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USTA Tennis National Championship week in Surprise, AZ April 11-13, 2013
Nationals is an exciting experience for everyone – emotions are high, and everything is on the line. It is a place where playing your heart out may not be enough as the competition continues to raise the bar. That being said, although St. Mary’s College of California gave it their all, we fell to a strong University of Michigan team. However, we did not go down without a fight, the team fought hard, and never gave up, even with the sweltering sun beating down against our backs. We lost to a good school, but continued on with our heads held high. The next match, was against the extremely friendly and kind University of North Carolina. Again we battled against a much bigger school, but fell up short. Their serves were strong and their shots precise and we were unable to keep up. Despite this, even in defeat we found success, as we made new friends and had many fun moments both on and off the court. As we pressed on to our final game, the Arizona sun had taken its toll, and many of us were down, but not out. Texas Tech was our next opponent and we were not going down without a fight. We played for hours until the cover of darkness swept over, and the final point was played. Again the smaller school fell in the shadow of the colossus.
Our team did our best, we had the time of life. The National tournament was one of the best tennis experiences we’ve had, and in one of the nicest facilities in the area. We made friends, strengthened old bonds, and had a ton of fun in the sun!
Our final match was today. We were happy to learn that it was at 1pm, allowing us to get some extra sleep. The past two days in the Arizona heat really wore the team down. We got up and took our time to get ready for the match. Today was a good day, all of our players were really playing well. After doubles was finished, the score was fairly close. Then our singles players came in and gave us a good lead, giving us some breathing room for mixed dubs. After a long match in the sun, we emerged victorious. The tournament was done for us, although not for some of the other teams. We went to cheer on UNC in their last match of the tournament until the championship match started. There were so many people at that championship match, and the atmosphere was intense. Then we got ready and headed to the banquet. There were various awards given out,and a raffle where a ton of cool stuff was given out. I wish that we could have won that iPad. The tournament was over, and we ended up 12th in our bracket, or 60th overall. I think Saint Mary's did well for its first nationals. Everybody on the team had a great time and is looking forward to next year. Summer training and recruitment ideas kept popping up. Nationals has really helped our club grow closer together, and I think that it will make next year even better than this year. Well, we have a 9am flight tomorrow, so until then we'll hang out with the other clubs in the hotel, and get some sleep. I really hope we can come back next year.