Thursday, September 21, 2017

Climbing Report 15: Fairfield

Varsity Match Report
This match was so close for us, so close to a victory. That's really the main story, but because it didn't end in a victory it's a really hard story to tell.

But, at so many positions we played some of our best tennis. Especially at #2 doubles. All season I've been trying to get this team to embrace their potential, and Monday's match showed this potential. After dropping the first 3 games, they began to move aggressively and with energy together. This energy put the Falcons on their heals. And honestly, I didn't have to make too many more visits to the fence in this match. We just road on energy and belief and strong groundstrokes and attacking net person to a comfortable victory.

Liam did much the same. With Fairfield's usual #2 sick, they substituted in a talented freshman to #2S. While Hochstedler's consistency bothered Liam in some games, he was overall very comfortable in the match and played well.

So did Braden Bohn. Moving up again into the varsity lineup, Braden hung in points confidently with senior Dylan Kaufman. However, he just couldn't find the finishing touch to end games in his favor. That's been happening a lot to our #3S players this season, and it is one of those plateau issues that I wrote about in the last match report. We are a little afraid to take an aggressive swing and win the point, and that's a thing we'll work on. But overall, Braden put his effort and energy into this match.

At #1S, Jacob Woolace had an off day while Aaron Streit was on fire. Early in this match Streit caused Jacob's energy to fizzle as he held off aggressive shots and well constructed points with big shots of his own. Streit was very impressive in this match, and Jacob just wasn't able to find the shots to consistently challenge him.

And so, the match was tied 2-2 and it came down to #1D. And that was a good thing for us, because Dustin was back to match play. He was playing with a brace on his hitting hand, but his partnership with Jonathon was great. They were energetic and moving, and after an iffy first set, they'll pulled it together and began to play with the type of skill and simple aggression that had marked their partnership before Dustin's injury.

Moving into the third set, they took a 5-1 lead. It looked like we were going to win. But Fairfield picked up their play. Over the next three games we only won ourselves two chances to finish the match. And to give Dustin a ton of credit, on one of our match points he looked across the line and initially called the Fairfield shot out. But realizing he'd made a bad call, he chose honesty and character over winning, and he corrected himself. We'd all gotten very excited, but Dustin did the right thing. That's to be commended.

And I'd like to say that we still won another way. But we didn't. We struggled to overcome the negative thoughts and nerves that go with losing a lead, and Fairfield's #1D surged ahead, winning the deciding set 7-5.

In all, I was so proud of the varsity. The night was mostly marked by outstanding play and sportsmanship. And that's what I ask for. As people, I was really, really inspired by you guys. 

And yet, there is disappointment too. We want to win. We want our great character, our honesty, our effort to be rewarded with another tally in the win column.

And it just doesn't always work like that. Winning is far more important in the short term, it gives us an energy jolt and feels good. Character is a grind, it requires grit, it takes a long time to show fruit. But it is character that gains us valuable relationships. It's character that allows us to make it through college. It is character that impresses employers, builds marriages, raises children...

Winning makes me smile. But watching men like you grow in character, it helps me put my head down on the pillow at night and know that God is loving, in control, and building you up. It lets me rest in the knowledge that there are those who want to make the world better - and you are those people. Thanks!

JV Match Report
While enthralled with the varsity, I did get to watch a lot of the JV in this match. And what I noticed is a team on the edge, of moving upward. Last week, I wrote about us being at a plateau in our growth. And I think we still are. But we are close.

The biggest thing we have to figure out now is how to win points. We are good at returning the ball over and over, but we lack the strategy to know how to finish things. That's something we've been working on this week in practice. And it is a reason that we'll have to continue to get better at volleys :-)

But the biggest thing is being confident enough in our shots to take a risk. To hit with pace to the open court. To swing with confidence for the angle. To power the ball past a net person, or trust our own judgment of a lob. To pound away overheads. These finishing shots are the next rung, the next handhold, and the better we do them, the more we'll win the close matches.

Climbing Up (A Prayer)
Great God, hear us. We are trying our best to grab on to the next rung of the ladder. We'd love to continue to see results. Give us a chance to rejoice. Something simple and tangible, something deep and meaningful, something that allows us to see the reality of what we've been doing.

#1S - Jacob Woolace - 0-6, 0-6 - Aaron Streit (11)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-3, 6-2 - Colin Hochstedler (9)
#3S - Braden Bohn - 1-6, 2-6 - Dylan Kaufman (12)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 2-6, 6-3, 5-7 - Andrew Mamane (12)/Tanner Nunemaker (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 6-3, 6-3 - Jarin Bontrager (12)/Ben Toole (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Joel Yoder - 6-8 - Carson Yoder (12)
#2SJV - Philip Krabill - 5-8 - Tucker Miller (12)
#3SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 6-8 - Ethan Yoder (9)
#4SJV - Jim Lyu - 0-6 - Isaac Inniger (10)
#1DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 4-8 - Riley Behles (10)/Bryce Willard (10)
#2DJV - Chris Craw/Tyson Miller - 3-8 - Isaac Inniger (10)/Lance Martin (9)
#3DJV - Aaron Shenk/Kameron Branum - 8-6 - Kaden Plett (9)/Dylan Yoder (9)
#4DJV - Angel Torres/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 8-0 - Kristof Howard (9)/Ryan Keller (9)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Climbing Report 14: September 16 Invitationals

We have reached a plateau.

In our climbing this year, we have done the initial work. We have attended the practices, we've navigating injuries, we have found hand and foot holds that have served us. We've fallen down and we've gotten back up. And we've climbed well enough that we've reached a plateau.

We're not to the top of the mountain yet. And the climb gets more difficult ahead of us. Just think of the challenge! The excitement! The opportunity.

But we are also feeling the fear.

It would be easy enough for us to just sit down at this level of improvement and relax. Enjoy the view.

But I want us to fight through the fear and climb, and that is going to mean RISKING FAILURE.

In the varsity tournament, I was SO PROUD of every position. Everybody got 1 win and 2 losses, but each position had a loss that felt like we could have won. Nathan and Jonah had two losses that felt like they could have won :-) But to win those matches is going to mean stepping outside our comfort zone and climbing again.

Above is a diagram about learning, that applies really well to where we are. To get better, we're going to have to move beyond where we are comfortable and into the learning zone.

To not be vague, here's some things we will have to do to continue improvement.
- Accelerate on our second serves.
- Split step within our points.
- Rotate our bodies and swing through the ball.
- Take aggressive swings.
- Move toward the net in doubles.
- Believe that we can hit specific spots with our shots.
- Work hard, like so that we are dripping sweat, in practice.
- Stay focused (without joking) when given a specific task to focus on.
- Try new tactics.

One or more of these elements were missing in the close varsity matches that we lost. And I bring this up not because I'm disappointed, but because THIS IS OUR BIGGEST MOMENT OF OPPORTUNITY.

Each varsity player that I watched today played at a high level in parts of their matches.
- Liam played unbelievable in his first set against Highland, he had the player who placed 3rd in the tournament down and frustrated as he really pounded forehands and moved well to the ball.
- Joel struck gold in his second match when he took some pace off of the middle of the court balls and made his opponent chase balls to the corners.
- Philip played an aggressive and strategic first set in his last match, mixing in deep and short balls to keep his opponent off guard.
- Jonathan and Jacob played the best doubles I've seen from them when they got vocal and encouraging and on their toes as they took the second set from Centerville.
- Jonah and Nathan's first set comeback against St. Joseph's was an aggressive and movement filled thing of beauty. Especially the aggression of their net player and the point winning nature of their lobs.

We have to find consistency in those things. The JV as well. And I can't wait for this week of practice to do it!




#1S - Liam Bradford
Round 1: Highland - Mathew Cotner (12) - 3-6, 2-6
Round 2: Triton - Carter Kuntz (11) - 7-5, 6-2
Round 3: Centerville - Nolan Witte (12) - 0-6, 0-6

#2S - Joel Yoder
Round 1: Chesterton - Nik Hansen (10) - 0-6, 0-6
Round 2: Triton - Jared Bules (10) - 7-6 (6), 6-1
Round 3: Highland - Meet Patel (11) - 1-6, 2-6

#3S - Philip Krabill
Round 1: Merrillville - Cameron Louthran (11) - 3-6, 3-6
Round 2: Portage - Mickey Winicky (10) - 6-2, 6-1
Round 3: Chesterton - Corydon Goff (10) - 5-7, 2-6

#1D - Jonathon Yousey/Jacob Woolace
Round 1: Portage - Alex Bourge (12)/Evan Gerkie (11) - 6-2, 6-2
Round 2: Chesterton - Blake Ellenwood (12)/Chad Whelan (11) - 1-6, 0-6
Round 3: Centerville - Zach Monteur (12)/Nate Reed (10) - 4-6, 6-3, 8-10

#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland
Round 1: Centerville - Cody Brown (10)/Brian Crawley (10) - 4-6, 3-6
Round 2: South Bend St. Joseph's - Brendan Anderson (12)/Kevin Zmyslo (12) - 7-6 (6), 0-6, 8-10
Round 3: Triton - Tyler Heckaman (10)/Gavin Greer (10) - 6-0, 6-0

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Braden Bohn
Round 1:
Round 2:
Round 3:

#2SJV - Chris Craw
Round 1:
Round 2:
Round 3:

#3SJV - Tyson Miller
Round 1:
Round 2:
Round 3:

#1DJV - Will Nisley/Joseph Mounsithiraj
Round 1:
Round 2:
Round 3:

#2DJV - Aaron Shenk/Kameron Branum
Round 1:
Round 2:
Round 3:

Climbing Report 13: Elkhart Central

Varsity Match Report
Some things in the Bethany tennis world continue to grow stronger.

Liam continues to get more confident in his strokes and play more positive in each match. Today, he played a very skilled player and made the match look relatively easy. Liam's strokes drove Stutzman deep into the court and Liam was able to find the angles and drop shots to force mistakes and hit winners. This was probably his best match, following up what was probably his best match on Tuesday. That's a way to get better.

