Thursday, September 29, 2016

Big Words from Wabash


What a fun day. Thank God for a wonderful group of guys to spend a Saturday with. Yes, we won this tournament. And so it makes it easy for me to say that this was a good day. But I enjoyed watching guys work through the bits of difficulty the day put in their way. I enjoyed the relaxed confidence in which people played their matches. No one panicked, no one complained, we just played.

Two years ago, I was reading a Eugene Peterson book. He suggested that the real way to go through life is "playing and praying." It is a relaxed way of sorting through life, praying through the difficult things and playing through the beautiful. But it is a freeing statement too, there's no worry in it. There's no fear. There's no anger. 

Saturday's tournament felt this way to me. I was either praying or playing. The moments of play were awesome - watching Brandon sprawl across the doubles alley to drop volley an Eastern player's best forehand, cheering Simon as he spiked an overhead to secure match point, bouncing on the bus to "Sarasponda." And the moments of prayer helped me keep perspective - prayers for us let go of anger, prayers for energy, prayers for protection, prayers for confidence, prayers for our team to be filled with the Spirit's fruit. Prayers for God's will - for Christ character to be forming in us.

The other thing I love about the idea of praying and playing - they are in progress. They are present tense verbs. And so I plan to keep right on praying and playing until the end of the season!

Enjoy some pictures! Read the scores! Pray and play wherever you are today!


vs. Taylor
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-3, 6-0 - Bailey Owens (11)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-4, 6-3 - Preston Pearce (11)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 6-0, 6-0 - Jakub Hvizdos (12)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-2, 6-2 - Wynn Takacs (11)/Peyton Tracy (11)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-1, 6-1 - Quentin Inman (10)/B.J. Pemberton (10)

vs. Wabash
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-0 - Luke Mattern (11)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-7 (1), 2-6 - Rob Ford (9)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 5-7, 2-6 - Alex Driscoll (10)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-2, 6-1 - Cal Stone (12)/Asif Khan (9)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-1, 6-0 - Matt Stein (11)/Ayden Kochar (11)

vs. Eastern
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-2, 6-1 - Ryan Manfred (12)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 2-6, 2-6 - Isaac Beachey (11)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 6-2, 6-0 - Manny Moreno (11)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-1, 6-0 -Zach Cowart (12)/Evan Kozienski (12)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-2, 6-1 - Matt Harrison (9)/Caleb Newhouse (12)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sectional Draw

Here, it is. Thursday, at Goshen and against Goshen. Let's do this, together!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Big Words from Rochester


It's taken me a while to post this. Not because it was a bad match, on the contrary, we continue to improve and play our best tennis. Byeong Min Lim played amazing, despite feeling sick. He continues to show what tennis looks like when you are throughly in control.

Jonathon played one of his best matches of the season. Feeling tired, he decided to just relax and see what happened, and what happened is that he hit some great attacking balls. He was able to put pressure on the Zebra #2S, which paid off with a win.

Lucas didn't play his best, but we have those matches sometimes. It seemed like his opponent was really dialed in for this match, for whatever reason, and was hitting some pretty amazing slices and power shots with consistency.

The best match of the night may have been Brandon and Simon. They faced a team also playing their second year together at #1D, and owning a record of 13-1 on the year. Rochester #1D's only loss was a 5-7, 4-6 defeat in which they actually had held 4-3 leads in each set. So, they were games away from being undefeated. And Brandon and Simon made the match look easy last night.

And let me sing this doubles team praise, just for a bit. Brandon and Simon compliment each other so well. Brandon served excellent in this match, which set Simon up for so many putaways. And that is what Brandon is so good at. He has so many weapons that compliment his partner. If I had to choose someone to play doubles with, I would probably choose Brandon, so I could play Simon's role of smashing everything down :-)

And #2D was playing the same way. They are coming into their own here late in the season. A great win over Fairfield, a great match tonight, especially in the first set where they had everything working. Honestly, when they are serving well they are tough to beat. And they compliment each other well too, Dustin's groundstrokes, Lane's lobs and both of their net play.

I loved watching the JV play today as well. Unfortunately, we didn't get to play too many players from the other team. Jackson played a great match, Daniel flew around the court, and Liam played an opponent who chased down everything. And the rest of our JV played against each other, but it was encouraging to see how much they have improved. Jonah impressed especially as his groundstrokes have become amazingly consistent, Braydon and Chris both showed how well they've improved, and Caleb and Nathan took on Dustin in a practice game, and it was fun watch them compete.

But the thing that makes it hard to write about is that we keep doing the same thing. Getting better. Playing good matches. Making new on the court highlights. I feel like I keep writing the same thing.

So enjoy some pictures. Look at the scores. But the best part of the night was truly the drive to Rochester and back. In the bus, we had great conversation, reminding Bible classes, talking about what is going on in school, whether we'd want to be high school Bible teachers and much more. Being with this team continues to be really fun. Thanks guys!

At the beginning of the season, we made a big deal about purpose. That if your purpose was to win matches, you'd be disappointed at some point this season. If your purpose was to play a certain position on the team, you might be disappointed. If your purpose was to continually get better, your bad days would be really hard. But if your purpose was to be together, with your tennis brothers, then you would be sure to find joy. Nights like this remind me of that. Let's do this, together.

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-1 - Jackson Sawyer (12)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-3, 6-1 - Justin Phoun (11)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 3-6, 3-6 - Zac Dishon (12)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-0, 6-1 - Ean Pugh (11)/Austin Utter (11)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-0, 6-3 - Chase Brown (11)/Carlton Mullet (12)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 8-3 - David Sayger (10)
#2SJV - Jackson King - 8-1 - Andrew Dunwoody (9)
#3SJV - Liam Bradford - 8-6 - Aaron Meiser (9)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Area Scores - 2016

NLC Tournament
- Goshen
1S. Jacob Grewe (Goshen) beat Dylan Staley (Wawasee) 6-1, 6-3
2S. Alex Serwatka (Concord) beat Hugh Birky (Goshen) 6-0, 6-3
3S. Simon Myers (Goshen) beat Zach Moser (Plymouth) 6-4, 6-3
1D. Logan Troyer/Bobby Sessa (Goshen) beat Justin Stout/Ryan Wettschurack (Warsaw) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6
2D. Hayden Steger/Spencer Britton (Warsaw) beat Diego Torres/Nathanael Wertz (Goshen) 6-2, 6-2

- NorthWood
1S. Will Boyer (Concord) beat Jared Hoffman (NorthWood) 6-1, 6-2
2S. Wes Troyer (NorthWood) beat Mkie Troyer (Elkhart Memorial) 6-0, 6-0
3S. Nathan Perek (Wawasee) beat Landon Holland (NorthWood) 7-6, 7-6
1D. Cam Stillson/Brant Mast (NorthWood) beat Evan Krueger/Tim Conley (Wawasee) 6-1, 6-2
2D. Jack Wysong/Trevor Klotz (NorthWood) beat Drew Wheatley/Eric Firstenberger (Northridge) 6-2, 6-3

NLC Tournament
- Concord
1S. Will Boyer (Concord) beat Jared Hoffman (NorthWood) 6-1, 6-2
2S. Alex Serwatka (Concord) beat Hugh Birky (Goshen) 6-0, 6-3
3S. Nate Slabach (Concord) beat David Homme (Warsaw) 6-3, 7-6
1D. Grant Clady/Nick Felke (Plymouth) beat Travis Hermon/Nathan Hermon (Concord) 6-4, 6-2
2D. Freddy Buckingham/Jake Lovette (Concord) beat Hudson Yoder/Tommy Holloway (Plymouth) 6-4, 6-3

- Northridge
1S. John Gerard (Plymouth) beat James Dugle (Northridge) 6-3, 6-3
2S. Simon Grevengood (Northridge) beat Andrew Gauger
3S. Gabe Rodino (Northridge) beat Chris Troyer (Elkhart Memorial) 6-0, 6-1
1D. Justin Walter/Brett Wilson (Elkhart Memorial) beat beat Luke Wogoman/Logan Corns (Northridge) 1-6, 6-3, 7-5
2D. Jack Wysong/Trevor Klotz (NorthWood) beat Drew Wheatley/Eric Firstenberger (Northridge) 6-2, 6-3

Penn 4, Mishawaka Marian 1
1. AJ Antonelli (P) beat Cameron Rafinski 6-0, 6-1
2. Evan Kovatch (M) beat Owen Kleppe 7-5, 6-4
3. Siddarth Das (P) beat Joshua Bussan 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-3).
1. Cole Pollyea/Mason Lee (P) beat Michael Gray/Dominik Rafinski 6-1, 6-0
2. Eric Spaargaren/Jack Spalding (P) beat Michael Deranelz/Kenny Klimelz 6-0, 6-0.

FW Carroll 5, Blackhawk Christian 0
1. Radke d. Hall 6-0, 6-1
2. Stoffel d. Yourdon 6-1, 6-1
3. Keuneke d. Carlson 6-0, 6-1
1. VanWyngarden/Yager d. Kauffman/Romines 6-0, 6-0
2. Smith/Hoerr d. Mossburg/Foote 6-0, 6-1.

Portage 4, Kankakee Valley 1
1. Austin Atterbury (KV) d. Zack Gertzen 6-0, 3-6, 11-9
2. Kodie Sorenson (P) d. Sam Sanzers 6-0, 6-4
3. Bryce Kissinger (P) d. Dan Monk 6-2, 6-0.
1. Alex Bourge-Evan Gerkie (P) d. Austin Martaxis-Garrett Brewster 6-1, 6-0
2. Ronnie Wilkins-Mikey Sobczak (P) d. Toby Alrich-Garret Ooms 6-1, 6-1.

