Freshman Megan Fudge
March 5, 2007
In the first edition of the Illini Big Ten journal, freshman Megan Fudge will talk about conference competition and match play, while also talking about her return to the lineup after a brief break due to a foot injury.
With our match against Purdue on the March 23, we have finally started the Big Ten season. An unfortunate 6-1 loss was a disappointing opening, but we new it was going to be a challenge against the Boilermakers and we took away a lot of positive points that we still have to work on or improve on before our next Big Ten dual matches.
This match also was my first back from injury. I was a little worried about stepping out on court having trained very little, up to three hours in the past three weeks, and then getting on court to play a full 2-3 set match. However I coped with the challenge well and was just overwhelmingly happy to be out there playing again with my teammates and competing.
The coaches this week announced an aim for the team, an aspect of our matches that we should have fully under control and can influence our performance and that of our opponents - good body language. Throughout practice this week the coaches and each player made sure that everyone was presenting themselves in a positive body language on court throughout practice. If there was a time where one would not follow this rule, there was a team punishment of 10 "burpies" or push-ups. It was an appropriate team punishment, because we are never playing for ourselves at college tennis, instead we play for the team and we improve and work hard for each other.
This week there was no matches facing us, so we were able to practice all week and got the weekend off to rest. On Friday, it was Emily's 22nd birthday - wow our darling senior is getting old. After a little "Heisman Dance" presentation from the freshman for the captain at practice, the team went out for an amusing dinner together to celebrate.
On Wednesday of next week, Illinois State comes to town. After this weekend of rest, we will be working hard to get prepared to challenge our neighbors at home. I am hoping for a good practice again on Monday and playing on Wednesday night at 5pm. Hope everyone can make it out to cheer us on.
That is it for now, until next week,
Megan Fudge, "Fudger"