Another thing growing stronger is our freshman class. Braden Bohn stepped up to the varsity today and played an excellent match. He used his forehand and backhand to control points, but couldn't always finding the finishing touch. Still, he caused problems for his opponent and had the longest match that didn't go three sets. He fought, he didn't give up, he showed lots of grit.

As did Jacob Woolace. After one of his worst sets of tennis, Jacob came back in the second set to play. Instead of focusing on score, he just tried to take the best swing possible on every shot. Soon, this had him playing some confident tennis. He played the way he is capable in a dynamic second set that saw him push the match to a third.

And their are other various pieces that are growing stronger. Nathan continues to find more first serves, Jonathon is finishing at the net more regularly, Philip and Jonah's net game has gotten better. These things keep us looking up. Whether it is for the end of this season, or moving toward a better next year. We keep looking for the places to take hold and climb up.

JV Match Report
Admittedly, I did not get to watch much of the JV matches. Unfortunately, at sites like Central, the matches are too separate for me to get much viewing time. From what I gather, we didn't exactly play the tennis we are most proud of. Some of us weren't moving well, some of us want to keep dinking, some of us are afraid to develop a certain part of our game.

We also continued progress though. Aaron was excited that his serve was better. Kameron had the same thought. Braydon was excited about his volleys. Every day, we get a little more confident. That's the process.

Climbing Up (A Prayer)
God, we are trying to take hold of the difficult balance between competing and playing. God, it is really all about shalom. The peace of having everything in its right place. Help us find the right place for tennis in our life. How much does it really matter? How much should I give my tennis shots, scores, pressures to affect my behavior, strategy and mood? How can I have fun and expend lots of energy? God, these are the tennis things that we want You to teach us.

Help us rightly order our life. May our principle and foundation be the realization that we are created to praise, reverence and serve You. May tennis, a gift that You have seen developed over the years, may the gift of tennis lead us in that direction. Amen.

#1S - Jacob Woolace - 0-6, 7-5, 1-6 - Michael Beveridge (12)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-3, 6-3 - Philip Stutzman (11)
#3S - Braden Bohn - 1-6, 3-6 - Zack Pelletier (11)
#1D - Jonathon Yousey/Nathan Oostland - 1-6, 1-6 - Jared Reid (12)/Dane Frieden (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Philip Krabill - 2-6, 1-6 - Adam Moon (12)/Adam Delks (12)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Joel Yoder - 3-8 - Abe Hill (11)
#2SJV - Will Nisley - 1-8 - Will Bryant (11)
#3SJV - Joseph Mounsithiraj - 1-8 - Ben Honich (11)
#4SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 8-3 - Spencer Dexter (9)
#1DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Aaron Shenk - 3-8 - Nathan Brekke (11)/Nathan Lindholm (11)
#2DJV - Chris Craw/Tyson Miller - 1-8 - Alexx Dreamer (10)/Josh Reid (9)
#3DJV - Kameron Branum/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 8-5 - Sam Thomas (11)/Frankie Yeakey (9)
#4DJV - Angel Torres/Jim Lyu - 0-8 - Chase Bontrager (10)/Grant Brekke (9)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Video Analysis #2: Jonathon's Forehand

Video #1 shows Jonathon hitting a powerful forehand, doing some things correctly, but his swing path is too flat.

Video #2 shows us Jonathon hitting a powerful forehand with better swing path.

Climbing Report 12: Blackhawk Christian

Facebook Photos

Varsity Match Report
Well, that was intense.

We continue to focus on ways that we can get better. In Liam's match last night, there were two clear examples of how to play within our matches, and I'll cover those in the climbing up section. But boy, it was nerve-wracking to watch those play out.

While watching Liam's match, Nathan, Jacob and I were discussing the fact that we've haven't gotten to sing as much as we like in this season. It's a BC tennis tradition going all the way back to 2005 to sing Sarasponda after our wins, but they've been a little far between this season. So, when the varsity match was tied at 2-2 and Liam lost the first set in a tiebreak of a match we needed to win... it was making us nervous.

But, apparently, it didn't make Liam nervous. It didn't look like much made him nervous. After going down 3-0 to start his match, Liam and his opponent had been going back and forth, trading games. But his opponent always seemed a bit ahead. In the second set, Liam found himself down 5-4. Blackhawk's Ethan Yourdon had a chance to end the match when he had the advantage in this game, but Liam denied the first match point and then won the game to tie it at 5-5.

However, Yourdon took a 6-5 lead. Liam rebounded from that disappointment to force the next game to deuce, but Yourdon kept getting the advantage. 4 times, Yourdon had the advantage and a match point, but 4 times Liam saved the point. The last of these saved points was the best, as Liam was brought forward by a short volley when Yourdon attacked the net, and Liam was able to slice a backhand volley crosscourt to end a point where both players had opportunities to win.

Liam won the game to force a tiebreak to end the second set. In the tiebreak, Liam took an early lead but it was Yourdon who earned his 6th match point with a 6-5 lead. On this match point, Yourdon came to the net and Liam hit a forehand passing shot down the line. Yourdon hit a crosscourt volley that Liam had to sprint and stretch to scoop up over the net. Liam got it, but left the whole court open behind him. Yourdon simply had to put a backhand volley into the open court, but the ball ticked off his frame and fell into the net. It was unfortunate for him, but gave Liam another chance.

All through this, our gathered players gave positive energy to Liam, cheering on each big point. To be sure, the Blackhawk players were doing the same. It was a great atmosphere. Liam sealed the next two points to force a third set. With darkness coming on and a long ride ahead of Blackhawk, we decided that a 10 point tiebreak would be the best idea.

Liam took a 3-1 lead, but then Yourdon ran off 5 points in a row to go up 6-3. It looked bad again for Liam, but again he responded. Methodically, he kept the ball in play and forced Yourdon to be the attacker. Then Liam would flip a switch and find the forehand, lob, or volley to end the point. 5 points in a row for Liam had him leading 9-6 with match points of his own. Yourdon saved one match point before hitting the next out. And Liam had provided his second match winning third set tiebreak of the season.

Of course, there were other great performances on the night. Nathan shook off second set nerves to find his stroke and help #1D win in two sets. Jonah and Philip continued to learn about simple aggression and were able to confidently take two sets from the Braves. Even in losses, Jacob and Joel were able to learn lessons... or find out about a new podcast to listen to in order to help their mental game :-)

I was proud of the energy around the team tonight. I was proud of how we responded. I am proud of how we support each other. I can't wait to see this team keep growing. Two and a half weeks left, let's keep climbing.
JV Match Report
Speaking of climbing, it has been a joy to watch our JV guys get better throughout the season. We're learning strokes, tactics, and mental game... and then we are learning how to put those into play. Tonight saw two great singles matches and 3 really gritty doubles matches.

I was impressed by the command that Will showed in his singles match. Time after time he worked his opponent from one side of the court to the other, until provoking the error. At #2S, Braden also worked the points well. These two guys have really taken to the idea of improving, and I love watching them compete.

At doubles, there was lots of energy. Energy that I hope translates to the whole team. Braydon continues to celebrate his great points, continues to encourage his partners, continues to showcase his strengths. He and Joseph played a close match, but when the big volleys were needed, Braydon had the hands to put them away.

Chris and Tyson showed great chemistry, working together and never giving up on points. My favorite point was when Tyson was near the net and began to move over to a ball that he thought that he could get. But the ball was in an awkward spot, to near to his feet and he would have only been able to smack it out. So, without a word, he jumped over the ball and Chris swooped in behind him to knock it back over the net. It was as if they had planned it. That effort is amazing!

In the end, the JV match came down to the tiebreak at #3DJV. Kameron and Theo had thought it might be an easy match, but the Blackhawk players were excellent at patrolling and controlling the net. With a simple change (simple is always good in doubles), Kameron and Theo started hitting around the net player in the tiebreak, and secured the JV victory in the growing dark.

Climbing Up
What lessons to learn as we run back to the ladder after the NorthWood match and try to climb on. Let's examine just Liam's match...

1st Rung - Negative Energy Hurts Your Game
It was evident watching Liam that every time he turned to showing negative energy, his on court tennis play would suffer. Sometimes, we think that when the coaches ask us to not do these things it is because they are making arbitrary rules to make the game more sportsmanlike. That is somewhat true. At a tennis level though, negative outbursts hurt. Let's continue to let go of foot-slamming, slumped shoulders, hanging heads and other forms of talking ourselves down... instead...

2nd Rung - Positive Energy Boosts Everyone
In Liam's match, one thing I loved was his positive outbursts. There were several big points that Liam won where he pumped both fists. Where he hustled to the ball for the next point. Where he spun around and ran back to the baseline. These are great expressions of positive energy. And it made everyone else feel good too. Those playing next to him in JV doubles had great expressions of support for Liam. I loved that Tyson, during Liam's second set tiebreak, asked me how things were going for Liam when we met at the fence. I loved that the positive attitude spread.

3rd Rung - Under Pressure, Swing Through Like You Normally Do
The biggest key from Liam's match is that when you are under pressure and when you are not, you have to take your normal, loose, accelerating swings. Several times when facing match points, Liam's opponent charged the net. This is often a good strategy on pressure points, because the attack often causes the opposing player to feel pressure, tighten up and either float a ball to you to smash or crush a ball to far long. But Liam just hit Liam's shot, a smooth topspin ball down the line or a perfectly weighted lob.

He's able to do this because he basically always hits the same. He hits these loose shots in practice, in matches, when goofing around. This is what we've got to develop. Our shots. One's that we know that we hit all the time. Then, under pressure, just starting a match, whenever - we just hit how we hit and play how we play. Liam showed us a great example of that in this match.

