• 7-time NCAA National Champions
  • 5-time ITA National Indoor Champions
  • 6 NCAA Singles Titles
  • 4 NCAA Doubles Titles
  • 39 Individual All-Americans

2005 Women's Tennis Diary Entries

September 27, 2004 - Jamie Chan

Welcome to another great season of Emory women's tennis!

Our team once again looks amazingly awesome. With the addition of seven incredibly talented freshmen this year--Serena, Cristine, Christina, Linda, Indu, Alex, and Sam--the returning players--Breana, Richie, Amanda, Carina, and myself--are outnumbered, but enjoying the new friendships we've made.

Because there are so many new faces this semester, I sometimes get the freshmen mixed up with each other. Oops! But after a few team dinners, we've really gotten to know each other--eating brings us together and is as much a part of our team as playing tennis. While we're glad to welcome all the freshmen, we're also looking forward to the eventual return of Katherine, Petie, Lindsay, and Jolyn, who are studying abroad in Italy, D.C., and Bolivia this semester.

In preparation for this upcoming season, we've been getting an early start by practicing from 6:30 to 9 a.m. on Monday mornings followed by some intense spinning. We've also been spending lots of time on the court working on doubles and honing various other skills to perfection.

But that's not all! Getting stronger is always a goal of ours, and with the help of Steve, our enthusiastic strength and agility coach, we're going to be ready to dominate our opponents! Although at times we wonder what we're putting our bodies through, many of us know the sweet taste of victory, and therefore push ourselves that much harder.

A highlight at one of our workout sessions with Steve was when actress Andie MacDowell and her son graced us with their presence during their tour of Emory's fitness facilities! Needless to say, we were star struck! Although it was hard to keep our concentration on lifting weights and doing medicine ball throws, we tried our best and hopefully impressed our distinguished guests.

This weekend we'll be traveling to the University of the South for the ITA regional tournament. We're looking forward to bringing home many wins! Keep checking back as we chronicle our journey throughout the year!

 


 

October 17, 2004 - Breana Lai

The Emory women's tennis team dominates again on another fantastic trip! We headed up to Lexington, Va., (October 8-10) to play in the Washington & Lee Fall Festival Tournament.

With Gregory (or was his name Doug?) driving the massive charter bus, we left Emory excited and ready for a great weekend of tennis. After numerous movies (I cannot even look at McDonald's food anymore), a run across the highway for Subway, Dairy Queen blasts, and 10 hours, we arrived in Virginia.

Also arriving that night was our other senior Lindsay, who is currently studying in D.C for the semester. Lindsay helped immensely by providing food and support during the matches. Although the freshmen only got to spend a short time with Lindsay, we all can not wait to have her back in the spring along with the rest of the team that is currently abroad.

Saturday morning we were chilled to the bone for warmups, but the team still managed to get some good cheering together by screaming out each other's names. We all played two singles and two doubles matches on Saturday. Everyone did very well and in particular, Sam, Jaime, Carina, Christine, and Linda won all four of their matches. After a long day of tennis, we all enjoyed a relaxed Italian buffet at the hotel and turned in early.

On Sunday we completed our final matches, playing one singles and one doubles match. Everyone played very well and was successful, especially Jamie, who pulled out a great comeback after being down 8-5 in the third-set 10-point tiebreaker. She won five straight points in a row. Talk about mental toughness!

The ride back to Emory was entertaining, with the team playing guessing games all together. (By the way, Steve's last name is Lewis and Orville Redenbacher is the guy who makes popcorn). We took a slightly shorter and more direct route this time and we got back in eight hours instead of 10.

Thanks again to Christine's family for coming and watching us play and cooking us some yummy cookies and bread. Also, as always, it was great to see my parents!

This tournament concluded our fall season (how sad!) but we will be training hard in the off-season to make sure that we are ready to kick butt in the spring!

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 5, 2005 - Richelle Marasigan

The Emory women's tennis team was set and ready to begin its journey on to South Africa. The busy morning began very early in the morning with Breana rushing to get everyone up, so we could head to the meeting place in front of the gym.

The plane ride was going to be a long one. We all waited in the Atlanta airport trying to get our last walk in before the 20-hour plane ride ahead. The plane went from Atlanta to Sal Island to Johannesburg and then finally to our final destination of Capetown.

Although the plane ride seemed to never end, we had a variety of movies to choose from. Those who were not able to rest their eyes were able to watch five movies and the on-flight video games that were always entertaining.

Finally, we arrived at the airport and were greeted by our friendly tour guide, Allen. The bus drove us to the house we would be staying at and we took some time to get settled in to our new "home" in Capetown.

Then, we were off to see the sites of this new place, learning new facts and went to Signal Island to take some pictures of the fantastic views. The last stop of the day was the Waterfront where we ate dinner at a seafood place called Ocean Basket.

We were all a bit jetlagged after the long journey, so after walking around for a little while after dinner we headed back to the Wilton Manor to get a good night rest for tomorrow's big day.

