Archive for the ‘Miscelleneous’ category

THE FINAL BLOG: Once a Bruin, Always a Bruin [Season Recap and More]

May 21, 2011

It has been a little over 24 hours since our 5-hour marathon loss to Baylor occurred in the NCAA Round of 16 up here in Palo Alto. Last night it was mere shock but today it has been anything but–I woke up nauseated thinking about how close we were and how we won’t be playing another match. The pain is still there like a stinging rebuke to my insides. Admittedly, I feel horribly empty with how we ended the season with so much tennis left to be played. And most troublesome, my heart still heavily aches just thinking about “what could have been.”

But as the saying goes, time heals all wounds…and surely the sheer hurt from this match will subside. And once that pain, that disappointment, that frustration, and that hurt disappears, pride will take its place; pride for our school, pride from of our effort, pride for each other. As Coach Martin said in our post-match meeting late last night, we have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and absolutely everything to be proud of. We all fought with every ounce of our hearts and souls and laid it out there on the court (and in the stands); we lost to a great Baylor team who literally won one more point than we did. And that is sports–a game of inches. Coach Martin always said–and reiterated at our final meeting–that it takes courage to put yourselves out there for that jubilating win and yes, that heartbreaking loss. We did that and unfortunately, ended up on the wrong side of the equation. But again, this “heartbreak” will fade and the pride for what we did accomplish and the courage we did show–together–will grow.

You know, some people say that all of this tennis business is about winning an NCAA Championship. And you know what else? Two or three years ago, I would have completely agreed with that statement. Heck, I would have been willing to do just about anything for that coveted NCAA ring and to waive that championship banner. And in many ways I still would, no doubt. But as I leave college tennis forever (I think, at least), I’ve grown to realize it not really about winning the championship. Sure, don’t get me wrong, winning would of been beyond amazing and extremely memorable; I’m the most competitive guy in the world and I still can’t stand losing. Yet, while we might of lost on paper, we did not lose as people–as growing adolescents in this thing called life. Because playing sports and being part of team–no, part of an institution such as UCLA tennis and a program with such great people–is about so much more. It’s about personal growth, learning responsibility, developing a work ethic, trusting other people, and pouring your heart (and every ounce of sweat, in this case) into something that you can be proud of and forever a part of. Seeing alumni who played for UCLA thirty years ago and just a few years ago is downright inspiring. Simply put, I am a drastically different person than I was when I started with the team four quick seasons ago–and a better person because of those four years. No, I didn’t win a championship that I wanted and truthfully, thought I would be a part of when I started. But, what I understand now, is that I gave this team and this program everything I could and got out of it everything and more. And in return, I received lasting friendships, unforgettable memories, and grew as not just a competitor and manager–or in many players’ cases, as an athlete–but as a person navigating college and navigating who I was as I grew up from a kid to a young adult.

There is so much to say about this match, this season, and my own experience as a Bruin the last four years–you know me, I could write forever. But what I also have understood is that it is not about me or about any one person, but about the team and the life of this program. As Coach Martin also always says and knows from experience, college sports are a “revolving door.” Myself, Amit, and Holden may all be gone next year, but UCLA tennis will carry on–with new bloodlines and new players, but with the same excitement and passion. Such is the life of college sports and no matter how unfortunate it is, it is the reality we all must embrace.

And on that note, this may seem like a “goodbye post,” but truthfully, it is not–it is only a “see you later” type of message. Players will be gone and I will move into the next stage of my life (I will be pursuing a Masters degree at Columbia University in New York), but not without a lasting passion and portion of my heart always dedicated to UCLA tennis. We may not have won the big championship this year, but I won by being a part of such an amazing community of people–and to “manage” (so to speak) under such incredible, warm, and caring coaches. We all win by being a part of UCLA tennis. It is this connection and spirit that for me and for all of us will never, ever fade. It is why we drive up 500 miles to see the Bruins play and why we wear the blue and gold with so much exuberance on and off the court. And above all, it is why Bruin tennis will only continue to get stronger in the months and years ahead.

