Friday, August 23, 2013

Chapter 3 - vs. Goshen

The court itself is longest corner-to-corner,
So that a crosscourt stroke is the most secure,
And that should be your plan, the plan you need
For winning . . .
from "Strategy" by Robert Pinsky

"Play Abraham Thorne tennis."

That was my advice for my number one singles player tonight. It was similar to the advice that was given to our number two, except change the name to Jesse Amstutz. Or to our three, and make it Sol Brenneman. Tonight was an exercise in finding out who we were strategically, and how we could bring that to the court.

Abe brought it, flush with energy tonight. He played with consistency and power, pounding the ball into deep corners and finally looking like the number one player we thought he could be. His serve, while still impressive, didn't have to be the key to the match as his groundstrokes and mid-court game took center stage. His mental approach also allowed him to be in control.

And speaking of mental approach, is there anyone who is mastering that like Jesse Amstutz? Again dropping a first set, Jesse rallied back into form to take the second set in a close fashion, before storming out to a big lead in the third and finishing it off with a killer volley. I'm more and more impressed by Jesse's ability to fight out of holes and especially his tenacity in outlasting his opponents. He reminds me of Joel King or Luke Hostetter in his refusal to give up and just keep playing. And those are high compliments if you remember those players.

Not giving up was the important lesson for Sol Brenneman as well. After losing the first set, he quickly began better play in the second set. The most important aspect of this match was Sol learning to use what he does well, his athleticism and his control. Wins will come.

And it has to be said that our doubles teams are playing like great doubles teams. They attack, they cover one another. Joel Gerig was flying across the court tonight, making up for a match that he lost to Goshen last year perhaps. He had numerous points where he refused to quit and stole victory from the jaws of defeat. He and Hans have started in such a good rhythm, lets hope it goes on and on.

But one of my favorite parts of the match actually came before the match, when Parth Patel and Landon Weldy were warming up and discussing their strategy. Encouraging each other on what they need to do better. Making a plan.

I didn't get to see the JV matches tonight, but one thing I see about this varsity is their ability to figure things out. To prepare a strategy, finagle it a little bit, and then execute what works during the course of the match. Serve and volleys from the doubles players, high altitude groundstrokes in singles, or a change to chip and charge. We're managing things well. We're playing to our advantages.

So I'll end this post with a poem on the strategies of tennis, ones that I hope to continue to see us master.

"Strategy" by Robert Pinsky

Hit to the weakness. All things being equal,
Hit crosscourt rather than down the line, because
If you hit crosscourt back to him, then he
Can only hit back toward you (crosscourt)
Or parallel to you (down the line) but never
Away from you, the way that you can hit
Away from him if he hits down the line.
Besides, the net is lowest in the middle,
The court itself is longest corner-to-corner,
So that a crosscourt stroke is the most secure,
And that should be your plan, the plan you need
For winning . . .
#1S - Abraham Thorne - 6-4, 6-4 - Hudson Kay (10)
#2S - Jesse Amstutz - 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 - Austin Stutzman (12)
#3S - Sol Brenneman - 2-6, 6-7 (6) - Luke Rush (10)
#1D - Joel Gerig/Hans Miller - 6-2, 6-2 - Derick Hostetler (12)/Peter Vukovich (11)
#2D - Parth Patel/Landon Weldy - 6-2, 6-2 - Zach Ganger (11)/Andrew Vetter (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Byeong Min Lim - 8-2 - Zach Troyer (11)
#2SJV - Ethan Lapp - 6-8 - Logan Troyer (9)
#3SJV - Justin Zehr - 6-8 - Drew Weddle (10)
#4SJV - Jacob Gonsalves - 6-8 - Corbin Harrison (10)
#5SJV - Jackson King - 5-8 - Jacob Grewe (9)
#6SJV - Brandon Nguyen - 8-2 - ???
#7SJV - Paul Krabill - 6-2 - Aidan Strite (9)
#1DJV - Ryan Duckworth/Neel Bhagat - 3-8 - Hugh Birky (9)/Evan Beck (10)
#2DJV - Jack Erlacher/Simon Hurst - 8-2 - Giovanni Aguayo (10)/Dirk Oyer (10)
#3DJV - Bryce Miller/Lane Miller - 8-0 - Evan Krabill (9)/Oscar Peterson-Veatch (9)
#4DJV - Matthew Peters/Daniel Robles - 6-2 - Drake Hostetler (10)/Jacob Grewe (10)
#5DJV - Roberto Ramos/Jacob Rudy-Froese - 1-8 - ???

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