Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tennis: Honey Badgers’ seventh team win

Honey Badgers win again!

Tonight was our second meeting with Le Club. This time, we played on the air-conditioned courts at Highlander — such a relief in this ridiculously hot weather.

Yesterday, I saw Jody, Le Club's captain, win a singles match for our 4.0 team (yay!). I tried to get her to drink beer afterward so she'd be hung over, but she did not fall for it. And I had only one beer.

What I love about Jody is that she is casual and friendly — sure, bring the lineup on a post-it! — but she wants to win. (Just ask her teammates on any of the five teams she's on.)

She and Jessica played #1 doubles against Jan and Becky tonight. They cruised to a 3-0 lead.

But then Jan and Becky, who also want to win (always!), decided to radically change their game. Instead of power hitting and volleying, they started lobbing. A lot.

Team Jecky came back to win it 7-5, 6-3.

What I really admire is their ability to change their game. That is a difficult thing to do — especially to keep at it when you're down. So, phenomenal job, both of you — not just at winning, but at respecting and trusting each other enough to forge ahead with something different.

On the second court, Sandy and I played together and won 6-1, 6-2. Any anxieties I had about playing with a different partner disappeared as soon as we started the warmup. Sandy is a terrific partner. And tonight she was also really good-natured when I yelled "Bounce it!" (i.e., she let it bounce and did not refer to me as "Mother"). Seriously, she is having an incredible season, and I felt lucky to share in it tonight. Thanks for letting me play the deuce side, too. Mother loves the deuce side!

After we finished our match, I hung out upstairs.

Jean and Carol split sets. Terry and I saw Carol walk past us before they started the third. We waved, but she didn't see us. She was in a zone. I didn't get to talk to Jean, but you can always expect her to bring the fight. Maybe because she tells you in emails that say stuff like, "I'll be there, ready to win!!!"

The Le Club ladies played hard — fantastic volleying! — but the red team triumphed over the blue. Later, over some celebratory wine, Jean put on her Honey Badger shirt and gave Carol some crap about her serve. Jean is apparently fierce to her teammates as well as her opponents. But hey, it works! She brought her unique brand of motivation to last week's three-setter and won that one as well.

Good job, Carol and Jean! Another W for you.

The longest matches: singles.

At #1, Lisa played the same opponent she played last time. They are both really strong players. She was down in the third set, 4-1, but changed her strategy. (I love learning this stuff in the post-match powwow!)

She got two more games before Carolyn won. Singles can be a lonely game, but you really stayed in it tonight. Way to compete: 26 games!

And then there was one.


She and Zara played long, long, long points. While we were standing behind the glass watching, Jessie (from Le Club) walked away to get food. She came back and they were still playing the same game. I figured that they must have been at deuce. Zara took the game.

But Katie hung in there.

She stayed calm, even though her dad was watching and all the other matches had ended. And she did not look tired. At all.

Great job, Katie: You have amazing stamina and mental toughness, to have come back from a first set loss to win it! We're all proud of you.

Thanks to everyone who cheered us on. It makes the whole experience even better, seeing our friends and family (Terry, Dave, Molly, Lynn, Joe) cheering us on. Kelly, I love that you stayed the whole night and shared in our success. (And Patty, thanks for accepting my obsessiveness. I'm glad someone does!) Love the team spirit!

After our eighth week, we are 29 and 11.

Go team!

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