Before I sign off one final time, it is only appropriate to discuss a few pressing matters. First, I want to congratulate both Amit Inbar and Holden Seguso on extraordinary Bruin careers. Both gave much to UCLA tennis and each had some enormous moments that I know each will cherish–I speak on behalf of Bruin nation when we say “thank you” for all you have given to this program. All the best in the years to come. No matter where life takes both of you, each will always be a Bruin.

And second, good luck to next year’s team–truthfully, in my heart of hearts I know it will be a special year for UCLA tennis. And not just because of the insane amount of talent coming back on next years team, but because of the character of each returning player. Daniel, Clay, Adrien, Alex, Warren, Max, and Nick, you all have extremely bright futures in this sport and are each going to do special things next year and in years to come. We all cannot wait to watch it all! You have everyone’s support as you continue (or conclude) your Bruin careers.

Last of all, thank YOU, our loyal Bruin supporters for everything–I personally am indebted to your support and I know the team is too. I talk about how special it is to be a Bruin, and YOU are all the reason why. So thank you for all you do for this team and a personal thank you for reading (and commenting) on this blog. I hope to stay in touch with you all and you can of course follow me on my personal blog, too, which I will shift over to immediately.

Anyway, it is with a deep sense of gratitude and humility that I sign off one final time as a member of the UCLA Bruin tennis team; it is still hard to believe how fast four years have flown by and hard to accurately reflect on all my emotions and feelings in one final (and readable!) blog post. The only appropriate thing to sum everything up is through a simple, but powerful phrase that my high school English teacher once told my class. It was from a poem and he said that no matter what we do in life, MAY GREAT KINDNESS OF IT IN THE END. Well, my friends, as I have hit the end of my “official” Bruin tennis career, I can undoubtedly say that great kindness, indeed, came of it in the end.

GO BRUINS!

-Barry

EXCLUSIVE with Senior Nick Meister on season-ending injury

January 7, 2011

Good afternoon Bruin fans, Barry here for another mid-afternoon practice update. As the guys finish off their week strong on the courts with Coach Martin, I had a chance to sit down with Senior Nick Meister about season-ending hip injury this afternoon. Earlier this week, Nick underwent successful surgery to repair a micro-tear in his hip and will miss the remainder–and the team portion–of the 2011 season. Yesterday, the Bruins issued their official press release regarding Nick, including this quote from Coach:

“I’m extremely disappointed that Nick will not be able to play for us this year due to his injury,” said Martin, who is in his 18th season as head coach at UCLA. “We are definitely going to miss his leadership both on and off the court. Nobody has worked harder than Nick and his work ethic has been a great example to our entire team.”

Obviously, this is a huge blow to our team and as Coach said, this hurts us in so many ways. Nick has been one of our top players–if not our most consisent player on the court the last three years–and his loss will impact the team, no doubt. But as Coach alluded to, it will also impact the team off of it; Nick’s leadership cannot be replaced as his value to this team is unmeasurable. For me personally, it of course hurts and after reading the press release it has begun to sink in; Nick has become one of my best friends the last few years and selfishly, I’m saddened that I will not be able to cheer him on my senior season and be his manager. I have always admired Nick to the utmost degree as he is one of the most incredible individuals I have met at UCLA–tennis or no tennis. His dedication to the team has been unwavering and there has been no player who cares more about the team and this program than Nick. Even more, his dedication to himself to get better has been nothing short of amazing. He is truly a role model on the court as well as off the court. I truly cannot say enough great things on behalf of Nick not just as my teammate, but as a friend. Because of this, it has made it more difficult to see the genuine, humble, but most hard-worked and committed Bruin to have something like this derail him for a year. But, Nick being the eternal optimist and the amazing guy he is, he lifted ME up when we sat down earlier today and chatted about this season, the injury, and his future. We had a casual man-to-man chat and I’ll paraphrase a few of his responses:

Barry (Me): First, how are you feeling in terms of your hip and your spirits?
Nick: The hip feels good and I have no pain, which is really awesome. I’ll be on crutches for another week and then the countdown begins in four months I can be back on the court to my normal 4-hour-a-day-intense-training.

