Friday, September 16, 2016

Moment of Beauty: Blackhawk, NorthWood, and Westview

Moment of Beauty - Westview - Simon Hurst
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, that's one of the things that I love to point out with these blog points. Sometimes it is playing to your strength, sometimes being patient, sometimes it is a brash and epic play. Simon and Brandon played a great match against a strong Warrior doubles team, but the point of the match was in the second set. A long point was in the process of being played on Simon's serve. Brandon was at the net and Simon was back. A good volley between the two of them sent Simon sprinting to his left, onto the side of the net behind Brandon.

Simon threw up a lob from his defensive position, but the Warrior player near the net took two steps back and popped an overhead down the line. Simon took off a dead sprint to try to cover the overhead which was hit hard into the ground but was losing speed as it bounded toward the baseline. On the run, Simon ripped a forehand back down the line. The turnaround from defense to offense was stunning, and the net opponent watched the ball fly past him, figuring it would land out. But it landed bang on the line, for an awesome winner.

Moment of Beauty - NorthWood - Lucas Brownsberger-Keyes
Lucas had many great points in his three set comeback victory at NorthWood. It is sometimes hard to remember all the specifics of these points. In this match, the great points were also so long. Several times Lucas would be backed up to the fence by the repeated lobs of his opponent, Landon Holland. My favorite point of the match contained this as well. Lucas came to the net, and got lobbed to the back. Waiting patiently for a short ball, Lucas drove the ball into Holland's forehand corner. Another lob went up and Lucas drove it to the backhand corner. Holland scrambled and threw up another short lobbed ball, and Lucas cracked it again. Holland guessed to his forehand corner, but Lucas had driven it behind him, back to the backhand. Lunging and off balance, Holland got a racket to it, but it floated harmlessly wide. It was so beautiful to see Lucas hang in and then play a smart shot that was so unexpected.

Moment of Beauty - NorthWood - Caleb Shenk
Speaking of hanging in there, Caleb had to hang in there in his singles match as well. After leading 7-2, he found himself suddenly in a tiebreak. During his opponent's comeback, Caleb had become more and more tentative, not quite hitting through his shots and consequently pushing the ball long and wide. But the beautiful thing in this match was that Caleb shook off that tentativity that he had been feeling and struck the ball with convincing speed. This ability to regroup was a thing of beauty.

Moment of Beauty - Blackhawk Christian - Jonathon Yousey
In Yousey's match against the Braves, Jonathon found himself matched against an opponent who hit some unbelievably powerful shots. Heading into his third set, I gave him some advice. If he could fight off and get back some of those powerful shots, he would actually begin to win some of these points. In the next game, his opponent attacked the net and smashed an overhead. Jonathon sprinted two steps to his right and deflected the ball high over the net. His opponent moved backwards, and smashed another overhead - right into the net.

So moments of beauty from effort, power, patience, guile, focus, and more. Our play is improving through the season, which it also great to see.

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