Dizdar diary: Day one at ITA National Indoors
University of Texas junior Petra Dizdar (Split, Croatia) and the Longhorns women's tennis team are in Madison, Wis., this week for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships. After Texas' upset of second-seeded Georgia Tech in Thursday's opening round, Dizdar - a two-time All-Big 12 selection - took time to chronicle the day's events for TexasSports.com.
Hi Longhorns sports fans! I am writing from Madison, Wis., (yeah, way up north), where our team, along with 15 of the nation's top teams, is competing at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships this week. Our first round match against No. 3 Georgia Tech was on schedule Thursday morning.
Getting out of bed and walking in 30-degree weather was not all that exciting for "Texans", but we knew we had a show to put on. We left the cold weather outside and brought plenty of heat and excitement to the University of Wisconsin's indoor facility, the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium. We knew that Georgia Tech would not go down without a fight and, in order to beat them, we had to be TOUGH and RELENTLESS (as our coach, Patty Fendick-McCain, said before the match).
The dual started with three very intense doubles matches and the Yellow Jackets just barely came through with a point. They clinched at number three with a tight 9-7 win. Even though we lost the doubles point, we never became discouraged. We wanted a "W" so badly that nothing could get us down.
Everyone came out strong in singles, and wins by Courtney Zauft, Kelly Baritot and myself at positions four, six and two gave us a 3-1 lead. Kendra Strohm was in action and fighting hard at No. 1, but her opponent, Kristi Miller (ranked No. 7 nationally), had a great day and led the Jackets to their second point.
Then, it was all up to Mia Marovic at No. 3 singles and Ristine Olson at No. 5 singles to get that fourth singles win to clinch the victory for us. They lost their first sets, and both were neck-and-neck in the second set. I never thought waiting for one more point could be SO nerve racking.
After a lot of hands squeezing, knuckles cracking, and nail biting, it finally happened. Mia came back in the most fabulous comeback a tennis match could have and literally swept her opponent off the court with an easy 6-0 result in the third set. YES!
Now that we had that win in our pocket, it was definitely easier to watch Ristine's third set. And, she showed why everyone fears Texas. She kept fighting until the end and pulled out the fifth point to close out the day.
What more can I say? I only wish you could have been there to live it all with us! Our mission here is far from over. We will face another top team, the Miami Hurricanes, on Friday at 3 p.m. So, it is time to relax, get some rest, and prepare for another great day of tennis!
Hook 'em Horns!