Jan. 30, 2006
Our team was excited to get the season underway, especially with the win that we posted against the FAU Owls the weekend before. Everyone arrived at the banquet on Friday night looking like they meant business. The University Center was packed to its capacity with people both from our loyal community and that had traveled into town in support of our tennis program. The evening couldn’t have gone any better. It was one of those nights that made us all realize how privileged we were to be a Florida State Seminole.
The following morning we all met for breakfast at Bagel Bagel at 1045 a.m. After breakfast we all made our way over to the courts where some of us had to do rehab on some little niggling injuries before we started our warm-up at 11:45 a.m. Everyone was ready to play the Ragin Cajuns. With Jon’s injury we knew that this was going to be no “walk in the park”. We made our way back into the locker room where Dwayne and Nick went over some last minute details with us. Even though we knew we were the favorite for the match, with our nine-match win streak at home and our schools highest ranking of 11, we knew that we were gong to be in for a fight. As we walked out onto the courts for the doubles we got cheers for our loyal fans.
The doubles started off well with us winning the first two matches convincingly and losing the 3rd in a tight 9-8 battle. The score after the doubles: FSU 1, Cajuns O.
We all met again in the locker room before the singles started. Dwayne and Nick made it clear to us that they would fight back in the singles as the Cajuns were known for their “never say die attitude”. We got of to a good start in singles with us winning the first two matches at the No. 2 and 3 positions. The score now was FSU 3, Cajuns O. The other matches on the rest of the courts were close, with the momentum changing regularly.
However, the Cajuns were determined that it was going to be their day and was going to leave everything they had and the rest out on the court. As the close matches continued to go the way of the Cajuns they found themselves leveling the score with three matches a piece. The Cajuns now had a chance of an upset and they weren’t going to let this opportunity pass them by. They were the better team on the day and the inexperience of our team showed with us not being able to capitalize on our early momentum that we had in the match.
There was no time for us to dwell on the loss as we were off to Miami to play the Hurricanes the next day.
Our flight out of Tallahassee was delayed which hindered our preparations as we only arrived in Miami in the early evening with very limited time to practice as the floodlights on the courts had been damaged during the hurricane season. The following morning we woke and made our way over to the courts. On our arrival the rain started bucketing down. As the rain continued we weren’t sure if the match-up with our in state rivals were going to take place. However, just as we thought that we were going to reschedule the match for a later date the clouds disappeared and the sun came out. After a quick warm-up the dual match started. Miami took the momentum from the start in the doubles by going up multiple breaks in the number 2 and 3 positions.
Miami swept the doubles point and never gave us a chance to get into the match. Their momentum continued and they swept us 7-0. They were clearly the better prepared team on the day and it seemed that some of our players were still dwelling on our loss from a few days before.
So people must be thinking where does our season go from here? Well the truth is we have another twenty-four matches, excluding the conference tournament and NCAA’s left. As we realized in Miami, there is no time to dwell on matches. We realize we can’t change what happened in the past.
Practice has been very tough this week in preparation for our triple header this weekend. Our team has stepped up in practice and is ready to get back on track in reaching our goal in making the final site again this year.