March 15, 2012
I struggled to start this blog not for lack in material, but
because I honestly didn't know how to cover Tribe Tennis' past month in
anything less than a 10 hour television series complete with behind the scenes
interviews, dancing segments, eating episodes, and van driving coverage ...
(along with occasional footage of tennis). Life has been nothing short of a
hurricane since February 14th, which is embarrassingly the last time
I managed to post. Enough is enough. I'm here to get you back on track. Sink
into your office chair, dorm sofa, grassy lawn, exercise ball, or hammock,
while I take you for a little Tribe Tennis spin in my imaginary charcoal grey
convertible 911 Porche Carrera.
Pictures this: We're cruising, heated seats on full blast,
to Syracuse NY. Tribe Tennis is on her game. Quotes are being fired from every
direction - Hope has us all gasping for breath, coughing up lungs, wincing as
our abs ache in protest from an abundance of laughter. A split weekend of wins
and losses ended in a storm of flurries and one memorable birthday for Coach
James. Before returning to the safety bubble of Williamsburg, Masha (Maria)
celebrated her flawless weekend with a rather stunning snow angel and a couple
Then, to the delight of all our tennis fans, Kayla made her
first appearance for the Tribe against Wake Forest - clinching the match in her
sound ball striking style. I can assure you her backhand winners were a popular
source of dinner conversation across Williamsburg that evening. That, and the
highly anticipated Spring Break trip, of course.
For this leg of the journey, find a window seat. Shall we
let the top down? Hello Texas, hola familia, howdy friendly faces. This section
is dedicated to the Geiger family, La Familia Cepeda, La Familia Vulovich, and
all our spectacularly rowdy fans at Texas A&M. Your support is the reason
why Tribe Tennis has thrived and will continue to grow. Without your hollers
and woops and thrilling squeals of delight college tennis would certainly lose
most, if not all, of its excitement. Our team morale was kept afloat thanks to
your tender love and care this spring break. In fact, your support carried us
through a home victory against Wisconsin this past Sunday. Masha continued her
jaw-dropping trophy deserving performance (did I mention she defeated Texas'
number one ranked player, earned an ITA singles ranking, and garnered singles
player of the week CAA honors?) while Katie stole the show with clutch tiebreak
play. Thank you, Bear.
So there you are. A short trip in the Porche and you're back
in the loop. Follow us on Tribe Athletics for the latest news, or just flag me
down if you spot me cruising around town (but you'll be hard pressed to catch
me on the bike...lightening is how some describe my speed) - I'm more than happy
to provide exclusive details. As always, GO TRIBE!!!!!!!!!
Quotes of the...month?
"Everything has to be like...made to your butt" - Masha
"I wish clubs were popular from 8 to 10...so that I can still
go to sleep early" - Sydney
* The lack in quotes is due to "on the road" blog writing
and my forgetting to carry along our trusty 'Tribe Quotes' spiral. I'm as
bummed as you.
Mmmm, Valentine's Day. Those poor couples going on dates,
giving each other chocolates, roses, rings, hugs, kisses, love. You think I sound bitter? Psh, no way. Never. Honestly, I
don't need special chocolate or roses or rings or kisses or ... geez, a hug would
be nice. A hug would be really nice.
Two years ago I wrote a blog about tennis and love. I
described how relationships with tennis are always rocky, and never stable -
But that's what makes them so exciting! One day you're infatuated: every slice
goes in, every ball bounces your way, and every daring drop shot dips
caressingly over the net cord. The next day, tennis is a horrible horrible part
of your life. And so we move on. We keep plugging through the daily struggles,
knowing that in the end we'll have found a balance with tennis. We may have
days we play like Rafael Nadal, and we may have days we play like the kid who
can't tell the strings from the handle, but on average tennis is a wonderful
sport. On average tennis brings us more good moments than bad ones. On average,
we really do love tennis.
So, although you are probably still reading Nina's
spectacular blog post, or perhaps simply admiring its impressive length, I
believe that once again tennis should not be forgotten on this sacred "holiday"
of the heart. The next time you step on
the court and miss a sitting ball in the bottom of the net, don't judge tennis
too harshly. Breathe in, take ONE second to experience the disappointment, and
move on. Because in tennis, one point is just that: one point. There are
hundreds of other points to live through, hundreds of other points to succeed
in, and hundreds of other points to fall in love with.