#1S - Jacob Woolace - 1-6, 0-6 - Drew Hall (12)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 10-7 - Ethan Yourdon (12)
#3S - Joel Yoder - 1-6, 0-6 - Josh Carlson (12)
#1D - Jonathon Yousey/Nathan Oostland - 6-3, 6-3 - Zach Kaufman (11)/Matt Winteregg (9)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Philip Krabill - 6-4, 6-3 - Logan Foote (12)/Isaiah Messburg (12)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Will Nisley - 6-1 - Jimmy Bunner
#2SJV - Braden Bohn - 6-0 - Colton Romines
#3SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 3-6 - Ben Figgins
#1DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 6-4 - Aaron Jentgen/Bear Roberts
#2DJV - Chris Craw/Tyson Miller - 4-6 - Wes Taner/Ryan Neff
#3DJV - Kameron Branum/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 6-5 (2) - Caleb Gibson/Chandler Pope
#4DJV - Angel Torres/Jim Lyu - 0-6 - ??? / ???

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Area Scores 2017

NorthWood 3, Goshen 2
1. Wes Troyer (N) beat Wes Beck, 7-5, 6-3
2. Simon Myers (G) beat Landon Holland, 6-2, 6-2
3. Ryan Harmelink (G) beat Jack Wysong, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (0).
1. Jared Hoffman-Brant Mast (N) beat Diego Torres-Ben Bontrager-Singer, 6-4, 6-3
2. Trevor Klotz-Trajan Schwartz (N) beat Josh Haimes-Tony Le, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

Goshen 3, SB St. Joseph's 2

Jimtown 3, Elkhart Central 2

Angola 4, Fairfield 1

Westview 3, NorthWood 2

Concord 4, Plymouth 1
1. Will Boyer (C) beat Tommy Holloway, 6-2, 6-1
2. Nate Slabach (C) beat Mitch Rose, 6-3, 6-0
3. Freddy Buckingham (C) beat Andy Rostron, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
1. Clay Hilliard-Adam Hunter (P) beat Travis Hermon-Cal Whitaker, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
2. Grant Luchesse-Drew McDougle (C) beat Grant Houin-Dylan Voreis, 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-3.

Blackhawk Christian 5, North Side 0
1. Hall d. Rodriguez 6-0, 6-0
2. Yourdon d. Johnson 6-1, 6-0
3. Carlson d. Cerratos 6-0, 6-0
1. Winteregg/Kaufman d. Woenkher/Schaefer 6-0, 6-1
2. Foote/Mossburg d. Walter/Smith 6-2, 6-3

Westview 4, Fremont 1
1. Davis (W) d. Trusty 6-2, 6-3
2. Camp (F) d. Hostetler 7-5, 6-4
3. Barker (W) d. Crotty 6-0, 6-1
1. Eash/Miller (W) d. Chelinski/Towns 6-0, 6-0
2. Roth/Schwartz (W) d. Sherbondy/Weisenfelder 6-0, 6-0

Bremen 5, Triton 0

Northridge 5, Wawasee 0

Taylor 3, Delphi 2
1. Bailey Owens won 6-3, 6-4
2. Peyton Tracy won in three sets
3. Wynn Takacs won
1. Taylor lost
2. Taylor lost

#1 Homestead 4, Avon 1
Avon 5, #3 Carroll 0

Monday, September 11, 2017

Senior Statement: Jonathon Yousey

Jonathon has been an amazing competitor and leader for our team through the years. When I think about Jonathon as a player, I am amazed at the versatility that he has shown. He’s played 33 matches of singles and 30 matches of doubles over his career, and he has a winning record in both. But the word I think of to describe Jonathon most is faithful.

In tennis, he’s been faithful to whatever is best for his teammates. He’s played singles and he’s played doubles, whatever will help the team win. He’s been a diligent worker during practice, making sure that his effort will help those he’s practicing with to get better. He’s been faithful to his own improvement, crossing the road regularly this summer to lead open courts or to work on his serve.

Even more admirable to me has been his devotion to spiritual topics, to looking deeper into his own life of following Jesus. He has been the first to participate in our spiritual conversations. He’s been quick to lead in discussions about following Jesus at tennis camp. He’s wanted to make sure that part of his legacy with this tennis team is the importance of Jesus Christ. I remember this summer at tennis camp, his passionate discussion of faith topics while pacing around in his bare feet, waiting for the shower. He is faithful.

This faithfulness has its rewards. He is the best player and the leader of our team this year. This faithfulness can have pressures. He is the best player and the leader of our team this year :-) And this season has seen he and these other seniors have to lead through ups and downs, through close losses, through injuries to many teammates, through the varying good and bad attitudes of teammates. And through it all, it is obvious that Jonathon remains focused. Each practice, he is going to give his best. Each practice, he will follow Jesus.

There was a spiritual activity that we participated in at the beginning of the year that I believe defines Jonathon. It’s one that I hope defines our team for years to come. In the activity we climbed up on a ladder, and then tossed a ball off the top of it. That represented the times that we are growing in faith and doubt or difficulty knocks us off. Then we hopped off the ladder, chased down the ball and got back to the ladder as quick as we could. That represented faith. Faith is holding on, and always coming back to Jesus, believing that he can help us grow into maturity. Jonathon sprinted back to that ladder harder than anyone else. What a legacy to leave!

Hebrews 10:22-24
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings... Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love...

Senior Statement: Joel Yoder

Joel has two awesome characteristics that I cannot escape when I think about him: enthusiasm and desire to improve. After practice, it’s Joel that I can count on to have a question about tennis tactics. If I forget something at the courts, it’s Joel who is here hitting extra serves. When watching matches, it’s often been Joel who is screaming out encouragements.

I have many great memories of Joel through the years. He made me a cheesecake last year for my birthday that we pulled out and ate after our Saturday match against Triton. He was always a major contributor at our Monday lunch meetings a couple of years ago. He brought ice cream for the whole team at one of those lunch meetings. He gave me extra ice cream at the Magic Wand last year. Maybe I just like ice cream :-)

My tennis memories of Joel are growing too. I remember watching him play with Daniel in the last match against NorthWood three years ago. I remember his joy and effort then. It hasn’t changed now. In our last match against Westview, Joel took on a superior opponent with belief and determination. When he lashed a baseline overhead for a winner, his enthusiasm was voiced in a “Let’s go!” that created energy for all his teammates. Last Saturday he got his first 6-0, 6-0 varsity when and immediately texted me: “Do you want to know the scores?”

I love Joel’s belief that he can get better and his joy in doing so. I’m sure this will be the legacy he leaves. I’m sure of it because of the way he directs this towards his teammates as well. He’ll hit with anyone during practice, he’ll feed extra balls, he’ll cheer on the JV guys. I loved this summer at tennis camp, while we waited in line for the showers, we sat down and played a card game with Joel, Philip, Joseph, Will, Theo and I. A senior, a junior, three freshman and the coach. And Joel was loving it. He was enthusiastic just to be with people. Because that is just part of who he is!

The Bible uses a word to describe this combination of enthusiasm and pursuit of improvement. It calls this “zeal.” The root of this word comes from the verb to boil water. I like this image of Joel... his boiling energy keeps the whole team warm and comfortable. It is a great gift that Joel uses so well.

Romans 12:11
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Senior Statement: Dustin Miller

Dustin has always been a dominant tennis player. As far as tennis records go, I think Dustin might be one of the most “under-the-radar” great players we’ve had at Bethany. In his two years playing mostly JV, he had a record of 23-5. On the varsity over the last two years, he’s had a winning percentage of 78%, a percentage that would rank him 6th all time at Bethany. This year, he’s been the perfect doubles partner for two players as we’ve rotated the lineup around, trying to find the best way for the team to win.

But as with all of the players here at Bethany, Dustin’s play on the court is not the thing that makes me appreciate him the most. Instead, what I love about Dustin is his earnestness. Dustin shows sincere and intense conviction and effort in the things he commits to.

I have seen that evidenced in so many situations throughout his career. In the first time he was forced to play varsity (before he was really ready) as a sophomore. In our 1:00 AM conversations outside the prayer room last year at tennis camp, about faith and his experiences. In his dedication to succeed with many doubles partners these past two seasons. In an intense drill of crosscourt battles this summer at tennis camp. In his continued dedication to the team in the time since his injury.

It’s the word “battle” that sticks out to me with Dustin. When I drill against him, he is one of the few players who doesn’t get intimidated when I hit the ball hard. He is one of the few players who takes an aggressive swing against me. One of the few to beat me in my “unbeatable” game of “One Man War.” He doesn’t back down from things, he sticks with it, he wrestles and finds a way to win. It reminds me of the Old Testament story of Jacob, who spent a night tussling with God and wouldn’t give up. In the morning, God gave him the name Israel which means “wrestles with God.” I pray that this aspect of Dustin’s life continues to be an emblem of his faith as well. That he will wrestle with God, and be faithful to Christ’s call on his life.

Psalm 73:26, 28
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever...
as for me, it is good to be near God.

Senior Statement: Braydon Harshberger

Braydon came to our team in his sophomore year, after a year at Northridge. What a blessing it has been to have a guy like Braydon on our team!

Braydon has always been a great example of desire and passion. One thing I’ve noticed about Braydon through the years I’ve known him is that he loves tennis. He’s the one who will text me during the US Open to see if I’m watching the same match as him. He’s often has helpful comments and observations when watching a match. He’s one that will go play any chance that he has. That love and exuberance for tennis is really contagious for me, and makes me love the game even more when I’m around Braydon.

Braydon also has a passion for improvement in tennis. And not just his own improvement, but he enjoys seeing everyone around him get better and encouraging them to do so. Braydon has worked hard at parts of his game. I can’t count the number of practices that I’ve seen him either getting out quickly to start working on his serve or staying late to hit a couple extra. And often he’s encouraging others to work hard and stay motivated. Sometimes his passion for improvement comes out as frustration at himself, but he always regroups and rebounds and comes back with great energy.

Probably the most endearing thing about Braydon though is his friendliness. Braydon wants to be a friend to anyone, especially those who need it most. At tennis camp, at school, on the tennis courts - wherever I see Braydon - he is always finding chances to be with people. He is always trying to find common interests, like our common interest in Star Wars. He is often smiling, joking, and becoming part of the conversation - with anyone.

Yes, there are so many other things to love about Braydon as a player and as a person. His big serve and forehand, his big smile and desire to please, his big love and knowledge of Star Wars, his big energy and belief in the good of the team, and ultimately - his big heart and willingness to befriend anyone. And that friendliness to all, that is a legacy that he is going to leave.

