Follow the happenings of an animated college tennis coach and his teams in their pursuit of an NCAA National Tennis Championship. It is always the impressive trophy that is displayed for all to admire that gets the attention, but it is the journey to claiming that trophy, the relationships built, the people served and the memories created, that live forever...and what I hope you will find interesting...
Today turned out to be a beautiful day in terms of the weather in spite of a rainy forecast. It also turned into a great day for tennis and a win over St. John's University 5-4 (click here for box score).
Playing once again without Dani and his lingering injury and Felix (flu) we still jumped out to a 2-1 lead after the doubles. A bit disappointed in the effort and intensity at #1 (Geza and Tamas) but #2 and #3 picked up the slack and pushed us to the lead. I was certainly pleased with Ricardo and Andrey at #2 playing together for the first time and beating a tough SJU team. Andreas and David continued their roll and won easily at #3.
The singles featured some pretty high quality and exciting tennis from both teams and we were able to win at 3 positions to clinch the match. Tamas was particularly solid today playing in his last home match as a Clipper. It has been a great career for Tamas and there are still a few more wins for him in the near future. It is too bad that Felix was not well enough to play in this one but I am sure he will be ready to contribute in the NCAA tournament and end his college tennis on a high note.
We now await the NCAA tournament bracket announcement tomorrow. We will be the #1 seed in the East region and have a bye in the first round. At this time, we are not sure where we will play and who our opponent will be but we will be ready regardless. Check back tomorrow and I will be sure to let you know the particulars.
Your Clippers have done it again! Back-to-back CACC Championships and back to back 5-0 wins vs. Philadelphia University in the finals (click here for the box score). Even more impressive is the 64-0 record in CACC individual match play this season. You just can't do better than that. Frankly, I hope we never do it again as I hope that the CACC gets even stronger in the near future. I know that there are some hungry coaches out there looking to challenge us and mirror our success. Of course, it's my job to see that we always stay just a little bit ahead.
In addition, the conference season ending awards were announced after the final match in a brief ceremony. Coach Neil was once again voted Coach of the Year, Andrey was voted Player of the Year, and Dani was voted Rookie of the Year. In addition, Tamas was named second team all CACC and Geza, Andrey, Dani and David were all named first team all CACC. I really believe that any and all of our players could have been named to the all conference squad so please join me and congratulating all of them on a great season.
Next up for us will be St. John's University and Concordia Tennis alum, Coach Eric Rebhuhn, on Monday, 4/25 at home at the Meyers Tennis Center on our campus. I am not sure that Dani will be back in uniform as his injury is still lingering. However, this match will provide some really solid competition for the team and I hope that they play well. We need to stay sharp for the upcoming NCAA tournament.
Hope to see you all soon and have a Happy and Blessed Easter.
We were able to beat Queens College 5-4. I am always happy with a win but this time, not at all happy with some of the play. Sadly, we had three players who presented their matches with gift wrap to their opponents for some reason.
We got up quickly be sweeping the doubles and Andreas and Tamas sealed the win with rather quick work on the singles courts. However, those five points would be all that we amassed on the afternoon.
Dani sat out again with injury and we really need him back healthy to have any chance in May.
Next up is the CACC semifinal today vs. Chestnut Hill College @ 3pm. Stop on by the college today and witness the event.
It's time to lay it on the line today Clipper fans. We are off to Queens College (NY) today to play the Knights. This is essentially the match of the year in the NCAA II Eastern Region. Well, honestly, it's the only match of the year...
I expect that coach Schwartz will have the boys motivated for the upset and we expect nothing less than a solid effort from QC. This is another test for our team and I really hope that we come out firing on all cylinders. We need to get into the habit of playing well right from the start of matches instead of easing our way into contests and finding ourselves down after the doubles.
We moved to a record of 18-2 with a 9-0 win over ASA. I am sure that ASA is right at the tip of your tongue when it comes to the powerhouses of tennis in the East. However, all kidding aside, they are probably one of the better teams in the area.
Also, if anyone can tell me in the comment section without searching the internet what ASA stands for, I will be very impressed and will give you a much deserved shout out on this blog.
