Gouci, I hope to make it to the LB/UCR match, though I don't know if the UCR match will be much of a basis for insight into the Armstrong/Dallara controversy. UCR's #1 had a decent tournament season, but has not played well the last couple of matches and has moved to #2. Taylor started out kind of rocky, but played well in the second set against Utah when she showed the potential I think she has. In my opinion, UCR's current #1 is playing ahead of those two primarily because she has been more consistent, and I expect everyone, including her, would like to see the other two regain their form so that she can play #3, where she might have more success.
I know Julie, so no comment except to say that I like Julie, and yet the story doesn't surprise me
I will say that though I don't know her, based on her reputation, the LB coach seems a bit like Julie's high school coach in attitude and disposition.
While I think team chemistry is certainly desirable, it can be difficult to achieve in an individual sport like tennis. I think that the best tennis players will tend to be pretty individualistic because it takes a tremendous amount of confidence to go out and play a singles match, knowing that the entire team is relying on you. Any player that possesses that degree of confidence, is not likely to be easily intimidated by a coach. I expect coaches to demand hard work and commitment, but in my mind, the best coaches will gain the player's respect, and then use that respect to lead the players to play the way they want them to.
I also think that college coaches have to respect the fact that the players have a commitment to getting an education. To their credit both UCI and LB does seem to do that as I seem to recall that UCR and LB had something like 4 BW scholar athletes last year, while UCI had 3. While in Vegas, I met a recent UCR tennis alum that is one of several now in med school, and personally I see that as a very positive testament to the program. The UCR players aren't taking any of those mickey mouse classes like Miss Hammel
It should be a fun season, and I really hope injuries don't mar the season for any of the teams! I would like to see the best team win, and the other teams strive to become the best!