INTENSITY Tennis hosts & competes in weekly USTA matches. These teams compete against other teams in the area. Matches are held on Wednesdays. Click the dates below to view the weekly recaps to see how our players have been doing! If you are interested in joining our USTA program, click here for more information!
“Always Be Closing” match #11 vs. Four Seasons “Nice Aces”
This was as close as it gets. Seriously. Jeez!!!!!
The last time we played against the “Nice Aces”, we lost on all of their damp and musty Har-Tru courts. And the only court that was not a blow-out was singles (thanks, Lorraine!). It was a super tough match against very strong players on all courts. The things that were different this time were that there were NO uneven scores, the courts were our nice hard fast ones and that they did not sweep us. It’s nice to play at home, that is for sure. Although the “Nice Aces” are a strong team and are currently only 1 individual win away from the top spot in the flight… they are always pleasant to play with and a nice group of women.
I played against Christiane, who also plays and wins a good number of 3.5 matches. She is a seasoned singles player and wins most of her matches at both levels. I knew this would be a tough match from the get go. Christiane won the first game, but I took over pretty quickly and won the next 3 in a row. It was neck and neck from then forward. I was able to keep a step in front and won the first set, 6-4. She started very strong in the second set and I completely lost all power in my forehand. I was pushing the ball and knew I was playing too tentatively. But I just couldn’t find my mojo. I was down 5-2, but I never quit…. I managed to recover to 5-5 , but she closed it. So, we went to a 3rd set tie-break… I was up, she was up, she won…. 4-6, 7-5, 1-0.
D1: Caroline / Randa
Caroline and Randa played against the two captains, Sandra and Rosemary. Sandra is a solid and strong player with pace and she is great at net. Rosemary was the weaker of the two and Caroline and Randa focused on her. Her pace is slower but she clearly likes to lob. However, it can be tricky to play against a pair that has such different types of games. Caroline and Randa managed to keep it tight in the first set and went to a set tie-break. Although they took the first set, Caroline says “I think nerves got in our way” as the second set had too many errors and they let the second set slip by. Annoyed by the set loss but determined to not give up, Caroline and Randa know how to close… it ain’t over ’till it’s over. They went back to “bounce/hit” and won the 3rd set tie-break: Final winning score for Caroline and Randa: 7-6, 2-6, 1-0.
D2: Dana / Eva
Dana and Eva came out blazing with an incredible first set! Eva had cat-like reflexes at the net and Dana’s consistent and strong strokes were too much for the soft hitters (Kathryn and Heather) to play against. The first set went by like lighting with a big margin win for for Dana and Eva. However, the second set became a little harder to find pace on their strokes and one of their opponents “came alive” at the net. The opponents resorted to calling a ball “out” even before it landed, but Eva and Dana were making way too many errors to hold the set. So…. right… you guessed it… this court ALSO went to a 3rd set tie-break! But Eva and Dana held firm and their opponents got annoyed. Kathryn and Heather could use a little mental toughness training. Ha ha ha! Dana and Eva won the 3rd set tie-break for a final score of 6-2, 4-6, 1-0.
D3: Kerry / Tracy
Tracy and Kerry were a good match up and played well, particularly the first set. It was a competitive set and Tracy and Kerry stayed in front to win it by a break. In the second set their opponents (Andrea and Nicole) used their lobbing skills to turn things around and change the pace of play. Tracy and Kerry made more unforced errors and the second set was closed out by their opponents on top. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!!! Right!!!!! Here we go again!!!! ANOTHER 3RD SET TIE-BREAK! JEEZ!!!!! Kerry and Tracy played a solid match but the lobs got the best of them. We lost this court 4-6, 6-3, 1-0.
So….. we went to 3rd set tie-breaks on ALL courts. Won on two, lost on two. We were even on sets. So, we count games. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do the math. We won 41 games. “Nice Aces” won 43. They take home the “W”.
But what a great match! 3rd set tie-breaks on ALL courts!
WE ARE TIED FOR THIRD PLACE IN OUR FLIGHT!
Top spot is Kings Hwy. “Shake and Serve”, which we beat in our last meeting! (They have 30 individual wins).
Second spot is todays opponents, Four Seasons “Nice Aces”, which we only lost to them by TWO games! (They have 29 individual wins).
