Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chapter 8 - vs. Prairie Heights

"A pro will take an average of 12-14 steps between each stroke. A college player takes 8-10. A high school player, 5-7. This is a footwork game."
- Justin Gimlestob, US Open commentator, pro coach, and former pro player

In our match against Prairie Heights, we played a young team. Last year, they didn't field a varsity. This year, they've actually got 9 players. They are growing, they are learning, they are competing.

We are experienced. We have all juniors and seniors on our varsity, and are attempting to win a Sectional.

That paradox was evident. Nowhere was it more evident than looking at our feet.

In most of our matches, the Bruins feet skittered across the court. Setting up under high balls, balancing ourselves at the net, moving to a sliced forehand. We moved with short steps, with balanced grace. The Panthers took long steps and stretches, often times handcuffing their swings because they'd over stepped.

And tennis is a game of steps. The more steps you take, the more prepared you are to execute the shot that you need. And that's a life lesson too.

So, as we enter a September headed toward Sectional, let me see Jesse Amstutz split-stepping for his return, let me see Abe Thorne shuffling into position for a short forehand, let me see Parth's adjustment steps for the forehand volley. Let us take more steps, every day, than our next opponent.

If we do, I like our chances.

#1S - Abraham Thorne - 6-0, 6-0 - Cory Hollifield (10)
#2S - Jesse Amstutz - 6-1, 6-0 - Chandler Sailor (9)
#3S - Sol Brenneman - 6-1, 6-1 - Nick Bennett (12)
#1D - Joel Gerig/Hans Miller - 6-1, 6-0 - Nick Durnell (11)/Logan Walter (10)
#2D - Parth Patel/Landon Weldy - 6-1, 6-2 - Justin Sutera (10)/Cody Hicks (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Matthew Peters - 8-0 - ???

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