Final Reflections on National Indoors…

(Coach addressing the team when we got back to the hotel following dinner tonight.)

Dear loyal Bruin tennis fans,

We returned from an incredible and just absolutely beautiful meal at Warren’s aunt’s house in Seattle, and it was the most perfect evening to top off a great trip. As I previously alluded to, we relaxed, ate, watching basketball, and just really bonded–with Coach and with each other. The hospitality shown to all of us by Warren’s family was incredible and we all thank them for making it a special night for us. So once again, on behalf of the Bruin family, THANK YOU! Please check out the YouTube channel and my two previous posts for a few pictures, too.

As for this trip? Well, it is coming to to a close. We will spend the rest of the night studying (well, everyone better!) and catching up on homework. I have literally so much work to do it’s hard to fathom; I have to finish an honors thesis for my history major that is up to 90 pages on the U.S. Civil War and also have to figure out my 25 page paper for a Graduate class I am taking full of Masters and Doctoral students (!). Sometimes that while we think life stands still on these trips–or at least wish it would be so–it does not and our first step of business is getting ourselves situated for the week academically and emotionally. I spent all my homework time blogging this trip, so don’t expect too many updates this week until the weekend–I have to focus on homework eventually!

Overall, in my opinion, this was a really, really successful trip on a variety of levels; coming out 2-1 over two ranked is always good. Am I disappointed we lost to Tennessee and did not win an Indoor Championship? Man, absolutely. Don’t get me wrong. I wanted to win that so bad and I know the team felt the exact same way. It was very disappointing and admittedly disheartening. But in the scheme of our season, it is alright–based on how other teams did and how we did, we will most likely either move up a spot to #5 or stay at #6. Either one is still pretty darn good and puts into great position going forward for NCAA seeding and hosting as we enter the heart of our season.

However, besides the “tennis” aspect of it all it was a successful trip because it was downright fun. Was it fun all the time? Well, of course not– the 6am wake-up alarms and loss to Tennessee and the biting cold was not exactly thrilling. But as a whole, gosh, it was a freakin’ BLAST! This being my final of four Indoor tournaments that I have now experienced (unbelievable how time flies…), I realize that it is not really about winning every match but about the journey that we all go through. Realistically, only one team can win the NCAA Championship and the best team does not always win–which can help or hurt us depending on how you look at it. But regardless, it is about the incredible memories on trips and fun times you have together. It is so cool the places we go and the things we experience–both externally and internally–as college students…and we are so lucky to have this opportunity to do so. When I was a freshman, I wanted so bad to win an NCAA Championship and thought that was all that mattered. And again, do NOT get me wrong–I can’t even begin to tell you how bad I want to win a Championship. I am the most competitive person ever and a reason why I joined this team in my capacity four years ago and am still here searching for that elusive ring. What I once thought was a “sure-thing” joining a perennial college tennis power has turned into one last chance this year. It is a dream that I would give almost anything for… except for the incredible memories I have experienced.

Because truthfully, I realize, it is not about the ring or the Championship. It is the journey we take–the good and the bad and character-building experiences that mold us from boys into young men. It it about the good times and the lifelong friendships that develop out of us being a UCLA Bruin. Frankly, these trips are about creating memories that will transcend the material things. This trip to Indoors–while not the Indoor Championship we hoped and we WANTED–it was a really, really awesome trip that brought us together more and was still successful for, yes, our NCAA Championship contention later on this season. It is important to put all these wins and losses in perspective as we reflect on the last 5 days in Seattle, WA. Ultimately, it was a great trip and one that I will remember fondly after graduation–for the laughter, the smiles, and yeah, for the disappointment too. For the freshman and returning players, they should cherish these trips and experiences and lay it all out there each time they play–just like they did all week. It is all part of playing and growing to become a NCAA Championship team; the want, the desire, the burn for a NCAA Championship that I have and this team has is what makes it all exciting and memorable.

Personally, I could not be more proud of this group of guys and the effort we put out there each match. Undoubtedly, we have much to work on–especially when playing top teams like Tennessee. And that loss will sting for a bit, no doubt. I want to play them at NCAA’s and there is no doubt in my mind that we can take them the next time. But, for now, we will use our first loss as a learning experience. The trip overall was just such a great time in terms of having fun with the guys and the coaches that it is difficult to not smile upon what we did together. I’m definitely looking forward to heading home though and regrouping. I have much to catch up on in terms of school and my life–because yes, we all do put our lives on hold for these things as tomorrow we have play catch up! We all make giant sacrifices–I know I have made big ones over the course of four years with a list that would take hours to write–but for great times as a Bruin like what we all just experienced, it is all worth it.

So signing off for the night and until tomorrow, I say goodbye and one last shout of GO BRUINS!! Your support has been overwhelming and I just want to let you know that from Friday until now (our three match days), this blog has been viewed over 2,100 times!!!!! Think about that–it is hard for me to comprehend that so many people are tuning in to what I write and how the team is doing. With the current team, our top future recruits, and the incredible Bruin community that is developing (and has existed for years), the future is extremely bright for this team. So goodnight to all and yes, GO BRUINS!!!!! šŸ™‚

Explore posts in the same categories: "On the Road" Update, General News, Match Post-Game

3 Comments on “Final Reflections on National Indoors…”

  1. Ramona Brigham Says:

    Great reporting Barry!

  2. Jay Says:

    Excellent job as usual buddy. Felt like i was there!

  3. rachael Pevnick Says:

    barry i love reading all you have to say…you are a inspirationbubby

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