Tadlock ends tennis days

    It’s difficult to lose a senior under any circumstances, but losing Lyndsey Tadlock will definitely have a dramatic impact on UCSD women’s tennis.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics

    As the team’s lone senior, Tadlock is the only current member of the team to play in both Division III and Division II, and she was one of the most influential players in helping the transition two years ago.

    Tadlock’s career was marked by four consecutive trips to the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship. A second-place finish during Tadlock’s last year in Division III would mark the Tritons’ highest achievement with the Thousand Oaks native on their roster.

    However, it was not until the last home match of her senior year when Tadlock would reach her defining moment as a Triton. In the NCAA Western Regional, UCSD and Grand Canyon were tied 4-4, with Tadlock’s match against Christine LiWanPo serving as the deciding point. Tadlock came back from being a set down to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, in front of the largest crowd of the season.

    “”It was the perfect scenario,”” said coach Liz LaPlante of Tadlock’s last home victory. “”It couldn’t have been written better for a movie. All that was missing was the music in the background and the slow motion.””

    It was the way Tadlock won the last match that epitomized her playing style and entire career as a Triton. Down during the first set, Tadlock changed her tactic to a more conservative approach, letting the less-experienced LiWanPo make the mistakes. The strategy worked in a match marked by incredibly long rallies.

    “”The thing that stands out about her play is her ability to adapt to her opponent,”” LaPlante said. “”We’re going to miss that next year.””

    Besides her accomplishments on the court, Tadlock also served as team leader since she was the only senior.

    “”Since her second year, [when she became the team’s oldest player], she was serving in a leadership role,”” LaPlante said. “”She always tries her hardest in practice and that rubs off on the rest of the team.””

    Tadlock is not the only member of the her family that UCSD will miss next year.

    “”Her parents and family were so supportive of the team,”” LaPlante said. “”They traveled to every match — home and away — and that will be missed next year. Every girl on the team knew them.””

    Tadlock’s intangible qualities are the type that can’t be put into words. Though not the most talented player on the team, she proved to be one of the most reliable. In every close match, it was Tadlock coming through with the big victory to give the Tritons the edge.

    Tadlock was the epitome of a Triton tennis player. Her hard work and dedication — not her talent alone — were what made her so special. Her contributions will definitely be missed next year, and UCSD will have to work that much harder to advance to its 17th consecutive national championship in 2003.

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