Wednesday, September 26, 2012

#19 - The Regular Season's End

The last Monday of the regular season, we traditionally host the Cadets of The Howe School. This year, we were planning on the same. But in the morning, things got turned around and we were headed to Howe for the first time to play. We'd been warned of horrible courts with gaping cracks, with weeds growing as high as your knees. But, nonetheless, we headed out to our last regular season match.

When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised. The courts were beautiful! And there were 6, which meant that the match might move even faster than we'd originally expected. And certainly, as the matches started, it looked like they'd move quickly.

At #1 singles, #3 singles, and #1 doubles, the Bruins were breezing through the first sets without losing points (for the most part). Sol and Justin simply had too good of groundstrokes for their opponents, and Landon and Wade were taking care of their opponents from the net. At #2 singles, Tristan lost the first game but recovered to win the next 2. And #2 doubles were up 4-1. It looked like a good, quick win for us.

And the success, continued right on through the match for #1, #3, and #1 doubles. Without losing a game, those 3 positions were done in about 40 minutes. Their opponents were gracious in defeat, with a great deal of laughing and volunteering to play again going on. But in very little time, we had sealed the varsity win, #13 on the season for us.

But two varsity matches were still going. Tristan, looking half asleep, had lost the first set 6-4. And #2 doubles, Neel Bhagat and Ethan Lapp, were ahead in the second set after winning the first. Tristan's opponent was causing him all sorts of trouble. He was hitting the ball back every single time and just waiting for Tristan to make an error. At times, he would hit beautiful lobs over Tristan's head as Tristan tried to attack the net. Like often happens when we play this type of opponent, Tristan was getting frustrated. So like the beginning of the season, we talked about the necessity of letting bad shots go and instead getting excited about good ones. Trailing 2-5 in the second set, Tristan began little fist pumps. No shouts of joy, no screamed "C'mon," just a little energy. His feet began to pick up, his shots began to gain pace and placement, and suddenly he was playing great and his opponent could not stay in the match. Tristan won 10 of the next 11 games to close out a third set win.

Unfortunately it was not that easy for the #2 doubles team. They got very nervous and pushed the ball all the way through their second set tiebreak. In the third set, they were still nervous, but were playing well enough to stay close in the set. Trailing 4-3, I let them know that the key to winning tight matches is to continue to stay loose and aggressive. So hit through the ball. That is what they did, and in the next 3 games they only lost 4 points total. That gave them a close third set win, and the team a 5-0 victory.

In JV, Noah Hochstetler and Jack Erlacher both took home 8-0 victories. Roberto Ramos also captured a singles victory in his first singles match of the season. Paul Krabill got his first win of the year as he took on a chattering doubles combo from Howe with senior Wade Troyer. This gave Paul one more win in his freshman year than Wade got :-) We had a delicious meal, and then headed home, with the JV and the regular season complete.

#1S - Sol Brenneman - 6-0, 6-0
#2S - Tristan Clark - 4-6, 7-5, 6-2
#3S - Justin Zehr - 6-0, 6-0
#1D - Wade Troyer/Landon Weldy - 6-0, 6-0
#2D - Neel Bhagat/Ethan Lapp - 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4

#1SJV - Noah Hochstetler - 8-0
#2SJV - Jack Erlacher - 8-0
#3SJV - Roberto Ramos - 8-6
#1DJV - Delan Schrock/Jacob Rudy-Froese - 1-8
#2DJV - Wade Troyer/Paul Krabill - 8-4

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