Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chapter 2 - vs. Northridge

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same
from "If" by Rudyard Kipling

Hugs and head taps awaiting Jesse Amstutz as he strode through the gate victorious. People gathered around, smiled, asked him if he thought the he had aced his opponent on the final point. Then the group turned to watch junior Jacob Rudy-Froese complete his match at #6 singles JV, cheering for him to "finagle" a way to win some points. 

The backdrop of this is that the team has just pulled off only the second win over the Northridge Raider tennis program in its 21 year history. In fact, the only other came in dramatic fashion in 2010. If you check the records against other schools, you'll see that we're now 2-10 against Northridge. So it's a big deal right.

It started off quickly for us, in a good way. Joel Gerig and Hans Miller jumped up to a good lead in #1 doubles, playing aggressive and with quick hands. Parth Patel and Landon Weldy lost their first game, but then got out to a 3-1 lead in their first set. These leads were precursors to the rest of the match. Both teams were able to hold their advantages throughout the match and come out with wins.

And at the two other varsity positions, Abe Thorne and Sol Brenneman could not get over the hump in their matches. Abe was being swept back and forth, Sol couldn't find consistency on his shots. In the second sets, Abe and Sol picked up their play, changed their strategy but still couldn't pull it out.

Which left Jesse. He again came back from a first set deficit, being down 4-5 and pulled out the 7-5 set win. After that, we went up 5-0 in the second. I fielded lots of compliments in the crowd for Jesse during this time where he controlled play. At 5-0, Jesse had several match points in a game that lasted nearly 20 minutes. But he lost, and then lost 2 more to be at 5-3. But dominating his serve, his opponent's last shot fell into the net. And we had won!

And we all went nuts! And we all went crazy, hollering and yelling! But we didn't. We turned and watched our other brothers, finishing their JV matches. Some were done, but some were fighting out wins right until the end. Lane Miller and Neel Bhagat had to pull their match out late. They won 9-7. As did Justin Zehr. In the top 5 JV matches, the Bruins won 4 of them.

Standing around, eating my Subway sandwich, I watched the guys joking and laughing and cheering for each other. And I thought of the quote from Rudyard Kipling's poem, a quote that hangs above the doors where players enter Wimbledon's Centre Court: 

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
And treat those two impostors just the same.

That's what the team was doing. The triumph was nice, but the blessing is in the brotherhood. When we understand this, well, Kipling ends his poem like this:

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Sounds a lot like our Beatitudes, does it not? For now, we are meeting triumph. We are meeting it together. 
#1S - Abe Thorne - 2-6, 2-6 - Josh Garfein (12)
#2S - Jesse Amstutz - 7-5, 6-3 - Clay Schnell (12)
#3S - Sol Brenneman - 2-6, 4-6 - Ted Field (11)
#1D - Joel Gerig/Hans Miller - 6-2, 6-1 - Sam Hoover (11)/Landon Arnold (11)
#2D - Parth Patel/Landon Weldy - 6-3, 6-3 - Austen Schmidt (10)/Aadarsh Patel (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Byeong Min Lim - 8-0 - James Dugle (9)
#2SJV - Ethan Lapp - 8-3 - Andy Kauffman (9)
#3SJV - Justin Zehr - 9-8 (4) - Aman Patel (9)
#4SJV - Jackson King - 6-8 - James Dugle (9)
#5SJV - Roberto Ramos - 3-8 - Andy Kauffman (9)
#6SJV - Jacob Rudy-Froese - 3-8 - Aman Patel (9)
#1DJV - Ryan Duckworth/Simon Hurst - 0-8 - Aaron Gingerich (10)/Austin Melvin (10)
#2DJV - Neel Bhagat/Lane Miller - 9-7 - Nick Kieper (9)/Luke Wogoman (9)
#3DJV - Jack Erlacher/Bryce Miller - 8-4 - Aaron Gingerich (10)/Austin Melvin (10)
#4DJV - Matthew Peters/Brandon Nguyen - 4-6 - Nick Kieper (9)/Luke Wogoman (9)

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