Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tremendous match vs Whitworth

Good evening out there.

I'm going to write this post right away as the feelings from today's 7-2 loss to Whitworth are fresh.

First, we came out with very solid doubles, playing huge at 2 and 4, unfortunately, Dena and Charlotte's win didn't count on the scoreboard. 3 was a battle and 1 was a funny match with a ton of breaks and way too many crosscourt rallies. Alyssa and Elise worked well to earn opportunities but in the end dropped a close 8-6 decision.

Down 2-1 was daunting against a very deep Whitworth team, and Dena and Charlotte went indoors for the 7 and 8 matches which is hard for our team because we want to play and improve, but they all want to support the counting matches so much.

Outside, Elise stormed out to a 2 set win to even the match at 2-2 playing a really smart match against a very tough player. Hadley and Div were both in battles and each lost in straight sets, but they both displayed the composure and belief that truly made each match come down to a point here or there.

At 1, Alyssa's match was funny as she started strong up 2-1 and then got a bit off while her opponent played nearly flawless defensive tennis to go up a set and 5-0. At this point Show Pony rolled off 5 straight games before losing two absolute battles. She learned a lot from this one and her shots and health were a pleasure to see after missing time on spring break with illness.

Whenever Emily and Katie Staudinger get on court it is a war. I don't always like to describe matches as wars because it sounds negative, but these two just bring out the best in each other and play tennis that is exciting to watch and super intense but very positive. Last time Em came out on top and this time she had great momentum in the second set at 4-4 up 15-30 on Katie's serve when we had to move inside where Katie had a big hold and then played a good game to break for the match.

Kate also had to move in with momentum down a set but up 3-0. She pulled out the second, but came up short in a match tie break.

All credit goes to Whitworth for playing a brilliant match, but my team's performance today was superb and is such a wonderful reminder of how great college tennis is, so thanks team!

Also, I have to thank all the great fans who came out and made the trip. Thanks for the snacks Annie, the cheering from everyone, what a fun atmosphere to be a part of.

I can't wait to practice and play next weekend, but tomorrow we'll have a much deserved rest.

Best regards,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back home and back in the swing of things

After a great trip on spring break it is so nice to be back at Whitman. Walla Walla welcomed us with a beautiful spring day and we played George Fox in a doubleheader. Fox was a bit shorthanded with only 5 players, but we were still able to get everyone matches in a 9-0 and an 8-1 win.

Both teams fought hard and it was fun tennis to be a part of. At this point in the season I am so lucky to coach such a great group of players and their team effort was not surprising to me, though I'm grateful for it every day. What was a pleasant surprise was the amount of fans we had today. Maybe it was the beautiful weather, maybe it was the tennis, but it being the last weekend of break and the dorms being closed it was a quiet day on campus, but it seemed that the people who were here found their way to the courts to cheer us on.

An extra big thanks to the Moore's for supporting us with cookies, cheering and dandelion jewelry.

Tomorrow at 1pm Whitworth comes to town for a big conference match that we're very excited to play so I hope just as many and more people can make it out to enjoy some exciting tennis at Whitman!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Road Trip Recap

Without going into too much detail since I wasn't able to give daily updates during the last part of our road trip, let me say that we had an outstanding spring break.

It was apparent in the fall and has carried through the season that this team is a very special group in their ability to simultaneously play wonderful tennis and have an incredible amount of fun.

We traveled from the central coast where we had two matches and enjoyed some wonderful hospitality at the Roberg's and great road support from Zoe and Kate's family, Elise's parents and everyone else who supported us (thanks Mike).

After driving south we had the opportunity to test ourselves against Bowdoin College, the number 16 team in the country. Thanks to Azusa Pacific for hosting us as our seniors Divneet and Hadley played a terrific match at 2 doubles to get us on the board. In singles, we showed that we can hang with top teams and Bowdoin showed why they are one of those teams, as they found ways up and down the lineup to get victories in a singles sweep.

After a day off by the coast, we took on the #17 team in the country in Redlands. The Bulldogs are very tough in doubles with the #1 and #9 teams in the region. Elise and Alyssa fought well to notch a win, Hadley and Div battled well against a great team and at 3 doubles, Kate and Emily were tantalizingly close to putting us up 2-1. Despite our efforts, we went into singles down and played really close at 1,2,3 and 6 with our competitors at 4 and 5 playing very clean matches.