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 6, 2005 - Jamie Chan

Our first full day in South Africa was jam packed with activities. It began with a wonderfully scrumptious breakfast which fueled us for the rest of our busy day.

After breakfast, Allen, our wonderful tour guide from the Day Trippers Company drove us to Dreiker Island which is the home to a large colony of Cape Fur Seals. The boat ride to the island was quite entertaining because Indu would squeal and giggle with delight at each wave we went over.

When we reached the island, the sight was amazing! We saw hundreds of seals flipping, sunning themselves, and playfully swimming in the water.

However, the one drawback of being able to get within a few meters of the seals was that we were also able to smell them really well, and believe me, it wasn't a very pleasant smell.

After we got back to shore, we drove to Boulders which is home to a thriving colony of penguins. Many of the penguins were molting, which caused their feathers to be puffy and made them look like they were having a bad hair day.

It was an awesome experience to be able to see the penguins in their natural habitat. Sam got a little lost getting to the penguins near the shore and ended up on the opposite side of us. But no worries, she soon found her way back to our group.

We then went for a nice bike ride along the coast of South Africa which ended at a beautiful beach. The bike ride was mostly downhill which was very helpful because we could then concentrate on making sure we didn't get blown down by the many cars and tour buses that would whiz by us (Mom and Dad, we all made it to the beach in one piece).

At the beach we enjoyed the beautiful view, sunned ourselves, and had a wonderful lunch that was prepared by Allen. At the beach we had to be wary of the baboons that would sneak up on unsuspecting people and steal their containers of food, run a few meters away, easily open the container, and help themselves to the food. The helpless victims could only watch in dismay.

One family was robbed twice by the same sneaky baboon. It definitely was a hilarious event to watch!

I guess we didn't realize the intensity of the sun, because many of us are now a nice shade of red. Oops! Sunscreen will be our new best friend!

After the beach, we drove to Cape Point and climbed many, seemingly unending flights of stairs to reach a lighthouse that was used to guide Bartholomew Dias many years ago on his voyage to South Africa. Once again, the view of the ocean and mountains was spectacular!

We then hiked down from the lighthouse and continued our hike to the Cape of Good Hope. On the way we passed a beautiful secluded beach and had many awesome photo ops. Kudos to Mrs. Lai for her bravery and determination to finish the tough hike!

Finally, we carried our exhausted bodies to the bus and headed for home. However, we were in for one more adventure. Our bus broke down on the side of the road when we were about 40 minutes away from our hotel.

But there's always a silver lining to every grey cloud. While we were waiting for the other bus to pick us up, we had a stimulating conversation about AIDS, racism, and many other interesting topics.

Well, we finally made it home, took a quick shower, then headed to The Africa Café for dinner.
Dinner was AMAZING! It was sort of like "family dining" at Maggiano's where you are served many, many unlimited dishes, but the food (in my opinion) was much better than Maggiano's.

We ate many authentic South African dishes like Cape fish and fried pumpkin cakes which were absolutely delicious!  The dinner lasted for at least three hours. Needless to say, we were satisfied and stuffed for the ride home.

Well, I think I just exhausted myself recalling all the activities that we did, but it was definitely worth it! Keep checking back for more updates from wonderful South Africa!

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 7, 2005 - Jolyn Taylor

Some of us we started the day off with a nice jog by the beach, taking in the sound of the waves and the smell of the sea. Following another delicious breakfast we hit the courts for our first practice as a reunited team.

The practice went great, especially considering the recent holiday break and lack of tennis time. We were ready for our match against local juniors the following day!

After picking up the last ball, we headed to the world-famous Kirstenbirsh gardens for an afternoon of botany. I've never seen so many delightful varieties of hedges!

Finally to end this busy day, we went to the Waterfront for a fabulous Italian dinner and briefly took in the ambiance of the popular night spot.

With the past two days going so well, we can only look forward to the rest of our travels!

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 8, 2005 - Indu Anand

We woke up early this morning excited for our first matches in South Africa! Unfortunately, it became very cloudy and it began to rain.

We drove out to the tennis courts hoping the rain would pass by; however, the courts were soaked even though the rain had stopped. We met a few local tennis players and enjoyed chatting with them about their experiences growing up in South Africa.

After spending time with them, we headed over to Green Market Square and shopped for handmade arts and crafts by the locals.

After spending all the money we had, we took a boat trip to Robben Island to learn about Nelson Mandela and the other prisoners. Meeting one of the former prisoners was the highlight of the trip.

After this long day, we sat at the waterfront eating dinner and relaxed listening to the jazz music festival.

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 9, 2005 - Linda Tien

To start the day, we began with our tennis practice at the University of Cape Town courts, followed by a hike up the mother of all Stairmasters -- Table Mountain.

I must have climbed more steps that day than I've ever done in my entire life. But once we got to the top, we had the hiker's equivalent of a runner's high, except with an amazing view.

