At the beginning of the high school tennis season most of the schools participate in an invitational tournament. Every player has to determine whether they’ll participate in singles or doubles and it gives all the teams a good preview of what the state tournament can look like at the end of the season. Hallie and her partner competed in doubles at state last year and did really well, so naturally they’re hoping to return and do even better this year – so they signed up as a doubles team for the preseason tournament.

The tournament seeds the top 6 teams and were happy with our third seed. They almost lost their third round to a good team but instead fought to come back from a 7-3 deficit (playing to 8). They had to return the following day (Saturday for the semi-finals). This happened to be quite possibly the busiest day of the year for our family – with events/activities/athletics/family pulling us in every direction. I opted to make the 45 minute drive to watch the semifinals fully aware it would likely be their last match. (Playing the #2 seed)

And then Hallie and her partner won without much effort which put them in the championship game against a school we can’t ever seem to beat – they’re just that good. I was supposed to make it back home to visit with our niece who was visiting from out of the country but I wasn’t about to miss the championship and I’m sure glad I stuck around. Our girls showed up and played hard, probably harder than I’ve ever seen them play. We won the first set, lost the second set and were neck and neck in a tiebreaker until the very end. I had Steve on facetime at his family gathering as our girls pulled through with a win. They were exhausted and yet so happy to have beat their rivalry. And I was a happy mom to have witnessed the magic – it is going to make for a fun season to start out with a win like this and makes us hopeful for a strong post-season.

The best part of this story is the morning of their semi-finals/championship match they had a rough start. I was going to drive straight from Cannon’s soccer game to Hallie’s match across town. Hallie was riding with her partner and as I hopped in the car to rush over I checked our Life 360 to make sure Hallie was well on her way. She was on the exit by our house and it didn’t show she was moving. Her match was going to start in a half hour, and she was still 45 minutes from the racquet center. Clearly her phone hadn’t updated.

I called her to make sure her location was off and it wasn’t. She was actually on the freeway on-ramp with a flat tire. I was about to rush over when she said Sierra’s mom was closer and could be to them in 10 minutes – closer than my 20 minutes.

By some miracle, they didn’t have to even wait the ten minutes. A parent from our boys team was getting on the freeway where our girls were on the side of the road (an onramp they never use) and they saw our girls in their uniforms and they picked them up and rushed them off to their match. We called the coach and tournament director and fortunately they let the girls on the court as soon as they got there! I figured with an entrance like that and absolutely no warm up, they would be done for but maybe that was just what they needed to dig deep and compete that day.

Not that we’ll be trying that method of motivation again!