Ok...well...it's over. And I do mean over. We got our butts kicked.
I guess I should have known better. I've been to Districts before and should have remembered that the teams from Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads are just better than us. In theory, all the 3.5 players should at least be "competitive" with each other, but let's face it, that just ain't so. And considering that the teams from those areas are independents and can basically be "all-stars" (a collection of the best of the best club players)...we definitely had our work cut out for us.
The fact that we didn't have our top 3 singles players really hurt but bottom line is that we'd probably still have had the same results (just maybe won a few more games or even sets).
That's excuses. We just lost.
After personally playing 4 high-stakes matches in 36 hours, I realize my fitness could still use some improvement. Still, I had enough left in the tank for the final match to even cover my partner...who didn't. We lost that one too but it was a lot closer than I think than our opponents would have liked.
I did get drafted to play singles (twice!) which I haven't done that in league-play in over three years. I lost 6-2, 6-2 (to a player who will be moved up to 4.0) but won my other match 5-7, 6-1, 10-7 (3rd set tiebreak). Even though she was a 3.0 player, she'd won a decent number of singles matches at the 3.5 level so I'm proud of myself for prevailing. The match was at midday when the temps were 85F+. It was some tired tennis at the end but I held on. Not bad for a 40+year old mommy of two.
There was the predictable drama; one team (also from here in the Richmond area) challenged a particular player's rating. Seems the player in question was a college player but conveniently omitted that information during her self-rating process. But she's been "in the computer" for a few years (strategically playing up until she wins) and the official protest fell flat.
We had a great time. We know what we need to work on. We're excited to keep our team together for next year. We want to go back!
Thanks for everyone's kind words.