Western 3, Peru 2
1. Pranav Haran won
2. Tate Lockwood lost
3. Berkely Seekri lost
1. John Sullivan/Chad Gifford won
2. Mason Anderson/Ashton Guyer won

Wabash 5, Blackford 0
1. Luke Mattern won 6-0, 6-0
2. Rob Ford won 6-1, 6-0
3. Alex Driscoll won 6-2, 6-0
1. Cal Stone/Asif Khan won 6-4, 6-1
2. Matthew Stein/Ayden Kocher won 4-6, 6-1, 6-0

HHC Tournament
- Eastern
1. Ryan Manfred lost to Rossville, defeated Carroll
2. Isaac Beachey lost to Rossville, defeated Taylor
3. Manny Moreno defeated Rossville, defeated Carroll
1. Cowsert-Kozienski lost to Taylor, defeated Carroll
2. Newhouse-Buck lost to Rossville, defeated Carroll

- Taylor
1. Bailey Owens lost to Rossville, defeated Carroll
2. Preston Pearce lost to Eastern, defeated Carroll
3. Camden Kimbler lost to Rossville, defeated Carroll
1. Peyton Tracy/Wynn Takacs lost to Rossville, defeated Eastern
2. Quinton Inman/BJ Pemberton lost to Rossville, defeated Carroll

#1 FW Leo 5, Norwell 0
1. E. Steiner d. Barger 6-0, 6-0
2. Herran d. Wilson 6-1, 6-0
3. I. Steiner d. Gerber 6-0, 6-1
1. Rother/Brandenberger d. Shively/Felger 6-0, 7-5
2. Jakacki/McDaniel d. Mader/Skiles 6-4, 6-2.

#3 FW Carroll 5, Blackhawk Christian 0

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Seniors: Daniel Robles

Thinking of Daniel and tennis, I can always get a movie running in my head of his best points. In that mental video, Daniel is scrambling around the court, sliding for balls that are out wide, getting back and hitting from an awkward position, crushing the ball to an opponent’s backhand. When Daniel is playing his best, he is flying around the court, giving every ball his best effort.

That’s what I love most about Daniel. His heart. He is thoughtful, he is a worker, he loves the others around him. He is willing to sit and talk, to contemplate and listen. I’ve loved conversations with him at tennis camp, about movies or music or food. I’ve loved watching him give his heart to others. I’ve loved watching his effort come out on the tennis court.

Without a doubt, I’ll never forget the Jimtown match at the beginning of this season. Playing #3S for the varsity, the match came down to Daniel’s position. He would win it or lose it for the team. And it looked like he might lose, down 6-3 in a tiebreak. All of a sudden, Daniel’s heart and effort paid off, and he won 5 straight points to bring home a team victory.

I hope that Daniel is able to bring this effort and heart to the community around him in the name of Jesus. I hope that he continues to be sincere and honest and grow in his conversations with others. I know that he will always hope the best for others.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Seniors: Brandon Nguyen

Brandon is the brother who is always there for you. So much there, that he sometimes could be taken for granted. He’s not been the best player in the class, maybe not even the best doubles player, and so he can be overlooked when it comes to tennis. But you don’t ever overlook players like Brandon when you are his coach or his teammate.

Brandon brings so much value to the tennis team. First of all, he works hard. Everyone wants to be a practice partner with him because they’ll get work done, and they will get better. Secondly, he listens well. In his match against St. Joe on Saturday, he wasn’t moving forward into the ball. The changeover after I made this observation, he changed it. He and Simon won 10 of the next 11 games. As a coach, I value this.

As a teammate, ask anyone who has played doubles with him. He is fun to play with. There’s no judgment when you play with Brandon. If you mess up, he’s the first to smile. If you get frustrated, he’ll give you some encouragement. And when it comes to playing with him in doubles, he’s a blessing because of his awesome crosscourt battling shots. That heavy topspin provides his partner with so many putaways. Coach after coach this weekend mentioned how well he sets Simon up for the big slams.

And Brandon just keeps playing, smiling, and hitting. No matter the accolades or attention, he stays faithful to who he is as a player and as a person. I appreciate that work, that encouragement, and that faithfulness. I love to see him skipping across the court to give his partner a high five.

My hope is that he is always one who stays faithful to the relationships he values. That his encouragement and energy and more go out to all who cross his path. Thanks for all that you mean to this team Brandon. Thanks for being the steady one we can count on, know that the work you have given has not been in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Seniors: Lane Miller

Lane has been a leader for the team since the time he started as a freshman. Then, he was just a leader and encourager of his class, but he has grown from that. And the appropriate term for Lane would probably be lead encourager, because that is what he is when he is at his best.

I also love Lane’s ability to differentiate time, place, and intensity. In other words, he is one who knows when it is time to work and when it is time to have fun. During practice drills, I can count on him to be working and challenging others to work. During team games, he’s relaxing and encouraging and cheering his teammates on.

By far, my favorite memory of Lane is when we was cheering his team on. It’s probably stuck in my mind because we have a video of it, and also because he often repeats it. But when we won Sectional in Lane’s sophomore year, Lane was so pumped afterward as we sung Sarasponda. At the end of the song, he turned away with fists clenched in joy and yelled, “Wooo!” There was such joy in that.

It also showed that Lane invests in other people. He really does. I know that he has been one to encourage others throughout the season. I remember reading his comments on Facebook last year, directing to a teammate who was struggling at the time, building them up and telling them he was there. He cares about others and has bought into the idea that the season is better if it’s about the team, not just about yourself.

Lane has also had his share of great tennis matches. From his sophomore season with Brandon as his partner, where they almost went undefeated, to pulling out the Westview match last year with Jackson, to his series of third set victories this year with Dustin. No match was as clutch in my mind as the tiebreak victory over Goshen. Not just his incredible overhead return lob winner, but the whole third set Lane where played with confidence.

I pray that confidence in Christ also continues to lead Lane. I believe that Lane has great skills of supporting and leading others, so I pray that he will be a devoted follower of Jesus. Thanks Lane, for your leadership and love.

John 13:12-15
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Seniors: Byeong Min Lim

Byeong. Everyone looks at Byeong as he hits and immediately realizes what a good player he is. And he’s been more than a good player for us, he’s been great. He has won big matches for us - especially his sophomore year in the Sectional final. He has advanced to the Individual Sectional. He has made the All-District team, only the 3rd singles player from Bethany to do so.

Still, there is so much more to him than just playing tennis. Sometimes, because he can be quiet, we may think there is not that much going on behind his face. This weekend, one of the teams watching him play took to calling him “The Machine.” But I know nothing could be further from the truth. Behind the quiet is a man of gentleness, self-control, and prayer.

One of my favorite highlights of last year was having each of the players write a mission statement for the season that went beyond tennis. Byeong’s was this: As a brother, I co-create with God a team of joy and compassion by praying, encouraging others, and working hard with them. Some of my favorite memories of Byeong have come when he is praying and gently encouraging others. Last year, we had him lead a prayer in Korean for the team. And this year, after our Northridge match he sat and ate and gently encouraging one of his teammates who was having a bad day.

These traits - gentleness, prayer, and self-control - guide him in both life and tennis. I will never tire of watching him swing opponents one way and then bury a forehand down the line for a winner, watching him softly but solidly be in control. I pray that they will guide him through the unpredictable nature of life as well, that Byeong can come gently in prayer before Jesus and be encouraged.

2 Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God... For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Seniors: Jackson King

Jackson has always been the quiet type around the team. Collecting his thoughts, focusing himself, and then moving forward with the best logical solution he can find to help things improve. What I love about Jackson is his desire to improve, and to help those around him improve.

So many times, those with a desire for perfection (which is where Jackson can lean :-) begin seeing activities and academics as a competition to prove their worth. Jackson has never been like that. In fact, in the moments that he is at his best, he is a fantastic encourager. Just this weekend, at the Portage Invitational, Jackson was at his best. In a chaotic environment, with matches being played here, there, and everywhere, Jackson was a great encourager and coach - in between doing Chemistry or Physics homework :-)

In all the things that Jackson undertakes, Jackson is a worker. He is diligent about finishing the task. It has been good to watch him bear down through the years and work. I remember last year at Concord, as we tried to upset their powerful #2 doubles team. Jackson was so energetic and determined to return the tall players powerful serve and make the comeback. He has also worked in lessons, and even as I drive him home after matches, he often wants to know how I thought it went and where we or he could improve.

And this weekend I realized, Jackson does make a good coach, because he is so analytical. I pray that this desire to figure things out and improvement takes hold in his faith as well. Followers of Jesus need problem analyzers among them, to push them forward and find solutions. This is my hope for Jackson.

2 Peter 1:5-8
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Seniors: Simon Hurst

Over the next couple of days, I will post the words that I spoke about the seniors on Senior Night this Monday. We'll start with Simon Hurst!

Simon, our “beast” or the “man-bun” as my brother’s team, Western, called him this year. Who would have guessed 7 years ago when I had a talk with middle school students about tennis that Simon would be what he is today?

And who is he? Well, he has been dedicated. Opening up the courts this summer, getting to lessons, playing in our summer league, helping with Bright Times. And that dedication has led to dominance. Simon is one of the best players, especially in doubles, to play at Bethany Christian. No matter what happens the rest of this season, he and Brandon will have either the best or second best doubles record in Bruin history.

But for as dominant as he’s been in doubles, Simon has also struggled with doubt. Doubting his talent, his joy, his place. But that’s where the real strength of his character has come through. He has been honest. And he has pushed forward with goodness. Simon always believes in his teammates, always comes to them with goodness, no matter what he may be struggling through. In the end, he wants the truth and he believes the truth will be good news.

