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Blog for 2.5-3.5 Champs

Thanks to Sherry McCoy's 3.5 ladies for serving as our bloggers for the tournament.  Check out full results from all the teams, here.  Don't forget to check out all the great pictures on our Facebook page.  

Saturday, June 2

Our original lineup was changed going into the first match due to injuries and sickness. Three players who consistently played in the local season are not able to compete at the State Tournament, and one of our players at #2 doubles fortunately was able to return from injury a week ago and make the trip to Greenville. The score wouldn’t indicate it, but our opening match against "FTA2" out of Anderson was closer than the 5-0 score indicates. Our #2 singles and #2 doubles went to match tiebreakers after fighting hard to win their second sets. Our #2 singles won 11-9 in the breaker after saving a match point on her opponent’s racquet. Our #2 doubles took a biological break after winning the 2nd set, and the momentum almost swung to the opponents as they fell down 3-0 before winning 10-5. We had three of our eight players on the court this morning playing in States for the first time, and they all expressed how nervous they felt…from "jelly" to "noodle legs." The team doctor was going to prescribe adult beverages, or swinging oil, to help calm their nerves, but the team turned to Verve instead. All of the ladies enjoyed the match and said that the Anderson team was one of the nicest teams they played all season. A post-match shower and lunch at the Embassy Suites will give the team just enough time to have a solid warm-up before the next match against "LCTA1" -Charleston Tennis Center. Of course the biggest topic at lunch was the team attire for the next match


Here's the afternoon update for the GSTL Myrtle Beach team...
The "Pool Blue" Grand Strand team chose the right colors today and defeated a very challenging team without any signs of the aforementioned early-morning nerves. From the warm-up it was appeared that both Charleston singles teams had the upper hand in the match (please note that this view came from the "Sugar Daddies," or significant others, watching from two courts away). As the #1 doubles team entered its warm-up, the tides had changed and both singles players were leading their 1st sets with a chance for two points. The #2 doubles team lost a tough match to a great team – arguably the best from the Charleston opponents - and had chances in the 2nd set to push a consecutive match tiebreaker. However, as they lost a close 2nd set, our #1 doubles team clinched the match with two consecutive aces – adding to the two singles wins. Going into Sunday with a 3-2 win is much different than 4-1, and both teams watched the #3 doubles teams close down the club for the evening. Finally the Grand Strand #3 doubles team hit a winner for a 4-1 victory and increasing our team’s confidence about a Monday semi-finals appearance. The team enjoyed the rest of the evening with a poolside beverage and talk about tomorrow’s match. Our team is ready and gaining confidence, but we’re off to a nice dinner and much deserved relaxing evening.
Sunday, June 3
The day started much differently than Saturday because the match didn’t start until 5:00 p.m.  Team members all enjoyed sleeping late after an evening of fun at The Green Room.  Some of the ladies took in a little shopping, sunbathing and a trip to Downtown Greenville.  The warm-up took place at 3:00 on the courts at the Embassy Suites, and the lineup was set prior to leaving for the purple courts of Furman. The drive was a bit farther than to the Greenville Country Club but a more fan-friendly venue for watching the matches - minus an alcohol free zone.  The ladies knew going into the match that the Hilton Head squad was going to be a test of grit, and securing two wins and a trip to the semi-finals Monday morning would not be easy.  The match quickly went to our team’s favor as Hilton Head’s #2 singles playe defaulted due to cramping early in the 2nd set after losing 6-2 in the 1st…only one set needed to advance.  The top two doubles teams won tiebreakers to capture their 1st sets and setup the team for a clean sweep of the opening round robin.  Despite #1 singles and #3 doubles fighting hard for every point and being down a set, the purple courts didn’t seem to be clashing with the pool blue outfits.  The match was leveled at one all after our #1 singles lost in a close 2nd set.  Then the tides quickly changed as #1 doubles lost the 2nd set and ultimately the match tiebreaker.  Our ladies pointed out that one of the Hilton Head #1 doubles players only missed one forehand the entire match.  The team needed #2 or #3 doubles to pull out a win to keepthis journey alive, and #2 doubles held on for a straight set win!
The match was eventually lost two to three after our #3 doubles watched match point hit the net.  The team anxiously re-calculated all of the scenarios to verify that two matches today (11 total wins in the round robin) would still be enough to advance.   Relief and excitement along with some hugs and high fives were everywhere as the official notified our team that we would play at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  Of course nobody is too thrilled about a 6:00 a.m. warm-up the hotel, but the team immediately started planning the lineup and pre-game schedule for tomorrow’s match, which will only get harder to secure three victories.  Only one of the four "Sugar Daddies" is able to stay for the match, and the team shared good-byes as they left for the four-hour drive back to the beach.  This team is ready for some dinner, a glass of champagne and an early night so that it can continue its quest for a trip to Mobile.
Monday, June 4
Rain forced the team to go indoors for its semi-final showdown with Florence.  Neither the wet weather nor the early morning warm-up seemed to have the ladies discouraged.  The only anxiety among the team was waiting for an available court.  Our #1 singles continued her undefeated march by quickly winning 3 & 0.  Close matches have been the norm for our #1 doubles team, and they clinched their second win of the States in a match tiebreaker.  The team had taken a 2-0 lead, but #2 singles and #2 doubles were down a set.  Our #2 singles had a valiant effort but lost to a formidable opponent with a "killer" forehand that was accelerated by the indoor courts.  Our #2 singles player, Kerri, said "yea that’s what I needed was indoor courts to make that girls forehand even faster."  Our #2 doubles team then lost to make it all square with #3 doubles warming up outside.  Pressure is something that this team loves, but with both teams watching the nerves were tight.  To ease the tension, Sandra decided to hit Carrie with a serve, and everyone started laughing…just enough to relax our #3 doubles so that they could clinch a trip to the finals!  Screams, hugs and laughter were everywhere.  The only remaining male spectator for our team ran to get everyone lunch.  The team’s going to have a quick hit on some campus courts.  Then it’s back to the official courts at Furman for the finals with confidence building and Mobile three wins closer!  The match will be the toughest yet as we face the home team from Greenville.
All the girls were nervous and excited before going on to play the finals.  No names will be mentioned, but the there was a need for some comic relief and a lady or two made sure to make the group relax with some on-court impressions of males.    The match started a little later than noon, and fortunately the weather had cleared to allow the team to play outside.  Despite the completion of an undefeated singles run by Lindsay, the Litchfield Country Club ladies fell just short of a trip to Sectionals – losing 4-1 to a very strong Greenville team.   Disappointment is the first feeling that all of these ladies had, but they quickly realized how great of an accomplishment it is to not only make it to States but end as the Runner-Up.   Hopefully the drive back to the beach will be full of the good memories, fun times and strong tennis.  We thank the USTA and volunteers for making our visit a pleasurable one, and most importantly, we wish Greenville the best as they represent South Carolina against the best of the South!  Our team may not be in pool blue next year, but we are determined to make another run…
And a final word from the ladies (not the blogger)...
We are hot and tired but proud to be the 2012 3.5 state finalists. We fought as hard as we could and loved every minute of it. Big thanks for the support of Brad, Jefferery, Greg and Caitlin. Caitlin who came even though injured, such a true team player that girl. Special thanks to Tim (our sugar daddy) whom took such great care of us and Brad for taking the time to write daily updates for us. Best group of ladies ever, who loves and cares for each other. Its been a great experience that I will never forget!