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    Sophomore Annie McCarthy.

    Sophomore Annie McCarthy.

    Nov. 17, 2008

    I would like to start by apologizing to all my avid fans for the lack of a new blog in such an extensive period of time. Turns out due to nodes located on my vocal chords, I lost my voice, therefore making it impossible to dictate my thoughts to my typist. But never fear, I have regained a majority of my voice and am prepared to fill you in on our tennis, as well as our off-court shenanigans. Since I last wrote, the whole team played in Regionals as well as hosted our own Midwest Blast Tournament.

    Regionals, hosted at Michigan State University, was our first tournament of the fall where the whole team traveled together. With a five-hour drive we had plenty of time to take part in numerous intellectual conversations. Amber, our handy athletic trainer, was quick to introduce us to a new phenomenon entitled "Cha-Cha". Basically, if one were to text a question to Cha-Cha, it would reply with the best answer it can come up with. I.e. I asked Cha-Cha what came first: the chicken or the egg? Shortly afterward, I received a text letting me know that "science has not yet answered that key question, but I do know the Egg McMuffin came before the Chicken McNugget". Cha-Cha also informed me that Annie McCarthy lives in Champaign, IL and has two children. The rest of the weekend Michelle informed us that we were not allowed to refer to her as Amber anymore, but instead we are required to call her Cha-Cha.

    As a whole, our team performed very well at Regionals, particularly Chelcie who made her way through the qualifying draw, all the way to the quarterfinals of the main draw. While we did well, we knew that each match would give us something to work on to prepare for The Midwest Blast, where we would be hosting Notre Dame, Denver, and Wichita State.

    Before I begin discussing the blast, I must first talk about a marvelous occasion that came between the two tournaments that is popularly known as Halloween. As a tradition, the day before Halloween each member of the team picks a teammate's name from a hat, and has to best dress and act like that person during practice. Personally, when I looked in the mirror before practice, I no longer saw Annie, but instead a low voiced, monotone Amy Allin. Although I looked basically amazing, the best part of the day was hands down Michelle's costume. Previously during the year, Michelle's car was broken into and her GPS was stolen. At practice, Michelle showed up dressed as a GPS system with a back that said "RIP MONA" (the name of her ex-GPS system) and then in small letters underneath "recalculating".

    The next weekend was what we had all been looking forward to: The Midwest Blast. Not only would we be playing in front of a home crowd, but also for a majority of us it meant seeing our parents (subsequently the same people reading this blog right now). We were also blessed with the presence of our two incoming freshman Bre-Bre Smutko, and Ray-Ray White. Funny story--I was jotting down ideas for this blog and I wanted to speak about how Bre has never tasted Gatorade before, and has also never seen an episode of "Friends". Now that I look at my notes it reads "Bre-Bre--no Gatorade, no friends".

    Playing all day Friday, Satuday, and Sunday, it was amazing to experience a fall tournament where we had numerous fans, as well as most of our parents. I believe that this aspect of the tournament allowed us to really show our fire and passion. We really came out firing, and ended our fall season on a great note.

    Speaking of fall, our own Marisa Lambropoulos informed us this weekend that she "never falls". About an hour later, during her singles match Marisa fell for no apparent reason whatsoever. Later that day, Christine Stromberg and I took to the bleachers to cheer, and somehow during our pacing and screaming, she managed to fall on the bleacher. Luckily, she did not drop her phone.

    Now that our fall season has ended, and official practice is over, we find ourselves with all this open time during the afternoon, which lucky for you has allowed me to write this blog, although it is normally spent napping. So on that note, I am on my way to take a splendid nap. Fear not though, we will soon be reunited in the spring season. Until then,

    Here we go Illini,
    Annie

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