The first weekend of the tennis season is over! Sixteen teams, including us, qualified for National Indoors which takes place February 13-16 in Chicago. We beat Michigan State 4-1 and Utah 4-0. Our victories happened in pretty convincing fashion, but there is still a lot of interesting things to talk about that occurred this past weekend, as well as what is coming up this weekend. I’ll give my thoughts on our performance last weekend and our preparation in getting ready for USC and UCLA this weekend.
We beat Michigan State and Utah pretty convincingly, but we have some areas that we want to improve on as a team. We didn’t play as well as we would have liked in doubles. We lost the doubles point to Michigan State and had a tight doubles point with Utah. I personally feel like there will naturally be more upsets with the doubles point this year because of the scoring. We are playing no ad sets to six, which makes it really hard to recover from mistakes because the scoring is so short; however, regardless of the scoring system, we simply didn’t play as well as we are capable of, so doubles will be a focus this week as we prepare for USC and UCLA.
Wayne Montgomery made his debut over the weekend, which was pretty exciting for us to see. He was the first one off the court in 45 minutes after winning his match 6-0, 6-1. Wayne might have surprised some of our fans with his play, but as his teammates, we weren’t surprised. We know how good Wayne is. I don’t think I have beaten Wayne in a practice set yet. I lost to him 7-5 today, so his winning streak continues against me. The next time you come to a dual match, please support Wayne by sitting behind his court. His personality is pretty entertaining and his game style is fun to watch.
As far as the rest of the team this weekend, Peter Bertran also made his debut against Michigan State. As his teammate, I could tell that he was a bit nervous in the beginning of the match, but he loosened up after while. I think that he played pretty well. Austin won both of his matches, but he told me that he didn’t play as well as he would have liked. He felt like feel on his shots were off, but every time I looked to Austin’s court, he was controlling play. He looked like he was playing well to me, but Austin has really high expectations for himself, and he is his biggest critic as well, so his feelings after his matches this past weekend weren’t surprising to me. I’m positive that he will play well this weekend. Austin always plays well against good competition. Nick won pretty routinely in both of his matches. I didn’t get to speak to him about his matches, so I assumed that he played well. Ben won pretty routinely on Saturday and didn’t finish his match on Sunday. Lastly, Paul didn’t finish any singles matches over the weekend, but he appeared like he was playing well to me. I played all right against Michigan State on Friday and not well at all against Utah on Sunday, but I had a good day of practice today and will be ready for this weekend.
Overall, our weekend was successful from a results standpoint! We are now focused on the areas we can improve on vs. USC and UCLA this weekend. We had off on Monday, we hit tons of balls Tuesday to establish our timing, and I’m assuming for practice the rest of the week, guys will focus on some of the individual things that they can improve from on this past weekend, and doubles will be a big focus this week. We are doing good amount of promoting for our matches vs. Pac 12 schools this weekend. We spoke to several sororities during their chapter meetings encouraging them to attend our matches, and we are also promoting it on Wednesday by playing tennis with local kids in Athens. We are expecting a full house vs. the UCLA and USC at our indoor tennis center, so get your seats early if you are planning on coming! I think the indoor tennis center can only hold about 700 people. We will hopefully draw the sororities, the local Athens crowd, and Atlanta tennis community. Please come pack the house as we take on No. 4-ranked UCLA on Saturday at 2 p.m., and No. 1 USC Sunday at 2 p.m. We appreciate your support more than you know!