We are tied with Four Seasons “Slam Sisters”. (Both teams have 22 individual wins).
EVERY GAME COUNTS!
Don’t give up!
Don’t feel defeated by a first set loss!
Don’t lose focus in a second set that is slipping away!
Fight for every game!
We are only 7 individual games behind the Districts qualifiers!
EVERY GAME COUNTS FOR YOUR TEAM!!!!!!
I am so proud of all our teammates today!
Thanks for playing!!!!!!
On a side note…..
in reflection of our match today and thinking of the mindfulness training that I have been working on….
todays’ match was a great example of how and when to use it, on all courts. I am a constant work in progress. There were many moments in my match today (particularly when I was down 5-2 in the second set) that I was able to draw from my mental work and recover to 5-5. My opponent beat me but I did not fail myself on mental toughness. I hope that you can all find some time to discover the benefits of the mindfulness and mental toughness that INTENSITY has to offer through Coach Nikola. I know exactly what I did right in my match today, exactly what I did wrong, how it made me feel, and how to move forward with it all. My mindfulness makes each match (win or lose) a learning experience which I take to my next match. My growth makes me a stronger player each time I step on court. I hope the same for each of my teammates as I would love to grow with each and every one of you.
See you on the courts!
INTENSITY “Always Be Closing” at Kings Hwy. “Shake and Serve”.
Today our “Always Be Closing” team rose to the challenge of playing against the team that holds the number one spot in our flight. Kings Hwy. “Shake and Serve” was ready for their typical smack-down match. But we surprised them. After all the courts were quiet and the ladies had started their way back home, the “Shake and Serve” captain (Deanne Coad) admitted that we were, in fact, the toughest team that they had played against this season.
This was, indeed, a good match on all courts. Amazing points, tight games and scores don’t get much closer. Here is how is played out:
D1: Randa / Caroline
The “Shake and Serve” team had just finished their team practice. They were warm and ready to play. With no pre-match open courts, our team was no where near as fired up. Randa and Caroline won the toss and chose to let Deanne and Michaela serve so that they would have a little warm up game. This ended up working against them because Randa and Caroline both had a hard time returning their tricky and very different serves (Deanne was hard and fast, Michaela was slower and required a completely different return). Many points were lost in the first set by the lack of service return. So the first set flew by quickly and Randa and Caroline were only able to squeak out one game win. But the feeling of panic subsided as they re-grouped and took notice of their opponents weaknesses…. hit at Michaela’s feet and Deanne’s backhand. Randa and Caroline were finally warmed up. But Caroline’s serve was off and they decided to have Randa serve first for the second set. All of the sudden, Deanne and Michaela were the one’s feeling panicked. The games were tight and it became clear that a 3rd set tie-break would be in their future. With a 7-5 second set win, Randa and Caroline were not giving up. The tie-break was close too, but did not go our way. Deanne and Michaela closed out the match with a 10-7 tie-break score. So, after a well fought battle our D1 court held their head high with a loss of 6-1, 5-7, 1-0.
D2: Eva / Dana
Eva was playing deuce and Dana on Ad. Although these positions worked great for them at practice on Monday, it was not working now. They made an unusually high number of unforced errors and the balls they were receiving were short, sloppy and lacked pace. This was a difficult thing to adjust to. That combined with Shelby’s tricky short angled shots made for a VERY quick set with no games won by Eva and Dana. They kept their mental toughness in check and changed their positions for the second set. They quickly took a 2-0 lead mixing up their serves with Eva’s softer short but spinning serve and Dana’s harder flat serve and utilizing some lob skill to move Shelby and Julia around. Up a break, then losing a break, they ended up at 5-5. Eva and Dana were fired up by a few direct shots at Dana (not her feet). Dana traded the direct shots but gave the courtesy of a “watch out”, aim at the feet and gratuitous “sorry”. This gave them the fuel they needed to take the second set at 7-5.
Just remember…. IT AIN’T OVER ‘TILL IT’S OVER.
After the first set bagel and the second set battle, they entered the third set tie-break with confidence. From that point forward, they were “always closing” and won the tie-break 10-7. Final win score 0-6, 7-5, 1-0.
