Posted on: October 7, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Joshua Yeo, JRN 111 Student

No one besides head tennis coach Mike Giordano would have envisioned his No. 1 player Julie Andrist attempting diving plays to save her points.

Andrist’s good fight turned into a wrenching loss to Hailey Wilcox of Waubonsee Valley Community College, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. Conference rival Waubonsee beat the Cyclones 9-0 on Sept. 29. 

“Yes, you usually get fatigued in any sport if you play hard enough,” Andrist said. “Wouldn’t say it was a straight-up loss. If I didn’t have asthma, I would have won that game so hard.”

Her teammates asked her if her breathing was OK afterwards.

Sophomore Julie Andrist battles hard in a singles match against Waubonsee.

Andrist appeared to be toying with Wilcox at first, but then Wilcox got in the zone and Andrist felt her wrath. But it wasn’t until the loss in the tiebreaker that Andrist knew her competition was real. Andrist’s breaths were short and the way she was breathing during the game was loud. Wilcox’s strategy effectively had her opponent moving side to side, leaving Andrist no chance for a comeback.

During the tiebreaker, Wilcox went on a tear, scoring 3 points, making the set closer than Andrist’s coach thought it would be. 

“I was only down because of the disadvantage the wind gave me, and as first singles, it’s natural to play people better than you are,” said Andrist.

Andrist’s teammates applauded her efforts, showing empathy for their distressed player. The efforts were noticed by the opposing coach but served as a loss in her first set.

Andrist digested the tough loss and came out looking to even the score. She was focused on keeping her composure after taking an early lead over Wilcox. The early exhaustion before she could start the match was the advantage Wilcox needed over Andrist.

The ball was in Andrist’s hand to serve and the strong hit snuck up on her opponent quickly, just as Giordano voiced his support for Andrist to “keep it up.” The effort was carried out by Andrist who did what she could to hold the lead. The amount of focus both players had in this singles match was impressive. This game is fueled by the amount of skill you carry and the mistakes you can take advantage of.

Andrist didn’t leave with the win she hoped for, but she survived to keep fighting this season. She said this unfortunate loss came at the expense of her being tired from the first set.

Even after a tough day of matchups, “win some, lose some, it’s all about the points that you take away from it,” said Andrist. 

The team looked to pick up a much-needed win in the next matchup, which it would lose to Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Ill.

Next up for the Cyclones is a return to Sauk Valley on Friday and Saturday for the NJCAA Region IV tournament.