First Serve: Pavlina Smatova and Molly McDevitt check in from women's tennis practice

  

Dear Ducks’ fans!

This is a shout out from two of your favorite Ducks: Pavlina Smatova and Molly McDevitt!  It is our pleasure to write the first blog for our phenomenal fans! Wednesday, Sept. 15 was our first day of practice this year. In the morning, we all met at the Casanova Center for very fun and necessary administration/physical business. That is all done so we are good for practice!

We have three newcomers joining our team this year: Le’ French: Lana Buettner (her nickname for now is Frenchy), German Rabea Stückemann and from the USA Charlotte Dupont. Most of you already know our wonderful returners: sophomores Julia Metzger and Patricia Skowronski, juniors Trudie du Toit and Molly McDevitt and the fabulous seniors Siobhan Cavan and Pavlina Smatova.

We are all passionate and pumped about this year, so logically we started practicing almost two weeks before the fall academic term starts on Sept. 27. Wednesday afternoon was our first day of hitting balls and it was great to get back in action with our favorite group of people. We began practice with our first of a series of tests we are required to pass before Christmas-come-early (when we get all of our Oregon gear!). The first test was one of the running tests, the big-bad-conquered-mile! The freshmen have to complete the mile in under seven minutes, sophomores have to be under 6:45 and juniors and seniors have to make it in under 6:30. After practice, we were happy to have a good dinner. We turned in not too long after 9 p.m., to have enough energy for the next day of practice!

Thursday we started morning practice at 9 a.m. Our amazing strength and conditioning coach, Joel Favor, introduced us to a fun new warm-up routine before practice. After the routine, it was time for our second (and favorite) running test, the 400s. Each 400-meter sprint has to be run under 85 seconds with a 90 second break between each sprint. When we were all done with running, we finally started hitting balls which made us all very happy!

Friday was a meaningful day to all of us because we met with our wonderful sport psychologist, Amy, after the morning and early afternoon practices. Amy helped us set our goals for this year. During the meeting with Amy, we brainstormed goals that were important to all of us as a team. We thoroughly enjoyed the session because we had a blast during the brainstorming!

Weights with coach Favor was the grand finale for Friday. Saturday morning was rockin’ with a day off from practice and the football game against Portalnd State. Although we cannot seem to get enough of each other, coach Paul (Reber) and assistant coach Maja (Kovacek) and tennis, we could probably use just a little rest to get ready for another tough week of practice followed by a sweet camping trip that we are all so excited about!

As always: GO DUCKS!

Pavlina and Molly