the lines are still good

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...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas!

I am so very pleased to wish you all Season's Greetings.  This is always a wonderful time of the year.  I love the Christmas Spirit and it's true meaning.  I am not sure I like the cold temperatures but something about a "White Christmas"; the possibility of snow in the forecast warms the heart.

Bronxville, NY is such a beautiful small town.  How wonderful to take a walk or short drive about the surroundings of the college to see the Christmas Spirit alive and well.  Houses decorated in such a way that the night is lit up without the need for street lights.  Also, the sounds of church bells ringing and voices singing Christmas Carols in the distance.  Fantastic.

I am glad that the players had the opportunity to travel to destinations full of family or have family visit here in New York.  I certainly hope that everyone is enjoying their time with their families as, at the end of the day, family is what really especially matters at this time of the year.


I hope that all of my loyal readers worldwide have a Merry Christmas and enjoy everything that the season offers.  I look forward to seeing many of you again soon.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Nuff said...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Selecting a Uniform...


We are undertaking the arduous task of selecting uniforms for the upcoming season.  We always ask the team for suggestions and their opinions concerning this as they are the ones wearing them and they must be comfortable.  Naturally, we would like to look mighty sharp while representing the college.  Below is a possible combination. 

 

 Nuff said...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Time For Prayer...


Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night and give your angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and for all your love's sake.

- George Baum


Amen

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's the end of the semester as we know it...(click the title)



End of the semester greetings everyone!!!

No more homework, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks.  Players have survived 12/12/12, have taken their finals and many have already boarded planes headed home for the holidays. 

This is always a bit of a tough time for a coach.  Even though one gets a little break from the teams and subsequent practices, matches, strength and conditioning sessions and so on, there is also a downside.  I guess I am always a little concerned about this month off.  I am keenly aware that for us to be successful in May, we must continue with our preparation.  This is not always easy as the players must do this on their own mostly.  There are certainly the temptations to relax more than usual and to avoid tennis and conditioning in favor of reconnecting with friends and family.  As fortune would have it, the players have received a reasonable conditioning packet for the break which will not only keep them in shape but will also enhance their fitness levels and ensure that we hit the ground running in January upon our return to the courts.  I know that the team desires to be special this year and I am therefore certain that all will judiciously follow the program.  I have this trust.  We are a players first program and that must also mean that the players want to win and are willing to do the work. 


I too will be preparing.  I celebrated just a little too much this past Thanksgiving and have grown larger.  The team will see a new and improved Coach when they return for the spring semester.  You have my word.  Now, I am not saying that I will be joining them for the plyos but I will be fitting into my uniform for sure.  I guarantee it.

I wish everyone safe travels.

Nuff said...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Final Exam Week...



Well it's that time of the semester.  The end of the term is near and that means final exams.  As frequent readers know, we are very proud of our academics here in Clipperville.  I pretty much take any opportunity to boast about last year's ITA All-Academic team status achieved by both squads and having seven ITA Scholar Athletes.

With that being said, please join me in wishing all of our fine student athletes good luck as they take their exams.  We hope to make being recognized for strong academic performance a tradition here with Concordia Tennis.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012



Former Clipper Cristiano Borrelli '04 (right) and girlfriend Sonaira (left) with Roger...

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The End...



Well folks, that's all she wrote for the fall semester as far as tennis is concerned.  According to NCAA legislation, Rule 17.1.6.2.5 in case you were wondering, just a small paragraph of the ridiculously cumbersome and over-bearing 358 page finely printed 2012-2013 NCAA manual, countable athletically related activity (CARA) must cease after 11/30/12, yesterday.  Essentially, the NCAA decrees that no supervised athletic activities in our sport may take place from one week prior to our final exam period through the end of the semester.

Of course, it is becoming increasingly difficult to remember my college days but as I recall, I was a pretty decent student.  I approached my studies, and especially final exams, seriously.  Further, we expect our student athletes to succeed in the classroom as demonstrated in both teams achieving ITA All Academic status last season.  However, I am pretty certain that I did not completely cease all other activity so as to prepare.  In fact, I thought is was important to continue with my conditioning and/or athletics to clear my mind and to relieve any stress that may have accumulated.  Well, sadly, the NCAA feels that 6 weekly hours of plyometric conditioning out of 168 total hours in the week is unreasonable and far too taxing.  Oh well...


