Wednesday, April 04, 2012

High School Tennis Team - Match #2 (2/14)

We had our second match today and it started out as a disaster. It ended up quite well, even though we lost all the 9 positions.  But, I can confidently say that our girls played fantastically.  Our opponents were stronger players (last year's state champions) and played well.
We were set to depart for the match at 3:00 pm.  Yet at 1:00 I got a frantic phone call from the school administrator explaining a problem with the bus situation.  It seems that the boys lacrosse scrimmage didn't have a bus, so the administration thought it would be all right to re route our bus to do double duty.
This was horrendous as we were now "sharing" a bus with the boys lacrosse team.  The matches started at different times and at different locations.  Plus, this solution made it so that we would be dropped off at our match and then have to wait for the bus to return.
As the coach, I was not comfortable with this "solution" for many reasons.  First off, I was given an hour notice that I had to leave (instead of the 3:00 time, departure was now at 2 pm).  Secondly, we would now share a bus with 20+ boys, their coaches, managers and gear.  Additionally, we were being dropped off at a facility without shelter or running water.  There was also a chance of rain.
I had a talk with the bus driver who gave me her cell phone number.  She told me to call her if we would be done before the 6 pm "estimated" time that the boys would be done.
I know that when they say "estimated" that it is never accurate. I knew that I was responsible for 18 girls without a facility and with no transportation.
I sent home all non-essential players and we boarded the bus.  We sat 2 to a seat, with me a lacrosse coach, a cooler, water container, duffle bag, trash container and medical kit in my seat.  One arm was over my head and my left leg was propped up on the trashcan under the cooler.
We arrived and the wind was blowing like mad.
We started our matches after waiting for our opponents for 45 minutes.  It was windy and blustery.  Then, the opposing coach told me that it was raining 10 minutes away.
We finished the singles matches and we had 3 doubles matches to go.  I estimated that it would take 30 minutes and called the bus driver, explaining that we should be done at 5:00.  She agreed to come get us and told us it would take her 20 min to get there.
She arrived and 10 min later we were on the bus to the boys game.
We arrived at a crowded parking lot adjacent to the school and field. We waited 15 minutes for the boys to finish up their scrimmage match and we headed home.

The boys were polite and fairly well mannered on the bus.  I was quite surprised.
The tennis girls played beautifully, but our opponents were more skilled.  Our team played well, they played better.  Next match is Friday.

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