Quotes of the Week:
"Columbus Ohio looks like a Russian prison" - Hope
"May I ask the last time you were in a Russian prison? -
Tess (W&M Field Hockey)
"...The last time I was in Ohio" - Hope
"I want to go to New Zealand to see the sheeps" - Jeltje
"Sweetie you need gum" - Tess
"It's ok!!! Just start the match over!" - Anik (to Katie
when she was 2 points from ending the match...)
"Can you turn the heat down? My ankles are burning" - Tori
PS - I'd like to take a quick moment to thank Nina for
writing a guest blog. I laughed my German socks off (literally) and can't wait
until she writes another one! Also, I can't wait to see all of you in the
stands this Friday at 4:00 pm against
Georgetown and Sunday at 1:00 pm
against Maryland!!!!!! Go Tribe!
Nina and Neek in the Morning (After James is Done Torturing Us With Fitness)
Hello, Tribe fans!
I hope you can get over your initial disappointment at this blog not being written by Anik and persuade yourselves to read on. This is going to be something a little different, as, firstly, I'm not nearly as creative a writer as Anik and, secondly, not a word of what you're about to read relates to tennis. It is, however, going to be similar to Anik's blog in that it's about the girls on the team....and hopefully will enable our fans to become a little better acquainted (using a somewhat unconventional method) with their respective personalities. To get to know who you're going to be cheering for as you eagerly await our first home match (those of you in the crow's nest should be able to see it on the horizon....with binoculars), read on!
Anik and I have a tendency to take our jokes too far (some of them have become grossly overdeveloped...some people talk about "crossing the line", we refer to this tendency of ours as "pole vaulting over the line"). This particular joke started in my car courtesy of a conversation about what we plan to do with our lives after college. True to form, the two of us were unable to entertain a serious conversation for more than 30 seconds and began talking about how we'd star on our own talk show. When we began discussing who we'd bring on the show (after all, it couldn't just feature me and Anik finishing each other's sentences for an hour), we didn't turn to celebrities or professional athletes....rather, we thought of our teammates. Within about 5 minutes we had invented a guest segment for each girl designed to exploit her particular personality/strengths/weaknesses for maximum comedic value. Here's what we came up with:
1. Getting Stuff For Free:
Our first segment will feature our fellow Junior, Marlen "The Mesmerizer" Mesgarzadeh. In order to demonstrate the validity of that nickname (invented for the purpose of this segment...we don't actually call her that, her name's long enough), I represent to you the following scenarios, all of which I've personally witnessed:
a) Marlen convincing boatmen to give us a half priced harbor tour and having them practically begging her to come back the next day for a free ride
b) A Starbucks employee presenting Marlen with twice the amount of coffee she payed for merely because she observed that it was expensive
c) A chocolate shop owner ceasing to sweep up her shop (having closed 30 minutes before), unlocking the door, and giving Marlen free chocolate samples....which, by the way, the shop wasn't offering. Marlen achieved that one simply by looking in at the window, waving, and smiling.
There's nothing those blue/grey/green eyes (as they're described on her passport...I'm surprised there's room for the description) can't hypnotize people into doing for her. We'll set a cameraman to follow her as she does what she does best.
2. Manipulating Authority Figures:
Our next segment features none other than our resident Brit, Hope Johnson. As you may by now have gathered from her comportment on court (please see "Code Violation, Taunting") our Hopie is fearless. She is uniquely qualified to host this segment, as can be demonstrated with the following examples:
a) To this day, Hope is the only student, to my knowledge, to have accomplished the unthinkable: convincing a W&M professor to change a grade.
b) She regularly gets away with shouting "C'mon!" in the middle of points and then simply continuing play.
c) Her accent, height, and unruffled manner of address have on more than one occasion sufficiently baffled Williamsburg policemen to cause them to let this guest blogger escape unscathed from a potential parking ticket situation.
Be you umpire, professor, or police officer, beware: Hope is likely to have her way.
3. Useless Talents:
Next will be the extremely popular segment "Useless Talents" with our Dutchie, Jeltje Loomans. A camera should be kept on Jeltje at nearly all times, really (as, given even the sorriest 50 cent excuse for a ball, she's likely to dazzle you with her seemingly limitless repertoire of impressive tricks). We'll film as she juggles the soccer ball like a veritable La Liga superstar, returns my serve with so much backspin that the ball bounces back on her side of the net, or even does her signature dance move (I can only describe it by likening it to a snake unhinging its jaw...Anik is still recovering from attempting it over a year ago). This is certainly not to be one of our instructive segments, as most of Jeltje's appearance will, for liability reasons, be aired with a "don't try this at home" byline...it is, however, certain to be one of our most entertaining.