That being said, our conditioning segment was quite successful as the players have performed well and have shown  measurable increases.  The team surely understands that their fitness is, and will be, vital next semester.  We will play top competition and need to be ready physically, mentally and emotionally for the grind which hopefully culminates in Surprise, Arizona and near 100 F degree temperatures.  We are still learning and thankfully it is only December.  I like my team this year and think we have a chance to be special in May if we prepare properly.  

Some of the key notions that have been stressed:
  • the importance of playing every point hard / not taking points off
  • closing time / finishing strong
  • never quitting 
  • playing for each other and being an unselfish teammate 

A special shout out to Clipper alum Doug O'Connell '89.  My good friend and former teammate has challenged himself to train side-by-side with the fellas and has represented the 45 and overs well.  It has been a pleasure to have him with us and he has added something special to the sessions.  The team looks forward to having Doug involved in the spring.  I think they especially like hearing some of the old stories of my playing days including my always respectful behavior and interactions with the coach...


Other notes:
  • I received a call from former Clipper Henning Ruenz this week.  Henning is back in Germany and currently working for Volkswagen.  He sends his regards to everyone and looks forward to returning to campus in the near future.
  • The team looks forward to the arrival of 2 players next semester.  More on that to come later...
  • Our women's team will also have some key additions.  Announcements forthcoming.  I have had so much fun coaching on the women's side and look forward to advancing our ranking.
Well, that's all for now Clipper-nation.  Check back frequently for updates and by all means join this site as a follower for improved access.  

Nuff said...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pain...


There are two types of pain in this world...

Pain that hurts you

and

Pain that changes you...

Nuff said...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting Some Help???



If you should have some free time on your hands check out this blog (Tennis has a steroid problem).  What do you think?  Does tennis have a steroid problem?

Nuff said...


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving...


Thanksgiving greetings to all of you! 

I am traveling this year and my good spirits (referring to my mood and not alcoholic beverages...well actually both) have come with me.  I know for certain that my zest for food has done so as well. 

It looks to be a brilliant weather day here in the Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic states, a perfect day for a morning Turkey Bowl.  I do not expect to lace up my retired cleats nor don my weathered receiver gloves this year as more of my efforts will be spent nestled up to the dinner table. 

I do miss the Thanksgiving morning football game with old friends which was always slated to begin "sharply" at 10:00AM.  This starting time proved over and over to be quite ambitious as Thanksgiving Eve in Bronxville was, and probably still is, the grandest, how do I say, "go-out" night of the year.  Not at all conducive to an early out of bed scenario followed by plenty of athletic movements and half-hearted sprints.  Who knows though, the team has recently become quite fond of "American Football" and begin each practice warming up with something that very slightly resembles the sport.  Thus, for me, there may be a return to the gridiron forthcoming.  Maybe I should even wait by the phone for a call from the Jets coach Rex Ryan (speaking of big eaters) to suit up...

In any case, I hope that all of you celebrating the day have a wonderful feast of fellowship.  Thanksgiving truly is one of my favorite days of the year. 


Be well everybody.

Nuff said...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Rankings Released...


The fall/preseason rankings have been released by the ITA and your Clipper (Men) have been placed placed at #14 Nationally and #1 in the East Region.  For a complete list of the national rankings click here. 

We will certainly be looking to make a homecoming to the top few teams in the country with the return of Andrey Boldarev and the addition of Illinois State University transfer Juuso Ojanen.  Andrey returns in top form and is eager to compete with the nation's elite players whereas Juuso has made an immediate splash by defeating Andrey at this year's ITA regional in September.

The Eastern rankings feature eight Clipper netmen including the top seven and also Ricardo Frey at #18.  It is quite an honor and achievement to have our full roster appear in the rankings and we will be working hard to stay there if not improve our position.  For a complete look at the eastern rankings click here.

The team has dedicated itself to a very disciplined approach going into the off season and leading up to the spring semester.  They are pushing harder than ever with their training and it is already paying dividends.  With this year's National Championships being held in Arizona, where the average temperature is scheduled to be in the high 90's F, player fitness will definitely be an issue and we will not accept conditioning as an excuse for poor performance if we are fortunate enough to qualify.


