It’s been a long time since coach Jason Chapman’s tennis team lost a meet. His current players don’t even know how a loss feels. They’ve never lost, ever.
The last time Chapman was at the helm of a losing squad most of his current players were beginning high school. That was back in 2004.
Last Friday the team finished off its fourth straight perfect season in preparation for the NWAACC championships in Spokane by sending two schools home with a loss each. The girls beat Spokane and Treasure Valley for the second time this season.
In Friday’s convincing wins the Lady Bulldogs didn’t drop a single set.
In 2005, 2006, and 2007 BCC won the NWAACC championships.
The only reason they haven’t won the 2008 NWAACC championship may be because they haven’t played in it yet.
Come Monday they could be champs but Chapman isn’t overlooking anyone. He said of his teams’ chance for the four-peat, “We have a good shot if everything goes right like I planned.”
That plan: beat everyone they beat earlier in the season, which is unfortunate for the schools not named BCC because, “We seem to play stronger at the end of the year,” said Chapman.
Of winning the championship Lauren Heino said, “If we keep our heads in the game we should be fine. We’ll just take it one game at a time,” but she added “Winning isn’t everything.”
Winning may not be everything but it does happen to be the only thing they’ve done for the last four years.
Freshman Janet Adisuwono expects nothing less than to be crowned champion at the end of the weekend.
Chapman hopes to keep the frustration level at a low in Spokane especially against Green River CC, a team that number one singles player Ciara Schultz struggled against earlier in the year.
“If you play frustrated you’ll be frustrated the whole time… they’re a good strong team,” said Chapman.
Schultz was up 5-2 in the first set against Green River before losing the game and the match. If Schultz meets Green River in Spokane Chapman’s game plan is the same, “Less frustration. More smiles. More fun.”
He added that the most important thing is that the girls are prepared mentally.
The tennis team will have a full day to prepare their minds for the championships. Their final practice of the year is Wednesday. On Thursday they get on a bus bound for Spokane where they’ll have time to think about nothing but tennis before the first serve on Friday.
After her final regular season match, a match that she won in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 against Spokane, first year player Rika Matsumoto opened up about what it was like to play for a team like BCC. “I didn’t want to come to tryouts I was so scared, but it turned out to be the best decision I ever made.”
Now that the regular season is over it’s off to the championships where a “relieved” Matsumoto will try to win her first NWAACC championship as a Lady Bulldog and help her school win their fourth in a row.
Number three singles player Yuri Kida didn’t play in her scheduled match against Treasure Valley. She injured her shoulder in an overhead slam in her 6-0, 6-0 straight sets victory against Spokane earlier in the day. She did play and win her doubles match with Schultz but said that her shoulder feels worse and said, “Returning the ball really hurt.” But, she said she will play at the championships this weekend.
Next stop for the Lady Bulldogs, the NWAACC’s, where Chapman will lead his team including two of the best players he has ever coached, Schultz and team captain Courtney Groszhans, for a chance at four straight.