Tennis is a gift and the best times of has made it look that way - laughing, smashing overheads and returns, having fun with his partner. I’ll certainly remember his tournament with Brandon this weekend and the amazing display they put on. And I’ll always remember the Sectional championship, when he and Hans were down 2-5 and they were on the court laughing. In the darkest times, Simon’s heart is always full of desire for good.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Big Words for Fairfield


As our last home tennis match of the season, the Fairfield match served as a night to say thanks to many different groups of people. So, instead of ending with that, I want to start with that. Then I'll talk about the exciting match we had against the State-ranked Falcons.

Thanks to the parents! It was our Senior Night last night, and you parents, do an awesome job with your sons. And last night I was so thankful to get to celebrate with all of you. It's been a great season and we have just two weeks or so left. I appreciate all the details that you look after, for meals, snacks, times for leaving and coming home from games... and of course, so much more that I don't even know about. Thanks to Leah Hurst for helping organize last night's Senior Night meal. And thanks to Angela Miller for all the work as "team mom."

Thanks to our seniors! I've loved watching you play for the past four years. Your senior class has accomplished a lot and grown as people as well. This season has been excited for the success that you've had on the court. But I hope that the growth you've experienced in relationships will really stick with you.

Thanks to our players! You guys played your hearts out last night. It is hard to look down the lineup and pick out players who played poorly. Several guys played some of their best tennis of the year, including Jonah Farran, Jacob Woolace, Lane and Dustin, Byeong in his second set, Daniel for most of his match... and many more played really well. I also loved you gathering around and supporting the seniors at the end. We had great encouragement throughout the match, and I appreciate it.

Speaking of the play, well, we gave ourselves a chance! Against the undefeated Fairfield team, the varsity won both of the doubles spots. Despite a lot of nerves on Senior Night, we were able to settle down and play some really good tennis. Especially at #2D. Playing in their eighth third set of the season (!), the #2D team put together a very good performance under pressure against a very good doubles team. The Falcons #2D had only lost twice this season (that I could find) and only once with the partners that played against us. In a close match, we were able to be attacking and get the ball back many, many times. At the end of the match, we were able to close it out by continuing to be aggressive. That's how I like to see it! Perhaps our 2 tiebreak heartbreakers at the tournament helped us in this one!

At #1D, Simon and Brandon continued an impressive season. They got real tight in the first set, and the Falcons were red hot with passing shots and forcing difficult volleys. However, they fought off two set points and finally converted one of their own to win a first set tiebreak 10-8. Then in the second set they rode that wave of momentum well to a 5-0 lead before finishing off at 6-2. 

Unfortunately, we were unable to break through the strong singles lineup the Falcons have. But there are reasons for hope. Jonathon made Clayton Bender work for every point. Lucas was solid on his groundstrokes, searching for a weakness, and Byeong loosened up and played some of his best tennis in taking a 4-3 lead in the second set. However, none of the players found the breakthrough, and the team lost 3-2.

The JV match started out well for the Bruins. Senior Daniel Robles came through with a great match, taking the first match 6-4. The other JV singles players played excellent as well. Jackson and Jacob both had back and forth matches. Jacob learned how he'll have to commit to playing if he's going to be a high school tennis player, swinging through and moving with intention. Both players ended up in tiebreaks, which we could not win.

In doubles, things didn't get quite as close. But all across the board, players displayed the skills they've learned during the season. Caleb had excellent topspin strokes and lobs. Jonah pounded his forehand consistently. Philip and Joel both had great groundstrokes throughout the match. Liam hit great angles, Tommy returned well, Braydon and Chris attacked with their forehands. Angel volleyed well to win points. I'm really thankful to see the JV players rounding into their strengths here at the end of the season. 

So, we ended the night celebrating and eating. And thanks to all who brought great food to share! I am one who feels like the sense of family grows every time we gather round to eat, and it felt like a great big reunion last night. Thanks to all who came!

Of course, a final thanks to God. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, and this season has been full of good and perfect gifts. Gifts of growth, gifts of joy, and gifts of love. We appreciate all that you do for us. Thank you! Let our hearts overflow with gratitude.

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 1-6, 4-6 - Joel Mast (9)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 0-6, 1-6 - Clayton Bender (12)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 0-6, 0-6 - Isaac Miller (12)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 7-6 (8), 6-2 - Jesse Grimm (12)/Dylan Kaufman (11)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 - Joel Kropf (12)/Aaron Streit (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 6-4 - Tanner Nunemaker (10)
#2SJV - Jackson King - 6-7 (3) - Joey Gibson (12)
#3SJV - Jacob Woolace - 6-7 (5) - Jarin Bontrager (11)
#1DJV - Liam Bradford/Tommy Nguyen - 1-6 - Aaron Skibbe (12)/Andrew Monroe (11)
#2DJV - Caleb Shenk/Nathan Oostland - 2-6 - Eric Gaby (10)/Riley Behles (9)
#3DJV - Joel Yoder/Philip Krabill - 4-6 - Tucker Miller (11)/Ben Toole (10)
#4DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Chris Craw - 0-6 - Jediah Corbin (11)/Carson Yoder (11)
#5DJV - Jonah Farran/Angel Torres - 1-6 - Isaac Inniger (9)/Bryce Willard (9)
#6DJV - Caleb Shenk/Nathan Oostland - 6-3 - Alex Yoder (12)/Deron Corbin (11)

Area Scores - 2016

NLC Tournament
- Goshen
1S. Will Boyer (Con) def. Jacob Grewe (Gos) 6-4, 6-0. 
2S. Hugh Birky (Gos) def. Wes Troyer (NW) 6-0, 6-2.
3S. Simon Myers (Gos) def. Gabe Rodino (Nr) 6-2, 6-1.
1D. Logan Troyer/Bobby Sessa (Gos) def. Justin Walter/Brett Wilson (Mem) 6-3, 6-4.
2D. Diego Torres/Nathanael Wertz (Gos) def. Graham Perek/Mason Gray (Waw) 6-1, 6-1

- NorthWood
1S. Jared Hoffman (NW) def. Dylan Staley (Waw) 6-1, 6-2.
2S. Hugh Birky (Gos) def. Wes Troyer (NW) 6-0, 6-2.
3S. David Homme (War) def. Landon Holland (NW) 6-1, 6-2.
1D. Grant Clady/Nick Felke (Ply) def. Cam Stillson/Brant Mast (NW) 6-0, 6-1.
2D. Freddy Buckingham/Jake Lovette (Con) def. Jack Wysong/Trevor Klotz (NW) 6-4, 6-3.

South Bend St. Joseph 4, Jimtown 1
1. Thomas Pries (SJ) beat Holden Price, 6-1, 6-2
2. Leo Romanetz (SJ) beat Ben Clarke, 6-0, 6-0
3. Ram Fernandez (SJ) beat Austin Pearison, 6-0, 6-0.
1. Connor Corl-Andrew Emeigh (J) beat Cole Matthews-Brett Loitz, 7-6 (3), 5-7 , (13-11)
2. Steve Mullaney-Andrew Sill (SJ) beat Matt DeCloedt-Bill Pawlak, 6-1, 6-2.
NLC Tournament
- Concord
1S. Will Boyer (Con) def. Jacob Grewe (Gos) 6-4, 6-0. 
2S. Alex Serwatka (Con) def. Mike Troyer (Mem) 6-0, 6-1.
3S. Nate Slabach (Con) def. Nathan Perek (Waw) 6-4, 6-2.
1D. Travis Hermon/Nathan Hermon (Con) def. Evan Krueger/Tim Conley (Waw) 6-2, 6-0.
2D. Freddy Buckingham/Jake Lovette (Con) def. Jack Wysong/Trevor Klotz (NW) 6-4, 6-3.

- Northridge
1S. James Dugle (Nr) def. Brandon Bailey (Mem) 6-1, 6-0.
2S. Simon Grevengoed (Nr) def. Mitch Rose (Ply) 6-1, 6-0.
3S. Simon Myers (Gos) def. Gabe Rodino (Nr) 6-2, 6-1.
1D. Justin Stout/Ryan Wettschurack (War) def. Luke Wogoman/Logan Corns (Nr) 6-1, 6-0.
2D. Hudson Yoder/Tommy Holloway (Ply) def. Drew Wheatley/Eric Firstenberger (Nr) 6-1, 7-5.

Rochester 3, Northwestern 2
1. Northwestern won
2. Rochester won
3. Northwestern won
1. Rochester won
2. Rochester won

South Bend Adams 3, Mishawaka Marian 2
1. Tommy Han (A) beat Cameron Rafinski, 6-0, 6-4
2. Donnell Williams (A) beat Evan Kovatch, 6-1, 6-0
3. Zach Fernandez (A) beat Joshua Bussan, 6-3, 6-3.
1. Michael Gray-Dominik Rafinski (M) beat Matthew Petersen-James Dokes, 6-1, 6-0
2. Kenny Klimek-Michael Deranek (M) beat Ted Nagy-Elliot Zyniewicz, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.