I asked Nick, “what about his spirits considering how devastating it must be…”

Nick: Actually, man, I feel good and it is exciting. My hip has always bothered me ever since I’ve been here and I don’t think people realize how much pain I actually have been–and played through–the last three years. The fact that I am going to play tennis now pain free is exciting! So yeah, I’m doing good, and looking forward to getting back to playing and in really good spirits.

Admittedly I was a bit surprised as Nick did not mumble one negative word–though I would not expect anything like that from Nick anyway. I agreed and said that this time next year, you will free great and Nick could only flash me a huge smile–priceless! Also in terms of Nick’s game, it will be very beneficial.

Nick: Yes, I mean, I’ll be playing pro tournaments (futures and challengers minus the prize money of course) all summer and fall, giving me more time to work on my game before my senior season. I have a chance to be better than ever playing pro tournaments with a healthy body, so this is great thing. And the team will of course be very, very strong, as well.

Anyway, as you can tell, despite the horrible news (and again, selfishly, I’m still sad to not see him play this year and for the team), Nick was exciting about his future tennis career and in great spirits. I am disappointed for him but also happy for him that he will now get a chance to finish out his career healthy and with style. I have no
doubt that he will be back in 2012 better than ever. As a team, as Coach said, we have no choice but to move on and hope someone takes this opportunity and steps up to the lead the team. And of course, Nick will still be active in every team meeting and always around us in support. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll make sure to grab an update this weekend or early next week.

GO BRUINS!!!



2010 in review….and HERE COMES 2011!! (for real this time)

January 2, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR sports fans, Bruin fanatics, and loyal UCLA tennis followers! With the start of the new year –2011, hard to believe, right?–the new season is truly upon us and right around the corner. I do have a bit of explaining to do and I will give it my best shot. First, I sincerely apologize for completely being absent this past quarter; I blogged the first week of the season, fully set on following the team all quarter and unfortunately, it never happened. And for that I am sorry. Why? Well, to put it simply, there was this four letter word that seemed to come upon me: life. It’s hard to believe, but my incredible rollercoaster of an undergraduate career as team manger will be coming to an end and I spent all quarter preparing for that bittersweet day in May. I applied to ten graduate programs–a mix of Master and Ph.D-and it consumed my life. I spent endless hours writing essays, researching graduate programs, sending transcripts, and reaching out to professors from Columbia University in New York to Stanford up north–and everywhere in between. Throw in my undergraduate research commitment, my history honors thesis, and of course, a heavy course-load of school, and I just was not able to blog and more disappointingly, dedicate myself to the team in the fall.

But what makes UCLA tennis so special is not the individuals, but the larger entity; the program went on, and thrived, just as it always has and always will. It’s a new team, a new year, but as always, the same commitment, tradition and passion. While my personal craziness is behind me and while I wait for my own life to unfold, I get one more exciting–and always challenging–chance for an NCAA Championship. So for real this time, join me for the ride! Only one week until the Sherwood Cup Tournament starts and from there, our first match of the year against BYU on January 21st. In the meantime, expect posts/updates/pictures from practice and the team preview that I promised months ago.

And once again, thanks again to all of you who support UCLA tennis but even more, those that frequently checked out my blog last Spring–to this day, the success was overwhelming and look forward on building on that type of coverage to once again keep all of you in the loop! WordPress.com (the website that hosts this blog) sent me a recap of the past year 2010 and I thought I would share it with you as well for one more nostalgic view before the 2011 year heats up. GO BRUINS!

2010 YEAR IN REVIEW

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,600 times in 2010. That’s about 16 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 69 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 70 posts. There were 142 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 17mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was May 21st with 935 views. The most popular post that day was BRUINS WIN!!! .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were uclabruins.com, twitter.com, facebook.com, thesabre.com, and tenniskalamazoo.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for uclatennis.wordpress.com, ucla tennis blog, uclatennis, ucla tennis wordpress blog, and espnews.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

BRUINS WIN!!! May 2010
5 comments

2

“That’s all she wrote….” Bruins fall 4-2 to Virginia May 2010
11 comments

3

GUEST POST #3: Kallim “The Dream” Stewart’s take on this team May 2010
3 comments