Check back soon for the release of the spring schedule.  We will continue to travel as much as possible to compete versus the top teams in the country including #1 Armstrong Atlantic State and #2 West Florida.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We were rained out today and will play tomorrow at 8am.  If we win, we will play again in the afternoon.  A tough task for sure for any of the teams advancing but I would certainly like to be advancing...

Nuff said...

Waiting...

Yes sir, more waiting.  Well, I guess not just waiting in general, but waiting to play our match.  Trying to find out if we are on time.


Actually had a little NCAA sponsored breakfast today.  Enjoyed some unripe fruit and murky coffee.  Did the trick.  Met up with a few of the guys that wanted some eats before the 9am cut off.  I must give props to good old coach Tarangioli who suggested a gym visit.  Thus, we went to get our workout on.  Oddly, as mentioned earlier, there is a $5 daily fee to use the hotel gym but we coughed up the cash.  I tried to charge it to the room of Lynn Coach Mike Perez but it was a cash only establishment.


In any case, the gym offers 360 degree views of the Ohio which made the treadmill a nicer experience.  Not that impressed with the weights and so forth but what can you do.

We will get a bit of a hit at the off site courts perhaps and then over for the match at 5pm...we hope.

You can follow along here I hope.  If not try this one and click on our match and then to live stats.

Off to Panera for lunch my friends.  I hope to have good news for you later.

Nuff said...

Another day down...

Another day in Louisville folks and I guess I just think it is time to get this thing started.  Lets play some tennis.  Of course, with our starting time of 5pm, which could be delayed, who knows if we will get on the courts at all.  I guess we could shorten the NCAA sanctioned 15 minute pre-match warm-up if we need to.

We had a nice day touring the area and learning a bit about legendary explorers Lewis and Clark and also York.  Also, over to Panera for lunch and a team's worth of cinnamon rolls.  We did indeed venture over to the Tom Sawyer courts for a 3pm practice.  However, the site is a bit of a hike from the hotel...not particularly ideal honestly.  As luck would have it, the NCAA actually let our entire team party of 11 step foot onto the site.  That is a win for sure.


The fellas look pretty solid and ready to battle versus Grand Canyon University.  I had a chance to watch our opponents play as they were also practicing at Tom Sawyer.  They looked very strong to me and this will certainly be a tough match.  I would not be surprised to see a 5-4 either way.  The one difficulty is that there are no lights at the site and given our late starting time, I worry that we may not get the match finished before darkness.  Who knows, maybe it won't be what I expect.

We crossed the Ohio river to Indiana for dinner at the Outback Steakhouse as per the players wishes.  Of course, after steak the night before, I was not ready to stomach another slab of cow.  Thus, I had the shrimp and a delicious sweet potato.  Not bad.

We had a brief team meeting to remind the players of what to expect and then off to the hotel atrium again for some mingling.  We were blessed by a cameo guest appearance by NCAA National Women's Coach of the Year Simon Earnshaw from Armstrong Atlantic.  Simon is always good for a good story or two and many laughs.  He has done a great job this year and really deserves any recognition available.  I can only hope that some day I am able to figure out how to achieve such success and how to distribute the "bags of cash".


Well it is definitely bed time for Bonzo.  Of course, I really do not need to rise early as I do not need to adhere to the NCAA breakfast schedule as I am still not credentialed.  However, I need some rest and I would like to get to the hotel gym tomorrow.  I may have to go to the ATM though as the Galt House hotel actually charges a daily or weekly fee to use the facilities...a great policy for an athletic national championship event full of athletes don't you think?


I look forward to the arrival of Ivan and Kathy of our Concordia athletic administration.  They are so helpful to us and really add to our chances of winning matches down here.  We will see them tomorrow.

Nuff said...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Good morning Louisville...


Rise and shine!

