Saturday, August 15, 2015

Advance Scouting 4.0: Sectional Opponents

Advance Scouting
1. Tournaments
3. Local Opponents

A couple weeks ago, I began a series looking at what next season's opponents might look like. In the last three installments, we looked at our tournament opponents, some of our opponents who are further away, and some who are local. This week, we'll look at our Sectional 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.

WRS: = 0

When Do We Play: Aug. 17

How'd We Do Last Year: The first time we played Jimtown, it all came down to #2D, and we lost 2-3. In the Sectional Semi-Final, we played much better tennis, and were able to walk away with a 4-1 win.

Who Do They Return: Starting at the top, they return impressive sophomore Holden Price, who handed Byeong one of his three losses last season. Byeong was able to beat Price in two sets in the Sectional, but Price is a solid player and looks like he will play #1S. Moving up from #3S should be Michael Gray, who challenged Sol in the Sectional with powerful groundstrokes. At #1D, Ben Jankowski returns and at #2D, we saw a combo of 3 different players who all return: Hunter Price, Isaac Pope and Ben Clarke. That gives the Jimmies 6 players returning who have varsity experience.

Projection: The Jimmies are our first match of the season, and a challenge at that. They are going to make sure that we are on top of our game right from the beginning. They have a great senior class and sophomore class that will lead this team. As I do these advance scouting reports, I'm excited about how fun of a season this one will be. There are so many matches where I don't know how they will turn out, and can't even begin to guess. Those type of matches are the ones that are ultimately memorable. Both matches against the Jimmies were memorable last year.

WRS: -1.5

When Do We Play: Aug. 20

How'd We Do Last Year: In the regular season, we lost 5-0, with 3 matches going to 3 sets. In the Sectional Final, we prevailed 3-2 (with 2 matches going 3 sets :-)

Who Do They Return: Many great players. They return last year's #1S, #2S, and #3S - Hudson Kay, Evan Beck, and Luke Rush. They also return Logan Troyer from #1D. Apparently, it looks like Rush will be moving to #1D. They have several good JV players moving up to varsity this year as well.

Projection: No doubt, this is our toughest match of the season. I'd be surprised to see us win this one early in the season, and even at the end of the year it will be a challenge. The three seniors returning are great, committed players and this Goshen team has motivation from last year after losing in the Sectional Final following a 19-1 regular season. Unfortunately for us, that motivation will be aimed directly at us, because we happened to be the team to upset them last year. Hopefully we can be inspired by this team to pick up our own games throughout the season.

WRS: +2

When Do We Play: Sep. 11

How'd We Do Last Year: Last year, we defeated the Panthers in our one matchup by a 4-1 score.

Who Do They Return: One player, but he's an important one. NorthWood returns just Jared Hoffman, who played #1S for the team last season.

Projection: This team lost 9 players from their varsity and JV last year to graduation. That's going to make this a very different one for the Panthers. If I think I've had lineup questions, I'm sure that the Panthers have had many more. This year, this is a match we'll be favored in. After another year of experience, we'll see.

WRS: +2

When Do We Play: Sep. 21

How'd We Do Last Year: Last year, we defeated the Falcons 4-1 in our only matchup. Our only loss in that match came at #1S, where stellar senior Adam Yoder defeated Jesse.

Who Do They Return: Only 2 varsity contributors, juniors Clayton Bender and Isaac Miller. Clayton Bender took Sol to 3 sets last year, and plays a very methodical style of tennis. Miller played at #2D.

Projection: This is one of the few teams that we'll have more experience than. But we play them at the end of the season, our very last dual match. Like all the schools in our Sectional, they are so well coached that they'll be getting experience and practice and learning how to win by the end of the year. Still, this will be a match we'll hope to win.

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