Feb. 1, 2008
In the second edition of "On the Marc", junior Marc Spicijaric recaps the match against No. 1 Virginia that took place on Friday, Jan. 25. Looking to move on from the setback, Marc discusses how the team plans to prepare for the rest of the season.
Hey Illini fans,
We are coming off of a really tough contest this past weekend against Virginia where we had them against the ropes throughout the entire match. We came out in doubles in front of a massive and noisy crowd which was so much fun to play in front of. The fans made such a difference and made us all realize how special Illinois is and how much our fans care about us. In doubles, Billy and Ryan came out really strong and took care of business. Waylon and I struggled a little bit and are still working out our chemistry, but we are improving a lot with every day. Ruben and Brandon had an absolute battle and was so much fun to watch on the sideline. After they clinched the doubles point, we were all really excited, but we knew that we had a long way to go if we wanted to finish off the No. 1 team in the nation.
We came out in high spirits and started off singles really quickly. We won four out of the six first sets and didn't plan on looking back. The fans were really loud, and it helped Ruben down Treat Huey without a problem. After having Ruben win his match, I felt extra motivated and won my match pretty easily, even though I didn't play my best. We were feeling pretty comfortable having Brandon serve for the match, but it slipped away from him even though he was playing extremely well. After he lost the second set, we all moved to Billy's court to support him. He was up a break in the third set and ended up serving for it. He also didn't get that hold and lost a heart breaker match at 7-6 in the third set, but he fought until the ed. All of us are proud of both Brandon and him.
Even though we lost the close match, we are still really positive with how we fought. We are really excited to get back onto the court. It was tough for us to be happy in the locker room, but we knew that we were right there with Virginia. We just needed to work harder because we were clearly the more prepared team. We feel very confident about moving forward, and I think that this upcoming week will be important for us to go on the road to play in two tough places. Hopefully, we come away with wins and more importantly, confidence.
Virginia was a really tough loss but we have put it behind us. The coaches made it clear that we will be more prepared each week and work harder than any team in the country. Hard work and preparation are what got us to the finals last year, and we all understand that and want to get back there and win it. We are all willing to bust our tails, and we expect to reach our goals.
On a lighter note, but also a random one, you may have noticed that Ruben, Waylon and I have three lines shaved on both sides of our heads. It is something that the three of us have decided to do for the rest of the year, but there is really no reason behind it. I think we all joke that it makes us faster, but other than that, its just something we have decided to do. I will say this, however, when you look at pictures, I clearly have the best lines out of all of us.
Well that is it for now fans. By the time you read this we will have already hit the road and will be in North Carolina to take care of business against Duke. We face Duke and Tennessee this weekend before top 25 LSU comes to town. Look forward to having another crazy and large crowd at that match on Saturday, Feb. 9. Thanks again for supporting so far, and look forward to having you out again.
Until next time,
Marc "Mr. Clutch" Spicijaric, GO ILLINI!