D3: Lorraine / Anna
Lorraine and Anna have good court chemistry. They move well together and both have fast pace and sharp angle games from the baseline. But their opponents were both solid net players and moved up to take advantage of that position, accurately aiming at the hot seat players’ feet. The games were long and competitive and the sets stayed neck and neck. After losing the first set at a tight 7-5, Lorraine and Anna gave their opponents a challenging second set and at 6-6 the set went into tie-break. The net game beat baseline power. Lorraine and Anna had a strong and respectable match. It really could have gone either way. The set tie-break decided the loss for our D3 court at 7-5, 7-6.
Katie figured me out fast. I am so obviously a “serve and volley”, and “return, approach, volley” player. And Katie is a really good lobber. She took the initial lead in the first set. I was stuck back and I knew that I was not hitting through my baseline shots and I was pushing back her slower paced balls. I was so scared of over-hitting. But I knew I had to adjust. I focused on top-spin and came back to a 4-4 score. Feeling more comfortable, I went back to my net game. This became comical, as I moved up on every short ball and she lobbed me again. We were both laughing in middle of the points as we both knew exactly what we were doing to each other. She won the next two games to take the set at 6-4. I stuck to my guns and stayed aggressive to start the second set with a 3-0 lead. But she was able to return most of my approach shots with her great court coverage. I started retreating back after every short ball, immediately recognizing the eminent lob. The points become long and drawn out. Katie came back to an on-serve game score and we traded games from that point forward. We rallied to a 6-6 score and I double faulted the beginning of the set tie-break. This set the tone for my 7-5 tie-break loss. She took both sets and I lost the court 6-4, 7-6.
So, at the end of the match, we lost 3-1. But each court played a respectable match and I am proud of every player. Everyone on the “Shake and Serve” team
commented on the difficulty of their matches and they were happy to have finally been challenged. We were their toughest opponents.
Thanks those who played and for maintaining our reputation as a strong and friendly team that provides challenging and fun matches to all opponents!
Last two matches have been tough ones, we played the same team back to back and only got one win off of them in the first (of the two) matches. I know most of the players and they have been playing at the 3.5 level for few years with district wins under their tennis skirts! Don’t get discouraged, let’s get focused and use all of our savy shots, recovery spots, and all the other tools Ernesto and company have given us to use in a match. We can do this and STILL have fun and remain the nicest team in the league!
With that said here is a quick recap of Wednesdays match:
Tina – Singles, Tina our fearless singles player had a great match against a strong opponent. She faught hard in the first set only falling short by two games. Second set she worked her butt off and again fell short by only two games. Tina you fight hard and don’t give up which is why you are the one to beat! Thank you for jumping into singles at the last minute and always playing at a high level!
PJ and Liz – D1, Tough match on D1, I know you guys played some strong opponents but you two are also strong opponents and sometimes the score is not reflective of what is actually going on during a game. We are facing tough matches with experienced players so we aren’t going to skate off with an easy win. What we will get is a a good match and hopefully have fun regardless of the outcome. Thanks for playing D1, it can be a tough court mentally and physically.
Ronit/Annie – D2, I love playing aginst these two, fun, smart players and NICE! I don’t love playing against Annie’s serve though and she is down right frightning to be across from when she’s at the net (unless you want a free face lift). With that said, I can imagine that the first set must have been frustrating for you two, but you stuck it out and only lost by a few games in the 2nd set…remember every game COUNTS! Thanks for playing you two!
Betty/Nancy – D3, I had to switch the line up around at the last minute, and thank you Betty and Nancy for being flexible and partnering together at the last minute. I heard from Betty after the match and she felt that they played well and put up a good fight but had a few more errors then their opponents. Nancy was great at poaching and net play (another one I am fearful of across from the net). Betty is a steady Eddie at the baseline, taking her time, finding the open court and setting up her partner. I am sure you were a great duo! Again, a few errors can make the difference in losing a few games.. Good job and thanks again for playing!
At the end of the day, we didn’t win but we played well and fought hard. So we won’t be making the tour after this one, but there is still hope! This is a great team that has even greater potential. Next match is away at Kings Highway 1:30 pm, thank you to everyone who switched around their schedules to make this match! They better have good snacks for us!