These are such great matches in our development to learn from and we've got chances right away to see how we can apply those lessons with George Fox twice tomorrow and Whitworth on Sunday at home. Come on out if you're in town!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Split in Santa Cruz

We've started the match portion of Spring Break 2010 with a doubleheader at UCSC. This morning we continued our winning ways with a very solid 9-0 shutout of Whittier College. This was a good match in which I think the experience of playing in such a deep conference proved to be valuable for us. As well as getting the sweep 1-6 and 1-3 doubles, Charlotte got an exhibition win at #7 while Dena stepped up to earn her first top 6 singles point in a Whitman uniform with a smart and efficient 6-2,6-1 win.

In doubles, we had to mix it up a bit as our Show Pony Alyssa who was so excited to play in her hometown came down with a terrible respiratory infection that fortunately is clearing up but sidelined her for the day. So Div and Had stepped up to #1 and Charlotte joined Elise for a big win at #2 with Em and Kate continuing their solid partnership at #3.

Any team misses losing one of their top players, and Alyssa is currently ranked #19 in the West region and she and Elise team up as the #13 doubles team. On top of that she has a special energy and attitude that is so positive and infectious that facing a very tough UCSC team in the afternoon was a daunting task indeed.

This leads to the reason I am absolutely thrilled with our performance today. We lost 7-2 to UCSC, but we played some wonderful doubles on every court and in a situation where we were not at full strength, I didn't hear or feel any kind of pessimism or regret from our performance. It was an outstanding display of teamwork, heart and courage which is why I can say that the Slugs won this match today rather than us losing it.

On the bright side of the scoresheet, it is a treat to be stocked with such talent at the top, Elise who is no stranger to court #1 and top regional and national opponents played her best match of the season defeating a hard hitting freshman who is ranked #9 in the West in a match tiebreak. Today was also a great day for Hadley, who demonstrated the type of tennis that has earned her 3 all-conference awards in her great Whitman career.

We are off tomorrow, hitting and enjoying being together on the road and supporting our men's team as they battle top D3 teams Cal Lutheran and UCSC before driving south for Tuesday matches with Bowdoin and LaVerne followed by Redlands on Thursday.

I loved seeing so many Whitman fans and friends at an away match, I hope you all enjoyed what I thought was a great display of tennis today.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Break Matches Begin Tomorrow

Hi everyone,

After several days of time off, wonderful travel and a terrific experience at the BNP Paribas tournament in Indian Wells, we are up in Northern California to play Whittier College and UC Santa Cruz. UCSC is where I played and did my assistant coaching, so the homecoming is so much fun for me and the team is enjoying being on the road together, practicing and enjoying wonderful hospitality from the Chalker's and the Roberg's.

The Whittier match is at 9am on the West courts.

Santa Cruz is at 3:30 on the East courts.

If you're not in Santa Cruz, check for twitter updates and another posting after tomorrow!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Break 2010!

California here we come. On the coattails of back to back NWC victories vs. PLU and UPS, we are ready for some non conference matches in California.

While we've had wonderful semester of sunny skies and warm outdoor matches in Walla Walla, my family in Ca keeps telling me how much it is raining. Well, our fingers are crossed for good weather because we know we can bring great tennis!

Toady was a tremendous opportunity to play meaningful matches where I was able to make some lineup substitutions in order to rest our horses (or ponies, kangerotto's and lemurs) while getting a chance to see people step up in the lineup and face the pressure of counting matches. This was terrific for Dena and Charlotte who each got to play both singles and doubles. They had a good day of doubles but it was marked by lulls of inconsistent play. It is a testament to their big point execution and wonderful heart that they made it to two tiebreaks, but as aggressive as they were, we still could now notch a win.

Against both PLU and UPS we played a combination of consistent and aggressive doubles which was gratifying to see but even better to watch their smiles as the hard work in practice showed through.

There are so many singles matches to describe, so I'll just say that Elise and Alyssa took care of business at #1 with Elise playing very smart and Alyssa just catching fire as she was first off. Hadley's #2 match vs. PLU was very interesting, her opponent played extremely well, but even when she found the rignt gameplan, it was difficult to consistently execute it. Div put on a clinic today with wonderful ball striking and great recognition of what it would take to win points. Emily played a solid match vs PLU but form the middle of the first set to 5-0 in the second I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO impressed and even though she let it slip a bit we were treated to shades of Emily playing how Emily should play. Kate was also a stalwart today, not only increasing he aggressive net play in doubles, but also being very tough from the backcourt with some very successful forays into the net.