Looking off the top, I could see the bay and the city of Cape Town miles below. What beats that view is the abseiling (rappelling) that some of us did with the world's largest commercial abseil company -- 400 feet off Table Mountain.

However, they don't tell you that halfway down, the cliffside stops supporting you and you look down to see this 200-foot drop below you. The funny part was that the instructor was about to close up for the day -- claiming the wind was too strong, until they found out that our tennis team was made of girls instead of guys.

One of those had-to-be-there stories was when Lindsay decides she really wants our instructor's abseiling shirt, and so they switch. I guess you had to be there.

The weather was nice today, which meant it wasn't too hot. That was good news for my many sunburnt teammates.

Once the abseiling was over, we reached the top to find ourselves walking through a cloud. We then took the cable car down to end our amazing day.

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 10, 2005 - Katherine Powell

After an early start to our morning, we headed out to Stellenbosch, just outside of Cape Town, to play tennis matches against some junior players.

They were all very good, ages ranging 13-18. Unfortunately, Team USA fell to Team South Africa in singles matches, 13-11. We played well, but these kids, whom I found out practice seven hours a day, played just a little better in the hot African sun. I hope Amy doesn't get any ideas about seven-hour practices.

After everyone played two singles matches, we packed up and headed to Nelson Creek to tour the vineyards and taste the wine. Our guide did a great job of "edutaining" us.
After a picnic lunch prepared by Allan (what would we do without him?) we tasted some wines. This vineyard is known for the quality of wine, and we tasted why, some maybe a little more than others.

Next, we hopped over to the Vairview vineyards to have a taste. The owner of this vineyard made a series of wine based on which grapes the goats got into. There were many varieties of Goats do Roam, poking fun at the French region, Cote de Rhone. We got to taste the wines and goat cheeses, which were divine.

Purchases were made and we hit the road once again out of this Tuscan-like region and headed back to Cape town after yet another long, but great day!

A shout out to Sam because today is her 19th birthday! Happy Birthday Sam and what a great place to spend it!!

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 11, 2005 - Christine Ingoldsby

We had another fun and crazy day in sunny South Africa. I still can not believe that I am here.

We had an early 7:30 a.m. start to the day as we headed off to play a tennis match. We drove for about an hour and a half. It was worth the drive.

We played some good tennis and met some nice people. It was a great cultural experience. We played some moms and dads. We played a mix of singles and doubles matches with people of different skill levels.

There was a really cute clubhouse. The walls were yellow with blue curtains -- Emory colors!!! Inside the clubhouse there was some really good food.

After the matches were done and we had eaten all the delicious food, we headed into the town. It was a cute little town right on the ocean. Our tour guide, Allen, said you can see whales from there. Too bad it isn't whale season :(

In the town we refined our bargaining skills at some local shops. For those who hadn't eaten lunch, they got some food.

Then we went to do some more wine tasting. This was a huge wine farm with restaurants and cheetahs and birds! Don't worry, the cheetahs were in cages. But one cheetah came up to the fence. It was cool to be up close and personal with a cheetah.

Then we came back to our bed and breakfast for a shower. We headed out to dinner as a team followed by a night out on the town for those who wanted to stay out. We went to a local spot on the beach that lots of people say is very fun. It was one busy and awesome day!

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 12, 2005 - Carina Alberelli

Today we interacted with the local townspeople to learn about their daily lives. I was really excited about today's excursion because the first thing I noticed when driving from the airport to our hotel at the start of our trip were the shacks along the highway.

Thousands of Capetonians consider these shacks home. Within my first few hours of being in Cape Town, I observed a large disparity between the rich and the poor.

Although we missed daily tour guide, Allen, we had an informative day with his colleague, Albert. We began sightseeing in the township called Bo-Kaap. Albert described this township as a Muslim community; we enjoyed observing the brightly colored houses along both sides of the streets.

Followed by Bo-Kaap, we drove through the infamous District Six while we learned more about the apartheid in a museum. At the same time African-Americans were fighting for their civil rights in the states during the 1960's, Cape Town was battling racism.

For example, in 1966, District Six was declared a "white" area. Furthermore, the government implemented the pass law which required blacks to carry an identity pass at all times. If they were not carrying it, then they had to pay a fine and possibly be arrested.

Overall, the museum provides any tourist a glimpse of pain many underwent during the apartheid. The unique part about learning about the apartheid is that we are hearing in person the stories from those people who lived through these hard times.

We went to a local creche, which is a daycare for working township people who primarily speak Xhosa. Despite the language barrier at times, we volunteered and spend time with the local children.

We brought toys and some activities to play with the children, who ranged from six months to five years old. It was a wonderful and fun experience with some funny stories. Amanda almost caused a fight in the streets as the children were really excited to receive stickers in a jar.

We drove through the townships Langa, Nyanga, and Crossroads. We ate lunch in Langa at a local restaurant called Eriko, which serves traditional African food accompanied by ginger beer. The restaurant is unique in the sense that it operates a grassroot initiative to train local townspeople for employment opportunities in restaurants and other culinary opportunities.

