Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday - Day 2 of Nationals -

(Just a note:  For those driving through the vast, expanse deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, cellular coverage is more than spotty.  It has taken me since 10 AM this morning to complete this entry working more hours than I would like to count.)

We were up for an early pre-match warm up at 7:15 AM at Deep Canyon Tennis Club and then on to our USTA official team photo at 8:15 AM at Indian Wells.  We were fortunate enough to play our first match in nice cool weather at 9:00 AM.  After our big win against Mid West we all went to cool down, eat, hydrate, hydrate and hydrate and relax a little before our next match at 3:30 pm.
Sparks Shout Out from our pool between matches.   Ruth, Cindy and Maureen with our team mascot, Sandy, in her "Sparky" pink suit providing us with yet another "gut-wrenching" laughable moment!!!

On to our 3:00 PM match against Texas in the heat of the day - 91 degrees (translates to around 100 in the beating down sun, no clouds, no breeze and tennis courts that have been warming up for you all day long)!! 

Some shots of Ann and Bodhi making it happen at 1st doubles! 

Bodhi ready for action!

Sheila and her amazing focus!

Mary serving it up big for a win!

Happy, happy faces!!  

While yesterday was a little disappointing, we had an awesome day today!   The Sparks hung tight and won both of our matches  against Mid-West and Texas so we ended with a 3-1 record in our flight giving us 2nd place out of 5 teams in our flight. WAY TO GO TEAM!!

Team pics of the 2nd place team in Flight 3!

Bodhi Borer, Ann Zinsmeister, Maureen Hayes-Mitchell, Me, Mary Oliver, Ruth Sikora,
 Sheila Coughlin and our AMAZING Coach, Gyata Storman

Not only is this an awesome looking group of women, but note the beauty in the background.  To look out upon those mountains as you were giving it your all in a match was almost overwhelming at times.  Just to be there was a blessing in itself.  A feeling beyond words!

My biggest fan and my sweetie!!

Happy times for Ruth and Bodhi

Ruth's biggest fan and sweetie!

Ann's husband, Karl, showing his support for the team by providing some much needed shade!

Our Team Managers - they stuck in there with us through it all.  They made sure we all had what we needed at all times from nourishment and hydration to being our fans in the stands giving a "Go Sparks" shout out just when we all needed.  And, as we all know, it is so much harder to watch a match than to play in one.  We  can't thank you enough, Mike and Larry, for all of your dedication and support of our success!!  

My dear cousin Sandy who flew in from Maryland to surprise me, and that she did!  We learned the game of tennis together at our local park when she was 8 and I was 12 and we played together for years as we grew up.   Before my first match she said to me, "remember our first instructor who taught us "bounce - hit"?   Use that when you need it and it will center you."  That I did and I can't thank her enough for being there for me and for providing us all with more laughs than we thought possible!!! 


So after a day of success, it was time to celebrate and that we did!  La Quinta Resort and Club was our venue.  The pictures can't begin to do it justice.  It was beautiful.  It was a huge outdoor courtyard restaurant, unlike anything we could have in the Northeast.  Once again, the "fun meter" was off the charts with dancing, dining, drink, laughter, tears and Margarita's the size of fishbowls!!!!!

Mary flashing her muscle!

Me flashing my "lack" of muscle!


It was a great ending to an amazing day!

Stay tuned for the finals.


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