Dizdar diary: Nov. 6
By now most of you already know that we played in the ITA Southwest Regional Championships. Freshman Vanja Corovic had the best result in singles, reaching the quarterfinal round, and freshman Stephanie Davison and I reached the same round in doubles. San Antonio's Sarah Lancaster and Courtney Zauft were eliminated in the third round, while senior Ristine Olson and Vanja, after losing the first round, rallied to the finals of the consolation draw.
In singles, each of us posted at least two singles wins, which is good I guess, but the tournament ended with two Texas A&M players competing for the tournament title. I will only say good job and congratulations to them, and "back to school" to us.
Of course, that last statement is not a reference to our academics; I am talking about coming back to Austin and getting down and dirty with some basic tennis principles.
Our team has been working really hard this entire semester and we have been trying to grasp on many different things that are improving our tennis games. However, the desired results have, in a way, abandoned us.
Not to say that we are disappointed with our performances, but we reasonably expected more. During our drive back home we talked about the tournament and the semester overall, and we decided it was time to sit down and take our work piece by piece in order to recognize what needs to change.
As in everything else in life, no two people are alike and individual needs vary from person to person. But, one thing that appeared to be the team's collective challenge has been our ability to focus on getting better, while consistently staying resilient throughout our matches.
We used most of last week's practices for revisiting the simple rules in tennis that sometimes, after so many years of playing, get "misplaced". Running after every ball, playing one point at the time, and staying patient during the pressure moments have been some of the main points we worked on in preparation for our tournament in Palm Springs, Calif.
The tournament was organized and played in a different format than the other tournaments we played this fall. Teams played in their lineups as they would in a regular dual match, but without competing against each other collectively. Rather, the top three singles players went into one bracket, and the bottom three in the other bracket. Players faced each other according to their lineup spots. It sounds a bit confusing, but it is quite simple.
Our freshmen had a pretty good tournament. Vanja played a great match against Baylor's Zuzana Zemenova, the 2005 NCAA singles champion. Vanja won the first set and then took her to a tiebreaker in the second set. They were tied at five in the tiebreaker before Zemenova won three of the last four points to win the tiebreaker. Zemenova won in the end, but Vanja had a lot to be proud of after competing with the best.
Vanja and Sarah each posted victories over ranked opponents in Palm Springs. Vanja beat No. 71 Audrey Banada from Miami (Fla.) in three sets, and Sarah knocked off 23rd-ranked Dianne Matias from USC. Stephanie and I won the consolation doubles bracket, and Courtney and I beat UCLA's 69th-ranked Ashley Joelson, an Austin native, in singles play.
I was really happy for Ristine! She has worked so hard in practice and really wanted to come back and play with full intensity, and she didn't get down after her first match against Georgia Tech. Ristine came back and posted two victories, one of which was against UCLA's Ana Victoria Lind, and that was a great win.
Now, we'll finish the fall with individual workouts before playing real matches again in January.