DeKalb 4, Fremont 1
1. Holwerda (D) d. Trusty 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. Conti (F) d. Cruz 7-6, 6-4
3. Reutebach (D) d. Camp 6-4, 7-6
1. Seavers/Travis (D) d. Thomas/Crotty 6-0, 6-0
2. Gurtner/Novak (D) d. Jamison/Rose 6-1, 6-1

Wabash 5, Whitko 0
1. Luke Mattern won 6-0, 6-3
2. Rob Ford won 6-4, 6-4
3. Alex Driscoll won 6-0, 6-0
1. Cal Stone/Asif Khan won 6-0, 6-1
2. Matthew Stein/Ayden Kocher won, no score reported

#1 FW Leo 5, Concordia 0
1. E. Steiner d. Clark 6-1, 6-0
2. Herran d. Seifert 6-0, 6-1
3. I. Steiner d. Berning 6-0, 6-0
1. Roth/Brandenberger d. Barger/Booth 6-0, 6-1
2. Jakacki/McDaniel d. Beck/Harmeyer 6-0, 6-0

#2 Homestead 5, East Noble 0
1. Heiney d. Mohamedali 7-5, 6-2
2. Weir d. Dills 6-0, 6-1
3. Milne d. Buddell 6-0, 6-0
1. Andrews/Reinking d. Platt/Bender 6-2, 6-0
2. Castle/Graber d. Desper/Denton 6-1, 6-0

#6 FW Canterbury 4, Bishop Luers 1
1. Pamidi (C) d. Scheible 6-2, 6-1
2. Reddy (C) d. Woehnker 6-1, 6-0
3. Burton (BL) d. Patel 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
1. Gize/Lal (C) d. Pyle/Blomeke 6-2, 6-0
2. Gnagy/Garrett (C) d. Brown/Scheiber 6-0, 6-0

#1 FW Leo 5, DeKalb 0

#3 FW Carroll 3, Delta 2

#6 FW Canterbury 3, Marion 2

Area Scores - 2016

Penn 3, Jimtown 2
1. Holden Price (J) beat AJ Antonelli, 2-6, 6-3, 3-0, retired
2. Owen Klepe (P) beat Ben Clarke, 6-4, 6-3
3. Austin Pearison (J) beat Sid Das, 5-7, 6-3, 10-5.
1. Mason Lee-Cole Pollyea (P) beat Connor Corl-Andrew Emeigh, 6-1, 6-1
2. Eric Spaargaren-Jack Spalding (P) beat Matt DeCloedt-Bill Pawlak, 6-1, 6-2.

Manchester 3, Triton 2
1. Mace Eads (T) beat Luke Donathan, 6-4, 6-1
2. Spence Trick (M) beat Aaron Stichter, 6-0, 6-2
3. Carter Kuntz (T) beat Logan Parrett, 6-0, 6-2.
1. Heath Dierks-Parker Wagoner (M) beat Keygan Mosier-unknown, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. Kyle Shepherd-Vria Hein (M) beat Jared Bules-Tyler Heckaman, 6-3, 7-5.

Wabash 3, Rochester 2
1. Luke Mattern won 6-1, 6-2
2. Rob Ford won 6-2, 6-1
3. Alex Driscoll fell 4-6, 3-6
1. Cal Stone/Asif Khan fell 7-6 (5), 3-6, (4-10)
2. Matthew Stein/Ayden Kocher won 6-3, 6-3

Elkhart Central 3, Mishawaka Marian 2
1. Andrew Salmon won
2. Michael Beveridge won
3. Philip Stutzman lost
1. Jared Reid/Hunter Sauserman lost
2. Adam Moon/Dane Frieden won

Plymouth 3, Northridge 2

Angola 5, Lakeland 0

Blackhawk Christian 5, South Adams 0

Westview 4, Central Noble 1

South Bend St. Joseph 4, Bremen 1
1. Thomas Pries (SJ) beat Bryce Sterling, 6-2, 6-0
2. Leo Romanetz (SJ) beat Carter Filchak, 6-1, 6-1
3. Ram Fernandez (SJ) beat Zach Burkholder, 6-2, 6-2.
1. Chandler Snyder-Jake Strehler (B) beat Cole Matthews-Brett Loitz, 6-1, 7-5
2. Steve Mullaney-Andrew Sill (SJ) beat Bryce Tolle-Bryce Ginter, 6-4, 6-0.

Portage 4, Michigan City 1
1. Devon Stromer (MC) d. Kodie Sorensen 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
2. Kodie Sorensen (P) d. Steven Sebert 6-1, 6-1
3. Bryce Kissinger (P) d. Nathan Volckmann 6-2, 6-2.
1. Alex Bourge-Evan Gerkie (P) d. Danny Walker-Tommy Komay 6-3, 6-1
2. Ronnie Wilkins-Mikey Sobczak (P) d. Savion DuMortier-Nathan Pawlicke 6-1, 6-3.

Valparaiso 5, Merrillville 0
1. Max Behrend (V) d. Justin Jackson 6-0, 6-0
2. Ray Kreloff (V) d. Josh Raddatz 6-0, 6-0
3. Matt Cory (V) d. Cameron Louthan 6-0, 6-0.
1. Nick Feltgen-Matt Wanek (V) d. T.J. Sabbath-Dejon Charleston 6-0, 6-2
2. Joe McMurtney-John Janesheski (V) d. Marcus Miller-J.P. Harris 6-1, 6-3.

Northwestern 4, Taylor 1
1. Clayton Douglass (N) def. Bailey Owens, 6-1, 7-6 (5)
2. Kyle Douglass (N) def. Preston Pearce, 6-2, 6-1
3. Braydon Chou (N) def. Camden Kimbler, 6-0, 6-0
1. Wynn Takacs/Peyton Tracy (T) def. Brevin Sanford/Michael Harshmen, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3
2. Jakob White/Jacob Perry (N) def. Taylor, 6-4, 7-5

Western 5, Cass 0


Area Scores - 2016

Jimtown 5, South Bend Adams 0
1. Holden Price def. Tommy Han 6-2, 2-0 (retired).
2. Ben Clarke def. Donnell Williams 6-0, 6-1. 
3. Austin Pearison def. Zack Fernandez 6-3, 6-2.
1. Connor Corl/Andrew Emeigh def. Matthew Peterson/James Dokes 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4). 
2. Matt DeCloedt/Bill Pawlak def. Elliot Zyniewicz/Ted Nagy 6-1, 6-0.

Fairfield 4, Westview 1
1. Joel Mast (F) def. Kurtis Davis 6-0, 6-2. 
2. Clayton Bender (F) def. Austin Hostetler 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. 
3. Isaac Miller (F) def. Ryan Barker 6-1, 6-4.
1. Jeryl Weaver/Trey Zabona (W) def. Jesse Grimm/Dylan Kaufman 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. 
2. Joel Kropf/Aaron Streit (F) def. Peyton Schrock/Justin Schwartz 6-3, 6-3.

Fairfield 4, East Noble 1
1. Joel Mast (F) def. Austin Mohamedali 2-6, 6-1, 7-5. 
2. Clayton Bender (F) def. Adam Dills 6-1, 7-5. 
3. Isaac Miller (F) def. Dylan Buddell 6-0, 6-1.
1. Lucas Platt/Mike Bender (EN) def. Jesse Grimm/Dylan Kaufman 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. 
2. Joel Kropf/Aaron Streit (F) def. Ryan Desper/Luke Denton 6-4, 6-1.

Goshen 5, Lakeland 0
1. Jacob Grewe def. Christian Roose 8-0. 
2. Hugh Birky def. Hunter Frost 8-1.
3. Simon Myers def. Reece Romer 8-2.
1. Diego Torres/Nathanael Wertz def. Isaiah Lehman/Drew Grossman 8-2. 
2. Goshen by fft.

East Noble 4, Jimtown 1
1. Mohamedali (EN) d. Price 6-0, 6-2
2. Dills (EN) d. Clarke 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
3. Pearison (J) d. Buddell 6-0, 6-0
1. Platt/Bender (EN) d. Corl/Emeigh 6-3, 6-2
2. Desper/Denton (EN) d. DeCloedt/Pawlak 6-0, 6-4

Goshen 3, Plymouth 2

Wawasee 3, NorthWood 2
1. Dylan Staley (W) def. Jared Hoffman 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-1.
2. Nate Haines (W) def. Wes Troyer 6-3, 6-2.
3. Nate Perrek (W) def. Landon Holland 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.
1. Cam Stillson/Brant Mast (N) def. Tim Conley Even Krueger 6-2, 6-3.
2. Trevor Klotz/Jack Wysong (N) def. Grant Perrek/Mason Gray 6-0, 6-0.

Goshen 5, Elkhart Memorial 0
1. Jacob Grewe def. Brandon Bailey 6-1, 6-0.
2. Hugh Birky def. Mike Troyer 6-0, 6-1.
3. Simon Myers def. Chris Troyer 6-0, 6-0.
1. Logan Troyer/Bobby Sessai def. Brett Wilson/Justin Walter 6-2, 6-3.
2. Diego Torres/Nathanael Wertz def. Tryston Swartz/Dylan Lundgren 7-6, 7-5.

Concord 4, Northridge 1
1. Will Boyer (C) def. James Dugle 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
2. Simon Grevengoed (N) def. Alex Serwatka 7-5, 6-1.
3. Nate Slabach (C) def. Gabe Rodino 6-4, 6-2.
1. Nathan Hermon/Travis Hermon (C) def. Luke Wogoman/Logan Corns 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).
2. Jake Lovette/Freddy Buckingham (C) def. Eric Firstenberger/Drew Wheatley 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Warsaw 4, NorthWood 1
1. Jared Hoffman (N) def. Colton Lind 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. 
2. Andrew Gauger (W) def. Wes Troyer 6-1, 7-6 (7-4). 
3. David Homme (W) def. Landon Holland 6-0, 6-0.
1. Ryan Wettschurack/Justin Stout (W) def. Cam Stillson/Brant Mast 6-1, 6-3. 
2. Hayden Steger/Spencer Britton (W) def. Trevor Klotz/Jack Wysong 6-2, 6-1.

Adams Central 4, Blackhawk Christian 1
1. Hall (BC) d. Green 6-1, 6-3
2. Ripley (AC) d. Yourdon 7-5, 6-2
3. Busse (AC) d. Carlson 6-0, 6-1
1. Ringenberger/Burkhart (AC) d. Kaufman/Romines 6-1, 6-1
2. Arnold/Harvey (AC) d. Foote/Mossburg 6-2, 6-2

Fremont 3, Lakeland 2
1. Trusty (F) d. Roose 6-2, 6-3
2. Frost (L) d. Conti 6-4, 7-5
3. Camp (F) d. Romer 6-3, 6-2
1. Lehman/Grossman (L) d. Thomas/Crotty 6-4, 6-1
2. Rode/Jamison (F) won by ff.