We have a conference match today versus Post at 3pm. Thankfully, due to rain, the match has been moved to Concordia and our indoor courts. Also, this is our last CACC regular season match. What a relief. Of course, we will have to play two post season matches next week in order to claim the championship. Not to sound down on the conference but the teams are so weak that it is hard to motivate the players and it hurts our preparation. We would rather have a practice day. Also, the CACC final is in Philadelphia and the travel takes away from player study time. I know that there a few coaches that are excited to build strong teams and I hope that they do just that.
I am heavy on the recruiting trail for next year. We have one player already admitted and cleared and am just looking for one additional player. The trick is to find the right young man to join us. I hope to locate the proper fit and be even better next season.
In other news, Andrey Boldarev was named CACC Player of the Week and David Tisserand was named CACC Rookie of the Week. Click here for the full press release.
What a crazy few days. After our historic comeback versus Lander we took on Francis Marion, #14 in the Nation. We had a good day and swept all 9 matches. I certainly never expect to win all 9 points against a team like FMU. They really fought hard and played the good tennis. Also, I really appreciated the sportsmanship that they displayed.
Saturday we went back to work and played South Carolina Aiken #30. This was a morning match as we were scheduled to fly out of SC at 6pm. Keep in mind I wrote scheduled. In any case, we defeated Aiken 8-1 and continued to play the solid tennis. Pretty business-like on all courts. The only bad news is that Dani could not play due to a finger injury. We hope it gets better soon.
I am always pleasantly surprised when we display this sort of consistent effort when playing such tough matches on consecutive days. However, it has happened several times this season so I guess I should be accustomed to it now. This is what we will need to do to be successful in May. I think we just need to overcome or prevent the slow starts.
After the win, we were back to the luxury accommodations of the Econo Lodge to shower and pack for the flight. We arrived plenty early at the Florence airport, which is about the size of a tennis court. Sadly, significant weather had moved into the area and the flight was delayed, delayed and delayed some more until finally is was canceled at 1am. Much to our chagrin, no flights out to Charlotte for a few days. As a result, we were forced to take a 2:30am shuttle bus to Charlotte which is a 2.5 hour drive from Florence. So much fun...NOT. We arrived in Charlotte at 4:30am and decided not get hotel rooms and thus slept on the airport floor. So comfortable for the 3rd ranked team in the country. We have a 10am flight to Newark but that is now delayed as well. Isn't that swell.
Well, with any luck, I will be able to get home to Bronxville and get some sleep. Sleep has been hard to come by these last few days for reasons outlined earlier.
We are now 16-2 and the 2 were both losses of the closest 5-4 kind. Not too shabby. We will go back to work this week and have CACC Post on Wednesday, ASA on Thursday and St. John's on Sunday. Both ASA and SJU are at home so stop on by.
Sorry for the lack of posts but I promise to update you all as soon as I get home. You see we have been stuck in South Carolina due to weather conditions and slept on the airport floor. Check back soon...
Let me begin by mentioning that yesterday, in our match versus Lander University, I witnessed something for the first time as a college coach...
We arrived nice and early at Francis Marion University where we were to play our neutral site match against the #11 ranked Lander tennis men. We needed to get a good warm up as we were back playing out of doors which is something we have not really been able to do since coming back from Las Vegas weeks ago. Also, we had not been able to play Wednesday as it was a travel day for us. Of course, we knew very well that Lander is a great team and one that was hungry to upset us and move themselves up in the rankings. I just did not want a repeat of what happened against ACU where we got off to a terrible start and were not able to recover.
Well, sadly the worst happened. We got off to a terrible start again. We just flat out did not play well during the doubles matches. Lander was up to the task and took advantage of our miscues. We lost all three matches which is usually a death blow. I have never witnessed a team comeback from a 3-0 deficit in all of my years of coaching. I know it has happened a few times, but never at Concordia. Not exactly where we wanted to be for sure.
The tide turned. The team was probably expecting a pre-singles lecture from the coaching staff highlighted by plenty of curse words. However, we didn't give them one. Trying to stay positive, we knew that we lost the doubles simply because we didn't play well, not because Lander was so much better than us and not because we played without effort.
