Dizdar diary: Feb. 12
Another great weekend is behind us and we are proud to say that we still own a "clean" record. On Friday, Feb. 9, we beat Mississippi, 6-1, and that was a great way to prepare for the tough Saturday match-up against Arizona State.
Historically, our matches against the Sun Devils have always been nerve-wrecking and intensely close, and we knew this would be the first true test for our young team. Thankfully, we passed the test!
The final outcome was 4-3, and our girls showed true resilience and toughness. The drama began with doubles play, where Sarah (Lancaster) and Courtney (Zauft) fought hard but couldn't stop Arizona State's dynamic duo at the top position. This meant that we needed the remaining two victories to capture the doubles point. Vanja (Corovic) and Marija (Milic) worked so well together and brought the first victory home. This put the spotlight on the two lone seniors -- Ristine (Olson) and I -- and we were more than ready to take the challenge. We fought back from an early 3-0 deficit and rallied for a 9-7 win to put our team one point ahead going into singles play.
After a dramatic two-and-a-half hours of full-out competition, we had the victory in our hands. Vanja took the first singles point for us in her fast-paced fashion. Stephanie (Davison) followed and brought us another win, which put us one singles win shy of closing out the match. Things got more complicated after Sarah and Ristine dropped their matches after long, hard fights. Courtney and I were both in our third sets and we knew that one of us had to win to ensure the victory.
The pressure rose as the matches came close to an end. Our teammates and coaches were on the sidelines pumping their fists and cheering us on, and for a second, the atmosphere reminded me of the NCAA Championships. Finally, Courtney was the clutch player for us and shut out her opponent with a 6-3 score in the final set. After saving a couple of match points and pushing the match in the final tie-breaker, unfortunately, I did not bring us the fifth point.
Even though I was devastated because of my loss, I was very excited that our team came through and very proud of my teammates because they proved that all of our hard work is starting to pay off. I know this is only the beginning of our season, but there is a certain chemistry forming between us that makes me confident to say that this is a better and tougher team.
Also, we would like to thank all of our truly passionate and dedicated fans who came out to support us this weekend in spite of the terribly cold weather. We struggled to keep ourselves warm out there even though we constantly ran after tennis balls. And, we can only imagine how cold it must have been just sitting up in the stands and cheering us on. So, thank you for your great spirit, because it helped us a lot. We hope our next home match will be much warmer and we will see more of your smiling, supportive faces out there!