Well I am up.  Maybe the only one.  I finally got tired of touring the hotel and looking at the ceiling above my bed, which thankfully is clean (the ceiling and the hotel by the way).  So here is a post:

As mentioned, the hard-working coaching staff did head over to Morton's Steakhouse for a meal last night.  I think we deserved it.  Sadly, the NCAA does not allow for more than your traveling party of 9 to attend the opening ceremonies.  Thus, our players went to Churchill Downs without us as we have brought along 9 players.  Too bad for me as a huge horse racing fan but maybe another time.  In any case, the reviews were positive and those that were able to attend had a nice time.  We certainly ate well at Morton's and it helped to ease the disappointment.


We met up with coaches Schwartz and Tasso in the hotel atrium for the remainder of the NY Rangers game and enjoyed the fellowship and the 3-0 win for the blueshirts.  Glad the bartender, who resembles the lead singer for the popular 80's progressive rock band "The Thompson Twins", was able to find the game and actually say a few words.  He was about as sullen a fellow as you will find and probably better suited to be a night watchmen with no necessary human interaction.
The bed felt pretty good at the end of the day.  I had the room temperature down to about 63 F so a good sleep avec (French for with) ear plugs was had by me.  Again, no access to the breakfast as we only have 9 passes hence the hotel tour and search for some sustenance.

Let's see what the day has in store for us.  We plan to practice at the tournament site at 3pm so perhaps I will find the hotel gym for a workout.  Also, I would like to walk around the neighborhood and see what is out there.  I hope I will be let onto the tournament grounds by the NCAA.  Who knows...

Have a great day!

Nuff said...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Louisville


Well, we arrived safely and are ready to begin the quest.  A bit of an early start via Southwest Airlines as we were on the 7:30am flight to Louisville through Baltimore.  Of course, gone are the days of getting to the airport 20 minutes before departure.  As a result, an unfriendly 4:45 alarm this morning.

This was my first time flying Southwest and experiencing the no assigned seat policy.  However, not to worry, I was in group A, which is good, for both legs of the trip and found myself in the aisle and bulkhead.  Not too shabby Clipper fans.

We are staying in the Galt House, in downtown Louisville which overlooks the Ohio river.

We enjoyed a bit of lunch and then off to the practice courts.  We had to find our own accommodations as practice in not allowed at the tournament site until tomorrow.  We found courts at Central Park just a few miles away and were surprised to find very nice courts...far better that what we experienced at Merrimack.  Very nice temperatures today and pretty decent hitting.  We hit for about an hour and then vacated the courts to a patiently waiting Ouachita Babtist squad.  Had a chance to meet Coach Ward, a nice guy.

Tonight is the opening ceremony which will be held at Churchill Downs.  Unfortunately, the NCAA only provides for 9 team members.  Since we are travelling with 11 Coach Neil and I will not attend.  Perhaps we will take the opportunity to find the local Morton's for a meal on the college.  Sorry about that Ivan...

Ok folks, gotta go.  The rental van I was given has faulty brakes and the tow truck is coming to take it back to the airport.  The fine people at Enterprise will be leaving me with an alternate minivan.  Hope it is a good one.

It is great to be in the great state of Kentucky, home of your 2012 National Basketball Champion Wildcats.  I hope I do not get accosted as I wear my UK apparel proudly.


I will be back to you soon.

Nuff said...


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Graduates

A hearty congratulations to our two graduates Dane Ostilly and Geza Bazula.  We are proud of you and wish you well in the future.  Of course, there is still some work left to be done on the tennis court but for now, celebrate your accomplishment.

Nuff said...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

NCAA's...


Greetings Clipper fans...

It's that time of the year again.  It's time to get excited for another NCAA Championship quest.  We have qualified for the "Sweet 16" in Louisville, Kentucky (a town that I normally think poorly of due to my Wildcat allegiance). 


We will square off against Grand Canyon University in the round of 16 and expect a great match.  Clearly, our quarter looks like the most competitive of the four.  Click here for the bracket.

I look forward to blogging the event from today up until we hit our last ball.  Check back for updates daily.

All the best to my Clipper family.

Nuff said...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

SBTB:NOW! Blog est.2001: BELL Coming Soon to MTV2

SBTB:NOW! Blog est.2001: BELL Coming Soon to MTV2: "Saved by the Bell" will premiere on it's new home MTV2 beginning on March 12! BELL will air weekdays beginning at 12pm with 4 episodes and ...

Friday, March 09, 2012

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Win...


