Saturday, August 23, 2014

Letters from Concord


Dear Varsity Team,
Today was a historic day for our varsity program. We played Concord at home for the first time ever, and we defeated them for only the second time only. Concord was a young team, only one senior and a freshman playing #1S, but a talented team. They gave us a challenge with their energy and aggression early in the matches. Several of their players swung freely and hit unbelievable shots, passing us down the alley and rocketing some approach shots.

But we didn't worry about it. Today we just played the next point. Time and time again we played simply and smartly and well. I so appreciated our team attitude today. It was calm and confident. I appreciated your play also. The way Sol took care to keep the ball in and hit good approaches before finishing. The way that Byeong played loose and took the ball confidently on each point. The way Hans and Simon putaway volleys right through the middle. Ryan and Ethan had great hands and smart, consistent play. And Jesse, despite falling in three sets, had great shots throughout the match, especially approaches and short balls.

Great job today! Way to finish off matches and stay confident. It feels good to get our first win of the season, doesn't it?

Dear Junior Varsity Team,
You also played a great match today. I was especially impressed with how you responded from being severely challenged on Thursday and moved forward to this match. Today you were the ones who played with confidence and aggression. Daniel, I loved watching you fly around the court to run down every ball, and your forehand is truly nearing a varsity quality shot. Jackson, your forehand is there, and you used it to control your match. Doubles players, the power and movement that you played with made you difficult to handle. Dustin, way to keep your head and battle it out even when you were struggling with some of your shots. And Joel, you kept playing and swinging and going for it. I enjoyed watching it all. The more you play like this the better you'll get and the more ready for the harder challenges.

Dear Byeong Min,
You played amazing today! Way to just play every point. Now on to the next match, which is where your next point is...


Dear Lucas and Jonathan,
You finished your first match today. And I have to say, you got a little bit of everything. A good start, a tight match, bad line calls, changing tactics within the match. And you both played to your strengths tonight, which is so important. Lucas, you hit to the corners well and kept the groundstrokes in. Jonathan, you dominated the net, especially after you started hitting the angles. Most likely, these strengths will stay with you the whole time you're playing tennis (and they'll get more and more dominant). Enjoy them, they are your tennis gifts! And I might also add that I loved the point at the end of the match where you had a line call go against you, and instead of getting mad, you simply stayed calm and won the final two games to win your match!

Dear Humidity,
Ummm . . . go away please. I don't like sweating just because I'm standing outside.

Dear Tennis Ball Can,
I know now why Scott Hottell, my old tennis coach (and current coach) at Angola, uses you all the time as a water bottle. With all the stuff I have to get around for a tennis match, carrying a water bottle for myself is not something I remember. And then I spend the whole match jogging back and forth and getting super thirsty but with nothing to drink from. Today, I stayed nicely hydrated in the aforementioned humidity.

Dear God,
May we rejoice in You! After a win it is so easy to get wrapped up in the good feelings that come from winning. But that's not the important thing, You are.

Moment of Sheer Beauty
Byeong Min has the most beautiful of practice strokes. Last year we used to joke about him being a drill all-star. If we did a passing shot drill that would have a champion, every time it would be Byeong. This year, he's continued to have great practices, but sometimes it hasn't worked over into his matches. Today, he had a moment of sheer beauty. When our practice perfect matches up with our match perfect, that is a joyful thing. After a long rally with his junior opponent Mitch Boyer, Byeong was forced wide to his forehand side. Running out into the doubles alley, Byeong whipped his forehand down the line before Boyer even had a chance to split step. It was amazing!

Moment of Savage Beauty
This was the hardest category today for sure. There was a lot of solid solid, aggressive play today. Most of the #1D match was aggressively played. Then there was Lane Miller's smacking of a high forehand volley into the chest of his opponent who hadn't backed off the net. There were Byeong's winners and Sol's aces (2 in a row at one point!) All through the JV there were nominees, like Jonathan's overheads and Lucas and Bryce's forehands. But today, the award goes to Ryan Duckworth for a big play under pressure.

Tied at 1-1 in the second set, with Ryan serving, #2D went into a long game. Into deuce several times. Several times the Minutemen doubles team had a chance to take a 2-1 lead and put some second set pressure on the Bruins. Ryan and Ethan saved several break points, then took an advantage for the first time. With the Ad-In, Ryan let loose his only big serve of the match, pounding it into the backhand corner of the Ad box. The Minutemen player could barely get his racket on the ball, and Ryan and Ethan had established their lead in the match. They never lost another game.

SCORES

Varsity
#1S - Jesse Amstutz - 6-1, 4-6, 2-6 - Will Boyer (9)
#2S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-1 - Mitch Boyer (11)
#3S - Sol Brenneman - 6-0, 6-0 - Alex Dias (10)
#1D - Hans Miller/Simon Hurst - 6-3, 6-1 - Aaron Allen (12)/Riley Huffer (11)
#2D - Ryan Duckworth/Ethan Lapp - 6-0, 6-1 - Braden Fish (11)/Nathan Hermon (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Jackson King - 8-3 - Spenser Jaenichen (12)
#2SJV - Daniel Robles - 8-2 - Jake Lovette (10)
#3SJV - Dustin Miller - 8-5 - Jacob Shetterly (9)
#4SJV - Joel Yoder - 0-8 - Gideon Butler (10)
#1DJV - Landon Weldy/Brandon Nguyen - 8-3 - Tate Nicoson (10)/Brandon Pletcher (10)
#2DJV - Bryce Miller/Lane Miller - 8-1 - Kell McGee (11)/Broc Johnson (9)
#3DJV - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes/Jonathan Yousey - 8-5 - Tate Nicoson (10)/Broc Johnson (9)

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