Angola 5, Churubusco 0
1. Honer d. Ramey 6-0, 6-0
2. Davis d. Mullins 6-1, 6-1
3. Wyatt d. Downey 6-1, 6-0
1. Nofziger/Griffis d. Hilkey/Smith 6-0, 6-1
2. Hottell/Wells d. Bowyer/Boggess 6-0, 6-0

Blackhawk Christian 3, Concordia 2
1. Hall (BC) d. Clark 6-0, 6-4
2. Seifert (C) d. Yousdon 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. Carlson (BC) d. Berning 6-2, 6-0
1. Kaufman/Romines (BC) d. Booth/Barger 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
2. Beck/Harmeyer (C) d. Foote/Mossburg 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2

Angola 3, Westview 2
1. Honer (A) d. Davis 6-2, 6-1
2. Hostetler (W) d. Davis 6-2, 1-6, 6-3
3. Barker (W) d. Wells 6-3, 6-3
1. Griffiths/Nofziger (A) d. Weaver/Zabona 7-5, 6-0
2. Wyatt/Hottell (A) d. Schrock/Schwartz 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Plymouth 3, Northridge 2
1. James Dugle (N) def. John Gerard 6-2, 6-4.
2. Simon Grevengoed (N) def. Mitch Rose 6-1, 6-2.
3. Zach Moser (P) def. Gabe Rodino 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
1. Grant Clady/Nick Felke (P) def. Luke Wogoman/Logan Corns 6-3, 6-4.
2. Hudson Yoder/Tommy Halloway (P) def. Eric Firstenberger/Drew Wheatley 6-1, 2-6, 6-1.

Concord 3, Warsaw 2
1. Will Boyer (C) def. Colton Lind 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
2. Alex Serwatka (C) def. Andrew Gauger 6-7 (4-7) 6-2, 6-1.
3. David Homme (W) def. Nate Slabach 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
1. Nathan Hermon/Travis Hermon (C) def. Juston Stout/Ryan Wettschurack 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
2. Spencer Britton/Hayden (W) def. Jake Lovette/Freddy Buckingham 7-6 (7-1) 6-0.

Marion 4, Northwestern 1

Richmond 4, Centerville 1

Highland 4, LaPorte 1
1. Dru Kennedy (L) d. Matthew Cotner 7-5, 6-0
2. Meet Patel (H) d. Lucas Poehl 6-0, 6-0
3. Chris Peters (H) d. Tristan Poe 4-6, 4-1 RET.
1. Mason Gluth-Alex Lopez (H) d. Adam Mannering-Chris Surowiec 6-0, 6-0
2. Fred Kepler-Harrison Bronisz (H) d. Jacob Nichols-Garrett Menke 6-4, 6-4

Hobart 3, Merrillville 2
1. Grant Kadar (H) d. Ayron Williams 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-0
2. Jacob Potts (H) d. Justin Jackson 6-4, 7-5
3. Keith Rochefort (M) d. Joey Toscn 6-0, 6-0.
1. Delon Charleston-JP Harris (M) d. Cade Brumley-Charles Crayton 6-0, 7-5
2. Cameron Hughes-Evan Kara (H) d. Marcus Miller-Josh Raddatz 5-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Wheeler 3, Portage 2
1. Christian Rosta (W) d, Zack Gertzen 6-2, 6-1
2. Joe Hibbard (W) d. Kodie Sorensen 6-2, 0-6, 6-3
3. Clayton Sanders (W) d. Bryce Kissinger 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.
1. Evan Gerike-Alex Bourge (P) d. Trey Erny-Jesiah Lee 7-5, 7-6 (7-3)
2. Ronnie Wilkins-Mikey Sobczak (P) d. Ahmed Safadi-Grant Giorgi 6-3, 6-2.

Highland 5, Kankakee Valley 0
1. Matthew Cotner (H) d. Austin Atterbury 6-1, 6-0
2. Meet Patel (H) d. Sam Sanders 6-0, 6-0
3. Kolin Palmer (H) d. Daniel Monk 6-0, 6-3.
1. Mason Gluth-Alex Lopez (H) d. Austin Martakis-Gerrit Brewster 6-2,6-1
2. Fred Kepler-Chris Peters (H) d. Toby Aldrich-Gerrit Ooms 6-0,6-0.

Lake Central 5, Merrillville 0
1. Andrew Walsh (LC) d. Ayron Williams 6-1, 6-1
2. Mathew Matakovic (LC) d. Marcus Miller 7-5, 6-0
3. Steven Tulsiak (LC) d. Cameron Louthan 6-0, 6-0.
1. Keith Crawford-Ricky Larson (LC) d. Deion Charleston-TJ Sabbath 6-0, 6-1
2. Doug DeVries-Spero Vrehas (LC) d. J.P. Harris-Josh Raddat 7-5, 6-3.

LaPorte 3, Portage 2
1. Dru Kennedy (L) d. Zack Gertzen 6-2, 6-4
2. Kodi Sorenson (P) d. Lucas Poehl 6-4, 6-1
3. Tristan Poe (L) d. Bryce Kissinger 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4.
1. Alex Boruge-Evan Gerkie (P) d. Adam Marring-Chris Surowiec 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
2. Jacob Nichols-Garrett Menke (L) d. Ronnie Wilkins-Mikey Sobczak 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Taylor 3, Carroll 2
1. Bailey Owens won 6-1, 6-2
2. Preston Pearce won 6-2, 6-1
3. Taylor lost
1. Peyton Tracy/Wynn Takacs won 6-0, 6-0
2. Taylor lost 6-3, 4-6, 2-6

Culver Academies 4, Western 1
1. Pranav Haran won in three sets
2. Tate Lockwood lost in two sets
3. Berkely Seekri lost in two sets
1. Chad Gifford/John Sullivan lost in three sets
2. Mason Anderson/Ashton Guyer lost in three sets

#6 FW Canterbury 3, Penn 2

#1 FW Leo 5, Columbia City 0

#1 FW Leo 5, Bishop Dwenger 0

#3 FW Carroll 5, Bishop Luers 0

Monday, September 19, 2016

Big Words from Portage


"You make beautiful things out of the dust."
from Beautiful Things by Gungor

This day did not start out at all promising. When I woke up, the rain was thundering down and the radar had a big green blob on it. Portage's coach texted me at 5:45 asking what I thought, and I said: "We'll make the best of it, if there's a chance, let's give it a try." An hour later, I got a text that we were delaying the start time.

So we made the best of that, and bussed the team over to Goshen Family Restaurant, better known as Joanna's. After convincing Lane that biscuits and gravy probably weren't the food that would best make him light on his feet, we drank coffee and ate pancakes and waited out our delay. God had taken one disappointing thing and made it beautiful through our togetherness.

Off we went, traveling U.S. 6 to Portage. For the first half of the trip, rain continued to sheet down on us. But as we stopped at S.R. 31 for a bathroom break, the rain became sprinkles, then stopped, and then the sun came out to light the gorgeous drive through valleys and forests, over streams and around bogs and golden farms. It was another disappointing thing redeemed into something beautiful.

When we arrived at Portage, the courts were still wet so we waited some more. This delay gave us the time to sit together, stretch out from the long ride and wake up. And then it was time for the matches to start. Again, we got some disappointing news. At one of our strongest positions, #1D, we were going to be playing the best team in the tournament in the first round - South Bend St. Joseph. I had hoped to avoid them until the finals at that position, meaning that even if we lost to them we'd get maximum points. In fact, at 3 of the 5 positions we were going to have to play them before the final. 

And St. Joe wasn't the only really good team at the tournament. They were ranked #15 in the state, but also in their respective District Rankings were Highland and Centerville. Highland had only lost 3 matches on the season, and I'm not sure Centerville has lost any. So there was good competition all over the tournament. Even the teams not in the rankings had solid players, as LaLumiere, Portage, Triton and Merrillville all had the players to compete. So the draw was a nervous time.

But again, the possibly disappointing turned into something beautiful. Simon and Brandon started slow but turned on their solid play late in the first set. Then they kept their level high in the second set and won in rather easy fashion 6-3, 6-1. A possible loss blossomed into a confidence booster. In fact, all across the lineup, the first round ended in wins for the Bruins. The closest match was a 6-3, 6-3 win for #2D. 

In the second round, everyone hit stiffer competition as we began to play the other players who advanced with wins in the first round. Byeong gave a solid match to St. Joe's #1 sophomore, Thomas Pries. Serving well and staying in the points, Byeong pushed the freshman his closest set in the past two weeks, but still lost in 2 tough sets. Lucas fell to another St. Joe player in his second round. Jonathon matched up against Highland, and their strong #2. Brandon and Simon continued their run of strong play and advanced to the final in #1D, but at #2D we hit big heartbreak.

Playing Highland, the Millers struggled with the different style of play, and weren't playing their best tennis anyway. As the match proceeded, the Bruins didn't really play a confident and decisive first set and lost it in a close one. In the second set though, #2D turned it around, attempting to redeem a difficult situation. In the super tiebreak that decided the match though, we went down 8-2. Then we found our game, point by point creeping back into the tiebreak. It was a bit too big of a hole to dig out of however, and we lost 8-10 in the tiebreak.

So, we sent #1D into the final and the rest of us were going to be playing for 3rd place. But the beautiful thing that emerged from that disappointment was the opportunity to rebound and to play better. When faced with difficulty, we can respond with hope and improvement. And we did. From top to bottom, we played our best tennis of the day in our final match.