We walked over to the local herbalist/chemist. It is a family-owned store, which was pitch black, covered with deceased animal skins hanging from the ceiling.

We drove to Vicki's Bed and Breakfast, and the Philan's Women's Project. The owner of Vicki's has and continues to fundraise to provide fun excursion for the local town children. Many of us donated money to this initiative.

Furthermore, the Women's Project demonstrates a community initiative that offers employment opportunities to local townspeople. I was impressed with the numerous community initiatives planned and implemented in the last few years. It's no wonder many townspeople are optimistic for social change.

We then got a chance to observed the five different types of housing offered in the townships. We walked into "new" and "old" hostels. A major government project is to provide formal housing to South Africans, which include electricity, running water, and toilets.

Imagine living in a shack or a flat without these applications! Many townspeople live in these conditions. The new hostels are apartments that each provide shelter for a family. In contrast to these hostels, the old hostels are flats that each host three to five families that share a common room and a kitchen without these applications.

The government intends to complete this project within the next five years. I think it would be interesting to return to Cape Town in five years and see if they have finished the project and improved the quality of life in the townships.

Albert and some of the townspeople do not feel the idea of living in townships will ever end, but should improve. South Africans in general seem to be very optimistic about the future.

We later walked over to a local pub to drank traditional African beer, Sorgham. The pub was an all-male member pub. They do not have cups for their customers. They serve the beer in a bucket and pass it around for everyone to have some beer.

After visiting the townships for most of the day, we made some quick short stops. We learned about African cermanics, observed a community center, and walked around Love Life, which is a youth organization that concentrates to have youths aware of safe sex methods and about the risks with HIV/AIDS.

I was impressed with the various youth programs the center offers to attract the children. Unfortunately, they face a language barrier. The staff mainly speaks Xhosa. If they broaden their language abilities, imagine how many townspeople they could reach.

We ate dinner at Mama Africa located on Long Street. Some of us tried a wide range of game including antelope, ostrich, and crocodile. The atmosphere and food of the restaurant was good.

A live African band titled Abakhaya performed during dinner. Jolyn even danced a couple of songs with one of the band members. We were all impressed with her dance moves.

As I reflect on my experience, I point out a few lessons I have learned from my Kenneth Cole fellowship experience and from today's township tour.

One, social change takes time and participation from many actors including local townspeople and the government. Secondly, I must continue to be grateful for all of my opportunities and rights have living in one of the wealthiest and powerful countries in the world. Thirdly, racism and poverty continue to be global issues.

I hope today's experience continues to encourage my teammates and myself to become active community participants in improving the quality of life both in foreign countries and back in the US. The creche experience was one simple form of volunteering and helping others less fortunate than ourselves. We must never forget where we come from and learn from what makes us stronger.

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 13, 2005 - Breana Lai

Hakuna Matata. What a wonderful phrase!

Today we experienced the "Lion King" firsthand as we encountered Simba and Nala, in addition to other African game. We ventured out to the Buffelsfontein Game and Nature Reserve this morning, the beautiful and peaceful home of zebra, springbok, lions, blue wildebeest, giraffe, bontebok, and other exotic animals.

We rode around with our guide in a large off-road vehicle, bumping across the desert-like plain, searching for any sign of life. The bumps were powerful enough to make Lindsay want to donate her breakfast to the animals, however she managed to keep it all inside.

A highlight of our encounters with the various animals was a buffalo coming right up to our vehicle and just staring at us. Our guide informed us that they can become "cross" when not given food, yet he told us that none of our foods that we definitely were prepared to give were appropriate. So we just hoped that the buffalo were not hungry.

After an adventurous day at the office, we headed back to stare at our lunch, praying that this meat did not belong to the ancestors of our new friends. Following lunch, our group split up. Most hit the pool while some decided to get a little crazy and go shooting. But no blood was drawn, or so they say.

The shooters took aim at a piece of paper with the head of an antelope printed on it. Jamie and Breana were successful in reaching their target, however Amy was apparently aiming for some invisible point. She ended up wounding three children and Breana's mom. Just kidding.

Lindsay found a tick and spent the rest of the day at the pool standing and aimlessly searching her body for a ferocious tick. We also had an intense volleyball war in the pool as Team A (the good guys) tore apart Team B (led by our lovely tour guide Alan). Team B - stick with tennis!

We came home to our beautiful home for a lovely dinner fixed by our hosts. In order to prepare for the big match tomorrow we are spending our night guzzling South African wines and learning how to booty dance. Kidding again. We are getting sad about leaving and are enjoying our last couple of nights together!

Hello to everyone at home ... we have become luscious tan, red, or peeling ladies and you will hardly recognize us when we return home!

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 14, 2005 - Serena Burkard

Today, we played a tennis match in the morning. Some of us played singles and some played doubles. We played against both boys and girls of different ages.

Overall the team did very well. We had a winning margin over the other players. We moved well on the court, despite the vicious wind. The night before, we had a little dancing party in the guest house, which was fun and probably helped our footwork on the court!

