Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Talkin' with Tash
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 11, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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April 11, 2012

Senior Women's Tennis Player Natasha Marks -

Hey Wildcat fans!

L.A. Bound…  No. 4 USC and  No. 1 UCLA

So, this weekend we traveled to L.A. for another big opportunity to get a big win on the road. However, the weekend ended up being a little bit more eventful then we thought.

It all started at airport security when Debora and I had to return home and get pick up a few documents to travel with, under our student visa status. We missed our flight with the team and had to board a later flight to L.A.

I arrived in L.A. a few hours later and had practice and dinner with the team. Debora arrived later that evening and had further problems, as her bag got lost and wouldn’t arrive till the next morning.

The weekend was a family affair in L.A. as Kim’s family was visiting from Belgium, Lacey’s family came to support both days and freshman Hailey Johnson bought the whole city of San Diego to watch us play! It was really fun to see friends and family and have their support on the road, as it can get pretty quiet.

No. 4 USC was first and they were having senior day for Ali Ramos who played at the No. 6 position. I always like playing at USC because their stadium is called ‘Marks stadium’ and Sarah and I made sure that we got some last minute photos, as it was our last trip with the team to L.A.

It was a really hot day. The doubles matches on all three courts were really tight and it was getting intense. It was 1-1 and the doubles point came down to Lacey and I who were playing the No. 2 –ranked doubles pair in the country (I didn’t know that at the time). The match was even, but Lacey and I played two really smart games to come from behind and we won the match and the doubles point for the team.

This was the first time we had gone up 1-0 after doubles since I had been there. We went back into the locker room with real energy and belief that this was our day and it was going to be a big moment for the three seniors.

I was struggling, as during doubles my legs felt really weak and were shaking after the match. I was really worried that I was going to cramp and did at the beginning of my singles match and had to call the trainer. I received treatment and carried on with the match.

The day came down to the last four singles. We put up a really good fight, but lost on a tight match and ended up losing 6-1. Disappointed and exhausted, we gathered our things, saw the trainer, headed to dinner and then back to the hotel. At dinner, we saw the ASU women’s tennis team, who was also there competing.

Feeling sore, we woke up at 8:45 a.m. for breakfast at 9 a.m. and brought our bags down as we were going home later that day. It was another hot day as we drove past huge houses to UCLA.

The court set up at UCLA is a bit different, as they have stadium courts arranged three-and-three, so the matches are split up. UCLA is currently on a high as it won national indoors, is ranked No. 1 right now and beat ASU on Friday.

The match started very differently from Friday, as we lost all three doubles matches and went straight into singles. Matches were tight again and we were right in the match, pushing them all the way.

As it happened, I was in a battle in the third set against McCall Jones--a senior who I had played twice previously--and I lost 6-4 in the third. We were the last matches on and the stands were full of UCLA fans, but my team was cheering like crazy on the courtside lines!

Sophomores Susan and Kim showed great performances as they both won their matches and got the two points for the team. Bodies exhausted and tired, we all got ice, quickly changed our clothes and headed to the airport to catch our flight home. I love going to LAX because Vicky always buys us PINKBERRY!

We are hosting Colorado on Friday and No. 43 Utah on Saturday, so come out and cheer us on!






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