That doesn't mean we all won. Byeong sailed through his 3rd place match without dropping a game. He looked impressive in doing it as well. But despite Jonathon's best hitting of the day, he couldn't get past LaLumiere's #2. And #2D definitely played their best match, again resetting after a first set loss to take a second set in style. Again in a super tiebreak, they played with much more confidence. Unfortunately, their opponents played a good tiebreak as well, and the Bruins fell again 8-10. 

But we were definitely playing the best tennis of the day. And that was a blessing. It always feels good to play your best, even when you lose you can smile and go on your way - or lay down and rest because you are so tired.

Watching #1D in the championship was fun. They didn't play their best, and the first set especially got closer than they probably would have liked, but they always stayed in control. That was an awesome thing to watch. And to see them come out in 1st place. Well, that's a blessing. A day that started with a tough draw ended with 1st place for them - and having to beat each of the ranked teams to do it! They had compliments from many of the coaches, about how they compliment one another so well, about their net play, about their returns, about their baseline play... it was all around good for these guys. 

And speaking of all-around, what an all-around weird day it was for Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes. Starting the day feeling sick, he started off the morning with a long wait and many trips to the bathroom. Then he got an easy win. Then he played his second against St. Joe and lost 0-6, 0-6. And then he came into his third match against Centerville after hours of waiting because the opponent had played a marathon match in the second round (actually losing 23-21 in the super tiebreak that is supposed to end at 10!)

So, Lucas was the very last player on the court in the whole tournament. As the match moved into its second set, we became aware that if Lucas won, we would finish the tournament in second place - ahead of Centerville and Highland, but behind St. Joe. So Lucas' match became even more interesting. But Lucas was already handling it well, stepping in and moving his opponent around. Soon after we found out about our possible finish, it was over. Another disappointment, Lucas' sickness and difficulty, had been made into something beautiful.

As we drove home, the moon was bright orange and centered low over the road. I tried to stop and take a picture, but I couldn't do it justice. We won all sorts of accolades at this tournament. 2nd as a team. 1st at #1D. Lots of compliments on how much the other coaches liked our team, the way we played and the way we treated our opponents. In fact, the team we beat for 2nd (Centerville) really bonded well with our guys and it was a treat to get to know them. 

But we have to give accolades to where they are do. Our God turned a lot around. Because our God is always good. It's God's favorite thing to do, part of God's loving nature, to give good gifts. And today, every time that it seemed like we were pressed into something difficult we were given a good gift. I love the day, I loved the time with the team, and I love our good God. So accolade, praise, to the team for its play and the way we represented Jesus. Yet, ultimately the most beautiful moments of the day were of God's design and grace.

First Round
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-2 - Mike Zhou, LaLumiere
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-2, 6-0 - Jared Bules, Triton
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 6-0, 6-3 - Mikey Sobczak, Portage
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-3, 6-1 - Cole Matthews/Brett Loitz, SB St. Joseph
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-3, 6-3 - ???/???, Merrillville

Second Round
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 4-6, 1-6 - Thomas Pries, SB St. Joseph
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 1-6, 2-6 - Meet Patel, Highland
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 0-6, 0-6 - Ram Fernandez, SB St. Joseph
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-2, 6-1 - Blake Shook/Josh Duke, Centerville
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 4-6, 6-2, (8-10) - Harrison Bronisz/Fred Kepler, Highland

Third Round
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-0 - Zack Gertzen, Portage
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 1-6, 4-6 - ????, LaLumiere
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 6-1, 6-1 - Nate Reed, Centerville
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-4, 6-3 - Mason Gluth/Alex Lopez, Highland
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 5-7, 6-2, (8-10) - Nathan Cheek/Bennet Walther, Centerville

Friday, September 16, 2016

Big Words from Elkhart Central


I am unsure what to write about this match. Unsure how to sum it up. And unsure, seems was a bit of how we played in this match. 

It took a little different form in each of our varsity matches. In #1D, Simon and Brandon seemed tight at the beginning of their match. Movement was slow, serves and volleys looked shaky. And the team seemed nervous. At #2D, the theme of slowness continued. The team seemed a step slow, and hoping that their opponents would make early mistakes instead of getting ready to play awesome points. 

In the singles matches, Lucas had trouble putting more than one game together at a time. He would play a solid game with wonderful pace and groundstrokes, and then play one where it was filled mostly with his own errors. In Jonathon's match, the same thing occurred. At #1S... well, actually Byeong played pretty well the whole way through :-) At times, he maybe got some slow feet.

And the JV too reflected that trend. When we get uncertainty, it is always important to return to our strengths. 

Much of the team did, it was just a matter of when. Byeong corrected his lazy feet the game after it happened. Simon and Brandon got down 3-1, but then went back to work with great consistency and power. By the time their match ended, they were playing the fun and aggressive tennis that they love, with Simon ending the match with a blasted forehand return that the Blazers didn't even have a chance to move to.

In Lucas' match, it looked like he'd recovered well to his strengths. After seesawing back and forth in the first set, he settled in comfortably and took a commanding 7-1 win in the tiebreak. His strokes looked confident and his opponents looked timid. Then Lucas kept the gas pushed down and took a 4-1 lead in the second. It seemed like the match was mere minutes from ending when Philip Stutzman really found his stroke. After a marathon point at 30-30 on Lucas' serve, Stutzman reeled off 4 straight games where he looked confident and Lucas, though leading, looked unsure. 

Down 5-4, Lucas went back to his strength in this match and worked in some variety. This variety threw Stutzman off a bit, and he couldn't find it before the match ended. Lucas persevered and was able to take the win.

At #2D, it was similar. In the second set, down 4-1, they found their stroke. Suddenly, the energy picked up, the nervousness ebbed and the team found a groove. Unfortunately for the team, it was a bit too late. While they were challenging to get back in the match, just a couple too many well hit shots found the tape or sailed a wee bit long. Still, they closed the gap to 4-6, before falling.

For Yousey at #2S, the match went the opposite way. Near the end of the first set, he looked confident and convinced he could win. Then didn't have that same energy in the next set. In the third set, he came out rip-roaringly confident, taking a 3-1 lead. But again, after a few mistakes, uncertainty crept in and his playing level dropped.

That's one thing I reminded Lucas, and one thing I want us all to remember. No matter what is happening in our match, let's be certain of keeping our chest high, to keep our body language positive. It's amazing what using our body to provide our energy can do for us. Our bodies provide us with a physicality, a way to embody our belief, something tangible for us to begin with. They are a place to practice certainty.

Of course, that's true of our faith too. Today, at practice, we used our minds and imaginations to practice a reality - that what happens to us in a match is part of a much bigger picture of being conformed to the character of Christ. Each match day, we join our hands to pray to practice the certainty of our togetherness in Jesus. And so maybe as you read this, you want to bow on your knees, using physicality to practice the certainty of thankfulness. 

Because even when we don't play our best, or we don't win, or we don't do what we'd hoped - I am very thankful to God for each one of you. And God is always taking whatever we lay before and using it for good. Of those things, we can always be certain.

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-1, 6-1 - Andrew Salmon (12)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-4, 1-6, 3-6 - Michael Beveridge (11)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 7-6 (1), 7-5 - Philip Stutzman (10)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-3, 6-1 - Jared Reid (11)/Hunter Sauserman (12)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 3-6, 4-6 - Dane Frieden (10)/Adam Moon (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 6-8 - Zack Pelletier (10)
#2SJV - Liam Bradford - 8-5 - Ben Henick (10)
#3SJV - Jackson King - 8-9 (5) - Abe Hill (10)
#4SJV - Jacob Woolace - 6-1 - Alexx Dreamer (9)
#5SJV - Joel Yoder - 6-4 - Chase Bontrager (9)
#1DJV - Caleb Shenk/Nathan Oostland - 3-8 - Adam Delks (11)/Nathan Brekke (10)
#2DJV - Tommy Nguyen/Philip Krabill - 6-8 - Nathan Lindholm (10)/Will Bryant (10)
#3DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Jonah Farran -  - Cody Cox (10)/?????
#4DJV - Angel Torres/Chris Craw - 0-6 - Brady Marker (10)/Sam Thomas (10)

Moment of Beauty: Blackhawk, NorthWood, and Westview

Moment of Beauty - Westview - Simon Hurst
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, that's one of the things that I love to point out with these blog points. Sometimes it is playing to your strength, sometimes being patient, sometimes it is a brash and epic play. Simon and Brandon played a great match against a strong Warrior doubles team, but the point of the match was in the second set. A long point was in the process of being played on Simon's serve. Brandon was at the net and Simon was back. A good volley between the two of them sent Simon sprinting to his left, onto the side of the net behind Brandon.

Simon threw up a lob from his defensive position, but the Warrior player near the net took two steps back and popped an overhead down the line. Simon took off a dead sprint to try to cover the overhead which was hit hard into the ground but was losing speed as it bounded toward the baseline. On the run, Simon ripped a forehand back down the line. The turnaround from defense to offense was stunning, and the net opponent watched the ball fly past him, figuring it would land out. But it landed bang on the line, for an awesome winner.

Moment of Beauty - NorthWood - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes
Lucas had many great points in his three set comeback victory at NorthWood. It is sometimes hard to remember all the specifics of these points. In this match, the great points were also so long. Several times Lucas would be backed up to the fence by the repeated lobs of his opponent, Landon Holland. My favorite point of the match contained this as well. Lucas came to the net, and got lobbed to the back. Waiting patiently for a short ball, Lucas drove the ball into Holland's forehand corner. Another lob went up and Lucas drove it to the backhand corner. Holland scrambled and threw up another short lobbed ball, and Lucas cracked it again. Holland guessed to his forehand corner, but Lucas had driven it behind him, back to the backhand. Lunging and off balance, Holland got a racket to it, but it floated harmlessly wide. It was so beautiful to see Lucas hang in and then play a smart shot that was so unexpected.