Our tour guide, Alan, and several of the "rapelling guys" came to watch and cheer us on. It was fun to see the abseiling (rapelling) guys hit a few balls around on the court after we played.

In the afternoon, we had a "free" day. A lot of the girls went to Canal Walk to do some more shopping while a few of us relaxed at the guest house.

In the evening, we all got together at around 7 pm, and Alan took us to dinner at the Waterfront shopping center. We ate at a fresh fish restaurant. For desert, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Alan and shared the desert.

After dinner, a few of the girls got "fro yo" (frozen yougart), a usual for them. Sam was disappointed that the "Dirty South" hat she wanted to get at the Waterfront was R200!

We left the Waterfront, and Alan took us back to the guest house to change to go out. All of the girls went out, but Amy and Breana's mom stayed at the house. We went to Longstreet, where we hit up a few bars and clubs.

We leave today to go back to Atlanta. I know that most of us are not looking forward to the 20-hour plane ride! But the trip was definitely worth it.

 


 

Editor's Note: From January 3-15, the Emory women's tennis team is visiting South Africa. Team members are e-mailing diary entries.

For pictures of the trip, follow this link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=EeAOGrNk3buG7go

January 15, 2005 - Lindsay Tiemeyer

It all went by too fast. Just as I was starting to get a feel for the city, recognize people in the shops, and get some sense of direction it was time to go home. This final entry recounts the last 12 hours of our time in Cape Town, followed by another 24 hours of flying! Needless to say our time on the ground was the more enjoyable portion of this entry...

Because it was our last night in Cape Town we decided to go out with a bang -- we were off to Long Street as a team! Long Street is a central street in downtown Cape Town that is adorned its entire length with bars and clubs. Everyone was supposed to come but Amy and Dr. Lai backed out at the last minute...for some crazy reason they thought a deck of cards was more entertaining!

So we had Allan drop us off downtown in his big white tour bus; we were looking hot. We all went to some bars and just enjoyed each other's company. I decided to try my hand at my negotiating skills that evening and managed to get a leather bracelet, originally marked at 90 rand, for free! The evening was a blast -- we went up and down Long Street, met lots of people, and found almost everything that evening extraordinarily funny.

I think we all came back to the Wilton Manor by 2:30 that morning and wished we didn't have to live the next day's events: a plane ride that was so long we had to refuel twice! We sadly said goodbye to Allan at the airport and boarded the plane to take us back to the U.S.

Our first stop on that awful journey -- Johannesburg. We had a two-hour layover there, which provided us with the perfect amount for a lot of us to get a massage. Though it was only the kind in the chair, it was still pretty incredible.

As we re-boarded our plane there seemed to be an excessive number of security measures...and in the middle of all of that Amanda lost her lasagna. The woman who was searching our carry-on luggage pushed Amanda's lasagna off the table and all over the floor. As the lasagna fell so did Amanda's face -- that was her special lasagna that she wanted to last the entire flight, and it didn't even make it out of Johannesburg. Though it was unfortunate we all found it so funny that I think it was worth it (sorry Amanda!).

Once we were on the second plane, we were stuck there for another 20 hours. Though the individual TV screens were very helpful and there were a dozen movies to chose from, that did not make the plane ride easy. The seats were small, a man was smelling, the kids were crying, and the bathrooms were broken. It was not a good combination.

Of course it was funny, but in a "oh just kill me" kind of way. The humor did not last when Tori and Alex, a four-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy (I'm guessing) screamed for the last five hours straight. I am not even exaggerating a little -- they were making noise for FIVE HOURS STRAIGHT. Listening to the kids screaming and watching the map of our plane crawling from Africa to the United States over the TV screen was enough to drive us insane. A combination of humor and delirium got us through the flight and we finally arrived in Atlanta.

When we all returned to the Emory campus, I realized just how special this trip was. We had just spent every moment together for two weeks and we hadn't had enough yet. People were sad to leave each other, even if it was just to go to the other side of campus.

We were talking about plans for dinner later that night, making arrangements to hit balls, and sort of just standing behind the gym like we didn't want the trip to end. As soon as we were away from each other the trip was officially over, and we weren't ready. That moment really speaks volumes for our team dynamics, and that is a memory I will carry with me as I think about our trip to South Africa.

But the time finally came when we had to leave each other. We all went our separate ways from the back of the WoodPEC and just like that the trip was over. Of course most of us were on the phone with each other 10 minutes later, but now we all had to face our normal routine lives.

South Africa will always be a special memory that we will take with us forever. I want to thank everyone for sharing that trip with me, I truly loved every minute of it and I wouldn't want to share it with anyone else. Thank you.

 


 

February 21, 2005 - Jamie Chan

100 career wins! Incredible, isn't it? That's just one of the many accomplishments Coach (Amy) Smith has amassed during her short time here as a coach at Emory. And what a great way to start our 2005 spring season - with a dominating win over Clayton College & State University. All our hard work and pre-season conditioning has really paid off.

