The state tennis was the end of an era for Hallie and it was bittersweet to say the least. But man, did we have fun cheering her on.

She worked hard the whole season (and even harder in the off-season) with her doubles partner. At the end of the season she was seeded 3rd in the state – which is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself.

My parents are unable to come for her graduation and they were feeling bad – they really wanted to support her. I suggested an even better mode of support would be coming to her state tennis tournament – and they showed up and cheered right along me. I’m so happy they were able to be here to see her showcase her talents and all of her hard work.

Hallie’s entourage showed up for her this day and I was so grateful to see their smiling faces walk through the gate. None of them know much about tennis, but they knew it was important to Hallie and they wanted to support her. I’m not sure there was any other team who had a cheering squad of this magnitude. Have I mentioned how much I love these kids?!

To add to her friend cheering squad – Hallie also had her family cheering squad. Both sets of grandparents and her aunt and uncle. And this is not a short tournament. Its a long couple days of multiple matches hours a part from each other. And they stayed all day the first day. They were troopers. Luckily, when we weren’t watching Hallie – she had other tennis friends playing and we were able to move our cheering squad to other courts and support several players!

After the first day, they had secured their spot in the quarterfinals, which is how far they got in the tournament last year. We knew this match would be tough – the other team was beatable – but not without a fight. And it proved to be a battle and we took the W.

The tournament plays 32 teams and only seeds the top 8. With our high ranking, #3, we were excited to not have to see the #1 team until the finals. But in a stroke of bad luck (and poor tournament administration), they rearranged the bracket and it put us facing the #1 team in the semi-finals. This was a pretty big blow. We knew the #1 girls were good and Hallie and Sierra were confident they could beat the #2 team, and less confident in beating the #1 team!

Truthfully, I think our girls mentally beat themselves the minute the bracket disadvantaged them (in the name of helping a few lower ranked teams) and they looked intimidated on the court – and really they shouldn’t have been – they could have totally kept up with this team. But some matches don’t go your way and despite a successful weekend, they fell to the top ranked doubles team, from the top ranked school in the semi-finals. It was a tearful end to a beautiful ride.

These two walked off the court arm in arm just as they had so many times before – there was just a little more finality to this walk-off. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to shedding a few tears behind my sunglasses as I watched her embrace her dad trying to keep her composure. She took the moment she needed. And as easy as it may have been to wallow for a while, there was no time!

She had a prom date she had to get ready for… 🙂