Feb. 4, 2010
Throughout their careers, Northwestern seniors Lauren Lui and Samantha Murray have been two of the driving forces behind NU's rise to the level of perennial powerhouse. During their final go-rounds with the Wildcats, "Speeds" and Sam will keep NU fans current on the program's latest happenings in their blog, "Serve and Volley."
Hi Wildcat Fans,
Last week Speeds introduced everyone to our new tennis blog and I heard a lot of people telling her how great her entry was. This week it's my turn and I clearly have a lot to live up to.
We are finally into the best part of the year, our team dual season. Last weekend was the ITA National Kickoff Weekend, which are the qualifying rounds to reach the National Indoor Tournament. In our first-round match on Saturday we faced Old Dominion, and after claiming the doubles point we came out with a 6-1 win. As a knockout tournament it was important to have a solid start to take us to the second round match. On Sunday we were then up against the Princeton Tigers. With a slightly different lineup we again came out on top, this time with a 4-0 win. After taking the doubles point, three of the 'Cats raced out to convincing wins to clinch the dual. The tournament format meant that we stopped the match once it was decided at four points.
With these two wins, we have qualified for the ITA National Indoor Championship starting Feb. 12 in Madison, Wis. This is definitely my favorite part of the winter as we compete against the best players with the tournament featuring the best 16 teams in the nation. Last year, a major highlight of our season was winning this tournament and becoming National Team Indoors Champions. Our team this year is looking to challenge again for the title.
But before that we have an important home dual match against Florida State. The match is this Sunday, Feb. 7, at 11 a.m. and it will be our toughest match yet so we need some loud fans to give us a home advantage.
If you have already made it to one of our matches this year then you will have noticed our lineup features a few new faces. One of the best things about having a younger team is the enthusiasm and excitement for each dual. This always shows on the court and we know that with every match we are gaining experience as a team. We always appreciate the support from our fans and the FSU match will be the perfect opportunity to come see the new faces in action. So if you can make it out to SPAC it should be a great match, and as a bonus there is always some free food there for the fans.
To finish last week Speeds told her favorite `Beef and Broccoli' story. Since then we have been noticing all the funny things that happen around the team so someone came up with the idea we should make a `team confessionals' video diary. The general idea is that because we are always together anyway, we can film a little of what goes on during road trips and at our favorite hangout, SPAC. Then it will be made into a short film and shown at our annual tennis fundraiser event "Rally with the Cats" in May. So if you see any of our team walking around with a video camera, then say hi and you can make it into one of our video clips.