4. I Don't Believe You:
This one features our D.C. girl, Sydney Smith. Now, before I begin, let me clarify: Sydney is extremely intelligent (the girl's an intended Math/Business double major at William and Mary, people!). Another of Sydney's particular characteristics is her relatively tiny stature...our team likes to refer to anything cute and small as "Sydney Sized". While very smart, we observed early on - thanks to Hope's (amazingly) successful attempt to convince her that British people don't use toothbrushes - that Sydney's capacity to interpret sarcasm is proportionate to her size. If you're persistent and can keep a straight face (unfortunately for Sydney, two of Hope's greatest assets), you could probably convince her of just about anything. Therefore, Syd's segment will be a bit different: rather than having a camera trained on her whilre she displays her talents (well....OK, we'll probably have to feature her in a dance segment as well, she's an AWESOME dancer), we'll employ a hidden camera while sending trained actors in to convince Sydney of the profound truth of the most completely ludicrous things we can think of....this one's going to be a lot of fun!
5. Lifting the Heavy Things:
Featuring one of our two "fake freshmen", Kayla Rizzolo, this segment will make our weight trainer, Coach B., very proud. A girl who squats over 200 lbs. without breaking a sweat, Kayla's incredible feats of strength may prove controversial, as I anticipate a protest from ESPN...ate all, Kayla is likely to make their "World's Strongest Man" contest look ridiculously unimpressive. We may even make a little cash on the side off this segment, especially at the beginning of the year. Kayla could probably deliver furniture and textbooks to all of the residents of William and Mary's freshmen dorms (think of the "World's Strongest Man" contestants pulling the UHAUL trucks...now picture Kayla doing so while strolling around upright with the best posture imaginable and without any appearance of exertion, pulling the truck behind her with a rope in one hand while eating pretzels with the other). The rest of us could charge students for the deliveries, thereby profiting financially through good-natured Kayla's amazing prowess...after all, as Masha says, "we take credit for your success!"
6: Avoidance 101:
Our other "fake freshman", the adorable (I mean, have you SEEN her riding around on her moped? SO cute!) Masha Belaya, will be featured in our most instructive segment. This one will be a straight up "How To" show for those wishing to become proficient in one of Masha's great skills: avoiding unpleasant things. Name the undesirable activity: picking up tennis balls, doing extra fitness, etc....Masha WILL find a way to get out of it. Anik voices frequent complaints about the ball collecting issue, which has caused me to observe the following frequently occurring situation: while intensely focused during drills or point play, Masha has a very consistent and predictable tendency to, when everyone else goes to replenish the ball carts, sit down and stare into space. The glazed puppy eyes appear convincing...she's just innocently spaced-out, right, oblivious to the fact that we're picking up? WRONG. Our Masha is the Napoleon of avoidance, and no general ever employed a battle strategy as effectively as Masha employs this and other brilliant avoidance tactics. Watch and learn, folks.
7. Heated Arguments As A Form of Recreation:
Featuring the future U.S. President, this segment is also instructive....though if you lack an iron will and the stubbornness of a bull raised to oppose a matador in a grand arena, this skill might be somewhat difficult to learn. Katie's "refuse to lose" attitude has kept us in matches and left us in awe countless times. She also applies this philosophy wholeheartedly to any argument (especially political "discussions" with yours truly) you might care to have....prepare yourself for a FIGHT. We'll send a cameraman to follow her as she picks fights with (hopefully, otherwise this would just be mean) argumentative strangers. Reality TV at its finest.
8. Cross the Street and Suddenly...it's 1780:
This segment will feature our one and only Williamsburg resident, Tori Ford. Tori embodies Tribe Pride and, though she might complain of boredom now and again (as do we all), she loves this little bubble we live in dearly (as do we all). We'll set a camera on Tor as she instructs our viewers on how to navigate the school, the training room, the shops at New Town, and, of course, the proper technique for dodging the drum and fife squad in Colonial Williamsburg.
So, as Warner Bros would have it (never bypass an opportunity to brown nose potential producers) "That's all, folks!"
