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Blue Devils Get pleasure from Tropical Preseason Journey to Florida

DURHAM — Because the Duke girls’s tennis group will get set to open the 2023 spring slate on Friday afternoon in opposition to Furman at 4 pm, contained in the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Heart, the Blue Satan tandem of senior Chloe Beck and sophomore Ellie Coleman It took a while to look again at an incredible seven days in Florida not too long ago.

We arrived at Ocean Reef Membership on January 4 prepared for a visit filled with enjoyable and team-bonding time. Virtually instantly after arriving, we had been handled to an incredible dinner with Spike Yoh and his household from him.

Even with out a lot time to discover throughout our first night on the island, we already knew this journey could be one thing particular. We began off the following morning with a group breakfast overlooking the marina and a golf cart tour of the island. As soon as we received our bearings, we got the remainder of the day without work to discover on our personal. A number of of us determined to hit the courts for a lightweight apply on the clay, and after, all of us joined as much as calm down exterior by the seaside and pool. With 80-degree climate in January, we could not let it go to waste. The time spent chilling exterior collectively, having fun with the climate solely made us extra excited for the week forward.

On the second day, we received going early with one other group breakfast and a pleasant group competitors. We had been tasked with constructing boats out of cardboard, tape, and plastic wrap. A take a look at in planning and communication, we had been cut up into groups and given 45 minutes to construct our boats. After constructing and an intense race, Bri (Shvets), Iuliia (Bryzgalova), Georgia (Drummy), and Stephen (Ward) got here out on high with the successful boat (Danny’s German engineering was not what we had anticipated, and it resulted in Chloe (Beck) and Katie (Codd) sinking inside 10 seconds of their boat hitting the water).

Following some relaxation time, we headed over to the courts in our golf carts. We had our first group apply of the brand new yr and performed in a pro-am with the members. It was tremendous enjoyable to satisfy everybody through the pleasant matches.

The next day began off with a kayak journey across the close by mangroves. The climate was excellent for a time out on the water. We had been fortunate to see plenty of marine life akin to stingrays, pelicans, quite a lot of tropical fish, and golf ball coral. There was simply one thing about gliding over the nonetheless water that introduced a way of peace and calm over everybody – a little bit of a unique vibe than the depth from our group in dual-matches, however it was wonderful.

Later that day, we had been again on the courts for extra group hitting, which was targeted on repetitions and level play. We ended the day with two exhibition matches for the members. Not solely had been we capable of placed on a bit of present for the members, however these matches fueled the group’s aggressive hearth, getting us prepared for the season.

On Sunday, for our final non-tennis group competitors we had been despatched out on a scavenger hunt throughout the island. Making our means from the tennis membership to the pool to the marina, we solved riddles, gathered objects, and took footage to achieve factors. Regardless of a valiant effort from every group, the coaches got here out victorious with probably the most factors. Our aggressive juices actually received flowing through the hunt which solely added to the enjoyable.

After the time within the solar, all of us took a relaxation earlier than apply within the afternoon. Apply consisted of some fed ball and situational level play. Put up-practice, we had our final occasion with the Ocean Reef members during which we performed some pleasant video games. With the Ocean Reef instructing professionals feeding the drills and facilitating, we performed with the members in a complete bunch of enjoyable video games like rush, crush and triples. Later that night, we had been handled to a completely beautiful dinner on the golf membership. I believe all of us would agree that it was a number of the greatest steak we have ever had. Jamie (Ashworth) all the time does an incredible job selecting dinner spots on our away journeys through the season, however I am undecided he’ll high this one…

The final day on Ocean Reef was particular as a result of it was Katie’s birthday! To have a good time, a number of the group, together with Katie, went on a snorkeling journey. They ventured out to Carysfort Lighthouse, the place they received to discover the clear blue waters. They discovered a sea turtle, a southern stingray, plenty of colourful fish, and Katie even noticed a shark!

Others took time again on the resort to calm down by the pool and on the seaside. Within the afternoon, we headed out for our final apply the place we performed some units in opposition to one another. We mentioned goodbye to the courts and made our strategy to our closing dinner on the seaside. We arrived to a diffusion of Mexican delicacies, which all of us loved very a lot. With the moon shining vivid orange, our evening ended with a bonfire on the seaside the place we made smores and took time to replicate on our journey.

We had been welcomed with open arms by everybody at Ocean Reef Membership, and we couldn’t be extra grateful for the chance to take this journey, because it actually appears like a as soon as in a lifetime expertise. Not typically will we now have the prospect to play the game we love in a spot as lovely and distinctive as Ocean Reef. The group has really made recollections that may final eternally. We’re leaving, hearts full and newly energized for the season in entrance of us.

Hope to see you in Sheffield and Ambler this season!

Chloe & Ellie


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