Women's Tennis
Advantage Annie #2

Sophomore Annie McCarthy.
Sophomore Annie McCarthy.

Oct. 9, 2008

People constantly ask us how we prepare the week before a big match or tournament. We are starting to make our own tradition in order to have a better answer to this question. You are probably on the edge of your seat wondering what this tradition could possibly entail, well hold your horses and I might just tell you. The day before a big match, we go through great depths to make fun of and or mock one person on the team. It all started last year before a big match when the whole team showed up to practice wearing basketball shorts to make fun of me. This past weekend, before our departure to Missouri, we decided to target one Shivani Dave.

In order to impersonate her to our best abilities, we spiced up our matching practice uniforms by putting our hair on top of our heads and wearing incredibly large hoop earrings. Shivani of course had no idea, so when she first saw Megan, she just thought she was trying out a new hairdo, as Megan tends to do. However, she soon saw the whole team decked out, and put two and two together. After a short photo shoot to always remember this moment, it was time to get back to serious preparation.

The following day, with the exception of Megan, Leigh, and Kristina, we all packed into our comfortable little turtle top van to experience some quality video screening time. In the van Shivani expressed her desire to laugh out loud, followed by something that would just make her bawl. We put on a personal favorite of mine--"Billy Madison" for a nice laugh, followed by "Step Up" which did not necessarily make us cry, but did aid me in my decision to pursue my career as a dancer.

Speaking of dancing, we discovered this weekend that our assistant coach Dave knows a dance to a song that Mizzou had on their practice mix. We also learned that he had stage fright, and refused to do the dance alone. Team player that I am, I stepped up and told him I would do the dance with him. So the next morning we got to practice awaiting the song to come over the loud speakers. Tragically, the CD was turned off before the performance could go forth. Dave, relieved that he would not embarrass himself in front of the crowd, continued to embarrass himself in a different way by trying on one of our youth size small pink shirts in front of all of the teams and coaches at the tournament. Dave however has promised us to do the dance at practice one day--and you can bet we will capture it on video.

This weekend we tried something new. Instead of staying in hotels, we were housed by two families. Marisa and I were originally put in one house, while everyone else was sent to stay in the other. At our home, Marisa and I quickly made friends with the most energetic dog I have ever experienced, named Roxy. I'm not gonna dance around it, Roxy was the best fetch player in all of Missouri. Her reflexes were impeccable, we told her she should look into a career in doubles. The other girls soon found out that their family was leaving them alone in their house, and that there was plenty of room for two more, so Marisa and I moved to this house for the next two nights.

After a lot of competition, on the tennis court, at the ping pong table, at the pool table, and on the basketball court, we were all exhausted from all the smack talk. Luckily, the family had the world's calmest/cutest dog, Trixie, that relaxed us and taught us how to love. She also offered much comic relief when Marisa and I decided to start creating situations of what would happen if Trixie just started talking to us. Overall, we had a very successful weekend, with a great showing of doubles and many great wins in singles. I think it was a great preview of how well we will do as a team this year, and how great we mesh together.

This weekend Chelcie, Christine, and I are traveling to Northwestern so make sure to follow along online for updates!!

Until next time,

Go Illini!

Annie Mac