Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Story of Sectional: Round 1

With the constant drizzle all day, the pouring rain in the morning, and the threatening radar, it didn't look like we'd play the first round of Sectional at all. If the Sectional tournament makes people nervous, the threat of rain was doing that for us anyway. But in one of the craziest weather patterns I've seen, the black storms encircled us, but they didn't strike.

And we had enough time to get the win.

We won all the singles positions convincingly, despite some hiccups at the beginning. Blake and Nathan both gave up the first game of the first set before really taking control. Blake took control to the tune of 12 straight games after the first lack of concentration game. Nathan had a little bit more difficulty with his consistent opponent, but still took a 6-3, 6-2 victory. Ike Lehman looked fairly comfortable at #3 singles as well. He had some long games where his opponent was able to keep the ball in the court, but the final score reflected Ike's experience and talent. With the 3 singles wins, we had won the match.

The two doubles matches were left on the court. In both we had lost the first set 6-3. In both, we began to really focus and play our aggressive games in the second set. In both, we were able to open up second set leads. #2 doubles, Parth and Jesse, were able to start breaking some bad patterns from the season. Traditionally, they fight to 2-3 but then lose the next four games to go down 2-6. Last night, however, they broke the pattern and got a game. Then, they broke a pattern of losing in two sets, by coming back to win the second set 6-3.

At #1 doubles, Abe and Evan began to play with aggression, smarts, and a little luck. But they kept winning the big points. They pulled ahead with a 3-0 lead in the match, and continued to look good. However, some mental lapses and poor serving allowed NorthWood to even the match. After the roaring comeback to start the set, Abe and Evan began to look a bit flustered. They stayed alive to tie the set at 5-5, but couldn't sustain the good plays, losing 5-7 in the second.

Both teams had good fight, good desire, and that's a great place to start. For #2 doubles, they didn't get to finish as the rain fell on them at the start of the 3rd set.

But I feel the storm metaphor works well for us. We've fought dark clouds all season. We've fought some injuries, some bad (and rainy) circumstances, some difficult lineup decisions, some mental battles to stay positive and to start fresh each point. But we've battled, as Nathan Brendle loves. And the storms, well, they've never struck. But we love to play under the clouds.

- Numbers 10:34

The Scores
#1S - Nathan Brendle - 6-3, 6-2 - Brennan Angle (11)
#2S - Blake Shetler - 6-1, 6-0 - Mitchell Keiser (10)
#3S - Ike Lehman - 6-2, 6-1 - Quinn Stillson (9)
#1D - Evan Grimes/Abe Thorne - 3-6, 5-7 - Jayson Linhart (12)/Ben Zercher (12)
#2D - Jesse Amstutz/Parth Patel - 3-6, 6-3, 2-2 - Shawn Stahley (12)/Austin Sanders (10)

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