Friday, September 2, 2011
The Story at Triton: Match #10
The Lead: "Happy Birthday!"
It's my birthday (I turn 31 today in case you are interested). But I got a nice present. After having excruciating 3-2 matches go against us at Fremont and versus Columbia City, today the guys pulled one out for me.
Or maybe it was for Abe, since it's his b-day too!
Anyways, despite the 3-2 scoreline, this match was not as down-to-the-wire as the other 3-2 matches we lost. Nathan Brendle played really well today, causing Jeff Ross to hit from out of position all match long. He quickly got out to a 5-0 lead in the first set and never really looked back, only having to regroup through a little serving rough patch in the second set.
Blake Shetler had a close match, but it was one that he seemed in control of for the whole time. Against Pete Kauffman, a player who had beaten us last year, Blake controlled most of the points from the baseline. When presented the opportunity, he was able to attack Kauffman. The constant pressure and consistency ended up taking its toll, and Blake sealed a close first set at 6-4, and then got out to a good start to the second as well. From there, he finished the deal.
Ike Lehman wasn't feeling well today at all. After being sick all week, he braved out the match today. But his scheduled opponent, Lucas Shafer, couldn't make the match at all because of an injury. His replacement was Dean Howdeshell, and Ike continued to attack and attack despite his illness and lack of energy. The first set was quick, but as Ike lost energy, the second set got closer. But Ike sealed the deal without a third set this time.
We took losses at both double positions, but played well. More on that later. JV guys played quite well too, which I'll also post more on later. For now, it was really good to win a close one. We're now 6-4, winning record, with 2 great matches coming next week. Let's go, Bruins!
The Hidden Narrative
No doubt that the story most people will miss in just looking at the scores is how well #2 doubles played today. For the first time since they began playing together, Parth and Jesse looked like a team. They found their strengths and worked them into the points.
And it showed in the scores as well. Triton's #2 doubles is 2 seniors who have both had varsity experience in the past several years. They have had good results throughout the season, only losing twice so far. And Parth and Jesse hung right with them the whole time.
I was struck by how confident we played throughout the match. Even when we'd miss a shot, we'd bounce back and be ready for the next point. Tons of these games went many deuces. And so many times, we'd come back after a bad point and put it to deuce again. Or we'd have the advantage, lose, but then get the advantage right back again. The mental part of the match impressed me quite a bit from a freshman and a sophomore!
- This is the second opponent Nathan Brendle has played that he knew well. Both of those matches have been ones where he played really well.
- Our singles are leading the way as far as individual records go. Blake is 7-3, and Nathan is also 7-3.
- For the JV, Sol Brenneman pulled back ahead in the wins race. He has 6 wins this season.
- Ike joined the race for top clincher of the season, winning our third point tonight for the varsity. He has clinched 2 matches now, as have Blake and Nathan.
- More tiebreaks! Parth and Jesse dropped a breaker in the first set at #2 doubles, but Tristan Clark pulled one out for the JV.
- Speaking of Tristan Clark, his tiebreak win sealed a tie for the JV. If he'd have lost, the JV would have lost the match as well.
- On the JV, we had 2 debut matches this afternoon. Himal King played his first match coming back from a bad ankle injury, and Delan Schrock played his first match after joining the team a couple weeks into the season. Unfortunately, both lost.
- Despite the rumors, Abe Thorne did not turn 13 today. He's a bit older than that.
- Ike Lehman is excelling in playing close matches. In his 7 singles matches, he has had 7 sets end at 6-4 or closer.
- Ryan Duckworth and Joel Gerig had a streaky match today. Took a 4-1 lead, fell down 6-4, then won 4 straight to win 8-6!
- Despite playing players who were higher up in the lineup than they, Colin Samuel and Delan Schrock grabbed the first game they played together. So did Luke Schrock and Roberto Ramos, who were playing the #1 and #2 JV players for Triton!
#1S - Nathan Brendle - 6-1, 6-3 - Jeff Ross (11)
#2S - Blake Shetler - 6-4, 6-3 - Pete Kauffman (10)
#3S - Ike Lehman - 6-2, 7-5 - Dean Howdeshell (10)
#1D - Evan Grimes/Abe Thorne - 3-6, 1-6 - Austin Kanarr (12)/Josh Shafer (12)
#2D - Jesse Amstutz/Parth Patel - 6-7 (2), 3-6 - Wil Rettinger (12)/Jackson Downing (12)
#1SJV - Hans Miller - 4-8 - Jared Fisher (9)
#2SJV - Sol Brenneman - 8-6 - Alex Eib (9)
#3SJV - Landon Weldy - 8-2 - Chase Eyrich (9)
#4SJV - Tristan Clark - 8-7 (4) - Dylan Holbrook (9)
#1DJV - Himal King/Wade Troyer - 6-8 - Darren Harrell (10)/Jake Oldham (10)
#2DJV - Joel Gerig/Ryan Duckworth - 8-6 - Austin Sellers (9)/Spencer Glingle (9)
#3DJV - Luke Schrock/Roberto Ramos - 2-6 - Jared Fisher (9)/Alex Eib (9)
#4DJV - Colin Samuel/Delan Schrock - 1-6 - Austin Sellers (9)/Spencer Glingle (9)