Wouldn't you know it, we got off to a great start in the singles and raced out to first sets on 5 of 6 courts. Tamas was struggling a bit with his health and was feeling dizzy and breathless. He lost his first set. Shortly thereafter, we had three points on the board as Andreas was back to himself wining in under an hour at #6. Andrey also quickly dispatched the #5 ranked player for our second point. Next off was Dani with a routine win to even the match at 3-3. Geza, playing #3, was next off to give us the 4-3 lead. G really played nicely and fought back from a 5-2 deficit in the second to win it 7-5. David, who had won his first set dropped the second and went to a third. Luckily, the new balls allowed him to speed up the game and he won it 6-0 to complete the comeback. Tamas was still battling as usual and took his match to the third set. He seemed to feel better as the match went on and fought his way to a victory. The match was over for a 6-3 win. Not too shabby. I really thought that Lander was a great team and a bunch of classy young men. This starts at the top with the coach. I am sure that we will see them again in Florida for the Nationals.
I was really proud of the guys today and learned a lesson about staying positive. Most of us enjoyed a nice dinner at Ruby Tuesdays later that evening highlighted by a nice free piece of New York cheesecake. I think the team made a new friend in our waitress.
Today we play our host and 14th ranked Francis Marion University. They were watching our match pretty closely yesterday and enjoyed our long afternoon in the sun. I know that their coach, Garth Thomson, who is a really nice man by the way, will have them ready to play. We will need to show the same toughness we showed in Florida to get the win. The match is set to begin at 2pm.
Sleep is not coming easily here for me. Coach T. continues the chainsaw-like snoring, the room alarm clock sounded at 5:15am on Thursday prompting me to rip it out of the wall and hurl it across the room, and Coach T's watch alarm went off this morning at 5am for no good reason. You might be thinking that Neil wanted to get up for an early morning jog or gym appearance. Absolutely not! I think he would sleep all day if I let him.
The CACC has announced it's weekly awards and Andreas has been named the Player of the Week (and perhaps has earned himself a steak dinner) and Ricardo has been named the Rookie of the Week (second week in a row).
So far we have had the POY and ROY in each of the first 4 weeks of the CACC season.
Who is it going to be next week???
By the way, I love my team...and want great things for them.
I am looking forward to practice today. We really need a couple of great preparation days to be ready for Lander on Thursday and FMU/USCA on Friday/Saturday. I hope the weather cooperates. I am very concerned about these matches and hope we rise to the occasion. We certainly do not want a repeat of what happened in Las Vegas.
Also, welcome back to my Brazilian and Swedish readers. It was great to have you here with us and I will try to keep you entertained here for the rest of the year. Be well.
Yes sir. Another 9-0 win over Bloomfield today on a gorgeous day in Bronxville. As a result, our conference record stands at a perfect 5-0 with one match versus Post remaining. In addition, we have a perfect 45-0 record in CACC individual match play.
Next up for the Clippers will be a quick trip to SC to play three ranked opponents in Lander, Francis Marion and USC Aiken. This should be another stiff test and a good means of preparation for the championships in near future.
Come on down to the Meyers Tennis Center on the campus of Concordia College today at 11am for our match versus Bloomfield College. This is another big CACC match as we look to stay undefeated in conference play.
I got involved with Concordia Tennis as a way to honor my parents who were both professors and coaches at the college back in the 1960's and also to give back to the program that provided so much for me.
I started with a dream of taking a team to the National "Sweet 16". However, once we got there and I saw what it took to win a National Championship, it looked possible and that became my goal. I thought for a long time that I must have one. However, over time, I realized that it is more important to focus on building champions rather than winning championships and that relationships are far more important than achievements. Thus, a stronger purpose became clear. I am here to love, serve, care for and lead my teams...
"I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters, and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others he has placed in my path." - Ben Stein
"You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy." - Arthur Ashe
“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it.” - Knute Rockne
“If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today.” - Lou Holtz
"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." - Vince Lombardi
"The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break." - John Madden
"Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
"Success is a journey, not a destination." - Arthur Ashe
"Champions keep playing until they get it right." - Billie Jean King
"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play." - Mike Singletary
"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden
"The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that's the day you start to the top." - O.J. Simpson
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." - John Wooden
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
"If you want to be good, focus on making yourself better. If you want to be great, focus on making yourself and your team better." - Jon Gordon