Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Prayers from Westview

Match Description
This match was a close one, but we've started a pattern lately of being able to pull out the close wins. Westview is another one of those good teams. They've got a winning record and their losses have been to quality competition - Goshen, Northridge, and Warsaw. Besides those losses, they have beaten quality teams - Fairfield and West Noble. So this match was certain to be a good one.

And really, it went right down to the wire at most positions. And at most of the positions, we played fairly well. Byeong Min maybe wasn't on his "A" game, the wind and the pace of his opponent's shot made it difficult for him to find the same angles and placements that he normally finds. Still, he was able to get an early lead in both sets with solid play and sustain it in the big moments. When his opponent made a push in the second set, from down 1-4 to tied at 4-4, Byeong stayed calm. His composure allowed him to close out the set and the match.

At #1 doubles, Brandon and Simon played some really great tennis and showed off their maturing doubles skills. Brandon served really well throughout the match, holding his serve most every time. They were able to take advantage of errors and aggressive mistakes that the Westview team made, a Westview team that had won the Individual Sectional in doubles last season. In both sets, Brandon and Simon had streaks of wonderful play, but couldn't sustain the consistency needed to finish off the sets.

At #2 doubles, it was a matter of moving feet and taking the right positions within the court. Once Jackson and Lane figured out where they needed to be to be the most effective - either behind the baseline or at the net, not in between - they began to take control. What was a close first set turned quickly into a comfortable lead and a comfortable finish to the second set.

Jacob at #3 singles had a tough opponent. The Westview #3 seemed to handle most of Jacob's big shots well, and Jacob had trouble keeping the consistency needed to win games. Jacob rarely got blown out of a game, losing at love or something like that, but he struggled to put back to back points together - which is what is needed to win games. He had some of the most beautiful points, and then followed them with simple errors. As we build those beautiful points, Jacob is going to become a star player for the Bruins. But tonight, the errors were too much.

So fortunately for us, the match came down to the position that where we were playing the best tennis. At #2 singles, Ethan Lapp played one of his best matches of the season. At this point in the year, it's easy to see that Ethan's season is taking on the shape of a lot of his matches. His season started out slow, but he has begun to build confidence now. He swung with conviction tonight, and forced the Westview #2 into several errors and difficult situations. He controlled points with his serve as well, which was important. And he won the big game. Leading 4-3 in the first set, Ethan needed to break serve to extend his lead in the set instead of ending up at a 4-4 tie. The game went to at least 6 deuces, and lasted for a good 10 or more minutes. But after each player had multiple chances to win the game, Ethan took it and won the set 6-3. From there, his confidence soared and he took the second set with his best tennis of the season. I was so impressed, because this was the Ethan I've been looking forward to all year.

So it was 3-2 for the varsity. The JV didn't start out as well. Daniel Robles tried to add some aggression to his game for tonight and didn't have the success he wanted. Liam Bradford took an early lead against the Westview #2 JV, but couldn't hold it near the end. So the JV was down 0-2. Then Dustin and Jonathon took the court, and built a quick 5-0 lead with aggressive and beautiful tennis. Braydon Harshberger played #3 and was playing amazing with his new racket. Leading 30-15 at 3-3 the rains came, and unfortunately halted the match.

All in all, the guys played well tonight. We want to take the positives from this match, and add some even greater things to them. The goal of the season is to keep on getting better. We hope to do that come Friday against NorthWood.


for Lane
God, thanks for Lane. It was his birthday tonight, and even though he was achy, he went out and gave it his all. I pray that You clear away the aches and pains our team (including Lane) is experiencing and just continue to let us play together. Thanks for the joy that Lane brings to the team, the leadership and the encouragement. May You be a personal encouragement to him in this new year of his life!

for the team
Lord, my prayer is that You be in control. I have tried so hard to fill up my brothers with confidence, with belief, with comfort. I will continue to try. But You soften hearts and breathe on us. Make it happen. Let us know how You see us. Lead us into Your will.

Moment of Beauty
I'm sure there were all types of Moments of Beauty last night, that deserve all sorts of "Byeongs." But I was pretty dedicated to seeing the simple plays. Simple is beautiful. The simplest plays were amazing - Jackson making a serve and the Westview team hitting it into the net. Ethan hitting a ball deep into the backhand corner. Byeong busting a serve down the middle. Braydon with his new serve and new racket. Jonathon hitting a serve and Dustin dusting up the return. Simon placing a serve into the backhand. Lane splitting the doubles team with a solid forehand volley. Jacob keeping the pressure on with multiple good shots into the backhand. Brandon hitting a return crosscourt and watching the shot back go long. Liam with a drop shot from close to the net. Daniel crunching a forehand cross-court. I love all these simple shots.


#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-1, 6-4 - Austin Hostetler (10)
#2S - Ethan Lapp - 6-3, 6-2 - Jeryl Weaver (11)
#3S - Jacob Gonsalves - 1-6, 3-6 - Trey Zabona (11)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 5-7, 4-6 - Andrew Yoder (12)/Zach Schrock (12)
#2D - Jackson King/Lane Miller - 7-5, 6-2 - Benson Stoltzfus (12)/Alex Stutzman (12)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 2-8 - Ryan Barker (10)
#2SJV - Liam Bradford - 6-8 -
#3SJV - Braydon Harshberger - 3-3 (30-15) -
#1DJV - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 5-0 - 

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