Moment of Beauty - NorthWood - Caleb Shenk
Speaking of hanging in there, Caleb had to hang in there in his singles match as well. After leading 7-2, he found himself suddenly in a tiebreak. During his opponent's comeback, Caleb had become more and more tentative, not quite hitting through his shots and consequently pushing the ball long and wide. But the beautiful thing in this match was that Caleb shook off that tentativity that he had been feeling and struck the ball with convincing speed. This ability to regroup was a thing of beauty.

Moment of Beauty - Blackhawk Christian - Jonathon Yousey
In Yousey's match against the Braves, Jonathon found himself matched against an opponent who hit some unbelievably powerful shots. Heading into his third set, I gave him some advice. If he could fight off and get back some of those powerful shots, he would actually begin to win some of these points. In the next game, his opponent attacked the net and smashed an overhead. Jonathon sprinted two steps to his right and deflected the ball high over the net. His opponent moved backwards, and smashed another overhead - right into the net.

So moments of beauty from effort, power, patience, guile, focus, and more. Our play is improving through the season, which it also great to see.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Big Words from Blackhawk Christian


Now that I am 18-20 years removed from playing high school tennis, what do I look back on from my experiences? I look back and remember certain matches, I can tell a couple of stories, but I've forgotten many of the matches and many of my opponents. 

So was last night's match memorable? As a coach, I want to say "Yes!" I mean, for me I will remember the remarkable fight shown by Yousey to get back into his match. I will remember the great conversation that I had with Blackhawk's #1 singles player after the match, because I love to meet conscientious and kind players from all schools. I will remember it as being the first match that Dustin and Lane won 6-0, 6-0. I will remember the patient waitress from the Magic Wand and the glorious extra ice cream that Joel Yoder gifted me :-)

As a coach, I also think their are lessons to be learned from the match last night. For example, Byeong put on a clinic yesterday, and you all had free admission. The lesson was "How to construct points" and Byeong showed how having a variety of shots can be just as important as hitting the ball hard. Byeong used deep balls, slice balls, topspin drives, spinning serves and (eventually) really good footwork to control the points. Even though his opponent sometimes hit the ball harder, it looked like he was always having to adjust to what Byeong was doing. That is how to play really good singles.

There was also the lesson of how to adjust. Lucas and Jonathon both had to calm down in their matches because they came out of the gate a little too anxious to get on the attack. As a result, they were being a little too aggressive too early in the points. One lesson to learn is that early in a match you are still kind of warming up. It's good to hit several balls down the middle of the court first, even if they seem like shots you could attack. Too often, we attack these balls and hit them out and then play a very inconsistent game. Lucas and Jonathon both started that way, but then turned around and made their opponent play inconsistently. Jonathon was able to hit balls to the center of the court and make his opponent adjust to him, to make his opponent create offense when Jonathon was lacking the ability to do so. As the match went on, Jonathon made more and more balls so that by the end of the second set, he was in the rhythm to attack with big shots and coming to the net. And Lucas was able to take less risks and move his opponent rather than just hit winners. Both strategies ended up in wins.

The doubles and the JV matches went quickly. Perhaps not a lot learned, but in Joel and Braydon's match I did see a lesson to point out. It's important to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes and it is important (in doubles especially) to be ready to hit every ball. Actually, a better way to say that is that we should want to hit every ball. In doubles, we should be hoping that they will hit the next shot to us and we will be ready for it. Joel and Braydon looked like they were doing a lot of hitting and hoping. In other words, instead of readying themselves to hit another good shot, they would hit one shot and hope that the other team hit it out. Or that their partner would finish off the next ball. I'd love to see our team be a team who wants the ball to come back over and who wants to hit another ball, because hitting tennis balls is so much fun.

I also learned that God is working and present all over, in so many different people. Talking to Drew Hall, Blackhawk's #1, was awesome. So often we remember other teams for their players who treated us poorly - made bad lines calls, challenged us on some aspect of the game, or just seemed to be disrespectful. In those times I'm glad for all of you, who I love coaching because of the guys you are. But just as often, I find that our opponents teams are filled with players that we'd love hanging out with. I was reminded of that tonight. Drew seemed very excited about his season and is working toward a great goal of making All District. At the same time as we talked, he kept encouraging his teammate who was still playing. That excitement and encouragement are things that I love about our team, and I love to see them in others as well.

And finally, I learned (again) that sad clowns are creepy, but ice cream is good!

So what were the lessons today?
1. Control the point with variety.
2. Gather consistency early in the point.
3. Want to hit that next shot, because tennis is fun.
4. Be excited and encouraging, and see it in others too!
5. Sad clowns are creepy.
6. Ice cream is good.

 And I'll just leave this here:

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-2, 6-1 - Drew Hall (11)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 - Ethan Yourdon (11)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 6-3, 6-0 - Josh Carlson (11)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-0, 6-2 - Zach Kaufman (10)/Jordan Romines (11)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-0, 6-0 - Levi Mossburg (11)/Logan Foote (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 8-0 - Aaron Jentgen
#2SJV - Jackson King - 8-3 - Ben Friggins
#3SJV - Jacob Woolace - 6-2 - Aaron Jentgen
#1DJV - Caleb Shenk/Nathan Oostland - 8-1 - Bear Roberts/Ryan Neff
#2DJV - Joel Yoder/Braydon Harshberger - 6-8 - West Tanner/Brandon Marker

Area Scores

Northridge 4, NorthWood 1
1. James Dugle (NR) beat Jared Hoffman, 6-3, 6-3
2. Simon Grevengoed (NR) beat Wes Troyer, 6-1, 6-4
3. Gabe Rodino (NR) beat Landon Holland, 6-0, 6-0.
1. Luke Wogoman-Logan Corns (NR) beat Cam Stillson-Brant Mast, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (6)
2. Trevor Klotz-Jack Wysong (NW) beat Eric Firstenberger-Drew Wheatley, 7-6 (6), 6-0.

Fairfield 5, West Noble 0

Concord 3, Goshen 2
1. Will Boyer (C) beat Jacob Grewe, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
2. Alex Serwatka (C) beat Hugh Birky, 6-4, 3-6 7-6 (3)
3. Simon Myers (G) beat Nate Slabach, 6-3, 7-5.
1. Logan Troyer-Bobby Sessa (G) beat Nathan Hermon-Travis Hermon, 7-5, 7-5
2. Jake Lovette-Freddy Buckingham (C) beat Diego Torres-Nathaneal Wertz, 6-2, 6-2.

South Bend St. Joseph's 5, Elkhart Central 0
1. Thomas Pries beat Andrew Salmon, 6-1, 6-2
2. Leo Romanetz beat Michael Beveridge, 6-0, 6-0
3. Ram Fernandez beat Phillip Stutzman, 6-1, 6-0
1. Cole Matthews-Brett Loitz beat Jared Reid-Hunter Sausermun, 6-4, 6-0
2. Steve Mullaney-Andrew Sill beat Dan Frieden-Adam Moon, 6-3, 7-5.

Triton 5, Laville 0
1. Mace Eads beat Shawn Horne, 6-0, 6-0
2. Aaron Stichter beat Doug Cashen, 6-1, 6-0
3. Carter Kuntz beat Kenny Cramer, 6-0, 6-0.
1. Keygan Mosier-Chase Butler beat Jordan Karczewski-Robert Clingaman, 6-2, 6-4
2. Grant Eib-Tyler Heckaman beat Connor Carlisle-Dan Clingaman, 6-3, 6-1.

Bremen 5, Mishawaka Marian 0
1. Bryce Sterling beat Cam Rafinski, 6-0, 6-2
2. Carter Filchak beat Evan Kovatch 6-2, 7-6 (5)
3. Zach Burkholder beat Josh Bussan 6-3, 6-0.
1. Chandler Snyder-Jake Strehler beat Michael Gray-Dominik Rafinski, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0
2. Bryce Tolle-Bryce Ginter beat Michael Deranek-Kenny Klimek, 6-4, 6-3.

Fremont 5, Churubusco 0
1. Trusty d. Mey 6-2, 6-0
2. Conti d. Mullins 6-4, 6-0
3. Camp d. Downing 6-2, 6-1
1. Hilkey/Bower d. Thomas/Crotty 6-2, 6-4
2. Smith/Boggess d. Rode/Jamison 6-0, 6-2.

Chesterton 5, Merrillville 0
1. Johny Mario (C) d. Justin Jackson 6-1, 6-1
2. Matt Jewison (C) d. Keith Rochefort 6-0, 6-1
3. Blake Ellenwood (C) d. Marcus Miller 6-1, 6-2.
1. Cameron Cook-Chad Whelan (C) d. Cameron Louthan-Josh Raddatz 6-2, 6-2
2. Robert Morgia-Luke Liapes (C) d. Cameron Louthan-Josh Raddatz 6-0, 6-2.

Lowell 3, Highland 2
1. Luke Fleming (L) d. Matthew Conter 6-3, 6-0
2. Meet Patel (H) d. Hayden Ingram 7-6 (9-7), 7-5
3. Chris Peters (H) d. Tucker Malkowski 6-0, 6-1.
1. Dan Fleming-Kyle Roberts (L) d. Mason Gluth-Alex Lopez 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
2. Noah Durr-Nick Bank (L) d. Fred Kepler-Harrison Bronisz 6-3, 6-2.

Valparaiso 5, Portage 0
1. Max Behrend (V) d. Zack Gertzen 6-0, 6-0
2. Ray Kreloff (V) d. Kodie Sorenson 6-0, 6-1
3. Spencer Ross (V) d. Mikey Sobczak 7-5, 0-6, 6-4.
1. Nick Feltgen-Matt Wanek (V) d. Alex Bourge-Evan Gerkie 3-6, 6-2, 6-2;
2. Joe McMurtry-John Janesheski (V) d. Ronnie Wilkins-Bryce Kissinger 6-0, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6).

