Opening weekend...months of anticipation...weeks of preparation...full day of travel...performance below our expectations. This past weekend, we travelled across the country to play in the Pacific Coast Classic tournament at Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. Our entourage included seven freshmen, three sophomores, one junior, two seniors, coaches, athletic trainer, and manager. Our travel to California was uneventful, and we made it to Claremont in time to check in to our hotel and head to practice. After the practice, the coaches felt good about our level of focus, intensity, and execution, and we all had high expectations for the matches to come.
Unfortunately, the next two days would prove to provide ample learning opportunities rather than ample celebratory opportunities. Our young team struggled with consistency in all aspects of the game. It is true that we were playing in non air conditioned gyms, and we were operating in a time zone three hours different than our own. It is also true that we had more than one player sitting on the sidelines unable to participate due to recent injuries. However, we were all disappointed in the discrepancy between what we have been doing in practice on a daily basis for the past few weeks and what showed up on the court. On the other hand, this young group showed their heart as they continued to push themselves just as hard at the end of the fourth match as they had on point one of the first match. We came home with a list of things that we need to do to improve, and we are thankful for the opportunity to be tested and have our weaknesses exposed. Great things will come from this young team...just wait and see!