John 15:12, 15
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you... I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Climbing Report 11: NorthWood

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Varsity Match Report
This varsity match seemed to be the culmination of a lot of weariness on the season. Again, we switched up the lineup. We moved #2D to #1D, where Nathan and Jonah fought hard but were defeated by an excellent NorthWood team. At their #2D spot, we had two of our seniors on this Senior Night match - Joel and Braydon. Again, they faced a difficult opponent and couldn't find a win.

The singles, well, we expected these positions to be a lot closer. And they were, but not like we may have liked. Jonathon had several difficult and long matches against NorthWood #1 Wes Troyer in the past, but in this match Jonathon couldn't find a good rhythm at all and Troyer played phenomenally well. At #2 and #3S, Jacob and Liam both had portions of their matches where they played great, and then portions where they couldn't work past their own mental blocks.

Overall, we didn't play a great match against a good team. And when you don't play great against teams that are really good - you tend to lose. And we did.

I'm being blunt because I think most of us recognize the mistakes we made in this match. So the key is not to sit in them. Let's acknowledge that we didn't play, coach, think, prepare or whatever well. Then, let's move on.

There's no shame in that. We can do that with joy. That is what life is. We make mistakes. We correct those. We keep moving on up :-)

JV Match Report
Similar story as the varsity, it wasn't our best play tonight. I do want to acknowledge two things for sure. First of all, Philip and Joseph had incredible energy and gave themselves hope. They went down 6-0 and could have easily just kept quiet, still, and gone down without showing any grit. But they hit some big shots, gave each other hi-fives, fist pumped and tried to bring their best shots. And then they lost 8-1.

But the thing isn't the score. They continued competing, and so they continued growing. The key in "climbing up" is to always try to play the way that you want to play. Joseph and Philip got better in this match because they kept that energy going.

Will and Aaron are the second people to mention. They played with confidence and consistency tonight. They moved well to the net and made the simple volleys. They took constructive advice well. And they continue to have a joy in playing together. I love that. I love players that love playing tennis and it infects their teammates too!

Climbing Up (A Prayer)
God, our seniors have left us a legacy of many things. Faithfulness to the task, friendship with our brothers, zeal and a battling spirit of figuring it all out. May we display these in the rest of the season. May we seek this community of brothers for our support. May we give glory to you!

#1S - Jonathon Yousey - 0-6, 3-6 - Wes Troyer (10)
#2S - Jacob Woolace - 1-6, 6-4, 0-6 - Landon Holland (10)
#3S - Liam Bradford - 6-3, 5-7, 0-6 - Jack Wysong (10)
#1D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 2-6, 0-6 - Jared Hoffman (12)/Brant Mast (12)
#2D - Braydon Harshberger/Joel Yoder - 0-6, 1-6 - Trevor Klotz (12)/Trajan Schwartz (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Braden Bohn - 5-8 - Ben Vincent (9)
#2SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 4-8 - Dawson Bley (11)
#3SJV - Tyson Miller - 2-8 - Brad Demitruk (9)
#4SJV - Angel Torres - 2-8 - Skip McCoy (9)
#5SJV - Jim Lyu - 0-8 - Brad Demitruk (9)
#1DJV - Philip Krabill/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 1-8 - Grant Topping (11)/Chase Horner (10)
#2DJV - Will Nisley/Aaron Shenk - 8-1 - Tyler Hahn (12)/Zach Parisi (11)
#3DJV - Chris Craw/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 5-8 - Nate Clickovich (10)/Bryce Horner (10)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Area Scores 2017

Goshen 4, Wawasee 1
1. Wes Beck (G) beat Zach Leedy, 6-1, 6-2
2. Simon Myers (G) beat Jacob Krugman, 6-0, 6-0
3. Ryan Harmelink (G) beat Collin Rhodes, 6-0, 6-0.
1. Dylan Staley-Brady Robinson (W) beat Ben Bontrager-Singer-Diego Torres, 7-5, 6-2
2. Drake Crowder-Tony Le (G) beat Jack Cowen-Evan Richey, 6-2, 6-0.

Jimtown 5, Glenn 0
1. Holden Price beat Gabe Weiss, 6-0, 6-1
2. Ben Clarke beat Alex Ross, 6-0, 6-1
3. Nate Behrens beat Anthony Kasper, 6-2, 6-1.
1. Andrew Emeigh-Tim Gardner beat Trace Jones-Ales Kruk, 6-0, 6-1
2. Austin Pearison-Preston Phillips beat Matt Moore-Brandon Goble, 6-0, 6-1.

Triton 3, Tippecanoe Valley 2
1. Cater Kuntz (T) beat Seth Huffman (TV) 6-1, 7-5
2. Jared Bules (T) beat Eric Wright (TV) 6-4, 6-2
3. Garrett Feldman (TV) beat Gavin Greer (T) 6-0, 6-0
1. Peyton Mills/Dakota Parker (TV) beat Keygan Mosier/Tyler Heckaman (T) 6-2, 6-2
2. Trevor Miller/John Gardner (T) beat Jeremy Landis/Connor Frentzel (TV) 6-1, 6-0

Northridge 3, Warsaw 2
1. Simon Grevengoed (NR) beat Colton Lind, 6-2, 6-0
2. Gabe Kodino (NR)beat Kyler Bartol, 5-7, 6-1, 6-0
3. Cooper Tavernier (NR)beat Nick Marsh, 6-1, 6-2.
1. Bailey Buhrt-Spencer Britton (W) beat Eric Firstenberger-Logan Corns, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
2. Nolan Knight-Reuben Williams (W) beat Avery Mantyla-Connor Glenn, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

NorthWood 4, Plymouth 1
1. Wes Troyer (NW) beat Tommy Holloway, 6-3, 6-4
2. Landon Holland (NW) beat Mitch Rose, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
3. Andy Rostron (P) beat Jack Wysong, 6-2, 6-0.
1. Jared Hoffman-Brant Mast (NW) beat Clay Hilliard- Adam Hunter, 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2
2. Trevor Klotz-Trajan Schwartz beat Shaun Frantz-Bo Meadors, 6-0, 6-0.

St. Joseph's 3, SB Adams 2
1. Thomas Pries (SJ) beat Tommy Han, 6-2, 6-1
2. Donnell Williams (A) beat Cole Mathews, 6-1, 6-1
3. Brett Loitz (SJ) beat Dominique Cook, 6-1, 6-4.
1. Steve Mullaney-Andrew Sill (SJ) beat Elliot Zyniewicz-Zach Fernandez, 6-2, 6-4
2. Matthew Petersen-Peter Nagy (A) beat Brendan Anderson-Kevin Zmyslo, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.

Wabash 3, Bluffton 2
1. Ford (W) d. Baumgartner 6-2, 6-4
2. Mattern (W) d. McClish 6-4, 6-2
3. Khan (W) d. Jojola 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
1. Eisenhut/Heller (B) d. Stein/ Driscoll 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
2. Hiday/Johnston (B) d. Ballard/ France 6-1, 6-0.

Chesterton 4, Portage 1
1. Matt Jewison (C) d. Zack Gertzen 6-0, 6-0
2. Bryce Kissinger (P) d. Nick Hanson 7-5, 6-3
3. Corydon Gaff (C) d. Mickey Winicky 6-0, 6-0.
1. Blake Ellenwood-Chad Whelan (C) d. Evan Gerike-Alex Bourge 6-1, 6-0
2. Paul Petro-Luke Liapez (C) d. Ronnie Wilkins-Bryan Garrison 6-2, 6-0.

Highland 5, Hobart 0
1. Matthew Cotner (Hi) d. Cade Brumley 6-2, 6-0
2. Meet Patel (Hi) d. Evan Kara 6-2, 6-3
3. Steven Fowler (Hi) d. Charles Crayton 6-3, 6-4.
1. Mason Gluth-Alex Lopez (Hi) d. Cannon Braggs-Donte Conchola 6-1, 6-0
2. Fred Kepler-Chris Peters (Hi) d. Max Jancich-Nick Kolapanis 6-0, 6-0.

Merrillville 4, Michigan City 1
1. Justin Jackson (MV) d. Devon Stromer 6-3, 6-3
2. Keith Rochefort (MV) d. Danny Walker 6-1, 6-0
3. Cameron Louthan (MV) d. Bohdan Walker 6-0, 6-1.
1. Steven Sebert-Tommy Komay (MC) d. Justin Villanueva-Tony Williamson 6-2, 6-0
2. Josh Raddatz-Ivan Sahagun (MV) d. Scott Kreighbaum-John Bruning 6-2, 6-1.

Blackhawk Christian 4, Fremont 1

Concord 5, Elkhart Memorial 0

#1 Leo 5, Bellmont 0
#7 Bishop Dwenger 3, Bishop Luers 2

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Climbing Report 10: Westview

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Varsity Match Report
With Dustin's injury keeping him out of this match, the varsity had to switch things around tonight and we put people in all sorts of new positions. Liam moved from playing #3S at the beginning of the season to competing at #1S in this match. Joel moved up to #2S and Braden Bohn got a crack at a varsity match, taking up #3S. And things got mixed up in the doubles as well, as Jacob and Jonathon paired together for the first time. The only thing that stayed relatively the same was #2D, where Nathan and Jonah continued to compete.

What's interesting about this match is that it was the position that stayed the same that struggled most in the early parts of the match. Nathan and Jonah looked "tired and uninspired" as they set about their match. Quickly they were far behind in the first set. The second set started much the same. Then we talked about energy, about positivity, about coming back and giving the match all we had. About being aggressive. And as we made our comeback in the second set, we learned another thing about doubles:

Doubles matches are usually won by the more active and aggressive team.

Unfortunately, Nathan and Jonah's aggression got them back into the set, but it was a little too late for them to win it. But Jacob and Jonathon became simple and aggressive at just the right time. In the end of the first set, I encouraged them to move up on the net and put more pressure on the Westview team. In doing this, they turned a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 first set win. With the confidence of this set, they were able to keep the momentum going and sealed the second set rapidly.

