Sara Gettman in action at Nationals.
© Andrew Ong
By Kevin Wittner
TUCSON, Ariz. – When Sara Gettman began e-mailing a weekly recap of to her team after matches, the captain of the 3.0 Northern section women’s team at the 2010 USTA League National Championship had no idea what she was getting into.
The former nurse and now stay-at-home mom from Rochester, Minn., says that she just wanted to keep her teammates in the loop. Little did she know that the endeavor would inspire her team and end with her writing poetry.
"Every Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, I would stay up and write results, summaries and things like that," Gettman recalls. "I would try to go into detail and just try to get everyone fired up for the next week. As the season went on, people would say ‘oh, we love these recaps,’ so I felt like I had to keep out-doing myself from the week before."
Gettman said she would try to highlight one or two players on the team who played exceptionally well or provided a boost for her team, as they marched through the various tournaments towards nationals.
"Everybody looks forward to Sara’s recaps of the match," said Casey Lineberry of the Northern team. "It gets everybody fired up for the matches, as well. This team has a lot of really good chemistry, and we all pushed her and told her it had to be even better. We stoked her, but she really pushed herself and set the bar."
As Gettman urged her teammates to improve their on-court performance, she took her weekly recaps to another level – by putting them in the form of a poem.
"Someone said, ‘Oh I bet you can’t write it in a limerick form,’" Gettman said. "I had to Google it, and it’s [a-a-b-b-a] or whatever with the rhyming, and I decided I have to do this."
And she did. [Ed. note: An excerpt of the limerick is included at the bottom of this story]
At one point, Gettman even wrote a haiku. However, there was one week that left even her speechless.
"I didn’t write a recap when we won to go to nationals," Gettman said. "How could I possibly put it into words this awesome performance with all the great tennis the team played that weekend? How could I out-do that? [The team] wrote the script for this week. There’s nothing to say. We won, we’re going to nationals, I couldn’t out-do that one."
Gettman promises to commemorate the trip to nationals – perhaps with a video or by printing and binding the recaps from her team’s road to Tucson.
Hopefully, for the Northern team the recap will have a happy ending.
Sara Gettman’s Limerick
Patience is the name of Missy's game
Lessons from Kevin, Dave, and Brent are to blame
She was consistent and precise
And even overly nice
Then quietly put her opponent to shame
Dee Dee arrive ready, not an ounce of fear
But with a default, she instead sat to cheer.
She yelled and she booed,
was only mildly lewd,
And we love that you tried to drink beer.
Yes, we all know the saviors at number 1 doubles,
Who were once again rewarded for their troubles.
Wendy wears white
But Donna says that's alright,
And they float around the court with smiles and bubbles.
Heidi and I were first off the court,
That's a first for us, of that sort.
She'd serve perfectly down the line,
And I'd put it away just fine,
We agree Chris' purple skirt isn't too tight or short.
We had the most phenomenal peanut gallery.
Kathy, Jill, Dee Dee, Casey, Finola, and Brent we did see.
We thank you for observing,
watching our returns and our serving,
Your presence brings us on the courts much glee.
Our team has a huge amount of class.
And to you all I'd like to raise a glass.
We've fought and we've battled,
Until our opponents are rattled,
Now off to the cities to kick major…