4

Bruins at dinner with the whole crew! May 2010
3 comments

5

EXCLUSIVE: Guest post with Kallim “The Dream” Stewart May 2010
2 comments

Excited for 2011 yet? Well, yeah, I am too. GO BRUINS!!! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

NCAA Quarterfinals, UCLA VS. VIRGINIA!!! (My thoughts on the night before)

May 22, 2010

First of all everyone, thanks again for following, all your comments, and your support. Trust me, I show all the guys on the team the support and it means a lot. Second, I apologize for me just blogging now; the internet at our hotel has been COMPLETELY OFF all night and haven’t had the means to blog from my phone like I normally do.

Anyway, I can’t believe we play Virginia tomorrow; I am overcome with emotions and excitement. I know I’ve said it over and over again, but matches like these you live for.  I don’t know what else to say except I’m so ready for tomorrow and I know our guys are too. I mean, Virginia is #1 in the country for a reason and they are a heck of a team. But in the NCAA quarterfinals–just think, only 8 teams in the entire country remain after the entire season–it is not supposed to be easy (and I can guarentee it won’t be).

Above all, I’m just excited. Excited to watch an incredible college match and put my heart and soul into going out there and cheering for my teammates and more than anything, my friends. And the school I love. In all honesty, that’s what this tournament is all about; it gives all these incredible players an outlet for them compete at the highest level surrounded by the people that support them with the most on the line. The pressure, the excitement, the disappointment, it will all be in effect tomorrow.

All I can say is that tomorrow will be incredible, filled with emotions; whether we win or lose, tomorrow will be a memorable day for both teams and both teams’ fans. I just hope that we end up on the happy side and not the other. And I believe we can. But again, Virginia is a heck of a team and I expect nothing less than a battle for the ages against the well-deserved #1 team in the country for a chance to compete in the NCAA Semifinals. And what ever happens, that is sports. I LOVE IT!

I can’t wait to go out there and cheer on my teammates Nick, Amit, Abid, Matt, Alex, Holden, and Kallim with all my heart, all my soul, and of course, all my throat. TOMORROW’S GAME DAY!! I’ll do my best to blog and Twitter as much as possible. And last but not least, GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GUEST POST #3: Kallim “The Dream” Stewart’s take on this team

May 22, 2010

Hey everyone. First, I sincerely apologize for no blogs or tweets today. To be honest, it’s been a slow day and a day that we all needed to “recharge our batteries” as Coach Martin always says. I have pretty much locked myself in my room doing homework (crazy to think that we are still in school amongst this excitement!), Grant has passed out on the bed behind me, and most of the guys doing one or both of those options. In the meantime, the comedian known as Kallim has shared another one of his infamous blogs about our team this year and the upcoming match. Tonight, after we go to dinner, I’ll sit down with our Director of Operations and the legend Grant Chen and ask him a few questions about his experience going into this pivotal Quarterfinal match. GO BRUINS!

Hi everyone!

With the “guest blog” tearing up the airwaves, and more people using my Tennessee coaching staff joke than views to this popular youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM) I have felt pretty much like the world’s most interesting man (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Bc0WjTT0Ps). Needless to say, my reputation is seemingly expanding faster than the universe. And of course, to my readers, I thank you. You are truly larger than life! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uewJN__RykY )

With the Stanford match behind us, we’ve attempted to move forward and focus on the next match. Even though we had a very good win, the tournament is far from over and we must be ready to face the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers. Today is a day-off before our encounter and therefore, I thought it would be a perfect time to address the theme of “preparation”.