Wabash 5, Manchester 0
1. Luke Mattern def Luke Donathan 6-1, 6-3
2. Rob Ford def Spence Trick 6-0, 6-0
3. Alex Driscoll def Logan Parrett 6-2, 6-0
1. Cal Stone/Asif Khan def Heath Dierks/Parker Wagoner 6-0, 6-3
2. Matthew Stein/Ayden Kocher def Kyle Shepherd/Uria Hein 6-3, 6-3

#1 FW Leo 5, Huntington North 0
1. E. Steiner d. May 6-1, 6-1
2. Herran d. Eckert 6-2, 6-2
3. I. Steiner d. Zahn 6-0, 6-0
1. Roth/Brandenberger d. Karst/Kitchen 6-0, 6-0
2. Jakacki/McDaniel d. Eherenman/Krieger 6-0, 6-1.

#2 Homestead 5, #3 FW Carroll 0
1. Heiney d. Radke 6-4, 6-2
2. Weir d. Stoffel 6-2, 6-1
3. Castle d. Keuneke 6-1, 6-4
1. Andrews/Reinking d. VanWyngarden/Yager 7-5, 7-5
2. Milne/Graber d. Smith/Hoerr 6-4, 6-3.

#5 Concord 3, Goshen 2

#6 FW Canterbury 4, Bluffton 1
1. Kuhlenbeck (B) d. Pamidi 6-1, 7-5
2. Reddy (C) d. Ehle 6-0, 6-0
3. Patel (C) d. Ingle 6-3, 6-0
1. Gize/Lal d. Eisenhut/McClish 6-1, 6-0
2. Gnagy/Garrett (C) d. Heller/Schwartz 6-1, 6-1.

#7 Northridge 4, NorthWood 1

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Area Scores - 2016

Jimtown 3, Elkhart Central 2
1. Holden Price (J) def. Andrew Salmon,  2–6, 7–5, 6–1
2. Ben Clarke (J) def. Michael Beveridge, 6–3, 6–4
3. Austin Pearison (J) def. Philip Stutzman, 6–2, 6–2
1. Hunter Sauserman/Jared Reid (C) def. Connor Corl/Andrew Emeigh, 6–4, 6–2
2. Dane Frieden/Adam Moon (C) def. Matt DeCloedt/Bill Pawlak, 6–2, 3–6, 6–4

South Bend St. Joseph's 4, Goshen 1
1. Thomas Pries (SJ) def. Jacob Grewe 6-2, 6-0. 
2. Leo Romanetz (SJ) def. Hugh Birky 6-1, 6-4. 
3. Ram Fernandez (SJ) def. Simon Myers 6-0, 6-2.
1. Logan Troyer/Bobby Sessa (G) def. Cole Mathews/Brett Loitz 6-4, 6-4. 
2. Andrew Still/Steve Mullaney (SJ) def. Diego Torres/Nathanael Wertz 6-1, 6-2.

Fairfield 4, Angola 1
1. Joel Mast (F) def. Jake Honer 6-3, 6-1. 
2. Clayton Bender (F) def. Jaxon Davis 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. 
3. Isaac Miller (F) def. Jordan Wells 6-2, 6-2.
1. Spencer Griffiths/Eric Nofziger (A) def. Jesse Grimm/Dylan Kaufman 6-2, 6-3. 
2. Joel Kropf/Aaron Streit (F) def. Elijah Wyatt/Luke Hottel 6-3, 6-1.

NorthWood 3, Westview 2
1. Jared Hoffman (N) def. Kurtis Davis 7-5, 6-3.
2. Wes Troyer (N) def. Austin Hostetler 6-2, 0-6, 6-1.
3. Ryan Barker (W) def. Landon Holland 6-0, 6-1.
1. Jeryl Weaver/Trey Zabona (W) def. Cam Stillson/Brant Mass 6-1, 7-5.
2. Trevor Klotz/Jack Wysong (N) def. Peyton Schrock/Brandon Eash 6-1, 6-0.

Blackhawk Christian 5, FW South Side 0
1. Drew Hall won 6-0, 6-0
2. Ethan Yourdon won 6-1, 6-0
3. Josh Carlson won 6-0, 6-2
1. Jordan Kauffman/Zach Romines won 6-0, 6-0
2. Blackhawk won by forfeit

Bremen 5, Triton 0

Western 4, Lebanon 1
1. Pranav Haran won
2. Tate Lockwood lost
3. Berkely Seekri won
1. John Sullivan/Chad Gifford won
2. Ashton Guyer/Mason Anderson won

Taylor 3, Delphi 2
1. Bailey Owens won
2. Wynn Takacs won
3. Peyton Tracy won
1. Taylor lost
2. Taylor lost

Wabash 5, Elwood 0
1. Luke Mattern won 6-2, 6-2
2. Rob Ford won 6-1, 7-5
3. Alex Driscoll won 6-0, 6-0
1. Cal Stone/Asif Khan won 6-1, 6-1
2. Matthew Stein/Ayden Kocher won 7-5, 4-6, 7-5

#4 Fairfield 4, #8 Angola 1

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Big Words from NorthWood


Friday night's match against NorthWood was an interesting one, and a lot of that came because NorthWood is an interesting team. They are a young varsity, with three freshman and only one senior, and they are an "old" JV, with 12 upperclassmen among their 16 JV players. 

Probably the least interesting part of the match was the varsity result. We played fairly well at 3 positions, and in about an hour we had won the varsity match by building a lead of 3-0. Byeong had played one of his best matches of the season, and was able to bring home a quick victory. Brandon and Simon wrapped up quickly as well playing composed and confident tennis. And Lane and Dustin, playing against a strong #2D team, were able to wrap things up in two sets this time :-) They also did this just in time, as the rain starting falling while they were wrapping up the final game of the second set.

But it was the rest of the match that proved to be intriguing. In the JV match, we pretty much either won matches easily or lost them easily. The exception to that rule was Caleb Shenk (and Jackson). Caleb actually played to tiebreak matches on the day. But other than that, we either won big or lost big. 

And the scores didn't always reflect the way we played. I thought Joel Yoder had one of the best matches of his career. He moved around the court well, he served well, he was consistent with his forehand. Still, he couldn't close the gap of his match and lost 2-8. Nathan Oostland and Jacob Woolace played an awesome match, and they too couldn't seem to find ways to close out points and games. And that could be said of many others in the JV match.

In the varsity match, Jonathon has really started to play some good points. He traded games back and forth with his lefty opponent throughout the night, but couldn't seem to find the finishing touches. He had great points from the net, putting pressure on the Panther singles player. He lost a close match, 4-6, 5-7. 

And the strangest match of all, #3 singles. Lucas played poorly out of the gate in the match, going down 2-5 early. After fighting back to 4-5, he lost a game that probably took 10-15 minutes to play and also set the tone for the rest of the match. Feeling under pressure, Landon Holland took to a strategy that he was comfortable with and played well, but that strategy was hitting moonballs. That means if he ever felt like he was in trouble in a point, he would hit a skyward lob that would usually force Lucas back toward the fence. It is a style that minimizes errors and puts pressure on your opponent to make shots and be aggressive. 

Lucas tried, but ended up falling in the last game of the set. After a quick lost game to open the second set, Lucas fell into a rhythm that would prove to last the rest of the match. Taking his time, Lucas lobbed or hit safe balls back when he was lobbed and played more aggressively when he could. Lucas still some errors, but he began to force some from Holland as well. It was a fun match to watch, with long intense points and lots of cheering. Lucas stayed very well composed and took the 3 set victory. But the match took over three hours, ending at 7:56 PM.

Then we watched Caleb wrap up his second tiebreak of the night. His opponent was similarly a challenge because a quirky style of play where he hit topspin forehands but only hit slice for his backhand. Caleb struggled to close out the match in regulation, but won the tiebreak 7-1.

At the end of the day, my thought was that this match was equitable. It was fair. Those of us who have worked hard in the offseason and are bringing a focus to practice, we played well and competed today. Those of us who have been up and down with focus, we were up and down during this match. 

So, we want to continue to work in practice. We want to continue to focus. We want to continue to improve. So that when we play again, it will be equitable, and we will play with the good form, good strategy and good confidence that we continue to earn.

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-0 - Jared Hoffman (11)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 4-6, 5-7 - Wes Troyer (9)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 - Landon Holland (9)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-2, 6-1 - Cam Stillson (12)/Brant Mast (11)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 6-3, 6-4 - Trevor Klotz (11)/Jack Wysong (9)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 8-3 - Gerd Matamoros (11)
#2SJV - Liam Bradford - 8-2 - Nick Shenk (12)
#3SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 1-8 - Tanner DeMien (11)
#4SJV - Joel Yoder - 2-8 - Chase Horner (9)
#5SJV - Philip Krabill - 1-8 - Dawson Bley (10)
#6SJV - Caleb Shenk - 9-8 (1) - Jacob Mestach (11)
#1DJV - Jackson King/Caleb Shenk - 8-9 (5) - Breyden Stankovich (12)/Trajan Schwartz (10)
#2DJV - Jacob Woolace/Nathan Oostland - 1-8 - Taylor Miller (12)/Grant Topping (10)
#3DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Jonah Farran - 1-8 - Jacob Stonger (11)/Chandler Gillam (12)
#4DJV - Daniel Robles/Angel Torres - 1-8 - Brennan Yoder (12)/Stonewall Craft (12)
#5DJV - Jacob Woolace/Chris Craw - 8-1 - Tyler Hahn (11)/Matt Checkley (12)