October 16th, 2014
First Match – Chelsea Piers – Blew Bayou (dork name):
Nancy Singles: Nancy played a tough singles match losing in the first set but coming back strong second set beating her player 6-4, they split sets and went to the tie breaker which we know is a crap shoot…good job Nancy and thank you for playing singles!
Theanne/PJ D1: Theanne and PJ had a good match against some fresh opponents who were tough on line calls and overall play. First match is always an adjustment thank you ladies for playing, next time you blow the ball by the blew bayou team!
Ronit/Liz D2: Liz told me after that the match that it was a tough one but the opponents were definitely beatable, some times we are on and sometimes we are not and that is all part of the game. I know Ronit and Liz as a team are hard to beat, Ronit gets everything back no matter what and Liz is a force to be reckoned with at the net and she is one of the best most accurate lobbers I know. I have no doubt that if they played this team again they would do some damage…I won’t use the blew bayou comment again.
Tina/Betty D3 Congrats Betty and Tina on your win! Betty’s first USTA 3.5 match too! WOOHOO! Nice clean up on court 3 with a 6-2 6-3 win! And Betty did tell me her opponents were actually nice! HEHE!
Thank you everyone who played in the match! I know we all want to win but having a good match and playing well is almost just as good! Next time we will BLOW out the BLEW Bayous…seriously that name is so lame.
On to the next match which was yesterday at Kings Highway against the Glam Slams (what is up with these names)!
Tina Singles: Tina, Tina, Tina, she swept her opponent on the singles court. That Glam slam wasn’t so glamourous after all! Nice win Tina 6-3 6-3!
Meegan/Heather D1: Heather and I had a really fun, competitive match. Our opponents were pretty consistent, good poachers and had pretty good strategy against us. We had long long rallies, good points were won and we went to deuce almost every game (one game we had at least 8 deuces). Heather and I put up a good fight but came short losing 4-6, 3-6..we had fun though!
Theanne/Jan D2: Theanne and Jan played some seriously tough opponents (I know one from the Oak Hills team). From what I saw from my court, there were good rallies and great net play but maybe couldn’t close out the point quick enough. Tough first set 0-6 but they came back second set and gave the glams a run for their money!
Malee/Lynne D3 This was Lynne’s first USTA match, thank you Lynne for playing! Same thing as on all the courts, tough opponents, strong rallies and net play. I am sure Malee did her sneaky down the line shot and Lynne is aggressive at the net and I know hit winners! I know one of the opponents you played is very good at the net and likes to poach but good come back 2nd set losing only by 2 games.
Thanks again everyone for playing, 1:30 can be a tough time to get to a match and home in time to pick up the kiddies. Everyone played well despite us losing the match overall. The Glam Slams were nice and they really did have good snacks!
On to the next match which is HOME on 10/29!
Great match last Wednesday against the seasoned (they did go to districts) Intensity All Set team (friday team). We may not have won the match but remember for a few of our players this was their first time playing in a USTA match against players with a lot of match experience.
Here is the recap of the match:
Laura K – Singles, Laura had a good match against Senta from the Friday team. I saw long rallys and a lot of patience on that court. Senta is very tall with a long wing span so it was hard to get anything by her. Laura tried her best and the score certainly does not reflect the level of play. Singles can be tricky, you are out there alone with nobody to bounce strategies off of and some times a player can really throw you. You could play that same person another day and crush them…it’s all part of the mind game of singles!
Ashley/Caroline D1: Ashley and Caroline had a great match against Sherri and Carol (the maniac at the net). It was fun to watch them play together and it really showed in the second set with a 6-1 win in that set! Great match and great win ladies! Oh and I am sure Carolines serves threw them for a loop..hehe!
Michele/Anna D2: Great match against Denise and Jess. You ladies had some long Rallies, good serving and fast net play on this court…it sometime is tough when you play against our other Intensity team but both of you play well and the match could have gone either way.
Tracy/Melissa D3: This was Melissa’s first USTA match, congrats on getting over the first match jitters! Good points/rallies on this court but you did play against typical D1/D2 players with a lot of match experience. I applaud your efforts ladies and you will get them next time!
All in all a good match against a strong and established team. Thank you to everyone who played!
Next match is away on 10/24!