At the beginning of each season, Coach Smith gives us a word to focus on which becomes sort of a mantra for our team. This year, she unveiled the much anticipated word during our team huddle at our first match. I guess you want me to tell you the word. Well, keep reading and perhaps you'll figure it out.

Although many people might describe this as our "rebuilding" year after graduating two awesome seniors last year, or perhaps call our team "young" because the freshmen on the team outnumber the upperclassmen, I would call our team "tough."

Why? Because each and every one of my teammates gives 110 percent at each workout; be it 6:30 am morning conditioning, afternoon practice, or strength training, we push each other to constantly better ourselves. That's what I call being "tough."

The fact that Clayton College & State University is an NCAA Division II school did not faze us one bit at our match on Thursday. We knew we would be facing some stiff competition, but we were ready--both mentally and physically. I was especially impressed with how tough our freshmen--Serena, Alex, Linda, and Indu--played. Serena and Alex didn't let their college match-play inexperience hinder them from convincingly winning at #3 doubles. Likewise, Linda, with her patented and penetrating "shank you very much" groundstrokes, defeated her opponent in style.

Sophomore Breana, an avid runner and excellent tennis player who often tends to combine both activities because she is known for outlasting her opponents in her "marathon" matches, made quick work of her opponent and won in a swift 45 minutes. Richie, not to be outdone by Breana, was the next one off the court with a solid victory.

I am constantly amazed by the toughness of each of my teammates, and am looking forward to another great season on the Emory women's tennis team. I hope you will continue to support and follow us as we begin our journey towards our third straight national championship. To borrow the phrase from the ever giggling Indu, "Let's Soar Eagles!"

p.s. Have you figured out our team word yet? If not, keep checking back for more exciting updates and clues.

 


 

February 28, 2005 - Breana Lai

Last weekend, the Emory women's tennis team expanded its horizons by hearing how to say "come on," "let's go," and certain expletives I can not write here, in many other languages.

This new plethora of useful information came not from our classrooms but instead from our two matches against Brenau and Auburn-Montgomery. Both matches entailed playing talented international players that made everyone work extremely hard.

Brenau's match was originally rained out Thursday but thankfully moved to Friday so we could get some good competition. With Tommy manning the radio and avidly calling out every song he knew, the team was well prepared and fired up when we reached Gainesville, Ga.

As Jamie hinted in the last journal entry, our word for the season is tough. This word could not be more appropriate than when discussing Jamie and Carina's doubles match.
Although struggling to finish off the other team, they managed to stay not just physically tough, but also mentally tough to secure the win. Serena and Alex won their doubles easily, frustrating their opponents with their well-known consistency.

After going up 2-1 in doubles, we all took the courts to show them our singles skills. With wins from Carina, Richie, and myself, we finished the day with another win and headed back to the van to thaw.

Have you ever woken up to your alarm and thought, "Oh, just five more minutes," and turned off your alarm thinking you would wake up five minutes later only to wake up much later exactly at the time you were supposed to be somewhere? Of course you have!

This is exactly what happened to Linda when we ALMOST left Atlanta one Asian short. Fortunately, Linda managed to get ready in one minute (maybe we should mimic Jamie and all sleep in our uniforms!) and hopped in the van for the two and a half hour drive to the stellar capital of Alabama.

I must include the highlights of the morning to be Amy's dancing to Kanye West's "Work It Out," and Tommy's Bob Dylan impressions through an imaginary orange cone, which was classic.

The defending NAIA national champions, Auburn-Montgomery (AUM), proved to be a great match. Jamie and Carina "saw the rainbow" when they once again outplayed their doubles opponent.

After great doubles play, the highlights of the match came when both the No. 1 (Carina) and No. 2 singles (Serena) players successfully stayed tough and beat very strong players. Serena, the former model with stunning photo shoot pictures, especially kept focus throughout her three-set match.

Thanks again to the wonderful coaching by Amy and Tommy. Both were able to fire up the team and make us play with heart.

A difference exists between winning and playing tough. Not to overuse our precious word, but I think that is exactly what happened during the AUM match. We played tough, something that will continue on our path to the top.

 


 

April 18, 2005 - Indu Anand

More than 50 huge chocolate chip and nut bakery cookies were eaten by the Emory tennis team (made up of eight strong, fast, athletic girls) over a period of four days! Who else could do that?

This was our first tennis trip away from Emory without our coach Amy Smith, who attended her best friend's wedding as the maid of honor. Instead, our assistant coach Glenn Hill took over the coaching responsibilities for the 2005 UAA championship weekend. Even though Amy was not there coaching on the sidelines, this did not stop the Eagles from dominating in every match.

When we arrived in Boston on Thursday, it was freezing outside! Accustomed to playing and practicing in 80-degree weather, we had to adjust quickly to the cold. When we arrived at the hotel, we were amazed at its high quality. We were used to crappy hotels with broken bathroom doors and toilets that didn't flush, but these rooms were huge suites with kitchens.

