Men's Tennis blog with Chris Camillone
Nov. 11, 2011
It has been a while since the last one. There is a fair amount to report…
Last weekend, our team played in a couple of tournaments. Disco (David Holiner) and I went to New York City to strictly play doubles at the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. The rest of the boys went to Fort Worth for the TCU Invitational, where they played both singles and doubles.
We played a lot of sets and points in the 10 days or so of practice before the tournament to make sure that we were ready to compete and go out strong in the last tournaments of the fall season. Everyone’s level appeared to be pretty high throughout those practices, and we all looked forward to competing on the weekend.
David and I went to New York on Wednesday (Nov. 2). We had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. I know you are thinking that’s not all bad, and it wasn’t, until a two-hour delay where we had to stay on the plane. Apparently, one of the engines wasn’t working at full capacity. At this point, I’m thinking let’s just roll the dice and try and fly. Disco and I went into full meltdown mode, playfully blaming everything on (assistant coach) Ricardo Rubio. Standard!
We eventually got in to New York, I’m not sure how. The next morning we played Tennessee and stole the match like two rats (Luis Diaz Barriga and Miguel Reyes Varela would have been proud). We were down 6-4 and had break point against us. Somehow, we got out of that game and picked up a break in the next one. Then, I held serve.
So, at that point, it was 7-6, and we were returning serve. Disco played a really clutch game. He hit two pure lobs, and we won that game and the match due to an extremely early Christmas gift that came in the form of a double fault from Tennessee on match point.
Unfortunately, in the next match, we couldn’t quite hold onto the reins as we let one of the guys get loose, and he took over the match (back-to-back holiday references – you’re welcome). Our lack of sharpness was exposed again in our third match, only proving that you can’t give points away at this level. Overall, it was a good experience. New York is a great town.
In Fort Worth, the Longhorns dominated the TCU Invitational. In one of the flights, Shmillionaire (Alex Hilliard), extending his tough play that he has shown throughout the entire fall, and Suds (Sudanwa Sitaram) rolled on through to the finals, where they played each other.
Suds ended up winning the match showing mental toughness as well as clean ball striking (Suds could play with a broom if it came down to it), despite Shmill’s (Hilliard’s) veteran tactics to rattle the skull of the steady player from India.
Shmill also reached the finals of doubles with Soren Hess-Olesen, where they lost a somewhat awkward and rollercoaster-like contest to another Longhorn duo, Ben Chen and Whitey (Daniel Whitehead), 8-6. It’s always good to see some of our lads playing in the finals against one another.
Soren and Danny experienced what can only be described as intense déjà vu that would require the investigation of Denzel Washington when they repeated the result of the Midland tournament earlier this fall and met each other in the final in Fort Worth. Both of them handily took care of some serious tennis players, despite a few ups and downs along the way. Soren had to default the match, unfortunately. Two singles tournament titles for Danny on the season, and both by default though eh? Just kidding.
Jacoby Lewis and Cheenus (Ben Chen) were in the other flight. Jacoby got a little unlucky and lost in the first round, but flipped the script for the rest of the tournament and won his next two matches. He toughed out two battles, where I can only assume he was serving bombs out of a tree. Chen fought his way through his draw, as he used both wings to slash the ball well enough to put him in the finals. He ended up losing in the finals to a good player from TCU, but it was still a good tournament for him.
Getting to the more important stuff, this crew played a pair of toothpick games. Danny lost one, and he had to put the iPod in and break it down at breakfast. While dancing, Danny found himself pointing and smiling at some random dude while he was dancing in an empty breakfast room of a hotel, and he even worked juggling into the process. Jacoby lost the other one.
Now the fall tournaments are over, but the work kicks up a notch. We have to use this time to become more fit and further our improvement on the court. No one is settling for anything. Our time, just like every other team here, is now. We want to be successful, and we are not short on motivation.