Very quietly, the Long Beach State tennis team has become one of the most dominant and successful programs in school history. Over the past ten years, Beach Tennis has won seven Big West Titles and been a part of the NCAA tournament seven years as well.
Leading this year's team is senior Deborah Armstrong. The Newcastle, England native was named to the All Big West Honorable Mention team last year, and is already off to a strong start to her 2011 campaign. This past week, Deborah tied the Long Beach State school record with 83 career doubles wins. She also had two wins in singles play, leading to a perfect 4-0 weekend and team wins over LMU and Cal State Fullerton.
Deborah took some time out from dominating the tennis court to answer a few questions for the Black and Gold Insider.
Black and Gold Insider: How does it feel to be named LBSU Athlete of the week?
Deborah Armstrong: It feels good to be named Athlete of the week. There are so many great athletes at LBSU who compete hard every weekend too and it is nice to see that my hard work is recognized!
Your last doubles victory tied you as the all time leader in doubles wins at Long Beach State, what is it like to set a record like that, and what kind of approach do you need to take in doubles matches to be successful?
Deborah Armstrong: It means a lot to me to have tied this record. I have been really lucky to have had awesome partners while I've been at LBSU so I have really enjoyed my doubles experience here. I think to be successful in a doubles match you need to have good communication with your partner and be able to pick each other up when things aren't going well.
What has your experience been moving from England to the US and playing tennis here at Long Beach?
Deborah Armstrong: It's been an amazing experience! Living over here was a lot to get used to at first but I love California now. Playing tennis here has also been a great experience! I've really enjoyed being on a team with people from all over the world and I'm really grateful that I get the chance to compete every weekend in amazing weather in such a nice place.
What do you think has led to the success that Beach Tennis has had recently, and what do you guys need to do to keep getting even better?
Deborah Armstrong: I think that everyone on the team is really determined to do well this season and to prove how good we are as a team. We have all worked hard over the fall to improve on different things from last season and it has been paying off recently.
What does it mean to Bleed Black and Gold?
Deborah Armstrong: To bleed black and gold is to fight for every game and stay out on the court as long as it takes.