Saturday, September 1, 2012

#09 - Meeting This Challenge

From the beginning of the season, this is a match that I've looked to as a good measurement of how we're doing this season. Triton returned 4 players with significant varsity experience, as well as a JV that defeated us pretty soundly last year. We also return 4, but only 2 of those had even won their matches against Triton last year. This match looked to tell us whether this season was headed in the right direction, or, well, not.

The varsity match didn't start out too well. Nathan lost his first game (slow feet), then Abe lost his first game (slow feet), then Hans and Joel, then Parth and Himal and finally Ike lost his first as well. It was not a good start, and it all stemmed from slow feet (not tennis movements). I was actually really mad, because at practice all week my one point of emphasis has been our movement... but it was early so I tried to relax.

And a couple of matches helped me relax. Once Nathan and Abe found a rhythm, they because really difficult to beat. Many things about their games looked good. Abe's serve really seemed to have a good feel to it. Nathan's forehands looked on the ball. Abe continued to volley well and play a strategy that put him in the best position to win. Both of them opened up big leads in the first set, then continued to coast through the second. We had two wins where we played well, and the match didn't even get tight.

But we had a loss like that too. The #1 doubles match pitted Himal and Parth against a tough challenge. They were definitely going to have to raise their games if they wanted to keep pace with Trojan seniors Jeff Ross and Pete Kauffman. But they did a good job. In each set they brought energy, and in the second set, they stepped up and met the challenge. Holding serves, they kept the match really close and were playing right along with a great doubles pair. But then, Ross and Kauffman played 2 unbelievable games to open up the set, and Parth and Himal couldn't get it back. Still, the serves and the movement looked up to the challenge today.

With those 3 matches done, we needed one more for the varsity win. Both #2 doubles and Ike at #2 singles had won tight first sets, Ike actually winning a tiebreak. But it was #2 doubles who provided the next chance at drama. Leading 5-4, Hans and Joel had an opportunity to end the match with one match point against Triton's serve. They lost the point as a lob floated just out of both of their reaches. Then they went down 6-5 before bringing it back to a tiebreak.

In the tiebreak, Joel and Hans were able to a 5-3 lead. They did a great job continuing to attack and relax throughout the tiebreak, with a couple of points ending on overheads and volleys. With Hans serving at 6-5, Joel was able to poke a volley just out of the reach of the Trojans. The ball went into the net and we had won.

Meanwhile, Ike fell way down in his match. The second set started with Ike losing the first 5 games. Soon we were in a third set. But Ike has learned, one way to meet a challenge is with strategy. Going back to an earlier strategy, Ike found his placement once again and attacked with placement and pace. Instead of just pounding balls down the middle, he worked the points. Soon, Howdeshell, the Triton junior, began to make mistakes. Ike kept up the pressure, and closed out a 3 hour, 3 set win with a 6-3 final set.

The varsity met the challenge. A good team, playing well, taking us into pressure situations. In those situations, we picked up our game and faced those challenges.

Notes & Stats
Notes, stats, and JV report coming soon!

#1S - Nathan Brendle - 6-1, 6-0 - Lucas Shafer (11)
#2S - Ike Lehman - 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-3 - Dean Howdeshell (11)
#3S - Abe Thorne - 6-2, 6-1 - Jared Fisher (10)
#1D - Himal King/Parth Patel - 2-6, 2-6 - Jeff Ross (12)/Pete Kauffman (12)
#2D - Joel Gerig/Hans Miller - 6-4, 7-6 (5) - Darren Harrell (11)/Jake Oldham (11)

#1SJV - Sol Brenneman - 8-1 - Gavin Eads (9)
#2SJV - Tristan Clark - 8-1 - Dalton Bailey (9)
#3SJV - Ethan Lapp - 6-0 - Gavin Eads (9)
#4SJV - Delan Schrock - 1-6 - Dalton Bailey (9)
#1DJV - Wade Troyer/Landon Weldy - 4-8 - Alex Eib (10)/Austin Sellers (10)
#2DJV - Justin Zehr/Neel Bhagat - 8-2 - Spencer Glingle/Seth Glingle
#3DJV - Noah Hochstetler/Roberto Ramous - 8-4 - Austin Wagers (9)/Quinn Hulbert (9)
#4DJV - Jacob Rudy-Froese/Jack Erlacher - 6-0 - Alex Eib (10)/Austin Sellers (10)

1 comment:

  1. Howdeshell played a long JV match 2 years ago, I think.


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