In the singles matches, I encouraged the players to go out with enthusiasm and expect to play well. And they did. All the singles positions won games early in the set and competed well. I loved watching Braden's long points, Joel's baseline overhead and fist pump, and Liam's all around great play. Of all the players in tonight's match, it was Liam who picked it up the most. He played against a singles player who has had some great victories on the season - over Northridge and Jimtown specifically. And it was Liam who controlled most of the points. That was simply awesome to see.

Hopefully, we continue to use the things we are learning to climb up, to strive more, to do better. That will be the mark of this season. Tonight's shake up seemed to be a rung in the right direction.

JV Match Report
Lot's of exciting matches at the top of the JV lineup in this match. In three of the top five positions we saw the JV match go into tiebreaks. In #1S, it was a 8-6 score. So very close, very good matches.

And we came out on top at the two doubles tiebreaks, and it was because we became active, aggressive and positive. In the #1DJV match, Braydon Harshberger continues to show that when he is positive and consistent, his shots put all sorts of pressure on the opponent. Playing with a steady hand like Joseph helps him too. Although Joseph and Braydon trailed 7-6 in their match, they moved into Braydon's serve with confidence. Even a 10 minute rain delay didn't stop them as they roared into the tiebreak. In the tiebreak, they got loud and they got confidence. After each big shot, Braydon hi-fived Joseph and yelled "C'mon!" His attitude was great, his footwork followed, and Braydon and Joseph breezed to the tiebreak win.

At #2D, the comeback was even greater. Down 6-3 and then 7-4, Chris and Tyson figured out how to move together to aggressive positions on the court. This movement simply upped their energy, and suddenly they had all sorts of good shots. Chris had several overheads that he put away at the net. Tyson played consistently with his backhand. Not only were they making a comeback, they were playing good doubles. They moved into a tiebreak and the score never got close. They won the first 5 points in a row and eased to a 7-2 tiebreak win.

The singles matches were close, but we were on the wrong side of the comebacks in these matches. Our juniors, Tommy and Philip, both built early leads on the mistakes of their opponents. But when the mistakes dried up, they didn't have a good way to finish the points. Which leads us to a great point about singles matches.

Singles matches are usually won by the player who has a weapon to finish points.

That weapon may be many things: an unbreakable serve, a winner creating forehand, the ability to attack the net, or feet that never quit and hands that enable you to get everything back. In any case, in none of the singles matches did we have that big weapon. And that big weapon is something that we need to develop over time.

Climbing Up (Moments of Gratitude)

1st Rung - I'm grateful to the team for their attitude. Tonight's lineup shuffles (both JV and varsity) seem like the culmination of many problems throughout the season. Injuries, sickness, and other things seem to have plagued this season. I'm grateful for the way you guys have rolled with it and given each challenge your best.

2nd Rung - I'm thankful for the special shots we hit. The ones we will remember. Joel Yoder hit a baseline overhead for a winner in the second set and let out a big "Let's go!" It will be a shot that I will always think about when I remember Joel's tennis career. It showcases his exuberance and continued skill improvement.

3rd Rung - I'm grateful for this team's self-honesty. For the most part tonight, when I pointed out to guys what they were doing wrong or lacking, they were willing to agree. We didn't defend ourselves or make excuses. That is so awesome! The next step is turning towards doing the right things instead. When we recognize that our feet are lazy, that we are timid, that we are tired... we need to also turn that around and not get stuck at the "confession." I'm grateful for where we are, I'm excited about where we can go next.

#1S - Liam Bradford - 2-6, 4-6 - Kurtis Davis (10)
#2S - Joel Yoder - 1-6, 1-6 - Austin Hostetler (12)
#3S - Braden Bohn - 1-6, 1-6 - Ryan Barker (12)
#1D - Jonathon Yousey/Jacob Woolace - 7-5, 6-1 - Brandon Eash (11)/Ryan Miller (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 1-6, 3-6 - Ethan Roth (12)/Justin Schwartz (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Philip Krabill - 6-8 - Will Clark (9)
#2SJV - Aaron Shenk - 0-8 - Tim Brandenberger (9)
#3SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 7-8 (3) - Brady Hostetler (9)
#4SJV - Angel Torres - 2-8 - Micah Yoder (10)
#5SJV - Jim Lyu - 0-3 - Anthony Miller (10)
#1DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 8-7 (2) - Anthony Miller (10)/Ryan Klaassen (10)
#2DJV - Chris Craw/Tyson Miller - 8-7 (2) - Jairo Mojica (12)/Alex Young (12)
#3DJV - Kameron Branum/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 0-6 - Will Clark (9)/Tim Brandenberger (9)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Climbing Report 9: Triton

Match Report
So, I actually missed this match as I attended my grandfather's funeral. My grandfather was an awesome guy, and a big part of my becoming a fan of sports. Actually, both of my grandpas have had a large role in my desire to teach, coach and be involved in sports. It was good to celebrate his life with my family.

And it seems that this match went well also. In texting back and forth with a couple of players, it seems that the main feeling from this match is that we were happy to get a win, even if we didn't feel like it was our greatest tennis. And that's great. We've had so many close matches where we've played well but not quite had enough to seal the victory.

But since I wasn't at the match to see all the play, and since we've now gotten halfway through the season, here's some interesting stats to think about.

About Our Opponents
- 9 of the 11 teams we've played so far having winning records.
- 2 of those teams were District-Ranked when we played them.
- The average record of the teams we've played is 7-3.

About Us
- We have won 29 varsity positions and lost 26.
- That means our average match score actually comes out to 3-2 win for us on varsity.
- Excluding Howe, 9 BC players have played their first varsity match this season.

What This Means
- We are a young team who continues to compete, even though it isn't showing up in our win-loss record. This year, when we entered the season, I asked you all to think about what legacy you would leave. Halfway through the year, I would say that your legacy has been to have a growth mindset and compete. To show some grit. We are accomplishing that.

What's Next
- Joy. Now we want to accomplish this growth without the pressure, without the expectations. Go and play tennis because of the "sheer and savage joy of swinging at a moving target."

Climbing Up (My Moments of Gratitude)

1st Rung - I'm extremely grateful to the Nisley's, who coached this match in my absence. None of what we do in Bethany athletics could be accomplished without our parents, and the Nisley's helped me out in a big time of need. Thanks!

2nd Rung - I'm thankful to the guys who texted me updates during the match, while I was sitting in the funeral. I knew you'd be excited, so I put my phone on silent and after the funeral was done, it was refreshing to see the scores and talk to you about how it went. I love your excitement for one another!

3rd Rung - I'm thankful for the practice this week. I don't have a good space to say this, but there was a lot of good effort at practice this week. We're moving into higher level skills - driving the ball and getting depth, attacking the net quickly in a rally, figuring out when to be aggressive - and you guys transitioned well into these skills with good attitudes!

#1S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-2, 6-2 - Carter Kuntz (11)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-1, 6-2 - John Gardner (9)
#3S - Joel Yoder - 6-0, 6-0 - Trevor Miller (11)
#1D - Jacob Woolace/Nathan Oostland - 7-5, 6-2 - Keygan Moiser (12)/Chase Butler (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Philip Krabill - 6-4, 6-2 - Tyler Heckaman (10)/Jared Bules (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Will Nisley - 8-1 - Gavin Greer (10)
#2SJV - Kameron Branum - 8-2 - Chase Whybrew (10)
#3SJV - Kameron Branum - 6-0 - William Schactzle (9)

Area Scores 2017

Jimtown 4, Wawasee 1
1. Holden Price (J) beat Dylan Staley, 6-2, 6-1
2. Ben Clarke (J) beat Graham Perek, 6-0, 6-0
3. Austin Pearson (J) beat Zach Leedy, 6-0, 6-0.
1. Brady Robinson-Jake Cowan (W) beat Andrew Emigh-Tim Gardner, 6-1, 1-6, 10-8
2. Nate Behrens-Preston Phillips (J) beat Jacob Krugman-Evan Richey, 6-3, 6-1.

Jimtown 3, Westview 2
1. Davis (W) beat Price, 4-6, 7-5, 10-8
2. Clarke (J) beat Hostetler, 6-4, 0-6, 10-6
3. Barker (W) beat Zam Wort, 6-0, 6-1.
1. Gardner-Emeigh (J) beat Eash-Miller, 3-6, 6-2, 10-5
2. Pearison-Phillips (J) beat Roth-Schwartz, 6-1, 6-4.

Fairfield 3, Jimtown 2
1. Streit (F) beat Tristan Ingle, 6-0, 6-0
2. Clarke (J) beat Gaby, 6-0, 6-1
3. Kaufman (F) beat Emeigh, 6-4, 6-3.
1. Mamone-Nunemaker (F) beat Gardner-Behrens, 6-1, 0-6, 10-6
2. Pearison-Phillips (J) beat Bontrager-Toole, 6-3, 6-3.

Westview 3, Fairfield 2
1. Aaron Streit (F) beat Kurtis Davis, 6-3, 7-5
2. Austin Hostetler (W) beat Eric Gaby, 6-3, 6-2
3. Ryan Barker (W) beat Dylan Kauffman, 6-4, 6-2
1. Andrew Mamone-Tanner Nunemaker (F) beat Brandon Eash-Ryan Miller, 6-1, 6-1
2. Ethan Roth-Justin Schwartz (W) beat Jarin Bontrager-Ben Toole, 6-2, 6-4.

Fairfield 5, Wawasee 0
1. Streit beat Staley, 6-3, 6-2
2. Gaby beat Perek, 6-3, 6-1
3. Nunemaker beat Leedy, 6-1, 6-0.
1. Kaufman-Mamone beat Robinson-Cowan, 6-4, 6-2
2. Toole-Hochstetler beat Krugman-Richey, 6-2, 6-2.