P.S. You may hereby consider yourselves most cordially invited and implored to attend our FIRST HOME MATCH ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19th!!!
We're huddled together in Atlanta, Georgia's International
airport holding our sides from laughter. If you were to pass by and observe the
cluster of green and gold giggling loudly on the airport floor you might think,
"ah winning is fun." But we didn't "win" in the sporting sense. In fact, we
lost. Twice. But there we were...laughing, delirious, enjoying each other's
company. There was nowhere else I'd rather be.
The first match in Atlanta was a classic marathon. Marlen
knocked down her first nationally ranked opponent (something tells me it won't
be her last) while the rest of us found ourselves splitting sets as if it was
the latest trendy fashion. Oh you split sets? Why, I think I will too! 5 hours
after the start of the match, South Carolina slipped away with a victory. A
hearty meal at Whole Foods and a hot shower erased the days' disappointments.
The following match began and ended. The middle happened.
Some matches are best left alone. There are many renditions to this match - all
of which I'm sure you will not be able to pry from my teammates. What happened
in Atlanta stays in Atlanta.
And now I'm a solid 4 days behind in blog posting, a couple
thousand feet in the air, on the way to Minneapolis, Minnesota. James is
immersed in a book about tennis training. Jeltje is poking me from behind. (I'm
working on my mental game and ignoring her childish efforts to provoke a
response.) Masha continues to pretend to highlight her book, and Hope is
putting us all to shame by intensely studying. After taking on the Golden
Gophers Friday at 5:00 pm we'll battle the University of Washington on Saturday
at 1:00 pm. It's Tribe Time. GO TRIBE!
Quotes of the Week:
"I absolutely despise your top. Take it off right now. I
much prefer you naked." - Hope
"They like to lift weights and eat." - Nina
"I mainly like to eat" - Kaja
"I'm a pathetic liar" - Jeltje ...trying to pathological liar
"Put it on. ON MUTE! I don't want to listen to Brad Gilbert
talk. Ever." - Hope
"What a cute couple. They will have dragon children." -
What has begun? I'll tell you my darling little group of
blog readers (I appreciate all 7 of you...) - Tribe Tennis has begun. What does
this mean? Again, I'll share my secrets. This means that while we struggle to
keep up with missing half a month of classes, we are busy crying from tears of
laughter the night before our matches. This means we are on the court battling
for the Tribe, battling for the wins, and battling for a pleasant trip home.
This means Meredith will be pumping her fist more than all of us combined and
James will undoubtedly discover his first few grey hairs. This means bananas
will be consumed in unhealthy amounts and carb-loading will be as routine as
brushing one's teeth. (It will not be as routine as flossing because flossing
is not routine.) Tribe Tennis means, quite simply, that we will be having the
time of our lives.
Preseason went as you might expect. It was about as much fun
as eating brussels sprouts. ;) Shall we move on to more exciting subjects?
Nina's 22nd birthday with a cake that traveled all the way from
Germany (courtesy of Marlen) and a lovely dinner at our go-to restaurant, we
prepared for the first match of the season against Duke. The specifics of the
match are slipping through my fingers like jello on a fork...but, I do recall a
rather spectacular ace by Hope during doubles, an exquisite return winner by
Marlen during singles, and an absolutely stellar twirling fist pump by
Meredith. While the points and the games from Friday's match are all a blur, I
have not forgotten the feeling - it
gives me people bumps. Playing for this team is a greater thrill than riding
the Superman ride at Fiesta Texas...and that ride takes you upside down, so
yeah...intense. This Wednesday we leave for Georgia Tech to compete in the first
two rounds of National Indoors. Follow us online and keep thinking good
thoughts. Why? Because it has begun. Vamos Tribe!