Now every player has his or her own idiosyncratic methods of getting prepared for a match. On one extreme, you have basketball star Allen Iverson who chooses to forgo practice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGDBR2L5kzI . Other people, like Turkey’s Michael Jordan aka Hedo Turkoglu, like to eat junk food and prove that health food isn’t necessary when attempting to make a ball through a cylindrical object. (http://www.orlandopinstripedpost.com/2009/5/18/879509/hedo-turkoglus-pre-game-meal ) Still others, like this football player, simply need someone to press the right buttons (warning: this video is not for the faint of heart… it is also why I don’t play football… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4cXZGkRMCY)

On our team, we don’t have any players who have weird rituals per se but they are interesting. Holden, for example, will attempt to read 60 pages of political science material in approximately 4 and a half hours (part of his plan to “get really smart”), then proceed to do 25 push-ups (part of his plan to “get really strong”) and then listen to the “Stairway to Heaven of electronic music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzy2dgEUOhY) at a decibel level that could probably be heard two continental states away (presumably to get really deaf?!). This probably explains why during our team meetings Billy needs to say everything twice to him since all the loud music is causing a Beethoven-like effect to Holden’s ears. (Note: Billy normally has to say things twice also to Max but this is because Max is French and doesn’t really understand the first time around).

Amit also has a signature warm-up, which can best be described as a cross between the hula-hoop and the stanky legg (which is a dance move in which you try to wake your leg up from a coma) with both legs. Here is the video of the song…. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewufRwrayTI ) while Matt can probably be found listening to the warm-up CD that his girl SW made him (this cd probably features the future #1 song of the summer … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDFF1OOK8bc )

Nick, Max, and Abid are pretty chill (aka normal), while Alex is probably reading on investment bankers/ getting more ripped than Batman in his batsuit so he can drop dimes to anyone within hearing distance. This nugget was taken from a little while ago:

AB (to kj and others) “Did you know that Bill Gates chose his wife based on an SAT score?

KJ- (feigning interest) “Really?! No I didn’t”

AB- Yeah he did. My father told me he read that

KJ- (interested… kinda) Wow. Cool man!

My warm-up consists of attempting to get about 16 hours of sleep the night before a match. Unfortunately, Billy always insists on me joining the team for breakfast at a very early hour (and in the process waking me up from my glorious sleep). If only he knew how important sleeping really was: (http://www.better-sleep-better-life.com/benefits-of-sleep.html )

Anyways, in addition to preparation, which is extremely important, I’ve started to think about what would happen if our team story got turned into a movie, probably because the last two nights “Coach Carter” (aka “winning isn’t everything… going to college is”) and “Remember the Titans” (aka “Left side… Strong Side!”) were showing at our hotel room). After a little violin playing and pacing around the room a la a famous detective, here’s what I came up with:

We, the UCLA Men’s Tennis Team are a Fellowship. A group of people, comprising many different origins, that have all come together with one common goal: we are attempting to win a National Championship ring! (Spoiler alert: if you can guess which movie I am basing this off of, I will say that right now in our journey, we are probably about half way through the “Return of the King” which is more like ¾ of the way through if you don’t count all the fake endings which I will spare since I’m not going to go on and on about life after the NCAA tournament. Regardless, the difficult part is still ahead!) If you haven’t already guessed which movie (or movies) I am referring to by now, then I recommend you go to your neighborhood movie store (if any still exist…) and check out this epic trilogy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pki6jbSbXIY )

Cast listing:

In the fellowship that is the UCLA Men’s Tennis Team:

Nick Meister is Frodo since he is faced with the unenviable burden of destroying the ring/playing number 1 singles and doubles. Also, he’s always focused on the one goal (getting the ring…. http://media.dailybruin.com/dailybruin/img/2010/apr/16/web.sp.mtennis.picA.jpg /destroying the ring-Frodo… http://www.filmposters.it/imgposter/grandi/frodo.jpg )

Likewise, his companion (Samwise Gamgee) – http://www.arwen-undomiel.com/images/sam/Sam_RotK_8.jpg is the equally sized- Max Tabatruong (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4142041&id=690102398) since he’s the best friend of everyone and is essentially the rock who keeps Nick (and everyone else) cool.

Amit (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ucla/sports/m-tennis/auto_wide_index/2839970.jpeg ) is Legolas (http://www.poster.net/lord-of-the-rings/lord-of-the-rings-return-of-the-king-legolas-lake-4900868.jpg)  since he’s so good-looking and has that beautiful accent.

