Wednesday, September 12, 2012
#12 - Old and New
In an attempt to actually play our allotted 22 matches this season, we scheduled the Blackhawk Christian Braves as they were one of the few teams around who had an opening on their schedule and were willing to play another match. By this time in the season, most teams are focused on their conference races and upcoming tournaments. So we made the hour and a half drive down to Kreager Park in Fort Wayne.
After a quick warmup, some old patterns held true. For the 8th straight match in a row, Nathan Brendle won a 6-0 set. This is absolutely incredible, for those of you who don't follow a lot of tennis. And while their have been weaker opponents in this stretch, it also includes traditional rivals like Fremont, Jimtown, Triton, and NorthWood. Nathan is having an outstanding season. I love to see him play relaxed and so, so well.
In new news, our lover of the close match, Ike Lehman, seemed to decide that he'd take the short route in this one. He got up 5-0, confidently attacking the match. With too much of a lead for his liking, he became tentative and stopped attacking, allowing Hoover to find his stroke and tighten up the match at 5-4. After a long game to take the first set, Ike loosened up and hit out and finished off the match rather quickly.
In #1 doubles, the old team would have trouble facing the serve of our opponents and then get nervous on our own serve. In this match, we confidently held our own serve while seeking to find ways to get that break of our opponents. In the first set, Parth and Himal couldn't find the break. But they performed well under pressure, taking a close tiebreak on a double fault by the Braves. Growing in confidence with the set under their belt, the Bruin team took 2 breaks of serve in the second set, attacking returns and poaching at the net on them. The second set breezed by faster and another win was added to their victory column.
While #1 doubles grew in aggression as the match proceeded, #2 doubles did a bit of the opposite. In the first set, they cruised to a 6-1 win, rarely losing points on serve and actually doing a lot of watching the Braves make mistakes. In the second set, the Braves stopped making mistakes and we weren't sure how to finish off the points. But we were enough better than the other, younger team to win the close second set.
And then their was Abe's match, which hearkened back to his very first match playing #3 singles, when he went into a third set tiebreak with Concord. Tonight, Abe went the distance again, all the way to a third set tiebreak as his teammates anxiously awaited our departure to the Magic Wand. His opponent tonight, Chase Ramsey, was a brilliant combination of a pusher and a passer. Ramsey literally pushed the ball like a volley on every groundstroke until Abe took the net, then he would switch tactics and fire a passing shot low over the net. All night, Abe had to wait patiently for the right approach shot, then make a good finishing shot. Ramsey had great anticipation and speed, which made the whole adventure much more difficult.
The third set went back and forth and when Abe took a 4-3 lead, I thought he'd finish off the match. Then it got tied, then Abe went up 5-4 and I thought it was over, but no. Then a 6-5 lead, but no finish. In the end, Abe actually dominated the tiebreak. He had the right shots at the right times. And that is an excellent new pattern for this varsity. We seem to be coming through with the right shots in the right times.
The JV finally got an easy win tonight. Some of the matches were close, but for the most part, we took care of business. Sol is playing excellent as of late and pushing for a varsity spot in reality. He cleaned up his 8th JV win of the season, and will be moving up very high on the JV all-time win list if he keeps up his pace. Tristan Clark has gotten so much better the last few weeks, especially as he concentrates on his footwork. Really, the more our team is doing that the more we look like we're ready to play varsity next year. I was also really proud of the way that Justin finished off a close match, a match where he trailed 5-4 before reeling off the last 4 games with, again, aggressive tennis.
We ended this night with the Magic Wand. Nothing like a Magic Burger with the creepy clowns to make a team happy. Good job Bruins!
#1S - Nathan Brendle - 6-0, 6-1 - Jake Fiedler (11)
#2S - Ike Lehman - 6-4, 6-1 - Jeremy Hoover (10)
#3S - Abe Thorne - 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) - Chase Ramsey (11)
#1D - Himal King/Parth Patel - 7-6 (5), 6-2 - Ben Bailey (10)/Conler Brandenberger (11)
#2D - Joel Gerig/Hans Miller - 6-1, 7-5 - Jared Fiedler (9)/Triston Mills (10)
#1SJV - Sol Brenneman - 8-0 - Nick Berry (11)
#2SJV - Tristan Clark - 8-2 - Ryan Overbeck (9)
#3SJV - Justin Zehr - 8-5 - Adam Smith (9)
#1DJV - Wade Troyer/Landon Weldy - 8-2 - Adam Smith (9)/Ross Norton (9)
#2DJV - Neel Bhagat/Ethan Lapp - 8-4 - Bailey Brouwer (9)/Joseph Angelo (9)