Quotes of the Week:
"I am the laziest tennis player" - Jeltje
"No, that's me" - Marlen
"Sometimes I wonder..." - Nina (about Anik)
"Good, because if you didn't wonder about me I'd worry" -
"Ok, let me put it this way, sometimes I worry" - Nina
"They were filming the birth of an...ice bear?" - Jeltje
"Do you know what a Nerd's rope is?" - Ben Guthrie
"I'm German" - Marlen
"Is the Asian bar called Harris Teeter?" - Masha
"I was so excited to hit the ball I turned too early" -
A fresh start to the year doesn't always mean ample blog writing material - especially since at this moment in time the Tribe is still a week away from preseason fun. We are home baking cookies, knitting scarves, blowing out candles, chilling in Disney World, writing letters, dancing in clubs, skiing the slopes of Norway, watching Bears football, crashing concerts, and, of course, playing LOADS of tennis. (In order as mentioned: Nina, Marlen, Tori, Masha, Me, Sydney, Jeltje, Katie, Hope, Kayla)
For 2012 I propose the following... incorporate Tribe Tennis into your New Year's Resolutions. It doesn't have to be big! Make it to three home games, two home games, ONE HOME GAME. Read the Blog (you're doing fantastically already), send Hope a witty email, wear your Tribe shirt on game day, wear your Tribe shirt every day, bake Anik a double batch of chocolate chunk cookies. I mean it's whatever, really. Just remember: No act of Tribeness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
On our side of the coin I can promise this: We will run down every ball, pounce on every overhead, rally till the sun goes down, and probably dance at various moments during our matches. We are bound to have a couple nail biters along our adventurous season and will surely lift multiple teammates onto our shoulders in victory - or simply because they need a pick me up (no pun intended). Folks, Aces, friends, new friends, family, Coaches... This is not life or death - this is Tribe Tennis. Help us make this season unforgettable and we'll make sure you laugh twice during doubles and once during singles. BRING IT ON 2012! GO TRIBE!!!!
I get a little emotional on Thanksgiving. I can't tell whether it's the paprika on the deviled eggs or the cool whip on that third slice of pumpkin pie...but, like blowing out candles and making a wish for someone other than yourself, Thanksgiving gives my heart stretching powers. You know those toy dinosaur sponges you soak in water and they expand to a size beyond your wildest imagination? No? You're missing out. This phenomenon happens to my heart every Thanksgiving when I mentally go through my list of "What I'm Thankful For" ... It's a rare moment of serious life appreciation. I'd like to apply the same routine to Tribe Tennis.
"What Tribe Tennis is Thankful For"
* We are all secretly thankful for 7 am running on Tuesday and Thursday
* We are thankful for Whole Foods and for Meredith's passion with nutritional foods
* We are thankful for James' Bose speakers and their impressive sound quality
* We are thankful for the Quote Book - it provides bountiful laughter and merriment
* We are thankful for our Tribe Aces - a.k.a. our Williamsburg families
* We are thankful for Jeltje's volleys
* We are thankful for team Sweet Frog outings and the chopped Snickers topping
* We are thankful for the "free" Chupa Chupps suckers at the hotels
* We are thankful for all good tennis days - whether they come once a week or once a year, good tennis days are UH-MAZING.
* We are thankful for Hope's miracle healing hip
* We are thankful for Halloween/ Fall Break/ Thanksgiving / Winter Break / Weekends
* Everyone (even Nina) is thankful for Insanity at 7 am on Wednesday - we laugh more than we mummy kick
* Last, but not least, we are thankful for each other. (Can I get a collective "dawwwwwwwww" please?) Seriously. I can imagine a life without Tribe Tennis, but it doesn't have the same laughter and noise. Love my Tribe. Love me some turkey.
Quotes of the Week:
"I hope you like the outlets now! Because you aren't gonna like them tomorrow!" - Anik
(Directed to Marlen and Jeltje in regards to the projected falling value of the euro)
"Omg his calves have brains" - Hope
"We don't have a home game until Feb. 19th" - Hope
"I'm definitely getting an iphone then" - Marlen
"Toni for wide-ball wide-ball. Mere for driving." - Hope
When I proposed that a
different Tribette write the blog for this week the response was overwhelming.
Everyone wanted in on the glory. I felt like a babysitter watching nine kids
equipped with one fun-sized 3 Musketeers bar in my pocket. I concluded that if
I could only give the prize to one, then I couldn't give the prize to any.
Naturally, I took the prize for myself. Sorry I'm not sorry Tribe.
