Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Advance Scouting 2.0: Lesser Rivals
A couple weeks ago, I began a series looking at what next season's opponents might look like. Last we looked at our chance in the tournaments last year. This post will look at some of our dual match opponents.
I'll be using a stat called WRS to look at each matchup. You can find an explanation here. Let's jump in to some opponent analysis.
When Do We Play: Aug. 24
How'd We Do Last Year: Match was cancelled due to rain.
Who Do They Return: Because we didn't play them, we don't know exactly who will return. Last year, their #1S player was Brandon Haisley. He will be back this season, as should their #1D. However, both of those teams lost easily to other opponents we beat last year.
Projection: The bottom line is that LaVille is a rebuilding team right now. They are continuing to get new players interested and passionate in tennis. They have a smaller team, so they continue to be challenged in getting their new players experience. This will be a match that gets closer and closer as the years go by.
When Do We Play: Aug. 27
How'd We Do Last Year: Bethany won 3-2.
Who Do They Return: Lot's of good players. Last year they only had one senior on their team. Everybody will be moving up, but they all have experience. They'll be led by a great senior and sophomore combo, Logan Miller and Evan Trusty. These guys are just excellent tennis players. Logan has split two varsity match-ups with Byeong, with Byeong winning last year in two sets. They also return Brandan Arnos, who took down Sol last year. So this team is going to be very strong at 1, 2, and 3 singles. They also bring back all their doubles players. The JV was somewhat weak last year, but they are only going to need to bring up one player if the rest of their team comes back. Should be a great year for the Eagles.
Projection: This is going to be a great matchup this year. These are the type of matches that are a lot of fun. This is one that I'll be circling as a marker for how good we can be in this coming season.
When Do We Play: Sep. 1
How'd We Do Last Year: Bethany won 5-0.
Who Do They Return: They may well return everybody. Last season, their coach didn't write in the years of their players. But I know from previous years that their #1S and #1D were all juniors last year. So they should have a team with a lot of experience under their belt, including their #1S player, Tyler Johnson, who will be playing his second season at the position.
Projection: While the team has a lot of experience, they have not experienced a lot of success. In our 5-0 win last year, we only lost a total of 4 games. As a team. So this is a match that we will be favored to win, especially since it will be at home.
When Do We Play: Sep. 5
How'd We Do Last Year: Bethany won 5-0.
Who Do They Return: They only return two varsity players, Gavin Eads from #2S and Mace Eads from #3S. They also only return four JV players. So that's a total of 6 players returning to the team in total. They will need to find new players to field a full varsity team.
Projection: With so few players returning, this will be another match that we will be expected to do well in. Over the years however, Triton has been a team that has played us very close. Whoever comes out to play for them will compete with skill I'm sure.
When Do We Play: Sep. 15
How'd We Do Last Year: Bethany won 4-1.
Who Do They Return: They Braves return 3 out of 4 doubles players, losing one from their #1D team. They also return #3S players Drew Hall, who gave a great challenge to Sol last year, especially in the second set. From the JV team, they return Jospeh Angelo from #1SJV, who gave a good challenge to Jacob Gonsalves last year.
Projection: What's really interesting about the Braves is how their returning players got better as our match went on last year. Drew Hall began to figure things out in the second set, as did the #2D pair of Graham Gnagy and Ross Norton. I don't know where these players will play next season, but I know that it's all about getting better, and they showed that they could last year during the midst of their matches. Add in four year varsity player in Jared Fiedler (who might slide from #1D to #1S) and this should be a very solid team for us to face next year.
Looking at these five teams, teams that are outside our close geographical area, we see a wide variety. Fremont should be one of the better teams we face during the year. Blackhawk will be somewhere in the middle. Other teams are rebuilding. But these are teams we have to be careful with. Because they aren't near rivals, we can often forget about how good they can be. We know Goshen, Jimtown, Fairfield, and NorthWood - they are Sectional rivals we always want to beat. We don't have the same motivation against a LaVille, Fremont or Blackhawk, because we don't think about them as often, see them at lessons, or anything else. They'll be good and we'll have to be ready.