We had our destiny in our own hands this week. With one win we could have made the team state championship. We lost to Paradise Valley in a high stakes, exciting and then disappointing match.
The night started well with #1 Kyrene Henley winning her match and 10th win of the season. Sophomore Sara Roskelley won her match after losing the first game then winning the next two. When Sara is on she can beat anyone! #6 and injured Joan Heard won her match easily 11-1 and 11-0. So we split the singles matches with PV 3-3. Doubles matches started off with our #2 doubles team. Their disappointing loss put the pressure on the #1 and #3 squad. Joanie and Vanessa won their first game 15-9. Our hopes were still alive! Then just a minute later our #1 doubles team of Ashley and Kyrene lost 12-15. The second game for Joan and Vanessa went to PV 15-11 causing a tiebreaker 3rd game. Then the #1 team of Ashley and Kyrene won their second game 15-7. At this point both teams and the crowd knew that a state berth was at stake for the school who would win both of these matches. The crowd, yes a crowd were on their feet and cheering for the girls on both sides. The #1 team for DV came from behind the last game to win 19-17. Kyrene wept with emotion knowing she had just won her last regular season doubles match of her career with her best friend Ashley. Team scores were now 4-4. There was no time to celebrate because the third game of the other match was well underway. The score kept going back and forth with us leading then PV leading and so on. Unfortunately, PV ended up with the win in a close game, score 15-12.
I as their coach must take the blame for the last 3 games of the season. I need to read up and learn how to strengthen my teams mental game. How we prepare and warm up for matches will be changed and improved. Our fitness was much better but still could be improved. Our techniques were much improved thanks to my assistants Dennis and Anne but we needed more time and practice to improve more. I will need to demand more from my administration for a bit longer practice time and practice space. Next year we have 6 returning lettermen. I will have no excuse but my own coaching shortcomings if we do not improve upon this and last years 8-6 record.