We attended a tennis banquet later that evening which served three different types pasta and bread rolls. Jamie was disappointed there was no meat, vegetables, or dessert, but she definitely loaded up on carbohydrates, which lasted her the entire weekend.

Friday morning we woke up at 6:30 am to get ready for our first-round match against NYU. We beat them 9-0! Because we finished early, we got lunch and went back to the hotel to relax before heading to Tufts University, even though they are not part of our conference. We thought that this team would be a struggle to beat, but the Eagles rocked it 11-1 (losing only one match in a third-set tie-breaker).

After our match we went to Green Papaya for delicious Thai food, and went back to the luxurious hotel (where we ate more cookies). Extremely exhausted, we went to bed early except for Carina who spent hours on the phone and Jamie who could not stop watching movies on the hotel TV!

Luckily, on Saturday we played one match against University of Chicago, and we only started at 1 p.m., so we got to sleep in. Again, there were no surprises in the results. We won 9-0! Richie played a great match winning after being down a set!

After our matches, we had time to go back to the hotel to take a dip in the hot tub, get cleaned up, and then drove to a nearby area with restaurants. We went to Jake's Roadhouse where I had the biggest dinner of my life. I had never eaten that much chicken in my life (I only started eating meat two months ago out of the 18 years of my life).

By the time we finished our feast, there was no time to explore the city, so we went back to the hotel and spent time trying to do homework and checkout the other hot male tennis players at the hotel (ok, fine, maybe that was just Alex and I). Poor Jamie had to take a test, and Linda actually did homework, while Lindsay sat around eating packs and packs of Swedish fish.

We woke up early again Sunday morning to pack up our bags and load them into the car. We had breakfast in our rooms and went to our last match versus Washington University in the finals of the tournament. We breezed through our doubles and most of our singles matches beating Wash U 8-1. Like, every year before, since this tournament was created, the Emory women held on to the championship crown!

When our flight finally landed in Atlanta, Amy was there to greet us with beautiful roses! The weekend was amazing! Out of 40 individual matches played by our team, we won every match but two! Now, isn't that amazing? I think so! There was so much excitement and energy, and we are pumped for our regional and national tournaments to come! Let's soar Eagles!

May 11, 2005 - Jamie Chan

In the finals of the NCAA sub-regional tournament, the Emory Eagles soared over the Rhodes Lynx, earning a spot in the quarterfinals of the NCAA national tournament.

The weather was hot and the air was filled with excited cheers from both sides. We knew that Rhodes would come out fired up, so we began our warmup with a team huddle and a robust "Emory!" cheer. Armed with ribbons in our hair and smiles on our faces, we might have looked like just another tennis team to the casual observer.

However, inside each of us was the intense desire to win -- and win with conviction. The doubles matches went well and we secured two points from our wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. At No. 3 doubles, Lindsay and Indu took their opponents to a tough tiebreaker during which there were many hard-fought points and nail-biting put-away volleys, but they fell just short of claiming the win. With the team score at 2-1, we knew that we had to buckle down in the singles matches and stay focused.

Serena and Linda trounced their opponents and brought the score to a commanding 4-1 lead. However, both Richie and Carina were unable to overcome their worthy opponents and finally succumbed to defeat after many exhilarating points. Now, the score was 4-3 with two matches still in progress.

All we needed was a win from either Indu or I for our team to move on to the national quarterfinals. I won my first set, but was trailing 1-5 in the second set. However, I rallied back to go up 6-5, but lost the set in a tight tiebreaker. Determined to secure a spot for our team at nationals, I kept telling myself to push on and "leave it all on the court."

I went up to a quick 4-0 lead in the third set, but was so dehydrated that both my legs cramped up and I was unable to take another step. Sheri, our wonderful trainer, and Coach Amy rushed onto the court to massage my legs and get them moving again. Their massage gave me a slight reprieve from the pain, and I continued with the match, hobbling to every ball I could reach.

Unfortunately, cramps aren't like lightning...they DO strike the same place twice. On the court next to me, Indu was trying to keep her match alive by fighting off multiple match points against her when she too started cramping up. I thought, "Oh no! We can't lose the match like this!"

When Indu went down, I heard someone on the opposing team say, "Don't let her get to you!" I thought, "Do they really think we're faking our cramps?! Who would want to fake having cramps?"

However, just as the wind is known as the "great equalizer" in tennis, so are cramps. Shortly after Indu started cramping, my opponent also started cramping and was suffering from heat exhaustion. Sheri, who was understandably stressed out, told one of the umpires that if the fourth player started cramping, he would have to call 9-1-1 because there was no way she would be able to take care of all four players.

Thankfully, Indu's opponent did not start cramping. Finally, after three long hours, my singles match was over - I won the match with a backhand winner and secured our place in the national quarterfinals!

