31
Mar
09

Cats can’t quite sink the polar bears

This past Thursday the women’s team hosted the 12th ranked Bowdoin Polar Bears here at Bates. Bowdoin is one of the biggest rivals for every Bates team, so the women had a little extra pep in their step for this one and came out energized from the beginning. In front of a packed crowd of fellow students and parents, Merrill Gym resonated with cheers of “Go Cats” and “Right Here Bates” as all three doubles teams were up an early break. It certainly seemed to have caught the Bowdoin women off guard that the Cats had come out with such enthusiasm because they settled in and picked up their level of play. As the Polar Bears made strong comebacks at #1 and #2 doubles to get the win, #3 was where the Cats would shine. Getting out to an early 3-0 lead, Meg and Jean were showing how much confidence they had in their game with Meg’s aggressive volleys and Jean’s quick hands at net. The teams ended up even at 6-6, which is where the belief they had in themselves helped Meg and Jean pull out the last two games to give us our first point of the match.dsc00663

 

Being down by only one point to a top ranked team after the doubles let us know we could claw out the victory if we could just keep fighting. As Caryn and Alex were playing as hard as they could at #1 and #2, it didn’t seem to have much effect as their opponents were playing very solid tennis. Off of her great doubles play, Meg continued a high level of tennis throughout the match, losing in two close sets, 7-5, 6-4. Jean at the #6 spot played the best singles match of the day. She had a tough first set trying to find her groove and ended up losing it 6-4.  Then she got down 2-5 in the second set, which must have been right where she wanted her opponent because that is when she started her comeback. Finding the consistency and big forehand she had been missing throughout the match, Jean started to take it one point at a time and eventually won the last five games of the set to take it 7-5. The match tiebreak (first player to 10 points) was back and forth, as both women wanted the win after almost two hour of playing. It turned out it was Jean who wanted it more and she also played the big points with more poise as she clinched the match, winning the tiebreak 10-8.

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Jean could have easily given up after being down 2-5 in the second, but that’s not in her character. Giving up is not something that’s in the character of any of the Cats. Jean kept playing every point as hard as she could and found a way to win, which is what we talk about as a team everyday. Don’t worry about the score, just play the ball as hard as you can and the score will take care of itself. Unfortunately, the score didn’t fall in our favor this time, but the improvements are obvious as everyone continues to play better each week. As long as every Cat competes with the heart Jean did on Thursday, there is no telling how far this team can go. 

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