All in all, it was a great day. Wonderful to have Mr. Div, Evan and Dena's brother Joe, and especially the Scotts there to watch and cheer us on, and the snacks in Yakima on the way over were Perfect, thanks Annie!

Talk to you all soon,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Double Header Friday in Tacoma

This week is the last week of school before Spring Break. We're starting our break off with 2 conference matches back to back this Friday in Tacoma, WA vs PLU and UPS, then the team has a few days off before traveling to California for training and several exciting matches.

Friday, we play at 2pm vs PLU, which could be outdoors at PLU, but the current forecast would put us indoors at UPS (I'll send a twitter update when we know which for sure). Then at 7pm we are at UPS playing UPS.

If you are in the Seattle/Tacoma area I hope you'll be able to come and cheer us on.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another Great Team Effort

Hello everyone.

We finished up our weekend on the road in Oregon today with a 6-3 win over Willamette. We've been playing really good doubles but the quality of the conference has kept almost every proset close. Today we didn't have the best day at 2, and 3 again fought through a tiebreak, but the real story was at 1, where Elise and Alyssa were down 3-6 to the team that took out Div and Alyssa in the semi's of the fall tournament. To be fair, it was close each game to 3-6, but they made the subtle adjustments to gain steam and roll to an 8-6 win. Going up 2-1 was huge after having to fight back yesterday.

At Willamette, the courts are on 2 levels, 3 up a few feet from the other 3. We got on top using straight set wins on the top courts by Div at 4, Kate at 6 and then Elise at 2 to clinch the match. Alyssa showed she can play with the best in the conference by taking the first set and battling right to the end of the third with Natalia Agarycheva who has a HUGE game for D3. It just wasn't Emily's day at 5, but she almost pulled out the second and would have carried a lot of energy into the third. Speaking of energy in the third, after splitting and with the match decided shortly after starting the third, Hadley kicked her movement and her game into another gear, taking out Katie Huber 6-1 to finish the Whitman victory.

We also got a very strong, yet slightly inconsistent performance at 4 doubles from Dena and Charlotte, an exciting team that is putting the pieces together but lost in a tiebreak today. Dena came back strong to pull out an 8-5 exhibition win at #7 and her confidence seems to grow daily.

Regardless of results, the team played with great effort and enjoyment of the game both days and the trip would not have been so wonderful without the support of the Ly's and Kaur's, with the latter helping us achieve our goal of eating Indian food in Portland (actually Elise's goal, but a good one). A big thanks goes out to them.

I must also acknowledge Zoe for her multitasking during the match. With an ailing back keeping her off the court, she was charting doubles, cheering for everyone AND using my phone to provide match updates for you via twitter on the blogsite. Thanks ZZ.

One more week til spring break! Our Whitties will hit the books and get ready for one more NWC day and our trip down to California to play Santa Cruz, Whittier, Bowdoin, LaVerne and Redlands!

Best wishes to all,


Every class chips in for 5-4 road win

Good evening. Wow, many predicted that the Northwest Conference would be tight this year with so many teams getting better and deeper. Today, we had our 3rd 5-4 match of the season and this time we came out on top!

After another day of really well played doubles, our new lineup yielded a result that was not indicative of how well we played. As with Linfield, all 3 were close to the end, with the quickest match being an 8-6 LC win over Emily and Div at 2. The others went to tie breaks and at 1, Elise and Alyssa played outstanding tennis and came back from 2-6 to 6 all in the breaker before falling. Meanwhile at 3, Hadley and Kate found their game in the tiebreak to salvage a point going into singles.

The top matche showcased amazing tennis with Alyssa fighting hard but losing to NWC 2 time player of the year Amalia Nilsson. Hadley was bested by her younger sister at 3, with Whitney playing very solid tennis. With Junior Elise Otto winning in straight sets at 2, we were down 4-2 and needed all 3 matches on court. Sophomore Emily Rolston had a great day playing with incredible focus and energy to win in 3 sets. She was followed by Senior Divneet Kaur who was down 2-5 and calmed herself to come back and win the first in a breaker. The second set she jumped out to a 4-1 lead and then found herself down 5-6 and had a huge hold to force another breaker. Down 2 set points again she stepped up and pulled out a 9-7 tiebreak. Almost in unison, 1st year missionary Kate Kunkel-Patterson rounded out our 4 wins by 4 classes with a straight set win at 6 for the dramatic 5-4 comeback.

Tomorrow we are at Willamette at 11am.

-Coach Hein