Friday, September 16, 2016

Big Words from Elkhart Central


I am unsure what to write about this match. Unsure how to sum it up. And unsure, seems was a bit of how we played in this match. 

It took a little different form in each of our varsity matches. In #1D, Simon and Brandon seemed tight at the beginning of their match. Movement was slow, serves and volleys looked shaky. And the team seemed nervous. At #2D, the theme of slowness continued. The team seemed a step slow, and hoping that their opponents would make early mistakes instead of getting ready to play awesome points. 

In the singles matches, Lucas had trouble putting more than one game together at a time. He would play a solid game with wonderful pace and groundstrokes, and then play one where it was filled mostly with his own errors. In Jonathon's match, the same thing occurred. At #1S... well, actually Byeong played pretty well the whole way through :-) At times, he maybe got some slow feet.

And the JV too reflected that trend. When we get uncertainty, it is always important to return to our strengths. 

Much of the team did, it was just a matter of when. Byeong corrected his lazy feet the game after it happened. Simon and Brandon got down 3-1, but then went back to work with great consistency and power. By the time their match ended, they were playing the fun and aggressive tennis that they love, with Simon ending the match with a blasted forehand return that the Blazers didn't even have a chance to move to.

In Lucas' match, it looked like he'd recovered well to his strengths. After seesawing back and forth in the first set, he settled in comfortably and took a commanding 7-1 win in the tiebreak. His strokes looked confident and his opponents looked timid. Then Lucas kept the gas pushed down and took a 4-1 lead in the second. It seemed like the match was mere minutes from ending when Philip Stutzman really found his stroke. After a marathon point at 30-30 on Lucas' serve, Stutzman reeled off 4 straight games where he looked confident and Lucas, though leading, looked unsure. 

Down 5-4, Lucas went back to his strength in this match and worked in some variety. This variety threw Stutzman off a bit, and he couldn't find it before the match ended. Lucas persevered and was able to take the win.

At #2D, it was similar. In the second set, down 4-1, they found their stroke. Suddenly, the energy picked up, the nervousness ebbed and the team found a groove. Unfortunately for the team, it was a bit too late. While they were challenging to get back in the match, just a couple too many well hit shots found the tape or sailed a wee bit long. Still, they closed the gap to 4-6, before falling.

For Yousey at #2S, the match went the opposite way. Near the end of the first set, he looked confident and convinced he could win. Then didn't have that same energy in the next set. In the third set, he came out rip-roaringly confident, taking a 3-1 lead. But again, after a few mistakes, uncertainty crept in and his playing level dropped.

That's one thing I reminded Lucas, and one thing I want us all to remember. No matter what is happening in our match, let's be certain of keeping our chest high, to keep our body language positive. It's amazing what using our body to provide our energy can do for us. Our bodies provide us with a physicality, a way to embody our belief, something tangible for us to begin with. They are a place to practice certainty.

Of course, that's true of our faith too. Today, at practice, we used our minds and imaginations to practice a reality - that what happens to us in a match is part of a much bigger picture of being conformed to the character of Christ. Each match day, we join our hands to pray to practice the certainty of our togetherness in Jesus. And so maybe as you read this, you want to bow on your knees, using physicality to practice the certainty of thankfulness. 

Because even when we don't play our best, or we don't win, or we don't do what we'd hoped - I am very thankful to God for each one of you. And God is always taking whatever we lay before and using it for good. Of those things, we can always be certain.

#1S - Byeong Min Lim - 6-1, 6-1 - Andrew Salmon (12)
#2S - Jonathon Yousey - 6-4, 1-6, 3-6 - Michael Beveridge (11)
#3S - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes - 7-6 (1), 7-5 - Philip Stutzman (10)
#1D - Simon Hurst/Brandon Nguyen - 6-3, 6-1 - Jared Reid (11)/Hunter Sauserman (12)
#2D - Lane Miller/Dustin Miller - 3-6, 4-6 - Dane Frieden (10)/Adam Moon (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Daniel Robles - 6-8 - Zack Pelletier (10)
#2SJV - Liam Bradford - 8-5 - Ben Henick (10)
#3SJV - Jackson King - 8-9 (5) - Abe Hill (10)
#4SJV - Jacob Woolace - 6-1 - Alexx Dreamer (9)
#5SJV - Joel Yoder - 6-4 - Chase Bontrager (9)
#1DJV - Caleb Shenk/Nathan Oostland - 3-8 - Adam Delks (11)/Nathan Brekke (10)
#2DJV - Tommy Nguyen/Philip Krabill - 6-8 - Nathan Lindholm (10)/Will Bryant (10)
#3DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Jonah Farran -  - Cody Cox (10)/?????
#4DJV - Angel Torres/Chris Craw - 0-6 - Brady Marker (10)/Sam Thomas (10)

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