On a night threatened by rain and lightning popping up all around, our matches seemed to develop the same way. In each match, there were matches of sunshine - points, games, and sets where we played excellent tennis. But there were also pop-up patches of storms - points, games and sets where we focused on the wrong things, gave in to timidity or just lost our way.
In the beginning, we had mixed starts to the match. Byeong and #2D started their matches out with some nervous errors, and found themselves trailing in first sets. Jacob and #1D were playing the way they wanted to right out of the gate, and took first set leads. Ethan battled back and forth at #2S.
In the end, each position was able to find the "way that they want to play." Lane and Dustin at #2D had fun and stayed relaxed playing against a great opponent, but couldn't find a way to deal with the power of experience of the Jimtown #2D. At #1D, Simon and Brandon played with simple, carefree aggression, even when the second set got tight. They were able to pull out a victory by staying steady and playing the simplest shot that kept the pressure on the Jimmies.
At #2S, Ethan also had to adjust his game. His opponent, sophomore Ben Clarke, often left the ball short and invited Ethan to attack the net. Ethan took the opportunities, but in the first set seemed either rushed or frozen and couldn't complete the attack with a confident rhythm. After losing a close set, Ethan began to find that rhythm. We took the second set and prepared for a third.
Also, playing a third was Jacob Gonsalves. His match was a match of opposites. In the first set, he focused on how he wanted to play, and took the set fairly easily. In the second set, he was pressing because he fell behind. Shots began to fly long and wide, and the match went to a third set. In the third set, he found his rhythm again, and built a 5-1. He came close to winning the set, but couldn't break his opponents serve. At 5-2, lightning flashed. Safety precautions made us suspend.
So the varsity, Bruins were up 2-1, with Ethan waiting to start a third set and Jacob at 5-2 in his.
The JV didn't get started too far, but both Jackson and Daniel were off to great starts, playing solid tennis and taking 4-1 and 3-0 leads respectively.
So for now, this description is to be continued... until Wednesday afternoon (hopefully)!
On Wednesday afternoon, we had beautiful bright skies (with a few mysterious rain drops) and were able to finish the match. Jacob Gonsalves sealed the varsity win quickly, with just one service game and some very difficult serves to return. With a 3-1 lead, we were able to relax, but Ethan still had his set to finish. With his momentum from Monday broken a bit, he couldn't quite get in rhythm. When he did, opponent Ben Clarke was in rhythm to. Ethan ended up losing the third.
At the JV, we played much more tentative and sloppy than on Monday, and all the leads we had built began to disappear. Then just at the right time, we found our strokes. Daniel went from a 3-0 to a 6-6 tie, but began scrambling and attacking again to win the last two games. Jackson saw his match get closer as well, but was able to finish off the win. Our doubles teams all progressed and got better through their matches, but we didn't win any of them. So the JV fate hung on Liam Bradford, and he performed amazingly well. He played smart and energetic tennis, to win 8-2 and seal a tie for the JV.
I pray that Byeong will continue to demonstrate the listening and teachability that he had today to the rest of the team. I am thankful that we have a leader of the team who is willing to adjust, but also willing to trust what he doesn't quite understand. I pray that Byeong's faith will grow strong like that as well, that he will trust and act when God's Spirit prompts him, even when he don't completely understand.
I pray that Jacob will be able to increasing base his goals on the process instead of on the result. I pray that last night's match was a learning opportunity to move forward in that. I pray that Jacob will seek to live in a manner that matches how he wants to live, rather than worrying about the elusive success.
for the freshmen...
I pray that our freshman will get to play a match soon. After the retreat during the scrimmage and the rain coming before many of them took the court last night, I pray that tonight (Tuesday) is the night they get to play. And I pray they enjoy it, because tennis is fun!
I pray for Ethan, that he will have confidence and conviction when he restarts this match. I pray that he will feel a calm, and be able to visualize the strokes and attitude he played with in the second set, and carry that over. I pray for calm in his thoughts as well, as he prepares for the "new match."
for Jackson and Dustin...
I pray for these guys who are flipping back and forth between varsity spots and JV spots. I pray that You give them peace. They are in a difficult situation. Let them be brothers, not competitors. Let them realize how important they are to the team regardless of spot. Let them remember that no matter where they play on a given night, they are certainly our brothers, our family, and that we love them. Beyond that, let them gain self-confidence in the fact that they are Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. And position on the team doesn't matter for that.
for the team...
Lord, please help us to continue to grow. To grow as tennis players. To grow as people. To grow in our gifts. To grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for this day, this moment, this breath!
I hate to do this, I really do... but I have to repeat this winner of the moment of beauty. Brandon Nguyen strikes again! It is beautiful when things go to plan. And in the #1D match, Simon and Brandon had a simple, aggressive point that would be just ideal for any doubles match. Simon hit a nice first serve down the middle, into the backhand of the returner. The returner smacked a return over the net headed for Simon, but Brandon pinched the middle and cut it off just on his side of the net. Brandon popped a forehand volley at a tight angle, taking just enough off it that the returner could not cover the shot. 1-2-3, the point was over. And it was b-e-a-utiful.
There were other moments in the match as well, so the moment of beauty #2 goes to Jacob Gonsalves. After a difficult 2nd set, he regrouped himself and came out ready for the third set. On the first point, Jacob stayed calm and looked for his opening, then whacked a vicious topspin forehand deep in the court to his opponent's backhand. The pace, spin and depth of the shot was perfect to throw off the attempted slice backhand, which rebounded off and out toward the trees. It was the perfect point to start the set, just like Jacob wanted to play.
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-4, 6-1 - Holden Price (10)
#2S - Ethan Lapp - 4-6, 6-2, 1-6 - Ben Clarke (10)
#3S - Jacob Gonsalves - 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 - Austin Pearison (9)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-2, 6-4 - Ben Janowski (12)/Hunter Price (12)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 2-6, 2-6 - Isaac Pope (12)/Michael Gray (10)
#1SJV - Jackson King - 8-4 - Matt DeCloedt (11)
#2SJV - Daniel Robles - 8-6 - Andrew Emeigh (10)
#3SJV - Liam Bradford - 8-2 - Conner Corl (10)
#1DJV - Jonathon Yousey/Tommy Nguyen - 5-8 - TJ Gardner (9)/Nate Behrens (9)
#2DJV - Philip Krabill/Jonah Farran - 0-8 - AJ Hurtekankt (10)/Tristan Ingle (10)
#3DJV - Paul Krabill/Braydon Harshberger - 4-8 - Matt DeCloedt (11)/Kyle Kinzer (10)