May 15, 2003
The team met downstairs in the hotel restaurant for breakfast at 7:30 am. We have a very early match on Saturday and must get accustomed to waking up early. We were scheduled the 9:00 am practice session at the main tennis facility where the tournament is going to be held. It began to rain early in the morning and it was obvious we would have to move our practice to the indoor tennis facility at UGA (University of Georgia) and share the four courts with the other teams that were also scheduled for the 9:00 a.m. practice session.
When we got to the facility, we learned that they had just resurfaced the tennis courts 24 hours ago and just painted the lines on the courts last night. The indoor courts would not be available for use until tomorrow morning.
We drove back to the hotel for a short team meeting to discuss the possible scenarios caused by the rain. We felt with the weather report that the rains would stop and that the courts would be dry and ready to hit early afternoon. With some free time, a huge card game began down the hall. Several players and I walked down the street to get coffee while others caught up on some school work.
Everyone walked across the street around 12:30 pm to this little pizza/sandwich restaurant for lunch before we left to practice. By the time we got to the tennis stadium, there were already four other teams hitting. The rain started to come down again during our practice but it quickly dried when the sun came out 10 minutes later. I think all the guys are quickly adjusting to both the humidity and time, and are prepared for Saturday's match against Oklahoma State.
Much congratulations to the UCLA women's team which came from behind to win a 4-3 thriller against Washington in the Sweet 16 in Florida. While we could not be there to watch them, we were following the entire match via the internet. We now wish them the best of luck tomorrow as they play Duke in the Elite Eight.
We spent the evening with our host family. Each year a local family "adopts" a team and cheers them on throughout the tournament. The Athens tennis community is always so hospitable and we had a good time watching the Laker game with them, even though they lost.
Tomorrow will be our last day of preparation and practice before competition begins Saturday morning. Signing off from Athens, Georgia.