Follow the men’s tennis team as sophomore Thomas Spratt blogs about their spring break trip in New Mexico.
Once the team awoke and finished breakfast, the ball-club worked on the game of Tetris that is wedging twelve duffle bags into two trunks. Surprisingly, we didn’t have to tie Pompan to the roof to clear up more room in the car for baggage. After driving for a couple of hours on the highway, Coach Geatz spontaneously exited the highway in pursuit of a shortcut for White Sands National Park. We whipped the cars down a dirt road for a couple of miles to expedite the process, but to no avail. Instead of finding our shortcut, we trail-blazed our own path through the New Mexican bushes and dust clouds before getting back on the highway.
Upon our arrival in Las Cruces, we ate lunch at the restaurant La Posta de Mesilla. Historically, this establishment sheltered Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa in the late nineteenth century. After lunch, we checked into the hotel before going to the New Mexico State courts to practice. Most of the guys played a couple of practice sets to get ready for our match tomorrow. Our match against the Aggies is scheduled for 1pm MT. All of us are looking to regain our stride after falling to New Mexico the other day.
Despite falling to the Lobos 4-0, there were many close matches throughout the event. Our first and second doubles teams finished simultaneously, leaving the doubles point up to Blaine and Austin. They played a solid match and fought hard, but the other team hit great shots to create some separation in their final tiebreaker. (The opposing team hit a couple of shots that dribbled over the net, leaving our guys with little chance of winning those points.) Even after dropping the doubles point, several of our players were in commanding positions to win their singles matches. However, the “first-to-clinch” format does not reflect that in the final score.
After our match, we returned to the hotel before driving to the Cibola National Forest to take the Sandia Peak Tramway. The tram carried us to nearly ten and a half thousand feet, giving us a view of eleven thousand square miles. Our tour guide told us we could see around a tenth of New Mexico from our vantage point. The fifteen minute ride up and down the mountainside were unbelievable. The opposite side of the mountain from the Tramway was covered in snow and streams of enthusiastic skiers. Following Sandia Peak, we ate dinner with Coach Geatz’s relatives at their nearby home. From their backyard, we were able to see the pinkish tint of the mountain as the sun set. Tomorrow we will drive to Las Cruces, NM to prepare for our match on Thursday against New Mexico State.
Just some of the spectacular views we've seen in New Mexico. 🚡
A photo posted by Penn Men's Tennis (@pennmenstennis) on Mar 12, 2015 at 6:27pm PDT
Following an idle evening after our win over Georgia State, the team woke up early this morning for practice at the University of New Mexico courts. After hitting for about an hour, we made our way to Santa Fe for a day of snowshoeing. Renting all of the necessary equipment turned into somewhat of a fiasco, but thankfully everyone made it to the starting point. We began hiking at around ten thousand feet before climbing another two miles to our destination. After reaching the peak of the mountain, we were able to see almost two hundred miles to Colorado. The ball-club remained fully poised throughout, despite tumbling out of snowshoes and nearly falling off the mountain along the way.
Took a little adventure and went snowshoeing. Gotta be careful of that edge, its a long way down!
A photo posted by Penn Men's Tennis (@pennmenstennis) on Mar 11, 2015 at 10:55am PDT
On our drive back to Albuquerque, we stopped at the Tune-Up Café in Santa Fe after hearing great reviews from one of Coach Geatz’s friends. In spite of the deceptive name, this restaurant served authentic Mexican food. Most of the guys ordered their renowned green chile burritos and guacamole before resuming our drive back to the hotel. Tomorrow will be another serious test for our team. We are scheduled to play No. 45 New Mexico at 1pm on their home courts. Adjusting to the higher altitude and outdoor conditions has been challenging, but we are looking forward to another opportunity to play a top-ranked team tomorrow.