Hallie started her high school tennis season last week. She worked so hard in the offseason and it’s showing on the court. Steve and I were scheduled to attend our niece’s wedding in Utah last week and we knew we would be missing one of Hallie’s matches while we were away. And then last minute, they added another match while we were going to be gone – we would be missing two matches. Not the end of the world, but definitely not our first choice.

As luck would have it, the match that was added to the schedule late was one of the hardest teams they would face. It would be quite possibly Hallie’s toughest match of the season outside of tournament play – and we were going to miss it.

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I love watching her play and I love any chance to support her. We started to run into other conflicts (including Briggs’ birthday and the lack of a babysitter) with this very day we were to be gone and we started questioning whether we should go to the wedding at all. The cards were stacking against us and it felt like everything was telling us to stay home. But we kept exploring every avenue to see if we could create a path to attend. By some miracle – we found a flight and booked it two days before the wedding (for the same price of our previous flight that we had booked 5 months prior) that got us into Utah the morning of the wedding, just in time for the ceremony. Staying that extra day was going to eliminate so many of the conflicts we were having with leaving. So we changed our flights and stayed.

Which meant we were able to attend Hallie’s match. And after watching how it played out, I can’t believe we almost missed it.

Hallie started the evening playing doubles. After her doubles, she moved on to play singles against a girl with fresh legs – who didn’t just play doubles. For 2 hours and 15 minutes, they battled it out on the court – the longest singles match Hallie’s ever played. There was no one left playing – both teams had already left for the night. It was just the two of them and their coaches under the lights.

They were equally matched and their rallies were so long back and forth. They went to tiebreak. She gave it everything she had. She was exhausted, and she lost. It was frustrating for her. But Steve and I couldn’t have been happier with how she played. Would we have loved a win? Sure! But we’ve never seen her play so well and consistent in all her years of playing tennis – and she didn’t give up. She fought to the very end.

So grateful we were there to support her that night. Looking forward to the rest of the season. 🙂