Ever since Fall Break time
has literally sprouted wings and flown. I'm not talking about hummingbird wings
either...real Griffin wings the size of your typical midsize sedan. For the first
time all year the Tribe loaded up the vans and headed in the same direction: Regionals. Katie glided into main draw
action after a couple of satisfying wins. While Marlen, Jeltje, Masha, and
Kayla enjoyed flawless 1st and second round action, Katie and I
began the epidemic of third set matches. James loves super close third set matches. I'm beginning to think they
are his favorite things in the whole world besides our 'Insanity' workouts on
Wednesday morning. Jeltje and Masha highlighted the show with a semifinals
performance and some clutch tiebreaker tennis in the quarterfinals. Regardless
of the tough losses, the third set nail-bitters, the empty pretzel bags, and
the stolen key lime pie, the Tribe returned to Williamsburg as a team and in
The following week, our
delightful Tribe Aces put together an evening of intense doubles action that
was capped off by a food extravaganza. I may or may not have gotten up for
thirds. Thank you for your support, your charisma, and your brownies. We are
extremely excited to see all of you this spring while we battle it out on the
Because we hadn't seen enough
of each other already, and because this is just the way Tribe tennis works,
both teams joined forces and participated in a bit of wheelchair tennis a few
days later. Near the end of the night I took one wheel chair for a spin
(literally) and wound up air - swinging the return. In tennis we call that a
"whiff." Needless to say, both teams ended the night in awe of the skill and
muscle that is wheel chair tennis.
Ending our 'week of
togetherness' (as I've come to call it) was Meredith's annual Halloween party.
The sophomores took first place. Their Flintstone attire blew all the other
costumes out of the water...except for a certain "salt" and "pepper" duo that
really took creativity to a new level. Meredith and Matt loaded us up with candy,
a warm fire, and a priceless evening of mild banter and memories. Thanks for
your generosity and most of all, thanks for the 3 Musketeers. ;) GO TRIBE!
PS - I've included a small
sketch of the team....as snowmen. Enjoy.
From left to right:
Me (holding the Tribe sign), Masha (not picking up balls), Katie ("Rocky"),
Nina (on a treadmill...), Marlen (flirting with the sun), Hope (next to a
Jamaican flag), Sydney (dancing), Jeltje (playing multiple sports), Kayla
(lifting weights), and Tori (in her boot)
Quotes of the Week:
"I just watched two seasons
of Modern Family" - Marlen
[long pause] "....two SEASONS?"
"I would have loved to know
you as a child" - Anik
"Omg you would have hated me.
Everyone did." - Hope
I just caught a fly with my
left hand. I'm going to re-type that last sentence in the slim chance that you
skipped it: I just caught a fly with my left hand. This is not the first time
either. I'm what you might call a fly catching expert. Some fly-catchers have got a stronger left or right
sweeping hook, but I'm definitely ambidextrous. The key to fly catching is to
follow the trajectory of the fly's flight path just as it takes off from a
smooth surface. Catching a fly is an extremely rewarding accomplishment...one
that merits a little celebratory dance, a couple "woops!" and fair number of
leaping fist pumps. There's nothing like a good fly catching experience to get your
I love that Meredith gives me
free range on blog-writing. I could sit here and type about absolutely anything
for the next 15 minutes, send it in to athletics, wait a day, and boom: a blog
post about fly catching. The best part? Someone somewhere will read this! It
tickles me pink. Seriously though, for this week I'd like to call a free-bee on
blog writing. I'll pass the responsibility on to Hope, or Nina, or Masha, and
sit back to read a fresh perspective on Regionals, the Tribe Aces food
extravaganza, our doubles with the wheel chair superstars, and Meredith's
classic Halloween costume party. For one week this semester, I'll be the reader
not the writer.
So, I'm sorry if this post
was a disappointment, but sometimes disappointments build character. For
example, I'm disappointed every single Tuesday night when James sends a
reminder about our Insanity workout the following morning. It's a bummer, but
now I'm well on my way to sculpting the perfect Beach Body...or at least trying to sculpt the perfect Beach Body.
It's all about effort. Remember that the next time a fly gets away. GO TRIBE!
Quotes of the Week: "Yeah one time I was taking
14 vitamins, did I tell you that? It was...pretty ridiculous."
"Alright, have a good week
- Coach B.
"Do you think...I have the
energy...to tuck my hair behind my ears?!"
"Every day I have to have
cottage cheese, iced coffee, and an apple. The rest is free-style."
I had two choices for this third blog: bore you with a
lengthy 3000 word day by day blow over all the good and the bad of our trip out
to L.A. California, OR I could compile a short video and an even shorter
paragraph. Most of you have undoubtedly skipped reading this bit here,
something I surely would have done as well had I not written the piece myself.
To say Jeltje, Masha, Kayla, Marlen, James and I enjoyed our trip out L.A.
