Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tennis: Honey Badgers final 2011 match

Tonight we trekked to Oconomowoc Lake Club for the last match of our season.

It was a night of sunshine, tennis whites, and only a few mosquitos.

At #2 singles, in only her second match of the season, Melanie was the first person to finish. She played with a lot of poise — and topspin! — and won 6-4, 6-2. Melanie, you did great tonight. Congratulations on your perfect record! And thanks to Mike and Katie, who also came to cheer her on. (Katie, I also enjoyed hanging out with you and hearing about who else you're playing tennis with!)

At #1, Kelly did her best against the opponent she played five weeks ago. Though she didn't come away with a win this time, she played hard and I could tell both players had a great time out there. Kelly, your sportsmanship is commendable (and reflects well on all of us!).

At #1 doubles, Jean and Marilee won in straight sets. Marilee has played with five different partners this season and adapted easily. Thanks for being such a flexible and versatile player! And Jean, way to end your season with a strong finish. (Sidebar: If you haven't already, be sure to congratulate Jean and Jan on advancing to playoffs with their senior team. Go Senior Honies!)

After losing the first set, Dianne and Sandy took the second. They played riveting tennis. I couldn't figure out what was different about Sandy tonight. I thought it was the sunglasses; Patty said, "She put her competitive face on."

We were having so much fun hanging out, Dianne had to shush us. (Sorry, Di. We were in our own little world.) It was so exciting to see you both excel against a very competitive team. Top-notch tennis and sportsmanship to match — a fitting end to your season.

As the sun was setting, Beth and Colleen were giving it their all. After losing the first set, they brought the second to a tiebreak. And won it! You two showed great mental toughness. Colleen, I loved how you hit sky-high lobs. And returned them, too! And Beth, way to fall down and get right back up. Literally. You are such a resilient player. Even though your opponents ultimately won the match, it was inspiring to see how hard you made them work for it. Very honey badgerish!

Tonight we also celebrated Colleen's birthday, the year of which she would not divulge ("It's not a milestone," she said). So we hung out in the clubhouse and reminisced while Colleen read birthday cards at arm's length.

Happy Birthday, Colleen! And happy end-of-season, Team!

Our season overall: 31 and 19, for a solid second-place finish.

Tremendous year, Honey Badgers! I'm looking forward to celebrating with you next week.

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