, exciting and extremely funny. When arriving on campus, before
they could even get over their jet lag, there were already a lot of things that
needed to be done, including getting ready for our first match. Luckily, being
on the tennis team means you already have six friends who will be your family
for the next four years. Somewhere in-between practices and helping each other
to get everything done, we turned into a team without even realizing it.
After hours of orientation, questions about, well, pretty
much everything, and less than two weeks together, it was time for our first
match. Going into the match with five freshmen you have no idea what to expect
It was great to see how well all the girls fought and competed. After our 7-0
win over Howard, we had a nice team dinner at Noodles. After a lot of laughs, a
few interesting stories and a lot more questions, it was time get some rest
before the first week of classes.
On Friday, we had our second match against UMBC and the
team once again played their hearts out and won the match 7-0. Now, after a
very successful first weekend, it is time for a few days of school before we
leave for Boston on Thursday. As excited as we are that we got to start the
season off on a high note, we realize that this is just the foundation of what
promises to be a great season. While we are working hard on the court, in the
gym (and in the classroom of course), we realize how lucky we are to have the
opportunity to be part of this team, and together we are going to make this
journey an unforgettable experience.