California for the All-American tournament would be an understatement. Not only
did Jeltje and Masha tear up the pre-qualifying doubles draw, they also managed
to down 3 boxes of chocolate covered raisins. Meanwhile, Kayla worked just as
diligently on the pretzel bags, and Marlen cleaned out our Vitamin C stash. As
for James, he had to focus driving the minivan. (James, 17 u-turns in one week
is a solid effort.) GO TRIBE!
Two weeks ago we hosted the
Tribe Invitational. A slew of teams came to compete through the heat and
humidity for three unnervingly long days. Marlen and Masha highlighted the
Tribe effort with a sweeping of the A doubles draw. At the tournament offering
support were several field hockey stars and the entire Tribe swim team.
Watching the swimmers parade through the courts in Speedos and swim caps is
quickly becoming my favourite Tribe Invite tradition. Hope, did you see what I
did just now? Did you notice? I wrote favorite with an English spelling. Just
this once...for you...for being such a sensation on and off court with us. Aaaaaanyways,
thanks to legendary Tribe Ace volunteers, the tournament began and ended
After roughly 4 days to
recover and one 7+ minute wall sit courtesy of Sydney and Kayla, the Tribe
split up for yet another action-packed weekend. While Kayla, Masha, Katie,
Jeltje, and Hope traveled to Duke with Meredith, Tori, Marlen, Sydney, Nina,
and I headed to UVA with James. I'm going to take a blind guess and say that
Duke was as grinding and eventful as UVA. As most overnight tournament trips
go, we learned a lot about each other. I now know that Kayla really loves
pretzels. For instance, while water makes up 70% of the average human body,
pretzels make up 70% of Kayla's body. Do you like chocolate? Ice cream? Key
lime pie? Kayla likes pretzel nibblers, pretzel sticks, and honey wheat pretzel
This last bit of material
veers away from tennis for a nano-second. Two minutes remaining and the Tribe
is tied 3-3 with Northeastern. A blitzkrieg of goals late in the second half
has everyone riled. Spectators are glued on the goal, the clock, the ball. The
corner formation shuffles around a bit. It's one of those moments in sports
when the tension is so fantastically great that you are absorbed from head to
toe in the play. The previous activities of the day are history, the future
possibilities of the night are inconsequential. When Jeltje struck the winning
goal with under 2 minutes left of play during Tribe Field Hockey's 4-3 win, I
was inspired. It was the classic comeback we all dream out in our heads from time
to time. But it was real, and it was AWESOME.
Shout outs: This week Tribe
Tennis would like to give a special shout out to Jeltje's parents Joop and
Henny, as well as our friends Doug and Mary Jo. Thanks for supporting the
Tribe. The quickest way to our hearts is certainly through our stomachs. ;) As
always, GO TRIBE!!!
Quotes of the Week:
"Why are you so cold?" - Hope
"I just got out of the
world-pool" - Masha
"I thought it would be an
easy 'A' ...but it became an easy 'C'" - Jeltje
"One Tribe One Family. We'll
take credit for your success." - Masha
Blog numero UNO. This day had
to come...I couldn't really push it back any further. Coach Meredith approached
me a few days ago asking when the first entry would be posted. I told her I
needed a bit more time to get a feeling for the new Tribe members. Now, after
surviving a number of natural disasters here in Williamsburg, I've decided I
can't keep the stellar additions to our team a secret any longer. To get you
hyped for our Fall season, to entertain you during a lunch break at work, or
perhaps simply to distract you from all the productive tasks you should be
doing right now, I proudly present the 2011-2012 Women's Tribe Tennis Team.
Newbie #1: James Wilson -
We've all gotten to know
James a little bit over the past two weeks. For one, he's a fellow Texan.
Obviously, this gives me an advantage over the other girls. Texans don't let
other Texans run at 7 a.m. in the morning. Ben Guthrie (on the men's team)
knows this rule well. He's tried, on several occasions, to switch over to the
women's team. When you spot James this weekend give him a big Williamsburg
"HOWDY!" The salutation will be warmly appreciated. If you could also remind
him of the 'Texans don't let other Texans run' rule I would greatly appreciate
Newbie #2: Kayla Rizzolo -
Leading by example, Kayla
Rizzolo stepped up to the plate in the first week to show us why running in the
wooded trails of Lake Matoaka is not a great place for leisurely exercise. Dedication
at its finest! Tennis is Kayla's sweet tooth. While the rest of us pound in 22
cookies, Kayla pounds in 22 extra serves. (Note: The number of cookies is in no
way, shape, or form linked to John Banks of the men's tennis team.) When you're
cheering your hearts out at the Tribe
Invitational this Friday, test out a couple of nicknames on Kayla's court.
