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TLOG 2 – Saturday September 23, 2006
The Stars Must Align

Many of my friends asked how my Greenfield HS Tennis Team managed to make it to nationals. 

It’s not that my friends doubted our ability, but many have played State League for years without advancing to sectionals, much less nationals.  We obviously had to start with a decent team.  Most of us have played tennis for decades.  We have experienced captains, Tricia Ward and Laura Otto, who know how to put together a winning line-up.  But I firmly believe that to make it to nationals, the stars must align and you’ve got to have a little bit of luck.

We knew our state play-offs would be tough.  Our opponents from Madison were always competitive.  No one on our team had beaten the #1 singles player from Madison.  The match got started on a warm and beautiful Sunday afternoon.  Much as we had anticipated, their #1 singles player was in top form.  We had underestimated how tough their #1 doubles team was. 

We lost both matches in 2 sets.  The 3 remaining courts weren’t having an easy time of it either.  Each of them battled to a 3rd set tiebreak.  All 3 matches could have gone either way.  But the stars must have been aligned for the Greenfield team that day because on each court, somehow, we pulled out a win. Off to Indy...

We were psyched to play in Indy.  Our first match was a challenge including 2 rain delays and a move indoors.  Let’s just say we got off to a poor start.  We lost 2-3.  Our moods were down.  We had hoped for better, and none of us wanted to lose and feel responsible.  Our next 2 matches proved to be more successful.  We won each 3-2.  It felt good to have close matches and to know that the rankings were generally valid.  So everything came down to Sunday’s match.  We had to play the Ohio team who was undefeated.  If we beat them, we would be tied for first place.  To make things even more difficult, Tricia Ward (who had a 2-1 record in singles at Indy) had to return home for her father’s retirement party.  We tweaked the line-up and hoped for the best.  Our #1 singles player and #2 doubles won in straight sets. Our #3 doubles team lost, and our #1 doubles team lost in a hard fought 3rd set tiebreak   It all went down to our #2 singles player. Donna Drosner is a competitor that you should never count out.  In a match that exhausted everyone, players and spectators, she won 5-7, 7-5, 10-8.  We were thrilled to beat Ohio, putting us in a tie for first place.  Unfortunately, Ohio had 1 more individual match win during the weekend of play.  Even though we had tied for first and beaten them head-to-head, they were technically in first place.  It seemed our luck had run out.  We said aloha and headed home…

5 days later, I got the phone call.  There was so much screaming that I couldn’t understand what was being said.  Then finally I heard it.  “WE’RE GOING TO HAWAII!!”  The team from Ohio didn’t have enough players to make it.  We believe they may have had too many college players who had to go back to their college season.  Not us.  We have 11 crazy psyched tennis players waiting to try their luck in Hawaii.  And who knows, if the stars align once more…

By Beth Horneffer
Saturday September 23, 2006

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