DURHAM — As the Duke women’s tennis team gets set to open the 2023 spring slate on Friday afternoon against Furman at 4 p.m., inside the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center, the Blue Devil tandem of senior Chloe Beck and sophomore Ellie Coleman took some time to look back at a tremendous seven days in Florida recently.
We arrived at Ocean Reef Club on January 4 ready for a trip full of fun and team-bonding time. Almost immediately after arriving, we were treated to an amazing dinner with Spike Yoh and his family.
Even without much time to explore during our first evening on the island, we already knew this trip would be something special. We started off the next morning with a team breakfast overlooking the marina and a golf cart tour of the island. Once we got our bearings, we were given the rest of the day off to explore on our own. A few of us decided to hit the courts for a light practice on the clay, and after, we all joined up to relax outside by the beach and pool. With 80-degree weather in January, we couldn’t let it go to waste. The time spent chilling outside together, enjoying the weather only made us more excited for the week ahead.
On the second day, we got going early with another team breakfast and a friendly team competition. We were tasked with building boats out of cardboard, tape, and plastic wrap. A test in planning and communication, we were split into teams and given 45 minutes to build our boats. After building and an intense race, Bri (Shvets), Iuliia (Bryzgalova), Georgia (Drummy), and Stephen (Ward) came out on top with the winning boat (Danny’s German engineering was not what we had expected, and it resulted in Chloe (Beck) and Katie (Codd) sinking within 10 seconds of their boat hitting the water).
Following some rest time, we headed over to the courts in our golf carts. We had our first team practice of the new year and played in a pro-am with the members. It was super fun to meet everyone during the friendly matches.
The following day started off with a kayak trip around the nearby mangroves. The weather was perfect for a day out on the water. We were lucky to see lots of marine life such as stingrays,…