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Courtesy: Georgia State Sports Communications
Senior Whitney Byrd chronicles the 2013 GSU Women's Tennis season.

Byrd's Eye View: Staying Positive through a Tough Schedule

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Whitney Byrd
February 26, 2013


Hello fans!

It has been a while since I gave you all an update. Well, in Auburn, the lady panthers and I were not so lucky. We traveled to the home of the Auburn Tigers and came home with a 6-1 defeat. The match started off well because we FINALLY had nice weather to play in. But the doubles point was a disaster. We went down quick on the top two courts (No. 3 hung in there). We ended up losing the doubles point to the Tigers and had to find a way to fight off the 1-0 deficit. I will say even through all of that, we all had a POSITIVE attitude entering our singles matches.

But the Tigers did not make it a walk in the park for us.  We went down 0-2 after Abigail lost her singles match which NEVER happens. After that it seemed like all of us could not find a way to make anything work. Our freshmen Linn and Chaimaa lost, then me and finally Jocelyn. The only one to pull out her singles match was Masa, in straight sets too. In the end it was not enough to push us towards a win and we left Auburn defeated.

BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME PANTHERS!

Next we traveled to sunny Tallahassee, Florida, where the weather was refreshing and nice. Our first match was against the University of Central Florida (UCF) and we started out on a more positive note with doubles than we did against Auburn. Abigail and Masa won pretty easily at No. 1 while Linn and Jocelyn battled relentlessly and came out on top at No. 3. As for Maryna and I, we did not finish our doubles match after we clinched the point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3.

Then we took to singles, where we all supported each other and fought our hardest to avenge our loss from the previous week vs. Auburn. Each court, except for Chaimaa and I, won. The singles effort gave us a 5-2 victory over UCF.  This had us excited for the next match to come where we would face Florida State.

GO PANTHERS!

The match against the Seminoles was a battle. They came out on fire at the start and took the doubles point. This was a very tough loss for us in doubles and we knew we had to fight back in order to capture all six singles matches.  Chaimaa and Linn were the first to fall against the Seminoles, which left us having to try to fight back from being down 0-3. But then the match was decided after our No. 6 Jocelyn lost after trying to rally from being a set down. Masa grabbed the first set and was close to finishing the second set when her opponent retired. Abigail, of course, won her match in a close second set, after winning the first set easily. She won against a nationally-ranked opponent too.  I was the last to finish after I lost by a close score to my archenemy from the ITA regionals in the fall. I lost in a heated 3rd set tie-break (8-10).

NEXT TIME WE WILL HAVE THE VICTORY!

We have a big weekend coming up! First it's Kennesaw State on Friday, a rival from right up the street. We need to take care of business in that match. Then on Sunday we're going to wear our SWEET pink shirts to raise money for The Sport of Giving and Women's Cancer Care. We're expecting a TON of people to be out there Sunday morning to watch the match at the Blackburn Tennis Center. So get off the couch and come see us play a ranked Tulane team!

LET'S GO STATE!

 

 


Whitney Byrd
February 6, 2013

 

 

Hello all Panthers fans out there!

Well last week was very eventful once again. We faced Oklahoma State in the 2013 ITA Kick-Off first round and went into the match believing we would walk out with a victory. We did, but it was NOT easy. We took an early 1-0 lead with our doubles victory, including Maryna and I coming back from 0-4 down to win the match 8-6!

Singles truly tested our willpower because the Cowgirls took an immediate 2-1 lead over us with back-to-back, three-set wins. But that was just the beginning of this marathon match. Our No. 1 Abigail won her match in straight sets while I won my match 6-1 in the third after losing the first set. Eventually our match came down to No. 6 Jocelyn who had already captured the first set 6-4 only to come out with a 6-1 victory in the second. That was definitely a sweet victory for us! GO PANTHERS!

Then we faced UGA. This was the opportunity we had been waiting for: To face a Top-10 team. The Bulldogs definitely did not make it easy for us. In doubles, although it was very close, the Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead with victories at Nos. 1 and 3. Maryna and I were neck-and-neck at No. 2, tied 6-6 and 30-all! It was crazy!

Anyways the Bulldogs put us at a 3-0 disadvantage with quick singles wins and the conclusion of the match was up to Abigail and I. She was up by a set (6-4) and I was down a set and up a break, but I ended up losing (3-6, 4-6) which concluded our match against Georgia. It hurt to lose 7-0, but we put up a good fight.

Then on a cold Saturday morning we faced No. 31-ranked Illinois. The weather was brutal, as it has been for a week or two now. We began with the doubles point and it seemed like the wind was blowing in just about every direction, not ideal. Illinois took an early lead against us, but singles ended up being a different story. We took early leads on four of the six courts, but then we trailed 2-0. Our little starlet, Abigail, cruised through her singles match (6-2, 6-1) to the victory. I lost my match, which was not pretty AT ALL. Then, even though we trailed in the team score 3-1, Masa pulled out her first victory of the semester and then Linn won a three-set battle. That left us with our Oklahoma State clincher, Jocelyn, at No. 6 once again having to clinch a big match for us. This time Jocelyn did not come out on the victorious side, but she gave an AWESOME EFFORT even while sick L. We will get it next time!

Next we are off to face the No. 68-ranked Auburn Tigers this Saturday!

LET'S GO STATE!

 


 


Whitney Byrd
January 25, 2013

 

Hello everyone! I'm back writing more entries for the 2013 season!

Last week we faced the Orange of Syracuse in an epic 5-2 battle. We had been preparing for this match since the beginning of the spring semester, and our preparation did not let us down.

At the start of the match our lovely number ones, Masa Grgan and Abigail Tere-Aspiah (who are currently ranked #19 in the nation) captured the first doubles point with an 8-1 victory. Following them were Maryna Kozachenko and I with our 8-2 victory. Our win gave us the doubles point which was so awesome since we strategically broke down the doubles tactics of the infamous doubles master himself Luke Jensen. Jensen is the Head Women's Tennis Coach at Syracuse and won a French Open doubles title in 1993.

We then went into a tight but brave battle against Syracuse in singles play and won the next three matches with our two young stars leading the pack, Chaimaa and Linn. Of course, Miss Abigail Tere-Apisah, also led us at the No. 1 spot.

Now we're preparing for our indoor battle against Oklahoma State, in Athens, Ga., this Sunday and potentially we could play the Georgia Bulldogs or Columbia Lions for the chance to earn a spot in the NCAA National Indoors.

WE CAN DO THIS! LET'S GO STATE!

 


Byrd's Eye View of 2012

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