Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letters from Westview

Dear Team,
Again we played a good match. We played right to potential at almost every position. It was a fun night to watch as well, as we overheaded balls into the woods and ran our opponents into the small fences. We also had sweet comebacks and dominant victories as well as pulling out some close ones.

In general, there was an atmosphere of going about our business. It was a dreary day, we took the courts with concentration and got ourselves going early. Byeong, Sol, and #1D were never seriously challenged, and so we didn't hear as many "C'mons!" and "Let's go's!" I look forward to those more in the future matches.

The most intense matches were probably Lane's at #1SJV and #2D. Ryan and Ethan took the first set without much drama, but then fell down 1-4 in the second. Suddenly they stopped pushing the ball and became aggressive at the net, and the 1-4 hole turned into a 6-4 second set win. And Lane was playing a powerful opponent at #1SJV, which was one of Lane's first singles matches this year. Still he stroked his way to a beautiful victory.

Despite a couple of those victories, we took care of things and now we turn to practice. As we turn to practice, let me challenge all of you like I challenged Lane and Brandon yesterday. As you imagine yourselves playing, as you imagine practice, as you think on upcoming matches - let your thought of how you play go from playing good to playing elite. Imagine what it would look like to play elite tennis this season. Now let's pursue that.

Dear Lane + Your Sophomore Fans,
As we got to the end of the match, I looked around and thought, "Where is everybody?" I was watching Jesse finish up his match and I couldn't find like 7-8 of our players. Then I looked down to the end of the long line of courts, and there they all were, gathered on the bleachers, watching Lane play toward the finish line. It was a close match, and you, Lane, were leading 7-6. And there were all your friends, cheering you on. The JV match was basically won. But they were there for you.

That's what can truly make your class a special one. You encourage each other on to even greater greatness :-)

Dear Hans and Simon,
That was a great win. It was simple. You anticipated well. Keep getting better together.

Dear Stephen Gierek,
I loved your passion. You team had already lost, but you were in a tough match. You seemed to focus on the process. When you'd make an error you would often say to yourself, "Swing through." My team has been talking about focal points, and that sounded like it was yours. When you won the match, you dropped your racket and did a double fist pump. I could tell that you had passion. I liked it. We all show our passion in different ways, and it looked like you were showing yours in your own way last night.

Dear Jesse,
You didn't have your best night last night. But I say that not based on the score, but based on the fact that you missed some of your bread and butter shots. That's okay. Really, that's okay. The other night when Sol presented the devotional about humility, we talked about giving ourselves permission to miss. That also means we have to give ourselves permission to have an off day. The key is reminding yourself what it looks like to play good and pursuing that the next time with confidence. Next time out, intensely pursue your best!

Moment of Sheer Beauty
Hans and Simon at #1D are a mix of power and precision. So much of the time we reward power, but the best point of the entire match today came as a result of Hans precision. Swept out wide in a long rally, Hans hit an angled ball short to the forehand side. Opponent Jeryl Weaver chased it down and topspinned an even better ball forcing Hans almost into Byeong's #2S court. Hans then hit a flat ball back across the court, landing near the sideline but at an extreme angle. Weaver sprinted forward and wide forward, racket out in front of him to scoop the ball. But he collided with the side fence first as the ball arrived. His precise and controlled ball ended up being the most aggressive and winning play!

Moment of Savage Beauty
Daniel's whole style of play could be described as scrambling. He never gives up on a ball. Tonight, playing with Joel, he ran down so many different shots that slipped over Joel's head when Joel was at the net. But the best shots of the night were when Daniel got to the net. Using his scrambling ability, he scamper across the net and slam the volleys or overheads away. It wasn't just one beautiful point, it was again and again. Unfortunately, the #3DJV night didn't end up in victory. But that made me want to give this award to Daniel even more. We shouldn't judge our matches based on result, but instead ask the question: Did we play how we wanted to? On this night, Daniel the scrambler did, and he turned it into savage power.


#1S - Jesse Amstutz - 4-6, 2-6 - Stephen Gierek (12)
#2S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-1, 6-0 - Zack Schrock (11)
#3S - Sol Brenneman - 6-1, 6-1 - Trey Zabona (10)
#1D - Hans Miller/Simon Hurst - 6-2, 6-2 - Andrew Yoder (11)/Jeryl Weaver (10)
#2D - Ryan Duckworth/Landon Weldy - 6-2, 6-4 - Taylor Eash (12)/Austin Hostetler (9)

Junior Varsity 
#1SJV - Lane Miller - 8-6 - Alex Stutzman (11)
#2SJV - Jacob Gonsalves - 8-2 - Rafael Flores (10)
#3SJV - Jackson King - 6-1
#4SJV - Jonathan Yousey - 6-3
#1DJV - Landon Weldy/Brandon Nguyen - 8-3 - Benson Stoltzfus (11)/Ryan Barker (9)
#2DJV - Dustin Miller/Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 8-2 - Chris Junik (11)/Braydon Avery (9)
#3DJV - Daniel Robles/Joel Yoder - 6-7 (4)

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