6.5 sectionals recap

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How it all began.

I got my first goose bump right here.

I got my first goosebump right here.

This picture got us into a little bit of trouble with Justin Timberlake's lawyers, who said "Bringing Sexy Back" was copyrighted and demanded this photo be taken down.

This picture got us into a little bit of trouble with Justin Timberlake’s lawyers, who said “Bringing Sexy Back” was copyrighted and demanded this photo be taken down.

The first night at sectionals we all went to dinner at a place called Auntie Catfish on the River. We marveled at the salad bar, Nikki and Phuong ate pickled watermelon rinds, John ate the delightful cinnamon roll that came with every meal, including the ones on Jankes and Phuong’s plate. We all prepared for the next day’s matches by eating fried food and drinking beer. It’s how we roll.

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Friday morning, Clayton Smith, Cherie’s husband, hooked everyone up with a breakfast buffet.

This was the fruit dish. That's marscapone cheese. MARSCAPONE!

This was the fruit salad. That white stuff is marscapone cheese. MARSCAPONE!

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Grubbin’.

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Tibbie and Janene go back for their third plate.

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Enjoying a little bit of warmth before their first match, the ladies had no idea the rest of the weekend would involve tennis in 40-degree weather and 20-40 mph gusts of wind.

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The Ladies line up for the first match.

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Friday night, first match, the Ladies WIN! The conditions were inhumane, but Sara and Nikki hung in there at Line 1, just missing out on some critical 30-30 and duece points in a loss. Lara and Marisa mudstomped the No. 3 line from Marion, and then we all sat on the edge of our seats (and not just because they were too cold to put our entire asses on) as Nini and Cherie pulled out a 6-3, 6-7, 1-0 win. All the matches started at 2-2 because of the rain delays, which totally sucked. The weather sucked too. The wind blew the focus right off this picture. Props to Lara for knowing a camera was pointed at her and quickly turning to smile.

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Victory hug.

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Sara and Tibbie try to stay warm. Tibbie had some help from whatever was in the red party cup. Can’t seem to find any pictures of Tibbie without a drink in her hand. Hmmmm…

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No, seriously.

Really.

Really.

courts

Rain be damned, the guys head out to warm up at the courts Bethune-Cookman plays on. The team watches as the captain dries the courts. By himself. With no help. As his team watched. And took photos. Of him. By himself. Drying the court.

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Meanwhile, the ladies decide to go get their toes did.

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The fellas win their first match as Cotey-Dice and Hajek-Hann post straight victories. Andy Ritter flashed gang signs to intimidate the other teams. It did not work. The Green Machine did not win again.

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The women cheer on Pat Rairigh and Scott Jankes. And by “cheer on”, I mean bitch about how cold it is while discussing all the cute new winter gear they just bought at Marshalls. (Editor’s note: Phuong is wearing six layers of clothing, she is not that big. SIX layers. FYI. Sez Phuong.)

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When lefties collide.

The ladies head into their final match against Escambia. The winner advances to the semifinals. And it did not go well. But this might make you feel better -- Escambia went to the finals and lost all three lines by....wait for it....6-1, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-1 scores to Orlando. HOLY COW!!! (Oh, and that is not water in Tibbie's bottle. Don't be fooled.)

The ladies get ready for their cold weather match, and it was another thriller as they defeated Leon 2-1. Lara and Cherie romp at No. 1, 6-3, 6-2; At No. 2, Janene and Marisa lose a heartbreaker 6-4, 7-5; and at No. 3, it’s NiiiiiNiiiiii and her partner, Tibbie, pulling it out AGAIN in a third-set tiebreaker after losing the first set.

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James Hann gets his troublesome calf massaged. He would later be kicked out of the training area for requesting a prostate exam.

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The ladies head into their final match against Escambia. The winner advances to the semifinals. And it did not go well. But this might make you feel better — Escambia went to the finals and lost all three lines by….wait for it….6-1, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-1 scores to Orlando. HOLY COW!!!

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Personal pizzas makes everything better. And yes, Tibbie has a cup of something in her hand and is balancing a cup of something else on her pizza. But no, she doesn’t have a problem. Not at all.

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“Please leave so I can go to sleep. I’m not kidding.” — John Slatniske, Saturday night, at 7:03 p.m., 7:27 p.m., 7:57 p.m., 8:27 p.m., 8:53 p.m., 8:54 p.m., 9:03 p.m., 9:17 p.m., 9:28 p.m., 9:37 p.m. and 9:53 p.m. He finally gave up and just went to bed.

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Oh sure, there were better teams than us there. But once the Cards Against Humanity came out, did they have as much fun Saturday night as the Green Trouble Machine Double?

 

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Right, Sara?

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About johncotey

John was a sportswriter and columnist for the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Times for 25 years, before being pushed from the Titantic, and hopes all of you non-subscribers are happy reading your free news on the internets while his journalism brethren suffer. Not that he's not bitter or anything. His real true joys, however, are his wife, kids and tennis, though not necessarily in that order. Unless his wife is reading this. Then DEFINITELY in that order.
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