Finally we were able to get over the hump and tally a win versus Flagler. I was certainly happy to win but we still have much work to do. That being said, we are pretty tough to beat in certain spots. We will need the other positions in the lineup to progress to that level in the near future if we are to achieve our goals.

We continue to struggle in doubles and we seem to have difficulty playing at a high level and with intensity at #2 and #1. David and Andreas have found the good tennis and are a perfect 3-0 on the spring trip. I must admit that I am very surprised about our lack of success at #2. Dani and Geza are a heck of a team and should be winning. It is really up to the coaching staff to figure out what is going wrong and to correct it. We need that point day in and day out. #1 is a bit of a mystery. We simply have not been able to get a pair playing at a high level at the same time. They have done a great job competing with the best but have had trouble keeping the intensity level high for an entire match. We have seen opponents do just that and that has been the difference between winning and losing. I do believe that we have seen great improvement and it should continue. I have confidence in our guys and they are open to learn and hungry to improve.

Versus Flagler, we went down again early 2-1 after the doubles. Although this was not what we were looking for or expecting in our bounce-back effort, I did feel very confident that we would be able to win five, if not six singles matches.

As I mentioned, we are pretty tough in spots. Benas played very good first and third sets and really fought hard. He is representing himself well and is improving each and every day. Benas is a young man who works very hard on and off the court and has the right attitude to succeed. I could not be more pleased. He plays with energy and intensity and that is responsible for his solid play. It was nice to see him get a win. Dani was solid defeating his opponent rather easily at #2. Andreas continues to battle but could not gain a win in another close match. Once he adjusts to the out of doors, he will be a solid top of the lineup player. David is just a machine. He does not give opponents an inch and was able to win while surrendering only one game. He has been a very bright spot on the trip. Mark is working hard at #5 and was able to win routinely. He will have to continue to work hard on fitness and maintain focus throughout an entire match. I still believe that he will drop very few matches this season. Tomasz cruised to victory and is beginning to find his singles game. He certainly has the tennis ability to succeed and will be a very tough out when his conditioning and intensity match his ability.

When all was said and done, we won the match 6-3 versus a tough Flagler team. It was great to get a win and gain some momentum going into the Armstrong match. In my opinion, along with many other coaches, Armstrong is the best team in the nation and maybe one of the best teams we have seen recently in NCAA D2. They are really not easy to beat at any of the nine positions. However, I think that we will be ready to play our best match of the young season and will compete very well. I think that we may see some nice surprises on Friday. It is very important to have a strong showing. We feel that we are a better team than our play and results have shown and that we should really be 3-0. We are essentially just two points away from being undefeated. Of course the record is what it is and our opponents have done a better job on the big points. They have been tougher and have deserved to win.

There is some good news as Geza seems to be feeling better and may be ready to play singles at the top of the lineup. It will really help us to get him back in there and move everybody down a spot. I am sure he is ready to give us a big effort.

We have a practice day today and will continue to work hard on improving each day. I will be killing it at the gym and also looking forward to another run on the beach. It is funny how beach scenery makes a run much easier and more enjoyable. I will miss that when we return back to NY or at least until there is a Bronxville beach.

Nuff said...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Another Loss 5-4...


I am certainly sorry to report that we lost another close one at Rollins Tuesday 5-4. Just as versus ERAU, there were some good things to take away from the match but the bottom line is that this is a match we should have won and one we will have to start to win as we go forward.

Our doubles, although improved, seems not quite good enough to get the points that we need to be a success. Andy and David continue to win and really dominated their match. We were not able to secure a point at either #1 or #2 though. Benas and Tamasz are improving but still struggle with the doubles concepts. We also are having difficulty stepping up to seize the big points. They have been right there in every match but seem to blink in crunch time. At #2 we certainly expect to be successful with the talent and experience that we have. This has not yet translated into any wins however. Dani and Geza lost another tiebreaker and once again had match points. We are certainly beginning to understand what can make the difference between a win and a loss and that can be just one point in any of the 9 matches. As a result, we were down 2-1 after the doubles.

