Feb. 3, 2012
Senior Women's Tennis Player Natasha Marks -
Hi Wildcat Fans!
After a strong start to the 2012 season and beating the No. 63 ranked Santa Barbara Gauchos 6-1, the U of A women’s tennis team headed south to Nashville, Tenn. for the ITA Kick- off weekend to take on two top 25 programs!
Our journey started at 3 p.m. when we got picked up at the ticket office from one of our team managers, Mike, who drove a bus packed with bags and eight girls to Tucson International.
So far so good, as we arrived at the airport and got everybody checked in until a certain freshman from Sheffield, England went through security and had packed her whole life in her hand luggage! Freshie Laura Oldham’s tennis bag got stopped at security as she had packed about 6 bottles of liquids and her bag had to be screened a couple more times before she was safe to pass.
As always, our flight was delayed so the team and coaches enjoyed a nice airport meal.
We finally arrived in Nashville, most famously known as music city and a popular hit with our volunteer coach, Jim Rosborough, who seemed to know the city well!
After a good night’s sleep we were up bright and early for a morning session on the court trying to adapt to indoor tennis conditions as it was so cold in Tennessee! That night, we went to dinner at a famous restaurant in Music City, called the Wild Horse Saloon, where there was a live country band and we all learned to line dance (including the coaches)! We also had another reason to celebrate, as it was freshman Hailey Johnson’s 19th birthday.
The next day, we headed to the courts around noon to do a bit of scouting and use the training room as we were following the match against Texas and Alabama. Our match time was scheduled for later that afternoon.
Once it was finally match time, we started off really strong, taking the doubles point. We followed it up with some really tight singles matches. It was a heated atmosphere, as the match stood at 3-3 and it came down to sophomore Kim Stubbe playing the No. 2 position.
Her first set took over two hours and outlasted Sarah Landsman’s match. After a well-fought battle, Kim unfortunately suffered from cramping in the third set and had to retire. I want to say a big thank you to Kerry from the Vanderbilt athletic training center for all her help and all the colleagues at Vanderbilt Medical center.
The second day of the competition came around and we were to face Alabama, ranked No. 23 in the nation. Starting the match a little bit flat from all the drama of the previous day, we lost the doubles point and then had to fight from positions one through six in singles. Strong singles performances from Alabama saw them take the match 4-1, with both senior Sarah Landsman and Deborah Castany’s matches deemed incomplete.
It was a great weekend for the Cats and as a senior it was one of my best team matches of my college career as an Arizona Wildcat. I hope to see many more of them in my last season to come!
We are hosting No. 35 San Diego on Saturday at Robson at 10 a.m., so stop by and watch us play!
Thanks for everyone’s support.