Monday, February 13, 2012

Most extraordinary act of ALTA sportsmanship I have ever seen

In this already special winter season, our senior mixed team wrapped up the division on Saturday, after an extraordinary act of sportsmanship on the part our our opponents, and our regular mixed team moved one step closer to doing the same next weekend.

We played away on Saturday as the first place team, against the last place team (only 2 points behind us), while the second and third place teams (one point behind) battled each other. After one of our line 1 men went down to injury just three games into the match, our circumstances looked dire. Especially when one of our line 2 ladies was late, past the default time. But after conceding the point, when our lady did arrive, our opponents agreed to play the match anyway. And what a battle it was: though we won the first set, we lost the second in a tiebreak, but then won the third.

The match of the day was the first mixed doubles line. Our team fell behind 0-4 in the first set before coming back to win it in a tiebreak. They then proceeded to fall behind 0-5 in the second before battling back to 4-5 and serving. Unfortunately, they lost that game and then fell behind 3-5 in the third. But on this brutally cold and windy day, our lone husband and wife pairing would not be denied; they won the final set 7-5.

It was then up to our captain and our newest teammate, playing for the first time together, to deliver. And they did, in straight sets. We found out later that all three points were required for us to finish first in our division, which would not have been possible without the sportsmanship exhibited by our opponents. Thank you!

Sunday was sunny and not quite as windy, but still cold. Our regular mixed team entered the day two points behind first in a three way tie for second (because of the head-to-head tiebreakers, in third place). Unfortunately our opponents were unable to field a complete lineup, so we only played lines 1-3 (all at the same time). We prevailed in every match in straight sets, sweeping our second opponent of the season. Incredibly, the first place team was swept as well, and the team that owned the tiebreaker with us managed to lose two points to the second-to-last place team. We're now in first place going into the final weekend.

We'll need to do our best because, although we own the head-to-head tiebreaker, another team in our division has the same number of points as we do and they appear to have a weaker opponent come Sunday. Wish us luck!

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