The women’s tennis team lives out Neumann’s definition of Reverence, by trying to honor the worth and dignity of each person all while creating a compassionate community around us. Respect is an important aspect of sportsmanship, which my team practices at every match.
Respecting the game is crucial as we must officiate and call our own matches. We demonstrate respect for the game itself through honest score calls before every serve. More importantly, we must respect our opponents calls during matches even if we disagree with them. I have never had a major issue with an opponent’s call as everyone is extremely kind and understands that without respect for the game we cannot have respect for each other. This is where I see God, through the kindness and respect that our opponents and our team demonstrate. Through Reverence, we value and appreciate not only the individual as an athlete, but as a person.
The tennis courts have become a sacred space. We have created a bond on the tennis courts here at Neumann through practice, play, and meetings. The court allows us to celebrate and come together to create a strong sisterhood amongst our team. Through our experiences on and off the court, we are able to strengthen our relationships and get to really know each other. Our team chaplain, Andrea Lobacz, has ensured that we practice prayer through our sport. If she is not able to attend a match with us, she makes sure to pray with us before our bus leaves. Even when she is not there and we have an away match, we pray as we huddle right before the match starts. This action gives me and the team a moment of silence and time to reflect before being enclosed in the fence with my opponent.