Today is our big day! We arrived at Clemson at 9am, led in by police escort. The stadium was electrifying! Music was playing, referees everywhere, fans filing in... and of course a food table! After warming up, our team was ready to play a match, and give it our all. We had one final group huddle and our spirits were high!
After the playing of the National Anthem, we met with our opponents and the match began! The doubles was a fast paced, powerhouse event. We played a great match, and to top it off, we had so much fun doing it! Molly had amazing serves which set Sugam up for many fabulous volleys. After the match, we collected the official NCAA tennis balls to remember our first experience playing in the NCAA tennis tournament. Siena even had an alumni fan, class of '64, who now lives nearby Clemson. Decked out in full Siena gear, our enthusiastic Siena supporter had everyone sign an autograph on a picture he printed out from the Siena athletics' website. It was encouraging and inspiring to look up in the stands, full of orange, to see one loud and proud green Saints fan!
Even though we lost the match, we were all still very proud of our accomplishments this season. We drove back to the hotel with our spirits still high. At the hotel, we took full advantage of the hotel facilities: some of us took naps, others relaxed in the Jacuzzi, while Karina, the biology major of the team, of course studied for finals. At 4:30, some of the team left for Clemson v. Florida State baseball game. As guest of Clemson, we were all treated with great southern hospitality. Not only were we seated behind home plate but we also received Clemson baseball t-shirts. We were highly impressed with the numerous handsome southern baseball players. With over 5,000 Clemson fans the stadium was full of entertaining excitement. Spending time as a team, coach, Jason and Hammer was worth the trip itself. All in all, traveling to play in the NCAAs was one of the best tennis experiences and one we will never forget.
Sugam Langer and Molly Scullin