Underneath the hottest and heaviest summer sun of the season, the Bruin tennis team was able to overcome early sluggishness to play some of our best tennis of the year. It truly encouraged me that maybe the lessons learned this weekend are started to become habits of who we are.
That's how I felt tonight, that we got to see our tennis near our best. For example...
Byeong hit his spots with confidence. So much so that the opposing coach literally said, "He hits his spots so well," and then wanted to go hit with Byeong.
Ethan found a way to continue his attacking. He found a weakness and hit confident balls to that weakness.
Jacob found his stroke, and then didn't try to do too much. He just hit that stroke all around the different sides of the court.
Brandon and Simon took a bit to find their shots, how they wanted to hit the ball. But once they did, and didn't try to do too much also, they found an attacking balance that was hard to crack.
Lane and Jackson moved with energy and joy and hit the simple shots, setting themselves up to finish at the net.
Dustin and Jonathon played well from the baseline so that they could also finish from the net. There match had a lot of overheads and a lot of simple volleys.
Daniel stayed steady, consistent and attacked with placement from his forehand. Braydon and Paul continued to show consistency and aggression in coming to the net.
for the team
Lord, it's been a long beginning of the season. I feel like my spirit is still tired and hurried, but tonight was a breath of air. Marian's court are quite beautiful, tucked back into the trees on the hillside, and it reminds me that as we play, as we think, as we grow we are always tucked into Your arms. As we get into a rhythm of the season, let our rhythm include resting in You.
Dear God, I pray that Simon can relax. I know that he expects a lot out of himself, and has started the year off really well. As he presses to grow and become even more excellent in his play, let him go about that without feeling any added pressure. Let him measure his worth not in shots made, overheads pounded, matches won... but in his relationship to You and to the team. I know that he knows it, help him to feel it. And for all the rest of us too!
for our opponents
It was neat tonight to hear the Marian players praying before the match. It was a great reminder that the true "brotherhood" of life extends all over the globe, and includes members of all the teams that we've played and will play this season. We praise You with each other, with our families, with our churches, with our opponents and with all creation. I pray that Your will is done across the world, and that You bring joy and peace to our opponents throughout their seasons as well.
for our team
Just keep bringing us together, Lord, centered around Jesus.
As the matches go on, these are getting harder to discern. Jacob Gonsalves gets a big shout out with the first "Byeong" for the match. After a long point where Jacob had been run all around the court, he found himself in the short ad side service box with his only option being a cross court backhand. His opponent knew this, and so he had slid over to cover the cross court shot. But he couldn't cover the one handed backhand Jacob unleashed, because the ball skimmed the net, slammed down an inch inside the sideline and and spun past him in a split second. It was a gorgeous shot that even the opposing fans and the opposing player himself clapped for. On the changeover, Jacob's opponent stopped him again to say what a great shot that had been.
In the other matches, we've got to give a second "Byeong" of the year to Byeong! His double bagel (a 6-0, 6-0 win) was mostly all beautiful. But my favorite shot of the match came in the second set, when he worked his opponent's backhand 3 shots in a row that the Knight #1 scrambled back. Shuffling up to the next forehand inside the baseline, Byeong looked posed for an inside-in shot again to his opponent's backhand. The Marian player turned and began to prepare for it, when Byeong suddenly turned it inside-out and sent it short and cross-court. The ball slid right off the sideline, and Byeong's opponent had no chance with that type of placement. He threw his hands up and said "Not again."
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-0, 6-0 - Cam Rafinski (10)
#2S - Ethan Lapp - 6-0, 6-1 - Max White (11)
#3S - Jacob Gonsalves - 6-0, 6-0 - Michael Deranek (11)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-1, 6-0 - Dominic Rafinski (10)/Josh Bussan (9)
#2D - Jackson King/Lane Miller - 6-2, 6-0 - Evan Korath (11)/Kenny Klimek (11)
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 8-2 - Jonah Davey (12)
#1DJV - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 8-1 - Son Kim (11)/Alex Berta (10)
#2DJV - Paul Krabill/Braydon Harshberger - 4-6 - Aaron Jackson (10)/Caleb Suarez (9)