Women's Tennis Blog: Natasha Pintusava
March 29, 2013
Spring break is over. We had a great trip to Florida, but we were glad to spend the rest of break back in Minnesota because playing at home is always an experience. This spring break was quite unusual compared to past years for a few reasons. First, we came back to campus in the middle of the week, while we had previously spent the entire spring break outside of Minnesota. Also, I don't ever remember playing at home during a time when no school is in session. Anyway, we came back from Orlando late Wednesday night and had Thursday to prepare for the battle with Michigan State (Friday) and Michigan (Sunday).
After practice on Thursday, Friday was the day of play. With a great lunch from Noodles, some team talks and a bit of fun time with the girls, the Gophers were ready to fight the Spartans! Our second Big Ten match started on a positive accord; the Gophers dominated all three doubles matches. After the solid start, we felt confident and continued developing our success. Singles matches were under control, and the win was secured with an overall score of 6-1.
On Sunday, our day started at 8:20 a.m. at Bruegger's Bagels. It was an important day because we would be playing against the University of Michigan, a team that consistently ranks among top ten in the country. The pressure was definitely there. Doubles started tight. Everybody was fighting with all their hearts for every ball. Though the match came down to a deciding doubles, we were a little bit unlucky and failed to notch the team point. A somewhat similar situation occurred in the following singles competition. Although we were battling for every single point and had close scores, only Tereza Brichacova ended up winning her match. The overall score was 6-1 in favor of Michigan. The Gophers suffered their first loss in Big Ten play.
Obviously, tennis is a big part of our lives and we all were disappointed about the loss. However, tennis is not everything we do. A bright example of "the life off the court" can be seen in Julia Courter, who devotes a lot of her time to the SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee). Right after our match on Sunday, Julia went to Chicago to participate in an intercollegiate national gathering of SAAC. As one of a few ambassadors who represented as a voice for the Gophers in Chicago, this was a great responsibility for Julia. It is a great opportunity for her and I am so proud that she was chosen a representative of U of M.