College tennis at its best
After Kauri finished her tennis lesson and match & play last night, we had an opportunity of a lifetime. Right there on the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, we were able to attend the NCAA Women’s Championship Quarterfinals. It is exciting to live in a community that has events so close to us that we enjoy and most of all that we can afford.
When we arrived at the event, sitting next to us were a powerful crew of supporters all wearing South Carolina Gamecock sportswear. I commented we used to live in Columbia and still owned a house there. They immediately were thankful to have additional supporters for their team. In fact, one of the proud fathers told us his daughter who was playing on the court just graduated from South Carolina with a Masters in Sports Psychology.
Back up just one minute! Kauri wasn’t so sure if she was a Gamecock fan. She wanted to know the statistics. Were the Gamecocks really a good team? Could they beat Duke, the team they were competing against? Hey there young lady, the gentleman said, if your grandmother owns a house in South Carolina it is a rule that you have to be a South Caroline fan. Kauri looked at me. I shrugged and told her, “I think you lost this battle.”
The reason we came wasn’t necessarily to chose a side, but to watch how the girls played. All the girls! The point was for Kauri to learn from watching the women play, and for me to enjoy some really good tennis. We were sitting right next to the ESPN announcing booth so we heard great coverage as well.
Although the women from South Carolina lost their bid to move on to the semi-finals for the team event, they do still have a chance in the individual play next week. Tennis is a serious sport.
It has been fun to watch the teams from all over the country come to Lake Nona to play for a spot in the big show. Of the 100 plus courts at the USTA National Campus, all of the hard courts has been completely tied up for the past two weeks wthl practices and tournaments.
In addition to the NCAA Tournament, the USTA is also hosting the 2019 Junior National Tennis Tournament. These are the kids who will either to on to colleges on tennis scholarships or who will be jumping into the pro circuit. Watching these young future champions play is absolutely inspiring.