However, there was no time for celebration after the match because Indu, my opponent - Hennessy, and I were sent to the training room so that Sheri could monitor our fatigued condition. Hennessy was taken to the E.R. because she was overheated and suffering from full body cramping. Indu and I were told that we couldn't leave the training room until we urinated, proving that we were somewhat hydrated.

However, after sitting in the training room for more than an hour drinking water and Pedialyte, Indu and I were taken to the E.R. because we still weren't hydrated enough and our condition had worsened. Sheri drove us to the E.R. where we received two bags of saline solution through an I.V.

Sheri, Mary Ellen Gordon, Lindsay, and Coach Amy stayed with us throughout the night until we were finally released from the hospital feeling 100 percent better than when we entered. After six hours of tennis, one and a half hours in the training room, and four hours in the E.R., we were finally headed back to our comfortable dorm rooms.

As we were walking back, I realized that Indu and I ended the day as we began it - our ribbons were still in our hair (if not slightly askew), we were still wearing our tennis uniforms, and we each had a smile on our face. However, one thing was different...our team had a hard fought victory over Rhodes and a spot in the NCAA national quarterfinals! Kalamazoo, here we come!

I would like to thank everyone who cheered us on during the match and helped us recover afterwards. There is never a dull moment in the life of an Emory women's tennis player. I'm looking forward to sharing more exciting and interesting experiences with my teammates.

Hopefully, one of those experiences will be winning nationals for the third year in a row. Stayed tuned for more news from Kalamazoo!

June 16, 2005 - Indu Anand

Once again, we are the NCAA national champion, for the third year in a row. Even though we were only seeded No. 3 at the national championship, we were confident that we could win again.

We arrived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, late at night on Monday, May 16th We were amazed by the luxurious Victorian bed and breakfast house where we were staying. After exploring the house and meeting our wonderful host we went to bed ready for practice the next morning.

We woke up the next morning to the smell of fresh banana nut muffins and cinnamon French toast. After the breakfast we went to the courts to check in, practice, and scope out the competition. The other players were tough, but we were tougher!

We had lunch at Rollie Pollie and later that day, we attended a players' meeting and a small parade before going to the amazing banquet where we loaded up on carbs and dove into the sundae bar. When we got back to our house, we gathered into Richie and Lindsay's room to watch TV and prepare for our first day of competition.

We woke up Wednesday morning to Jamie running around the house screaming at the top of her lungs, "EMORY TENNIS! EMORY TENNIS! WAKE UP! EMORY TENNIS!" The entire house was up in a minute. After our breakfast Jamie, Lindsay, Linda and I went next door to the Kalamazoo Art Institute. We looked at the paintings and took pictures.

After our lunch at Rollie Pollie, which was our lunch every day in Kalamazoo, we went to the courts to warm up for our quarterfinal match against Redlands (Calif.). Mary Ellen Gordon, former Emory tennis national champion, and Jamie's parents were there supporting us at the match.

Lindsay and I crushed our opponents 8-0 in the doubles and Emory was up 2-1 going into the singles. We won the next three singles matches to move us into the next round. After a filling dinner at Pasta Pasta we went back to our house to watch, "Meet the Fockers." It was too funny!

The next morning we woke up once again to Jamie's screaming and also the pouring rain. My parents drove up that morning to make it to our semifinal match of the championship against the No. 2 seed, Amherst (Mass.).

We played our matches indoors and won all three doubles in amazing comeback victories; however, singles did not go so well. Linda and I were waiting patiently for open courts. Jamie won her match, but now all the pressure was on me to win my match, so we could go onto the finals.

After winning the first set in a tiebreaker, with the support of all my teammates and the other fans, I won the match, 6-3 in the second set. We went out to dinner at a steakhouse to celebrate our amazing win. We showed that we were still green and growing!

Friday morning we woke up to my screaming rather than Jamie's. We were ready to take on the No. 1 seed, Washington & Lee (Va.). Before leaving to Rollie Pollie for lunch we did our usual morning jog. Poor Linda tripped and scraped herself badly, but she's a warrior and toughed it through. Serena's mom had come to the hosue and brought us Amazing M&M bars because we are all amazing.

We got to the courts for our warm-up and to my surprise, my little sister Anu and my friend Mike from Emory had driven up to cheer us on! Before we started play, I recited a beautifully written pump up speech that I had prepared that morning. This got everyone in the mood to dominate!

Lindsay and I won our doubles and Jamie and Carina had an amazing nerve-wracking doubles match. We were up 2-1 going into the singles. After I came off the court, we were up 3-1. Jamie came off soon after with an amazing win making the score 4-2.

Poor Linda was up 4-1 in the second set and about to win; however, painful cramps took over her body and she was rushed to the emergency room unable to finish her match!

In the meantime, Richie had lost the first set, won the second set, and was up 2-1 in the third. The entire championship final came down to Richie's match!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like always, the Eagles prevail! Richie came through to win the match on a double fault! We did it again! We were the national champions! We accepted our trophy and NCAA watches with pride. Linda and Amy were in the hospital together, but they were with us in spirit!