Our team cheer this year is simple: "Let's do this, together." We've been discussing the importance of persevering and striving and never giving up, and doing that striving together. This summer, we opened up the courts and said come on out if you want to get better. We've been talking and talking about playing the way you want to play, even under pressure. And so, to watch all of those things collide in our play tonight - it felt right.
Our team didn't come out playing their best tennis tonight. We looked a little tired and unfocused, which can often happen at away matches. Well, that is, everyone except for Simon, Brandon and Jonathon. Those three guys seemed to be on fire. Brandon and Simon picked up right where they left off last night, having fun and played with great poise. They rolled through their match, as did Jonathon. Again, we was picking up on the strengths he figured out during his comeback against Goshen. All of these guys played with smaggression, driving through the ball, attacking the net, and finding weaknesses. So the varsity picked up a win as did the JV.
On the varsity, Lucas found a good rhythm after a bit in his match. He was able to take the short balls that his opponent fed him and attack the net. However, after taking a 5-4 lead he couldn't hold the momentum and fell in the first set. The second set he could never quite get over the hump and lost the match in two sets. Also losing on the varsity was Byeong Min Lim. He played junior Holden Price, who played an awesome match. No matter what Byeong threw at him, Holden ran it down and made Byeong hit another ball. And then another. And then another. Price's perfectly weighted shots created pressure on Byeong. It was a close 4-6, 4-6 loss.
At #2D, Dustin and Lane started what became the trend of the day. In their first set, they went to a tiebreak. We apparently loved tiebreaks on this day. In fact, in total between the JV and Varsity we played 6 tiebreaks on the day. We went 3-3 in those tiebreaks too. Daniel, Dustin and Lane, and Braydon and Jonah won theirs, which was awesome as they continued to play the way they wanted to through the stressful breakers.
Speaking of playing the way they wanted to, and persevering under pressure, Caleb Shenk had to face some pressure today at #3SJV. He built a 7-3 lead, only to see Jimtown freshman Andrew Coble fight back to 7-6. But keeping his cool, Caleb was able to finish off the match for his third straight JV victory. This also makes him the only player on our team to still be undefeated on the individual season :-)
But the part of this match that felt so right were the final two varsity matches. First, #2D continued with Dustin really hurting. His right arm, his swinging arm, hurt after the first set (as he's played lots of tennis over the past two days). And after taking the first set, #2D lost their second set. And so, Dustin had to gut through pain to play the third set. And, much like last night, Dustin and Lane came through in the clutch. They were able to become more aggressive, hit through the ball and attack the net. They were able to take the final set, with Dustin hitting awesome volleys as Lane served out the final game.
Which tied the varsity at 2-2. And Daniel had gone to a third set. Quickly he jumped out to a 2-1 lead, then went down, then got back ahead, and finally, leading at 5-4, Daniel had the opportunity to end the match as a Bruin win. However, after his 4 match points, the score was tied at 5-5 instead of us celebrating with Daniel.
Recovering from that disappointment, Daniel persevered, strived, and worked to get into a tiebreak. He had a simple strategy when he was winning - drive the ball deep and attack the net. In the tiebreak, his opponent jumped out early. In fact, Andrew Emeigh took a 6-3 lead, meaning Daniel was now facing 3 match points against him. On the first point, Daniel attacked the backhand and was able to force an error on a passing shot. Then Emeigh unfortunately double faulted. Then Daniel attacked again and was able to make it 6-6! He fought off three match points. With the match on the line, Daniel stroked through the ball and won two more points in a row, with the final ball landing wide. Another night, and another 3-2, dramatic, final set tiebreak to win the match for the Bruins.
But what was it like? Well, things felt right. We did things right to win the matches we needed to. We attacked and played through pressure. It also felt right that things came down to Daniel, as he had committed this summer to getting out and playing tennis so much this summer. We got to experience a different member of our family pulling through under pressure, and so it continues to feel like we're doing this together.
And we are. So then we got to sit down together and eat. Which also felt right :-)
#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 4-6, 4-6 - Holden Price (11)
#2S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 5-7, 1-6 - Austin Pearison (10)
#3S - Daniel Robles - 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (6) - Andrew Emeigh (11)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-1, 6-0 - Ben Clarke (11)/Connor Corl (11)
#2D - Dustin Miller/Lane Miller - 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3 - Matt DeCloedt (12)/Bill Pawlak (9)
#1SJV - Jackson King - 1-8 - Nate Behrens (10)
#2SJV - Jonathon Yousey - 8-1 - Tristan Ingle (11)
#3SJV - Caleb Shenk - 8-6 - Andrew Coble (9)
#4SJV - Philip Krabill - 8-5 - Koleton Dover (9)
#4SJV - Philip Krabill - 8-5 - Koleton Dover (9)
#5SJV - Christopher Craw - 0-8 - Andrew Coble (9)
#1DJV - Liam Bradford/Tommy Nguyen - 7-8 (5) - Trent Eaton (9)/Andrew Eaton (9)
#2DJV - Joel Yoder/Jacob Woolace - 7-8 (4) - Luke Flick (9)/Preston Philips (9)
#3DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Jonah Farran - 8-7 (4) - Kayden Wolfe (10)/Chandler Bridgewater (10)