Wednesday, August 15, 2012

#01 - When Games Get Tight

"I know the score looks bad, but, like, we went to deuce in every game."

Nobody said this to me last night, but it is a common phrase that I hear from tennis players at every level. They tend to mean that they were just as good as their opponent, but they got unlucky to lose as badly as they did. I rarely ever say this to them, but it's not luck that makes you lose when you are going to deuce all the time. No, it's how you play during pressure points.

Last night, we didn't play the pressure points well, as a JV or a Varsity. Consequently, a match which lasted a long time and had a lot of competitive tennis played, ended up looking like a complete blowout. And it happened all the way up and down the lineup.

At #1 singles, Nate Brendle got broke once in the first set and lost that set, a set where neither player played particularly well. Then in the second set, Nate went down 3-0. This allowed him to loosen up, with the pressure off a bit because he was already losing, and he played unbelievable tennis to take the lead 4-3. But after a tight game to tie the match at 4-4, Nate seemed tight again. He couldn't continue the rally and lost, 6-4.

At #3 singles, playing his first full varsity match, Sol Brenneman stayed close in almost every game played. But when it got to deuce, his senior opponent Jed Miller often attacked with deep groundstrokes, and Sol was in tight and defensive situations. The result was a lopsided looking 6-1, 6-0 defeat.

At #2 doubles, Parth Patel and Himal King, had a typical first match beginning, looking a little nervous and not playing with a lot of energy. But in the second set, they began to jump around, communicate, and play really good doubles. They got a  5-4 lead on the Raiders, but couldn't finish out the set because they got a little tight. On one set point, they pushed a ball, which the Raider net player slammed to deny the Bruins the set. On another set point in the tiebreak, Parth became a bit tight in his serving, and unfortunately double faulted.

The JV story was often the same, Landon, Tristan, Justin all pulled close in their matches, only to get a little nervous and begin to make more tight mistakes.

The lesson of the match? Play like Joel and Hans. They said they didn't take their match too seriously, just had fun, and that allowed them to stay loose. And that's the important thing, no matter who you are playing or what point in the match... you've got to swing and move and play the way that you we want to. Smart. Aggressive. Confident.

Always smart, focused, with all your energy, even when games get tight.

Notes & Stats
- Joel Gerig and Hans Miller were our only winners last night. Hans had most JV victories last year for the team, and Joel leads in overall JV victories for the team.
- Wade Troyer unfortunately found himself on the losing end of a 6-0, 6-0 match to Josh Garfein. Last year, Garfein defeated Jesse Amstutz 6-0, 6-0.
- Jack Erlacher and Paul Krabill started out on the right foot today, winning their first game together in an official match.
- Also, Jack and Paul played against a former teammate. Their opponent Aadarsh Patel had attended Bethany for 6th and 7th grade.
- We've started the season off with another tiebreak. Last year we played a record number, hopefully this year we win a record number!

#1S - Nate Brendle - 3-6, 4-6 - Chris Robbins (12)
#2S - Wade Troyer - 0-6, 0-6 - Josh Garfein (11)
#3S - Sol Brenneman - 1-6, 0-6 - Jed Miller (12)
#1D - Ike Lehman/Abe Thorne - 3-6, 2-6 - Andrew Gingerich (12)/Byron Slabach (12)
#2D - Himal King/Parth Patel - 2-6, 6-7 (6) - Erik Beck (12)/Michael Eash (12)

#1SJV - Landon Weldy - 4-8 - Landon Arnold (10)
#2SJV - Tristan Clark - 3-8 - Ted Field (10)
#3SJV - Justin Zehr - 2-8 - Austen Schmidt (9)
#1DJV - Joel Gerig/Hans Miller - 8-3 - Clay Schnell (11)/Sam Hoover (10)
#2DJV - Roberto Ramos/Noah Hochstetler - 3-8 - Chase Miller (10)/Jate Cross (9)
#3DJV - Jack Erlacher/Paul Krabill - 2-8 - Aadarsh Patel (9)/Austin Melvin (9)

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