Matt (http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/asu/sports/m-tennis/auto_headshot/1662566.jpeg ) is Gimli (http://l.yimg.com/eb/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/new_line_cinema/the_lord_of_the_rings__the_two_towers/john_rhys_davies/towers2.jpg (not because he’s unattractive… he’s actually good looking and very fashionable!!!!) but simply because he and Amit are always involved in some friendly bickering.  (Note: these two are interchangeable)

Evan Teufel, Jeff Gast, Jake Fleming, and Evan Lee get sandwiched into Merry and Pippen because they just want to have fun but in the end their support and friendship is very integral to the fellowship.

Holden (http://www.collegetennisonline.com/Uploads/187/Images/2655234.jpeg_ctofeatured.jpg ) is Boromir (http://thelowbudgetreview.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/boromir.jpg) because he represents a formidable warrior who is honorable and noble but is sometimes led astray by the power of the ring (read: playing Music and all other distractions). In the end, however, he is completely on the side of the fellowship (when it counts!).

Abid (http://www.collegetennisonline.com/Uploads/187/Images/2655086.jpeg_ctofeatured.jpg) is the Ent-tree (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9UoJCUuXXgE/SuU20hR5ZkI/AAAAAAAAAQk/m5bY1MPcE6c/s400/Lord-of-The-Rings-Tree_l.jpg) because he’s so old and wise and chill.

Alex Brigham (http://www.tennisrecruiting.net/profiles/1/7/2/4/3/0/3256.jpg) is a good orc (Note: there are no good orcs in the movie but there are in my revised edition!)

Kris Kwinta (http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/ucla/sports/m-tennis/auto_headshot/108235.jpeg ) is Aragorn aka Strider (http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/uploads/32503/Aragorn_RotK.jpg) since he’s got the ability to bridge the coaching/playing world (bridge the elf/human world) and his heritage means that he is heir to the throne of Gondor (city of men). Furthermore, Kwintus is an obvious Aragorn since he has the hot girlfriend (hi Shilpa!) and is also in charge of leading the Fellowship.

Glenn Toth (http://www.uclabruins.com/genrel/toth_glenn00.html)…if he is reading this hello “The Man!”… is Elrond the Elf King (http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/lotr/images/thumb/6/69/Elrond11.jpg/248px-Elrond11.jpg) since he is in charge of organizing the fellowship. He actually looks like Elrond as well.

Steve Agee our trainer (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ucla/sports/genrel/auto_headshot/2184242.jpeg) is Theoden or the King in “The Two Towers” (http://www.posters.ws/images/391989/lord_of_rings_two_towers_king_theoden_eowyn_and_eomer.jpg). It is debatable whether or not he represents Theoden when he was mean and evil (under Saruman’s power) or Theoden when he is just and defends Isengard. Nevertheless, he is aptly described because he protects the fellowship but only after making them feel bad for being injured in the first place (which isn’t bad! Hopefully we’re all healthy!)

Of course, Coach Billy Martin (http://media.dailybruin.com/dailybruin/img/2009/may/19/U_jpg_618x420_upscale_q85.jpg) is the all-powerful Gandalf (http://eroundlake.com/blog/uploaded_images/gandalf-775126.jpg) since he’s supervising the entire fellowship! (This is a compliment Coach!)

Brian, our trainer, would be one of the warrior elves or the riders of rohan simply because he’s probably the chillest person known to man-kind.

Grant Chen is Peter Jackson as he is behind the scenes of this epic journey. Also, Saruman represents our next opponent and the evil Sauron represents all the imposters who attempt to dissuade us from our goal of national championship! There aren’t a tremendous amount of women in LOTR but the several beautiful women would be represented by my second favorite women’s team in the country (behind UCLA of course!). If you don’t know who they are, I recommend checking out pt. 1 and 2 of the guest blog posts. I, of course, am J.R.R. Tolkien!

In the last two blogs, I’ve promised that I will reveal my favorite television show but now that I am at the moment of truth I will instead simply leave you with a tantalizing teaser. Hint: the first season just ended.

We had a good morning of practice and a good relaxing afternoon until it’s gametime tomorrow.

Go Bruins!

Peace to all!