I fully expected that a 4 point singles rally was within reach. I really liked our chances at 4,5, and 6 and I was not wrong as we swept the lower spots in the lineup. However, we are still struggling at the top so far this season. Benas continues to play well but has run into very tough opponents. I believe that he will develop this season as he plays the top players in the country. Andreas had a very good match at #3 that went three sets but was unable to pull it out. Andy is playing well but has just not been able get wins yet. The real surprise for me was to see Dani get soundly defeated at #2. I thought that we were starting to see the real Dani and was expecting a good effort. We didn't see that on this day and that will be something to work on. If he can produce points for us in the top half of the lineup we will be ok this year.

The good news is that we have been able to play two good matches against two very good teams. This is great experience for us and will only help us to improve going forward. As I have said quite a few times, we just need to get better every day and we will be fine in May. That being said, we have played two winnable matches, matches that we were able to win last year and in the past. Lets hope that we can build something special in the near future.

We are off to Flagler at 2:30pm today. It is another windy one but I am sure that we are all accustomed to that at this point. We will need a big response today and I will be asking for nothing but maximum statement effort. I do not expect Flagler to give us the match as they have hit some hard times recently and will be looking to bounce back themselves. We shall see.

I will try to be back on twitter today as my phone battery allows. Either way, I hope to report a win later on today.

Nuff said...

Monday, March 05, 2012

ERAU...


Hello Clippernation,

Well it was a tough start for the team as we lost 5-4 in a longish match to Embry Riddle. Actually, the match was a bit similar to last year's contest but this time we came out on the short side.

To be honest, there were a lot of positives to take away from the match. Also, I learned many things about certain players and the team in general. I have not at all changed my opinion that we will be a very tough team in May.

The doubles has been an issue for the coaching staff all year and we know that ERAU always plays solid in pairs. I was happy to see Tomasz and Benas play with intensity. They were up against the #1 team in the NAIA so their effort was sound losing 9-8. It should only get better. I was mildly disappointed with #2 as Dani and Geza lost 9-8 as well. I would have thought prior to the match that this would be our best chance to score a point but it was not to be. We got broken 4 times in the match and this simply cannot happen going forward. If we are to be successful, this pair must pile up wins this season. We will need more aggressive play and a bit more intensity in the future. David and Andy were solid at #3 scoring a win 9-7. My only issue is that they must be able to finish when they get a lead. In all honestly, we could have won all three matches...or lost all three. However, this is why we come here every year, to get good competition and to improve.

The singles also produced some positives. Benas continues to be a solid #1. The kid is going to be a factor here at Concordia. He competed very well and his match was decided by only one break which was his first service game. What I like the most is that he is the only player on the team who came into the office and asked to play #1 singles. As a coach, you simply love that. Andy came up against a tough opponent stylewise but certainly competed to the end. Dani had little trouble at #3 and looks like the player we need him to be and seems to be feeling better physically. David was back to business. He simply does not give away any points. I really enjoyed his approach and opposing coaches always comment about his play. At #5 Mark had some trouble with the conditions but also showed tremendous will to win as he pulled out a win 7-6 in the third set. Once he gets his focus, he will be a tough out for sure. I really appreciated his increased willingness to do the work as the match progressed. If he improves his fitness and mental approach, which he will, I still believe that he will lead the team in wins this season. I was a little surprised that we didn't come away with the win at #6. Tomasz should really be a "lock" down there. He had a little trouble with his fitness and also the windy conditions. He simply provided too much charity. He did compete well and fought to the bitter end but we will really need more from him going forward.

We have a day off tomorrow and will practice some things to get ready for Rollins on Tuesday. This is a very important match that we will need to be ready for. I am sure that we will benefit from yesterday's competition and learn from our mistakes. I really believe that this is a team that has tremendous potential. We are so young and have little college tennis experience. We have a high ceiling and should get better with every match. I am looking forward to the match with Rollins as I will be excited to see if we get better. I also look forward to seeing Coach Bohrnstedt whom I really like as I do most coaches I meet. He does a nice job at Rollins and I enjoyed speaking with him in Alabama at the ITAs in the fall.

We arrived home at about 7:30pm and that left a little time to relax. Of course, Coach Neil spent some quality time in the hot tub which is always a solid move with a sun burn. It seems to be helping his ankle and achilles which is a good thing. I enjoyed a jaunt about the compound and talking with some of the retirees here at Ocean Gallery. There are folks here from all over and it is a pleasure to chat with them.

