Our traditional winning routine began last night when we ate at Chipotle, played some tennis (because who doesn't want to sprint around a tennis court after eating a huge burrito), and capped off the night with Coconut Seven Layer ice cream at Ben & Jerry's. Who could lose with such a winning combo?! After our team meeting/pep talk with Coach Mark, everyone was ready to take on Butler and make a statement in our opening round.
We arrived at the Boar's Head (gorgeous facility!!) bright and early this morning. Butler came out strong in doubles and really pushed us both physically and mentally. Their aggressiveness at the net made our team elevate our level of play from the start. Emily and Ana played great doubles at line 3, winning 8-4. Mel and Katya fought back at line 1 before losing 8-6. Alex and I were the deciding match, fighting back from being down 4-6 to take the match in a tiebreaker 7-3. Alex served great, especially in the end, and dominated at the net to help pull out the win. The energy was electric after winning the pressured doubles point.
Singles lines 4-6 won our final 3 points to defeat Butler. Emily was the first player off in singles, winning 6-1,6-1. Katya and Alex were right behind her, playing confident tennis and taking it to their opponents. Having such dominant scores bring our team confidence going into our tough match against Charlotte tomorrow.
After the match, the team sat down for lunch in downtown Charlottesville at the Biltmore. Joining us was our favorite cheering section: Alex's dad, Katya's parents and grandmother, and my parents. We had the rest of the day to ourselves until we reconvened at our favorite spot for dinner, Mellow Mushroom. Kosmic Karma was the hot menu item, and is currently a late night favorite. Our hotel is right on the main street at UVA, so it's a great atmosphere to walk to the restaurants and embrace UVA's quaint college town.
Our team meeting tonight fired the team up for our match tomorrow. After some spot-on impersonations of our quirky on-court demeanours, we focused on the improvements that we need to make for our match against Charlotte tomorrow. Everyone is going to fight their hardest, especially since we will be competing against our fellow Richmond Spider, AJ Nelson, who is the new assistant coach at Charlotte! It will be an exciting match to play, and everyone is looking forward to another day at the A-10 tournament!