Editor's Note: Senior Alex Smyth will chronicle her time with Spider Tennis on the team's trip to Florida, this Spring Break. Below is her third entry.
Today was the first match of our Florida trip against Boston University. We have not played them in quite some time, and were all looking forward to new competition. As we drove into the "Star Island" resort, I went down memory lane to the time when I had stayed at the same resort my senior year in high school with the tennis team. It definitely brought a smile to my face realizing that four years ago I was wearing all my pre-Richmond gear at practice, and now I am back here as a senior about to be leaving the university and team I love. Funny how things go full circle. On a more serious note, unfortunately the match did not go in our favor today. We lost 5-2 but competed very hard against our opponents. Doubles came down to Elizabeth and I on court three. It was the first time we had played together since Davidson last year, which we were very excited about. Although it didn't go in our favor, it was a solid match and hopefully the start of good things to come for us as a doubles team.
Singles wise, I was on a set of three courts with Emily as my companion on court five. I couldn't see how the other matches were going because of the layout of the courts, but Emily was fighting extremely hard given she has an injury herself. We kept motivating each other with "Common Emily!" and "Common Alex!" cheers during our two matches. Emily is a great player and such a fighter. Anytime I watch her while on my own court, or on the sidelines coaching, she fires me up and makes me determined to get the point for the team that much more. I enjoy playing next to her because of her positivity.
Sadly, even with her pump ups, my match did not go my way, and I lost 3-6, 2-6. My opponent figured out quickly that I was very weak moving to a specific side due to my knee, and made a point to make it clear I had that certain weakness. My knee definitely was extremely stiff during the match, and didn't relax as much as I thought it would. On a positive side, I didn't play with the brace, and having not played a match in a month, was definitely able to take away some great positives. I have to keep practicing as hard, and smart, as I can, and do everything possible to win my court and get the point for the team.
It is often easy to get down on yourself with losses and injuries, which I have learned through the years of junior tennis and college tennis. There are times I want to have a break down with all of my frustrations, and other times I want to go out to the practice courts for hours to fix my problems. With my current injury, I cannot devote extra time to practice because of how much my knee gets swollen, which is why I have my teammates, friends, and family to rely on to help build me back up.
Once I arrived back to the room today, the first thing I did, and Elizabeth, was talk to my mom who can turn everything into a positive. She is able to help me step back, analyze my situation from a different point of view, and move forward with ways to improve. It is on days like today that I feel very blessed to have her in my life and help me through the struggles of my knee and coming back to tennis.
Hopefully Friday will bring a better match day. Until tomorrow, be thankful for those in life who help brighten your day and Go Spiders!!