The fellas enjoyed some Texas Holdem for amusement only as per NCAA regulation of course. I am happy that the "bracelet" was won by me!!! Domination! I will be off to the gym for a nice workout and then to the beach for some cardio. I love being able to get some runs in here while enjoying the scenery. Of course, I sorely need it as Coach Neil keeps me eating meals all day long. That guy can really cook...and eat.

I'll be back.

Nuff said..

Sunday, March 04, 2012


We are in limbo somewhat as the weather is not cooperating this morning. We are waiting to hear from the coach at ERAU to see what the playing conditions are. The rain has left us but we have heavy winds that may interfere. Of course, we strongly want to play as we have come a long way and at great expense for these good matches. Of course, it would not really do us any good to play through a tornado but we are hopeful.

Stay tuned. We hope to get on the way to Daytona shortly. Follow me on twitter for match updates through

Nuff said...

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Wake Up Little Neily...


Good morning all...

Well I am happy to report that I avoided the CiCi's Pizza fiasco. Most of the boys, including the man with which I am sharing living quarters, including the restroom, attended the low quality pizza mania. However, I enjoyed a nice salad and a bowl of butternut squash soup at Crispers, a Panera Bread knockoff. Very tasty actually but a but expensive.

In any case, back to the condo for a nice shower, which was quite welcomed as there was a water main break which left us without water in the units until 7:30pm. I might add that we had practice until 6:30pm and some of these fellas are a little spicy to begin with.

The couch was a little uncomfortable as I kept falling between the mattress and couch. Up early and went to kill it at the well stocked gym at the complex. Met some nice folks and enjoyed being called the young fella. Wish I hadn't told the truth when they asked me what I did for a living as I ended up answering question after question about their ailments. It's all good, happy to help actually.

Still waiting for good old coach Neil to wake up from a well deserved sleep. I am sure he was exhausted from the trip and the ill advised 1.5 hour hot tub soak last night. The condo complex has instituted a "last call" at 11pm just for folks like Coach Neil.

We will have double session practice today and hope that the weather holds up for us. Every minute we get to hit some balls in the out of doors conditions will only help us in the matches to come.

That's all for now. I am going to wake up the bear from his cave and get some food.

Nuff said...

Friday, March 02, 2012

Return to Ocean Gallery


We have made our safe arrival to St. Augustine, FL and things look pretty much the same. We are here a day earlier than normal this year as our first match is Sunday vs. Embry Riddle.

We have a party of 12 this year as the roster is an even ten with the two coaches. As a result, we have three condos rather than two. However, we do not get the third until tomorrow. As a result, close quarters tonight for the fellas.

We will take a couple of hours to relax from the long trip and early rise. I will make my claim to the pull-out couch and let old man take the bedroom. We shall see how my back holds up on that center bar. Practice is set for 4pm. It will be our first opportunity to get accustomed the conditions. I fully expect some early difficulty but have every confidence that the team will ready themselves quickly for the tough competition to come.

I have brought the sticks with me and expect to hit a few balls in the 85 degree temps. Alert Flagler Hospital...I might be back.

Catch you all up soon.

Nuff said...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Counting Down...


This is the final week of preparation prior to the "real" beginning of the season. We will travel to Florida on Friday to our friendly confines at Ocean Gallery in St. Augustine. It will be very difficult to reproduce the success of last season's undefeated spring trip as the schedule is a little tougher and our team is somewhat less experienced.

Even with the warmer winter in NY, we have not yet been able to practice out of doors to get acclimated to the conditions. However, regardless of how we do, we will gain match experience and hopefully continue to bond as a team.

I am excited to see how the players respond and preform versus some of the top competition in the country. We are a very young team this year so the most important thing at this point is simply to improve every time we take to the courts. I am pretty confident that we will be there in the end once again this year but the the road traveled will most probably be a little different.

As I mentioned in the season preview on the college's web page, our freshmen will determine how far we go this year. They have progressed quite a bit since the fall and continue to work hard to get themselves where we need them to be in order for us to be successful. It seems as though the team as a whole is starting to grasp the coaching philosophy...finally. Thankfully, Coach Neil bought me an electronic megaphone for Christmas which has certainly come in handy.