So far all we've got is 'Zolo'.
Newbie #3: Masha (Maria)
Belaya - Sophomore
Masha is a strong addition to
the SC (Shorty Coalition) on the women's team. Tori, Sydney, and I are
thrilled. Furthermore, I would bet my new Nike Tennis Camps water bottle that
Masha was a collaborator for the Wii Dance game. How else do you notch a top
score while grooving alongside legendary dancer Sydney Smith? Make sure to stop
by Masha's court during our Tribe
Invitational to watch some magic happen. You'll either catch her stretching
out her quad muscles or ripping an effortless backhand down the line.
The Old, the True, and the
Returning for their second
year on the Tribe we have Sydney Smith, Hope Johnson, and Jeltje Loomans. These
sophomores had an eventful summer. Jeltje is now a member of both the tennis
and field hockey teams here at William & Mary. It's no big deal, really.
Division I athlete in two sports? Yawn! If you get tired of watching tennis at
the Tribe Invitational, swing by the
Busch field to watch Jeltje tear up the turf. (Jeltje is hard to miss...besides
the height discrepancy and her bright blonde hair, she is lightning quick
jersey number 8!) Weaving between matches, you might find Hope hobbling around
on a crutch...She took a nasty blow from a great white shark whilst saving a
drowning litter of kittens in the English Channel sometime this past summer. It's
devastating news. Hope will be out of tournament play for the rest of the Fall.
(If you'd like to hear the true version of her series of unfortunate events
talk to the lovely Miss Johnson herself). Hope is as lush and brilliant as ever.
Finally, Sydney Smith caps off our sophomore class. Thanks to Sydney, I now
know 7 different ways to make a banana smoothie. Each differs in taste,
texture, and smoothness. If you take a gander around our outdoor courts this
weekend during the Tribe Invitational,
you'll be sure to spot Sydney hustling for a ball, smiling, or eating peanut
butter power bars. She's mildly adorable.
Continuing in an orderly
fashion, I'd like to re-re-introduce the junior class: Marlen Mesgarzadeh, Nina
Vulovich, and yours truly. A veteran cook, Marlen is off the meal-plan for her
second semester. She has just mastered the art of garbanzo bean salads and has
a new affinity for iced coffee. If you're in the mood to chat about anything
BUT tennis at the Tribe Invitational,
don't hesitate to strike up a conversation with Marlen. On the other hand, if
you've got tennis on your mind, Nina would love to discuss this year's US Open
and Rafael Nadal's sound third round victory over David Nalbandian. Making
friends at the Tribe Invitational is
easy if you bring a pack of red Twizzlers and sit down next to Nina.
Lastly, we've got our
seniors. Grandma Katie Kargl and Grandma Tori Ford are the eldest members of
our Tribe team. Katie gave me shelter, mini bagels with peanut butter, and a
surprisingly comfortable futon to sleep on during Hurricane Irene. She was also
instrumental in the American football lesson for our international Tribe
members. (Jeltje, Hope, and Marlen, you three did spectacularly!) Katie is busy
vying for President of the World so if you get a chance to say hello this
weekend at the Tribe Invitational consider
yourself lucky! Tori is more than prepared to be back in season. Looking fit
and fired up after a summer of cross training, she's bound to survive the Tribe Invitational in better form than
others...ice bath, what ice bath? If you'd like a segway tour of Kingsmill, or
want to know first hand how the drive back from UVA felt, chat away with this
So there you have it, the
2011-2012 Tribe Women's Tennis Team. For more fun facts about each one of these
lovely ladies you can check out our web page on the William & Mary
athletics website. There you'll find sets of 20Qs with each player that are
bound to be more entertaining than this little piece here. ;) For everyone
within reasonable driving distance from the Millie West Outdoor Tennis Facility:
The Tribe Invitational begins this
weekend, September 9 - 11.
Quotes of the Week:
- "I lost to someone with a
broken hip." - Jeltje (playing Wii Dance against Hope)
- "Do you remember how good I
was at table tennis?" - Nina
- "No." - Marlen
- "I mean, do you like Lady
Gaga?" - Jeltje
- "I mean, I don't really
think about her." - Katie