Feb. 6, 2012
Throughout her final season at Tennessee, senior Natalie Pluskota will provide her account of the 2012 Lady Vol tennis team's experiences on and off the court. In her second entry, Pluskota talks about UT's two ranked wins over the weekend and the top Super Bowl commercials.
LUCK OF THE LADY VOLS
Coming off a pair of wins and a great week of practice, it was time for a "statement" weekend. We were scheduled to play 24th-ranked Notre Dame, a team that we have not beaten during my career here, and No. 10 Michigan. We felt good going into the weekend, but it was hard to know what we had until we went through it.
The energy surrounding the Notre Dame match was exciting, knowing that not only we get a chance to play them at home, but we were ready to do what it took to win. We came out and made a statement during doubles, and the intensity on every court was evident. The crowd was great and engaged in the matches the entire time.
This match was the first time that several of the parents of the girls were here in the stands. It was exciting seeing Joanna's "mum" and dad in the stands for the first time! In addition to the Henderson's, Cait's family was there, Sarah's mom, and my mom! There is nothing better than playing in front of your friends and families, and to share such a dominating victory over Notre Dame with them behind us was even better.
Side note: I absolutely love the broadcasting crew that covers our matches! They are doing such a great job with the live stream and highlight videos. Special thanks to Amanda Pruitt as well. Her commentary for the live feed is great from what I hear!
Going into practice on Saturday, everyone was a bit stiff and sore. We got a solid hit in that afternoon and got out of there, considering we had to be back early that next morning.
ANOTHER TOP 10 FOE
Preparation for a top-ten matchup started last fall for us. All the work that we have been putting in all year would ultimately help us defeat Michigan. Half of our line up consists of three freshmen, and for all three of them this is the biggest home match that we have played in all year. The girls knew how big of an opportunity this was, and that we needed to capitalize on it. When the match finally started, we came out as flat as I have seen us play in doubles all year, but we still earned the point.
Before singles, I called the girls in for a quick talk, demanding that we pick up our energy level for singles, knowing that we had tough matches ahead. We needed to create momentum and come out strong. Singles started a little rough, falling behind on a several courts, but we picked it up as time went on. There was tremendous energy when Brynn, Sarah, and I started coming back in our first sets. We could feel the momentum swinging in our direction, and it was awesome to be a part of. I have never been so proud of this team; everyone dug in deep, and played solid tennis. I can't overstate how huge this win was for us, and will give us confidence and momentum leading into National Indoors.
Following the match, most of us hung around to watch the men's match. Then everyone went their separate ways. For some of us, it was time to watch the COMMERCIALS during the Super Bowl. For me, I like to eat and socialize during the game, and then turn my full attention to the advertisements. Super Bowl Sunday is the only day of the year that I thoroughly enjoy watching commercials.
The Team's Favorite Super Bowl Commercials:
Kata: M&M's Commercial: It's that kind of party
Caits: The Dog Strikes Back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day
Jesse: Did not watch
Brynn: The Dog Strikes Back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day
Jo: Didn't watch either, after all the talk about how she needed to because of the commercials! I guess there is always next year!
Vegas (Sarah): Sketchers: GOrun Mr. Quiggly
My Top Five (The Final Say):
5. The Dog Strikes back: 2012 Volkswagen Game Day
4. Audi: Vampire Party
3. Sketchers: GOrun Mr. Quiggly
2. Doritos: Man's Best Friend
1.M&M'sCommercial: It's that kind of party (hands down the best commercial)
For a "statement" weekend, the commercials came through, and so did our team. I can't wait to see what's next!