GUEST POST #2: Kallim “The Dream” Returns with his reflections on today’s win

May 21, 2010

Due to popular demand, Kallim “The Dream” Stewart has returned for another guest blog. Kallim will offer his thoughts–and his engaging sense of humor–for another recap of today’s exciting win over Stanford in the NCAA Round of 16. Without further ado, here is “The Dream”….

Wow. So today we finished our match with Stanford which Barry has probably updated you on by now. The score was 4-2 but it was extremely close and a very well fought match. I’ll leave it to Barry to describe the play-by-play but all I will say is that both teams played extremely well and it was a top-level collegiate tennis match. Regardless, my role as “tournament guest blogger” is to update the Bruin Racketeers on the “color” behind the team’s pursuit of a national championship!

I knew today was going to be a good day when I showed up for breakfast and I received several comments about the blog. Therefore, before I continue I would like to say thank you so much for reading the blog!

During the doubles point in today’s match, I knew we were going to do well when I noticed a group of girls whom I have developed a slight crush on this past week. Yes (you guessed it!!) the Notre Dame Women’s Team showed up for the doubles point and I must congratulate them on looking just as spectacular as the day before. I’m not sure whether they actually came to watch me play or if they simply read the blog but I’m honestly flattered and it certainly helped us win the match. My only regret is that they were unable to witness any spectacular winners or “celebration performances” by yours truly:

Exhibit A. http://www.metacafe.com/watch/399489/roger_federers_best_shot_ever/

Exhibit B. http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper736/stills/e4c5tbdj.jpg

I was not playing in the doubles, which is part of Coach Billy Martin’s master plan of winning the doubles point, but I’m sure the ND girls understand. I can’t do everything and the guys playing the doubles know that they’re taking one for the team by allowing me to sit back and relax. However, I’m sure they could see that I was at the center of the cheering and was extremely spirited.

After the match, we went to Outback (which is Australian for “Billy Martin’s favorite restaurant”) and had a nice team dinner. Now for anyone not acquainted with team dinners they generally consist of Billy, Kris, Grant, and anyone that will probably not be asked to show I.D. sitting on one end of the table, and all the good-looking people sitting on the other side. Tonight, the coaches actually sat at a different table because apparently they wanted to have a more sophisticated discourse than topics such as the “Alaskan King Crab!” and whether or not Kobe Bryant would dominate tennis (of course he would) and also whether or not Lebron James would have good touch in tennis (Brooklyn thinks “the King” would not.)

Anyways, at dinner, a cute waitress started flirting with Holden and the game was on! Now I would love to give you the play-by-play of what actually occurred between the first two minutes we sat down at our table and the last two minutes when we left but for the sake of Barry paying me word-by-word in this blog I will keep it short (just kidding NCAA Compliance! I’m not getting paid!).  Essentially, the second huge victory of the day occurred when Holden got the number of our waitress! Go Bruins!

Now in my last blog I said that I would reveal the name of my favorite television show. However, I shall keep this post short and post it in my next blog.  Please check back later for an updated version!!! On to the shout-outs!

Huge shout out goes to Doug and his friends who came out to support the Bruins and in particular my roommate Amit Inbar by wearing t-shirts with each letter spelling (“A”… “M”… “I”… and “T”) on them.

Also, another shout-out goes to the UCLA Women’s Tennis Team who came out and supported us/ kept me company during the match! I couldn’t have done it without you guys!

And last but certainly not least, all credit goes to Senior Matt Brooklyn for clinching the match at number #3 singles. (in addition to Holden, and Amit, who won in singles and Holden/Alex Brigham, Brooklyn/Haithem Abid for winning doubles… as well as Nick Meister for putting up a great effort, and Steve, Brian, Grant, Barry etc. for taking care of practically everything else. Essentially it was a total team effort!)

Go Bruins!

Peace to All!

Heading to celebratory dinner

May 21, 2010

Ok since the match began so early we had dinner reservations early, so after the guys all stretched out, we are heading to dinner! Should be a great opportunity for all to relax and enjoy today’s win before we get serious tonight.

I’ll blog at dinner with a few pics but will post my analysis and other thoughts from the match when we get back and all settle down after this exciting win. So proud of our guys and happy for Matt too.

Go Bruins!!!!