#1 Homestead 5, Mississinewa 0
#4 Canterbury 3, Hamilton SE 2
#3 Carroll 5, #5 Concord 0
#1 Homestead 3, Cathedral 2
#3 Carroll 3, #4 Canterbury 2
Hamilton SE 3, #5 Concord 2
#5 Concord 4, Mississinewa 1
Cathedral 4, #4 Canterbury 1
#1 Homestead 5, #3 Carroll 0

Friday, September 1, 2017

Area Scores 2017

Penn 5, Fairfield 0
1. AJ Antonelli beat Aaron Streit, 7-6 (5), 6-1
2. Will Thurin beat Eric Gaby, 6-1, 6-0
3. Aidan Sucharetza beat Dylan Kaufman, 6-3, 6-2.
1. Eric Spaargaren-Aiden O’Day beat Andrew Mamone-Tanner Nunemaker, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1
2. Maity Spitters-Nick Casetti beat Jarin Bontrager-Ben Toole, 6-1, 6-1.

Concord 5, Wawasee 0
1. Will Boyer beat Dylan Staley, 6-1, 6-2
2. Nate Slabach beat Graham Perek, 6-1, 6-1
3. Freddy Buckingham beat Zach Leedy, 6-0, 6-0.
1. Travis Hermon-Cal Whitaker beat Jake Cowen-Brady Robinson, 6-2, 6-1
2. Jacob Shetterly-Drew McDougle beat Jacob Krugman-Evan Richey, 6-0, 6-0.

Highland 3, Crown Point 2
1. Matthew Cotner (H) d. Layton Noerenberg 6-2 ,6-1
2. Zachary Jones (C) d. Meet Patel 6-4, 7-6
3. Armando Bracco (C) d. Steven Fowler 6-1, 6-2.
1. Mason Gluth-Alex Lopez (H) d. Ethan Scott-Daniyaal Rasheed 6-0, 6-1
2. Fred Kepler-Chris Peters (H) d. Chris Newlin-Nick Robledo 6-3, 6-4

Portage 5, Lake Station 0
1. Zack Gertzen (P) d. Jared Wright 6-1, 6-1
2. Bryce Kissinger (P) d. Michael Whiteside 6-1, 6-0
3. Mickey Winicky (P) d. Ethan Keehne 6-0, 6-0.
1. Evan Gerike-Alex Bourge (P) d. Jared Jones-Zeke Williams 6-0, 6-0
2. Ronnie Wilkins-Bryan Garrison (P) d. Nick Brown-Matthew Whiteside 6-3, 6-0.

Merrillville 3, Portage 2
1. Justin Jackson (M) d. Zack Gertzen 6-4, 6-0
2. Keith Rochefort (M) d. Bryce Kissinger 6-3, 6-4
3. Mickey Winicky (P) d. Cameron Louthan 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4.
1. Evan Gerike-Alex Bourge (P) d. Justin Villanueva-Tony Williamson 6-2, 6-0
2. Ivan Sahagun-Josh Roddatz (M) d. Ronnie Wilkins-Bryan Garrison 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-2.

Munster 5, Highland 0
1. Joe Webster (M) d. Matthew Cotner 6-1, 7-5
2. Peyton Specht (M) d. Meet Patel 6-1, 6-4
3. Jonathan Harris (M) d. Steven Fowler 6-0, 6-0.
1.  Frank Wolf-Zack Schmidt (M) d. Mason Gluth-Alex Lopez 6-1, 6-1
2. Kathir Venkat-DJ Fesko (M) d, Fred Kepler-Chris Peters 6-0, 6-0.

#1 Homestead 5, Bluffton 0
#2 Leo 5, New Haven 0
#4 Concord 5, Wawasee 0

Climbing Report 8: Prairie Heights

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Varsity Match Report
I was really grateful for the attitude of the team headed into this match. After having several difficult matches in a row, we still seemed committed throughout this match to the idea of becoming better tennis players. And only when we stay committed to that goal, time after time after time, that we will get better.

Tonight, I began to see us getting better. Jonathon got better at attacking throughout his point, #1D got better at relaxing and putting the ball in the court with authority. #2D got better at finishing points at the net. Liam got better at keeping his footwork going between points. And Joel got better at having confidence and moving to the correct spots.

None of the matches were particularly close. We didn't have to go three sets, although Joel's first set took a while :-) And getting a win felt good after the three close losses we've faced. Actually, here's a fun fact. We have had 50 varsity positions played now this season, and our record at those positions is 24-26. If we win at least 4-1 in our next match, we would have winning record at the positions, if not as a team. Tonight was a night where we put it all together.

JV Match Report
Definitely, the highlight of this match for me was getting to watch the JV play. Too often, I am still embroiled in trying to help the varsity pull out wins that I don't get to see the JV guys. Tonight, I was wowed by the improvement that was evident.

No where was that more important than in Braydon Harshberger's match. Playing one of his first singles matches, Braydon struggled early in the set with consistency to keep the point alive. He quickly established that if his serve went in he would win the point. Soon it was evident that if he could hit a good forehand, the same would happen. So, it became a battle against himself to be consistent.

These can be the most frustrating battles in all of tennis. When we know we have the ability to win, but we just keep making errors. The best thing to do is go back to the basics. Is my movement good? Am I hitting the ball in the strike zone? Am I starting the point with a safe shot that I know I can hit in?

Braydon faced those questions, righted his game and rolled off 5 out of 6 games to win the match and give himself a winning record on the season.

But the other JV matches were just as great. Tyson played the match of the night, going back and forth with a tall, athletic Panther sophomore. Like many matches for the Bruins right now, Tyson struggled to find the winning shot. He tried to attack his opponent's weakness, but couldn't complete a tiebreak win. Theo also had so many great shots in his match, but could never convert them into a game win.

Another highlight was watching our matches against ourselves. Aaron and Philip took on Will and Joesph, and they had some of the top JV doubles points I've seen this season. The thing I loved about this match was the attitude of the players. They were playing hard but not stressing. They were enjoying their partners. It was fun to watch. And it is exactly the type of attitude they need to succeed in their "real" matches.

Climbing Up (Great Moments of the Match)
In what ways am I grateful for the ways we are getting better? Here's the top 3...

1st Rung - I'm grateful for people who work on their weaknesses without fear. Tonight, I asked Jonah to work on putting away overheads, and he did. He slammed ball after ball that got floated toward the net. In Joel's match, he was hitting the ball way out of the strike zone, trying to do way too much stuff. As the match went on, we focused in on just hitting our shots in the strike zone. And it went much better :-) Braydon's match was close, and we decided to work on the weakness of consistency. With balls in the court, Braydon got his victory.

2nd Rung - Thanks to all of you parents who provide great food. So, I don't know if this helps us get better as tennis players, but tennis season is about way more than that. I've always emphasized that first of all, we are a group of guys who like to hang out together. The wonderful meals that the parents provide are such a part of this. Tonight, we munched on wings and potatoes and smiled a lot. We also got to watch people try to cool their burning tongues after attempting to eat Mango Habanero :-)

3rd Rung - I'm thankful for the time we spend together. Honestly, it was awesome to get around to more of the matches tonight. I was grateful for the time chatting with those who were watching the matches. I had fun matching up the Bethany v. Bethany matches. It makes me happy to have laid back nights like this.

#1S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-0, 6-0 - Johnny Squier (11)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-0, 6-0 - Malachi Malone (11)
#3S - Joel Yoder - 7-5, 6-1 - Layne Bachelor (11)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jacob Woolace - 6-0, 6-0 - Cameron Penick (11)/Garrett Culler (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 6-0, 6-1 - Logan Nott (10)/Brandon Christlieb (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Braydon Harshberger - 8-5 - Ethan Hinkle (11)
#2SJV - Tyson Miller - 7-8 (5) - Elijah Malone (10)
#3SJV - Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 0-8 - Mike Perkins (10)

Bethany vs. Bethany Matches
#1D - Will Nisley/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 8-6 - Philip Krabill/Aaron Shenk
#1S - Chris Craw - 6-3 - Kameron Branum

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Area Scores 2017

NorthWood 5, Bremen 0
1. Wes Troyer def. Carter Filchak 6-2, 6-1.
2. Landon Holland def. Mark Bahr 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).
3. Jack Wysong def. Brett Yelaska 6-3, 6-2
1. Jared Hoffman/Brant Mast def. Jake Strehler/Bryce Sterling 6-2, 7-5.
2. Trevor Klotz/Trajan Schwartz def. Brian Cruz/Jordan Thornton 6-3, 6-4.

Fairfield 3, Fremont 2
1. Evan Trusty (Fr) def. Aaron Streit 7-5, 6-3.
2. Thayne Camp (Fr) def. Eric Gaby 6-3, 6-1.
3. Dylan Kaufman (Fa) def. Quest Crotty 6-1, 6-0.
1. Andrew Mamone/Tanner Nunemaker (Fa) def. Luke Chelinski/Ben Sherbondy 6-0, 6-2.
2. Jarin Bontrager/Ben Toole (Fa) def. Dylan Weisenfelder/Nick Rutherford 6-0, 6-0.

Jimtown 5, South Bend Washington 0
1. Holden Price def. Denny Guo 6-0, 6-0.
2. Andrew Emeigh def. Keyshawn Foree 6-1, 6-0.
3. Austin Pearison def. Jacob Farmwald 6-0, 6-0.
1. Nate Behrens/Tim Gardner def. Triston Mare/Miguel Garza 6-0, 6-0.
2. Triston Ingle/Preston Phillips won by forfeit.

#4 Concord 3, Fairfield 2
1. Will Boyer (C) def. Aaron Streit 6-1, 6-1.
2. Nate Slabach (C) def. Eric Gaby 6-1, 6-0.
3. Dylan Kaufman (F) def. Bryson Schrock 6-0, 6-2.
1. Travis Hermon/Cal Whitaker (C) def. Andrew Mamone/Tanner Nunemaker 2-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5.
2. Jarin Bontrager/Ben Toole (F) def. Jacob Shetterly/Grant Lucchese 6-3, 6-1.