Nuff said...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Clippers vs. STAC 8pm Tonight...


Home opener for your Clippers tonight versus STAC with first serve scheduled for 8pm. Stay tuned to twitter for live updates.

We hope to get the entire roster involved tonight but also want to see a solid effort in the doubles matches. I expect to see both energy and improvement as we have been spending much time with four on a court.


If you are in the area, stop by the Meyers Tennis Center and support the fellas. Feel free to say hello to Coach Dano as well.

Please pardon the pictures if you are not able to discern the references.

Nuff said...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Concordia Preseason #1 CACC...


I have never fully understood the importance of preseason polls. These seem to be of very little value but for some reason the conference asks the coaches to take a preseason vote and then publishes some sort of press release with the results. I guess it gives SID's something to do and somehow strokes the ego of those praised. That being said, I have never seen any sort of trophy on the mantle in any home that boasts a preseason championship.

Well, now that you know how much I appreciate these polls, let me share the super-terrific news. Your Clippers have been voted CACC preseason #1 (fireworks exploding and lights flashing). Click here for the exciting story.

The CACC should have some improved teams this season and we will be looking forward to the enhanced challenge. We have done about as well as possible in our first two years in the conference and are certainly expecting to continue the success. Winning the CACC is one of the first steps necessary to achieve our ultimate goals. We know that there are a few teams that would love to take home the title so we do not take any achievement lightly, except of course, for a preseason honor.

Nuff said...

Schedule Update...


Hello tennis peoples,

We have a few changes to the spring schedule to report. We have added two matches and moved one that was scheduled to accommodate Bluefield State and STAC. Please make the appropriate changes to your schedule so that you are able to attend the additional home contests.

2/16, Thursday, STAC, Home @ 8pm
3/20, Tuesday, Bluefield State College, Home @ 3:30pm
3/21, Wednesday, Chestnut Hill College, Away @ 3:30pm

Hope to see you at the home contests.

Nuff said..

Monday, February 06, 2012

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Season Opener...


Hello all. It is an exciting time as tomorrow we will open another season of tennis and another quest for an NCAA D2 National Championship.

We will not open the season with a soft opponent. In fact, the Red Storm of St. John's University are a force this year and will probably among the 25 best teams in NCAA D1. We will certainly get an idea of how good we can be tomorrow but by no means is your Clipper team as good today as it will be in a few months. We have improved quite a bit in this last week and will only get better as time goes by. This is a very young team with tremendous potential and it will be nice to see how we do against a strong opponent tomorrow.

Click here for a preview.

Also, you can follow the match on twitter here.

Nuff said...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heart...


Hey, I am no Lleyton Hewitt fan but I would certainly take his heart in a player any day. His will to win is pretty strong and I admire that in a player. This is the kind of determination that your Clippers will need to win a championship this year.

Nuff said...

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Not Just a Day Off From Work...


"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

On and Off the Court...


The fall semester grades have been recorded and there is plenty of good news to report for both the men and women of the court here at Concordia.

Your Clipper men posted a solid 2.98 GPA for the fall with 2 players, Mark Mozer and Geza Bazula, achieving perfect 4.0 semesters. These two, along with two others, Benas Majauskas and Dani Piludu, have eclipsed the 3.5 GPA necessary to be ITA Academic All-Americans if they can keep up the good work in the spring. All four will appear on the college's Dean's List for the semester. Whereas the 2.98 team GPA is solid, it is slightly below our goal of 3.2 which is the necessary GPA to achieve the ITA Academic All-American Team standing.

The Clipper women have really impressed with a team GPA of 3.67 for the semester. This is a tremendous accomplishment considering this was achieved during their championship season which requires great tennis demands in addition to the academic tasks. Congratulations to Ana Mendes who achieved a perfect 4.0 for the semester. In addition to Ana, Juliana Frey, Camilla Xavier, and Yuliya Plevako all also achieved a 3.5 or better and will appear on the Dean's List for the semester. Clearly the women's team is in great shape to have several individual Academic All-Americans as well as to secure the team award.

The coaching staff takes great pride in the team's successes off the tennis court. We always strive to have good student athletes that will be ready to succeed in society upon graduation.

Well done!

Nuff said...