MATCH PREVIEW — UCLA vs. Florida (part 1)

Good evening loyal Bruin fans! We are back from dinner and back from our nightly meeting in which Coach spoke to us about today’s match but more importantly, about tomorrow’s match. Coach definitely reflected a bit about this morning’s match–much, I think, of what I have discussed here. It was a winnable match for us, no doubt, but one where we definitely came out hesitant compared to the day before. Was it because we knew Tennessee was so highly ranked? Maybe, maybe not. For whatever reason, we lost and it will be a great learning experience moving forward.

We are no longer undefeated and that pressure is over, so it is time to move on because Coach said it bluntly and I will repeat it; tomorrow is a big match for us. It’s important for our ranking, it’s important for NCAA seeding, and it’s important for our pride. This match will show a lot of character about the type of team this is…how will we respond after our first loss? I’ve been on teams that have responded well and others that have not. This will be a true test for us and I really do feel very confident after our dinner and meeting; Coach stressed the senes of urgency that we must have tomorrow. Again, this is an important match in so many ways and I’m looking forward to seeing what this team is about. Against Louisville that fire was there, against Tennessee–to some extent at least–it was not at that same level.

Florida is a very good team and a coach that Coach Martin knows very well; they will be fired up because it is an important match for them, too. Coach Martin told us that how we respond to failures in tennis and in life really shows character and more importantly, builds that character. What everyone has to understand is that  rarely–if ever?–has a team gone undefeated. Our next match is tomorrow and our next step to playing for a NCAA Championship. Despite our loss, I think we all learned that we can compete with the best teams in the nation and we must use that confidence going forward.

Overall, I’m really excited for the match and everyone is really in good spirits and excited too. It’s always interesting to see how we respond emotionally the night after a match, as in we get depressed or come together. We all came together tonight in respect for each other and the strong bond that we have as teammates; I look forward to a promising match tomorrow and going to battle with these guys.We may have lost today, but my confidence in this team has never been stronger. LET’S GO BRUINS!! (part 2 of my preview coming up next!)

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