Warsaw 3, Goshen 2
1. Colton Lind (W) beat Wes Beck, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
2. Simon Myers (G) beat Spencer Britton, 6-2, 6-1
3. Ryan Hamelink (G) beat Caleb Williams, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
1. Bailey Buhrt-Kyler Bartol (W) beat Diego Torres-Ben Bontrager-Singer, 6-2, 7-6 (2)
2. Nolan Knight-Reuben Williams (W) beat Drake Crowder-Mike Haimes, 6-1, 6-2.

Penn 5, Elkhart Central 0
1. AJ Antonelli def. Michael Beveridge 6-1, 6-0.
2. Will Thurin def. Philip Stutzman 6-1, 6-1.
3. Aidan Sucharetza def. Zack Pelletier 6-2, 6-0.
1. Eric Spaargaren/Aiden O'Day def. Jared Reid/Dave Frieden 6-1, 6-1.
2. Maity Spitters/Nick Casetti def. Adam Moon/Adam Delks 6-2. 6-1.

Northridge 5, Elkhart Memorial 0
1. Simon Grevengoed def. Brandon Bailey 6-2, 6-2.
2. Gabe Rodino def. Bradley Melendez 6-0, 6-0.
3. Cooper Tavernier def. Duncan Learman 6-1, 6-1.
1. Eric Firstenberger/Logan Corns def. Chris Troyer/Mike Troyer 6-2, 6-2.
2. Brant Brouillette/Avery Mantyla def. Lukas Knauss/Pierre Archie 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.

Mishawaka Marian 5, Glenn 0
1. Cam Rafinski beat Gabe Weiss, 6-0, 6-0
2. Joshua Bussan beat Alex Ross, 6-0, 6-1
3. Caleb Svanez beat Matt Moore, 6-3, 6-1.
1. Dominick Rafinski-Michael Gray beat Trace Jones-Alec Kruk, 6-0, 6-2
2. Jamison Whitaker-Dustin Grees beat Anthony Kaser-Brandon Goble, 6-3, 6-0.

Triton 5, Laville 0
1. Carter Kuntz beat Doug Cashen, 6-1, 6-1
2. John Gardner beat Zach Rutherford, 6-0, 6-0;
3. Trevor Miller won by default.
1. Keygan Mosier-Chase Butler beat James Michaels-David Clayton, 6-0, 6-0
2. Tyler Heckaman-Jared Bules won by default.

#8 Westview 5, West Noble 0
1. Davis d. M. Weimer 6-0, 6-0
2. Hostetler d. I. Weimer 6-0, 6-0
3. Barker d. Bohde 6-0, 6-0
1. Eash/Miller d. Thompson/Sumozoski 6-1, 6-0
2. Roth/Schwartz d. Shaw/Jacobs 6-0, 6-2.

South Bend St. Joseph 5, Mishawaka 0
1. Thomas Pries beat Brock Bolinger, 6-0, 6-0
2. Cole Matthews beat Bradon Vandall, 6-0, 6-0
3. Brett Loitz beat James Buchmann, 6-0, 6-0.
1. Steve Mullaney-Andrew Sill beat Nathan Fry-Jacob Beshara, 6-1, 6-0
2. Brendan Anderson-Kevin Zmyslo beat Kyle Sears-Dylan Armstrong, 6-2, 6-2.

Merrillville 4, LaPorte 1

Wabash 4, Maconaquah 1
1. Rob Ford lost 1-6, 0-6
2. Luke Mattern won 6-0, 6-0
3. Asif Khan won 6-2, 6-0
1. Matt Stein/Alex Driscoll won 6-0, 6-0
2. Jonah France/Gage Ballard won 6-7 (7), 6-4, (11-9)

Crown Point 3, Portage 2
1. Layton Noerenberg (CP) d. Zack Gertzen 6-0, 6-1
2. Bryce Kissinger (P) d. Zachary Jones 7-5, 7-5
3. Armando Bracco (CP) d. Mickey Winicky 6-1, 6-2.
1. Ethan Scott-Daniyaal Rasheed (CP) d. Alex Bourge-Evan Gerike 6-1, 6-2
2. Ronnie Wilkins-Bryan Garrison (P) d. Chris Newlin-Brendan Herr 6-0, 6-2.

Highland 5, Griffith 0
1. Matthew Cotner (H) d. Tyler Smith 6-0, 6-0
2. Meet Patel (H) d. Charles Murphy 6-0, 6-1
3. Steven Fowler (H) d. Ryan Dudlicek 6-2, 6-0.
1. Mason Gluth-Alex Lopez (H) d. Curtis Carter-Xaphier Sopher 6-0, 6-0
2. Fred Kepler-Chris Peters (H) d. Paulo Cheir-Nolan Ruiz 6-0, 6-0.

Alexandria 4, Eastern 1

Taylor 3, Madison-Grant 2

New Rankings
1. Homestead
2. Leo
3. Carroll
4. Concord
5. Canterbury
6. Angola
7. Bishop Dwenger
8. Westview

#3 Carroll 5, Norwell 0
#4 Concord 3, Fairfield 2
#6 Angola 5, New Haven 0
#7 Bishop Dwenger 3, Bluffton 2
#8 Westview 5, West Noble 0

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Climbing Report 7: Mishawaka Marian

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Varsity Match Report
This match was one of the best matches that we've competed in all year. But we lost. And that loss stings.

Not because the Knights didn't deserve it - no, they played awesome. At #1S, I believe Jacob Woolace played by far his most impressive tennis, and lost 6-1, 6-1. And at #2S, Marian junior Josh Bussan rarely made mistakes in wrapping up a victory over Liam. Even at positions where they lost, the Knights looked well prepared and changed strategy mid-match to keep pace. At #3S, where Caleb Shenk had locked up the first set at 6-0 for us, Marian's Caleb Suarez adjusted to try to get everything in the court and it made the second set run a little closer.

The loss stings because we were so close. And that feeling (for me) is getting a little old.

In the end, the match came down to #1D, which went into a third set (which is also getting old, by the way :-) We've had 6 dual matches, and every one of them has had one varsity match go to three sets. And tonight, it decided the match. We came out firing in the 3rd set, taking a 3-1 lead behind Dustin's confident forehands and net putaways and Jonathon's cagey service games and consistency. But soon, we got a little tight. We had a chance to take a 4-1 lead, but a short lob and overhead for the Knights ignited them and propelled them into a run of 5 straight games to take the third set. In those games, we got a little tentative and a little fearful. But we are learning. It was a difficult match.

But this makes 3 straight 3-2 losses. And Northridge was 3-2. And even our 4-1 defeats have been closer than the score indicated. We just can't seem to find the one thing to flip us out on the winning side.

So, I have to step back and remind myself to take a deep breath. We knew going into this season that we were going to have to work hard to get wins. We are improving, that was seen across the board tonight. So now, we got back to the practice court on Wednesday and we improve some more. We keep working to build an attitude of gratitude - which I'll cover more in the "Climbing Up" section.

And so, I'll just say thank You, God, for these guys who are working hard to leave a positive legacy on Bethany Christian tennis. What they've done may not be seen by everyone, but I appreciate the confidence and energy with which they conduct themselves. I pray that You give us eyes to see all the moments of joy, the twinkling of beauty, and the love of our brothers.

Good match everyone, way to show some grit.

JV Match Report
In all matches except for Joel's, the JV match was fairly straightforward. We won most of the matches easily, and I was impressed by the play of several of the players. First of all, Will Nisley. Will was not moving when I first walked up to the fence to speak with him. He was taking long, slow steps around the court. I encouraged him to make the match go quickly by taking quick steps. The next thing I knew, he was walking off the courts with an 8-0 victory. Moving is THE KEY to getting better, and Will began to do it.

Another impressive player was Aaron Shenk. He's been shaky with his confidence throughout the early season, but in this match he looked very solid and dependable. His serves had some weight behind them and his groundstrokes looked smoother and cleaner. It was fun to watch he and Chris as they've both been players who dramatically improved in each season.

Other matches, I didn't get to see as much of. Braden Bohn completed an 8-0 set quickly. Braydon and Philip served well in their match. In fact, I saw several aces :-)

Speaking of aces, Joel Yoder told me that he had several in his match. That was one of the highlights for him. But, he didn't end up winning. He didn't end up winning because he lacked a finishing touch to end points. Each tennis player, to move up and become a consistent winner at a higher JV or varsity level needs to develop two things:


What I mean by weapons are ways to end points. This could be coming forward to the net to putaway volleys and overheads. This can be a strong winning shot that we blast through the open courts. This might be a heavy topspin deep ball that you can consistently drive from corner to corner. But to be good players, we have to develop these with consistency!

Climbing Up (Great Moments of the Match)
Normally, I do the moments that were emblematic of what I want to see this team become, but today I want us to be grateful. Here are the things I am grateful for.

1st Rung - I'm grateful that Caleb is starting to play like himself again. His injury really bummed me out, because he was playing so well at the beginning of the season. I'm thankful that he's able to move and be more healthy.

2nd Rung - I'm grateful to see tangible ways that we are getting better. Jacob Woolace is competing in points with HIGH level players, and he's able to bring some aggression to these points. Nathan is starting to show confidence in his net putaways. Braden is beginning to find consistency in his serve. And we could go on...

3rd Rung - I'm so grateful for the beautiful day we had to play tennis. Last year, there were many days in which we were wondering whether we would play or not. This year has been gorgeous. Now, God, I pray that continues through September!

4th Rung - I'm grateful for listeners. Yesterday, lot's of people listened and tried when I coached them. That makes for growth. People who don't listen just stay on their same trajectory, they don't get better. Yesterday, Will, Dustin, Jonathon, Caleb, Braden, Joel, and Jacob all had moments where I remember them listening, trying and succeeding. I am so thankful for that!

5th Rung - I am grateful for the support we have of each other. After Dustin and Jonathon lost, Dustin was feeling down and sitting on the bench, exhausted, as we headed toward the bus. Two players came over to me and specifically told me that they would stay behind and walk with Dustin, to make sure he knew they were there for him. We are there for each, and I'm thankful.

