Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Big Words for Fairfield


As our last home tennis match of the season, the Fairfield match served as a night to say thanks to many different groups of people. So, instead of ending with that, I want to start with that. Then I'll talk about the exciting match we had against the State-ranked Falcons.

Thanks to the parents! It was our Senior Night last night, and you parents, do an awesome job with your sons. And last night I was so thankful to get to celebrate with all of you. It's been a great season and we have just two weeks or so left. I appreciate all the details that you look after, for meals, snacks, times for leaving and coming home from games... and of course, so much more that I don't even know about. Thanks to Leah Hurst for helping organize last night's Senior Night meal. And thanks to Angela Miller for all the work as "team mom."

Thanks to our seniors! I've loved watching you play for the past four years. Your senior class has accomplished a lot and grown as people as well. This season has been excited for the success that you've had on the court. But I hope that the growth you've experienced in relationships will really stick with you.

Thanks to our players! You guys played your hearts out last night. It is hard to look down the lineup and pick out players who played poorly. Several guys played some of their best tennis of the year, including Jonah Farran, Jacob Woolace, Lane and Dustin, Byeong in his second set, Daniel for most of his match... and many more played really well. I also loved you gathering around and supporting the seniors at the end. We had great encouragement throughout the match, and I appreciate it.

Speaking of the play, well, we gave ourselves a chance! Against the undefeated Fairfield team, the varsity won both of the doubles spots. Despite a lot of nerves on Senior Night, we were able to settle down and play some really good tennis. Especially at #2D. Playing in their eighth third set of the season (!), the #2D team put together a very good performance under pressure against a very good doubles team. The Falcons #2D had only lost twice this season (that I could find) and only once with the partners that played against us. In a close match, we were able to be attacking and get the ball back many, many times. At the end of the match, we were able to close it out by continuing to be aggressive. That's how I like to see it! Perhaps our 2 tiebreak heartbreakers at the tournament helped us in this one!

At #1D, Simon and Brandon continued an impressive season. They got real tight in the first set, and the Falcons were red hot with passing shots and forcing difficult volleys. However, they fought off two set points and finally converted one of their own to win a first set tiebreak 10-8. Then in the second set they rode that wave of momentum well to a 5-0 lead before finishing off at 6-2. 

Unfortunately, we were unable to break through the strong singles lineup the Falcons have. But there are reasons for hope. Jonathon made Clayton Bender work for every point. Lucas was solid on his groundstrokes, searching for a weakness, and Byeong loosened up and played some of his best tennis in taking a 4-3 lead in the second set. However, none of the players found the breakthrough, and the team lost 3-2.

The JV match started out well for the Bruins. Senior Daniel Robles came through with a great match, taking the first match 6-4. The other JV singles players played excellent as well. Jackson and Jacob both had back and forth matches. Jacob learned how he'll have to commit to playing if he's going to be a high school tennis player, swinging through and moving with intention. Both players ended up in tiebreaks, which we could not win.

In doubles, things didn't get quite as close. But all across the board, players displayed the skills they've learned during the season. Caleb had excellent topspin strokes and lobs. Jonah pounded his forehand consistently. Philip and Joel both had great groundstrokes throughout the match. Liam hit great angles, Tommy returned well, Braydon and Chris attacked with their forehands. Angel volleyed well to win points. I'm really thankful to see the JV players rounding into their strengths here at the end of the season. 

So, we ended the night celebrating and eating. And thanks to all who brought great food to share! I am one who feels like the sense of family grows every time we gather round to eat, and it felt like a great big reunion last night. Thanks to all who came!

Of course, a final thanks to God. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, and this season has been full of good and perfect gifts. Gifts of growth, gifts of joy, and gifts of love. We appreciate all that you do for us. Thank you! Let our hearts overflow with gratitude.

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 1-6, 4-6 - Joel Mast (9)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 0-6, 1-6 - Clayton Bender (12)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 0-6, 0-6 - Isaac Miller (12)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 7-6 (8), 6-2 - Jesse Grimm (12)/Dylan Kaufman (11)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 - Joel Kropf (12)/Aaron Streit (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 6-4 - Tanner Nunemaker (10)
#2SJV - Jackson King - 6-7 (3) - Joey Gibson (12)
#3SJV - Jacob Woolace - 6-7 (5) - Jarin Bontrager (11)
#1DJV - Liam Bradford/Tommy Nguyen - 1-6 - Aaron Skibbe (12)/Andrew Monroe (11)
#2DJV - Caleb Shenk/Nathan Oostland - 2-6 - Eric Gaby (10)/Riley Behles (9)
#3DJV - Joel Yoder/Philip Krabill - 4-6 - Tucker Miller (11)/Ben Toole (10)
#4DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Chris Craw - 0-6 - Jediah Corbin (11)/Carson Yoder (11)
#5DJV - Jonah Farran/Angel Torres - 1-6 - Isaac Inniger (9)/Bryce Willard (9)
#6DJV - Caleb Shenk/Nathan Oostland - 6-3 - Alex Yoder (12)/Deron Corbin (11)

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