#1S - Jacob Woolace - 1-6, 1-6 - Cam Rafinski (12)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 2-6, 0-6 - Josh Bussan (11)
#3S - Caleb Shenk - 6-0, 6-4 - Caleb Suarez (11)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 4-6, 6-2, 3-6 - Dominik Rafinski (12)/Michael Gray (12)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 6-3, 6-1 - Dustin Greer (10)/Jamisan Whitaker (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Joel Yoder - 6-8 - John Thomassan (10)
#2SJV - Will Nisley - 8-0 - Max Hall (11)
#3SJV - Braden Bohn - 8-0 - Luke Potts (10)
#1DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Philip Krabill - 8-1 - Seth Beker (9)/Jacob Kramer (9)
#2DJV - Chris Craw/Aaron Shenk - 8-2 - Seth Beker (9)/Jacob Kramer (9)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Climbing Report 6: Aug. 26 Invitationals

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Varsity Match Reports
After playing some of the better teams in northern Indiana to start this season, what I really appreciated about the Western Invitational was that we were able to play some "normal" teams. These are teams with strengths and flaws. These are teams that have strong positions and weak positions. These are teams juggling their lineups a bit to find out what works. These are teams in the learning process of tennis.

In other words, these are teams like us.

And that gives me some good perspective on the season. Playing Concord, Jimtown, Northridge, Angola, Goshen - many of those matches give us a glimpse of what is much higher up the ladder. Playing Lebanon, Western and LCC gave us a chance to see how to take the next step.

We started out play with Western. My brother coaches their team, and I knew from the beginning that he was going to be missing his #1S player, a perennial All-District player and last year a 2nd team All-State selection. He was taking his SAT. Western was also missing half of their #1D's team at the test, while we were missing Joel Yoder.

So, with some switched around lineups, we started out very strong. Liam secured our first point of the match, playing a fairly evenly matched opponent but really stroking his forehand strong and well. I loved seeing his attitude and belief. Jonathon Yousey followed Liam off the court with a win, playing his style of controlled aggression. We quickly had two points from the top two positions and needed only one more.

Caleb Shenk, playing his first match back from a back injury, provided that third match. I loved his energy and determination - getting through a tight first set and then sailing through the second set as he got more comfortable. His win gave us the team win, even though the doubles had yet to finish up.

But the doubles both found ways to win as well. Jacob and Dustin played an excellent match. In the first set, they had gotten to a tiebreak even though they were playing very tentative tennis. In fact, they had a set point at 6-5 in the tiebreak. Unfortunately, a close call so Dustin's return float long and they went on to lose the set. In beginning the second, I told them to go for their shots early to begin to loosen up. They did. And the second set was not as close. They played much more aggressive and were able to break serve more often to win 6-3. The third set at tournaments is always a super tiebreak, and so they completed their victory in this match with a 10-5 tiebreak win.

#2D also got a tiebreak, and also made a comeback. But their comeback was more emotional than score related. They won their first set and then played an awful second set. They were angry at themselves and feeling pretty down entering the tiebreak. But they reset their emotions and tried to get excited rather than angry. It worked, their level went up and they won a 10-8 decision in the third.

So we beat Western 5-0, and our second match in the round robin tournament was against Lebanon. It so happened that they won their first match as well, eeking out a 3-2 decision over Lafayette Central Catholic. This Lebanon match started out well for us too. Liam cruised through his #2S match, again relying on consistent forehands and deep shots. #1D also cruised to victory, looking very good in the process I must say. Dustin had found an aggressive groove in the first match, and Jonathon was feeling good from his singles victory. So we won the first two matches and were up 2-0. As our last three matches took the court, we only needed one more - and we would win the tournament.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Jacob Woolace ran into another great player at #1S (which pretty much always happens, #1S is a tough position :-) He fought so hard and played so great, but again was on the lopsided end of the score card. Will Nisley got his first varsity match, and he worked hard but couldn't find the finishing stroke in long points at #3S. So that meant the match came down to #2D.

Jonah and Nathan played a good match, they hung in there and competed... but they also couldn't find the finishing stroke. One of the Lebanon players was constantly hunting at the net, and the consistently good volleys from the Tiger team hurt us time and time again. Every time we mounted a rally and got some positive momentum, they would track down a volley and finish the point.

So, with a 3-2 victory the Tiger's were guaranteed first place. And so we finished out the round robin against Lafayette Central Catholic to determine second and third. And we worked and worked and worked, but we just couldn't secure a singles position. All the matches were fairly even, but we were tiring and getting frustrated as the day moved along. The doubles matches were pretty easily in our favor, which was really fun to watch. But we lost this match 3-2 as well.

So, 3rd place in the tournament, but we brought home another win. In the "Climbing Up" section, I'll talk about the things that we need to learn to continue to reach the next rung. But I have to say that I loved how the day ended, as we sat as a team watching Nathan and Jonah wrap up a victory over the #2D's of LCC. We joked, laughed, snacked, took videos and cheered for our brothers. We had made a good day's work, left our best on the court, and were ready to just enjoy each other's company.

That's what I always ask for. Praise God that we were able to get there. And praise God for no more injuries... that's already been too much of the season :-)

JV Match Reports
Coming Soon

Climbing Up (Great Moments of the Matches)
For the rungs in this match, I want to put forth the three things this team needs to do to improve in this season, and some glimpses where I saw this is the matches.

1st Rung - Footwork is the cost of a good shot.
When Liam moves, he is a fantastic player. In his first match against Western, he was really getting forward to balls that fell shorter in the court. In fact, if these ball came to his forehand, he was often able to hit winners. As he got more tired, he began to try to "flick" the ball more, reaching forward and twisting his wrist. These balls went in the net. Footwork is the cost of a good shot. In the Western match, coming forward, Liam blistered passing shots past a bewildered opponent. Movement created that, and it was good. That's our first step.

2nd Rung - Using our whole body to create consistent shots.
Even though footwork puts us in position, we can sometimes still flail at shots with just our arm. This is what was happening to Jacob Woolace in his first doubles match against Western. He would get in good position to hit a return, and then just try to "arm" it over. And the ball kept spinning into the net. Using the special coaching rule at tournaments this year, I encouraged him to use his body. On the next return, he turned his hips with the return. Even though it was a bit of a mishit, it went over and he and Dustin won the point. At deuce, his next service return he turned on a backhand and crushed it down the line. In fact, he rarely struggled with return after this. That's because he learned to use his body to help his arm in returning serve.

3rd Rung - Spend time improving specific weaknesses.
This didn't happen at the match, but I've noticed it this week. Joel Yoder is getting a lot better at his serve. That's because he spends time after practice hitting 100 serves. A big part of climbing up this ladder and getting better is spending focused time on something. If you struggle with your backhand, 100 backhands a day is really going to help. Ditto for volleys, overheads, serves, powerful approach shots... whatever. I challenge you to go above and beyond in whatever area you struggled with on Saturday and start putting in some extra time. Practices are ending at 5:30, so I encourage us to be motivated. Don't you worry I've got practice plans for you.

4th Rung - "Every breath in is gratitude, every breath out gets rid of our fear."
To me, this is near the top of the ladder for Bethany Christian tennis. How to mentally prepare for every point. Three years ago, this was our theme. I keep coming back to it as a way of describing what we need to do between every match, set, game and point. We got too tired and frustrated in our last singles matches on Saturday. We lost hope at some points. Let us instead come to each point with gratitude for being there, and let that gratitude and love drive out our fear.

Round 1 - vs. Western
#1S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-3, 6-1 - Tate Lockwood (12)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-4, 6-1 - Palmer Harrell (10)
#3S - Caleb Shenk - 7-5, 6-2 - Braden Freeman (10)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jacob Woolace - 6-7 (6), 6-3, (10-5) - Mason Anderson (12)/Henry Lerche (12)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 6-4, 1-6, (10-8) - Brady Miller (12)/Clayton Shanks (10)

Round 2 - vs. Lebanon
#1S - Jacob Woolace - 1-6, 0-6 - Michael Wright
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-2, 6-1 - Drew Davidson
#3S - Will Nisley - 0-6, 2-6 - Daniel Hood
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 6-1, 6-0 - Sam Hood / Thomas Engels
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 2-6, 2-6 - Harrison Love / Nick Nies

Round 3 - vs. Lafayette Central Catholic
#1S - Jonathon Yousey - 5-7, 3-6 - Austin Chyall (11)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 4-6, 3-6 - Jonah Switzer (12)
#3S - Caleb Shenk - 2-6, 0-6 - Patrick Gothard (10)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jacob Woolace - 6-2, 6-1 - Joe Regich (12)/Brenner Oliver (9)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 6-4, 6-1 - Sam Martin (11)/Sebastian Lux (10)

Junior Varsity
Round 1 - vs. Jimtown
#1SJV - Braden Bohn - 8-7 (5) - Andrew Eaton (10)
#2SJV - Philip Krabill - 8-5 - Lucas Flick (10)
#3SJV - Kameron Branum - 4-8 - Christian Vanderworf (9)
#1DJV - Joseph Mounsithiraj/Aaron Shenk - 7-8 (4) - Kayden Wolfe (11)/Chandler Bridgewater (11)
#2DJV - Angel Torres/Chris Craw - 3-8 - Nate Hostetler (12)/Carson ?

Round 2 - vs. NorthWood
#1SJV - Braden Bohn - 2-8 - Ben Vincent (9)
#2SJV - Chris Craw - 8-4 - Tyler Hahn (12)
#3SJV - Jim Lyu - 1-8 - Zach Parisi (11)
#1DJV - Philip Krabill/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 8-6 - Grant Topping (11)/Chase Horner (10)
#2DJV - Kameron Branum/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 2-8 - Nate Clickovich (10)/Brad Demitruk (9)

Round 3 - vs. Concord
#1SJV - Braden Bohn - 7-8 (7) - Gavin Smith (9)
#2SJV - Philip Krabill - 7-8 (5) - Kayden Cain (9)
#3SJV - Aaron Shenk - 8-2 - Brayden Newburn (9)
#1DJV - Chris Craw/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 5-8 - Jack Steele (11)/Matt Auger (12)
#2DJV - Kameron Branum/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 5-8 - Kaleb Sotcher (11)/Baily Morrison (9)