Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Climbing Report 10: Westview

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Varsity Match Report
With Dustin's injury keeping him out of this match, the varsity had to switch things around tonight and we put people in all sorts of new positions. Liam moved from playing #3S at the beginning of the season to competing at #1S in this match. Joel moved up to #2S and Braden Bohn got a crack at a varsity match, taking up #3S. And things got mixed up in the doubles as well, as Jacob and Jonathon paired together for the first time. The only thing that stayed relatively the same was #2D, where Nathan and Jonah continued to compete.

What's interesting about this match is that it was the position that stayed the same that struggled most in the early parts of the match. Nathan and Jonah looked "tired and uninspired" as they set about their match. Quickly they were far behind in the first set. The second set started much the same. Then we talked about energy, about positivity, about coming back and giving the match all we had. About being aggressive. And as we made our comeback in the second set, we learned another thing about doubles:

Doubles matches are usually won by the more active and aggressive team.

Unfortunately, Nathan and Jonah's aggression got them back into the set, but it was a little too late for them to win it. But Jacob and Jonathon became simple and aggressive at just the right time. In the end of the first set, I encouraged them to move up on the net and put more pressure on the Westview team. In doing this, they turned a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 first set win. With the confidence of this set, they were able to keep the momentum going and sealed the second set rapidly.

In the singles matches, I encouraged the players to go out with enthusiasm and expect to play well. And they did. All the singles positions won games early in the set and competed well. I loved watching Braden's long points, Joel's baseline overhead and fist pump, and Liam's all around great play. Of all the players in tonight's match, it was Liam who picked it up the most. He played against a singles player who has had some great victories on the season - over Northridge and Jimtown specifically. And it was Liam who controlled most of the points. That was simply awesome to see.

Hopefully, we continue to use the things we are learning to climb up, to strive more, to do better. That will be the mark of this season. Tonight's shake up seemed to be a rung in the right direction.

JV Match Report
Lot's of exciting matches at the top of the JV lineup in this match. In three of the top five positions we saw the JV match go into tiebreaks. In #1S, it was a 8-6 score. So very close, very good matches.

And we came out on top at the two doubles tiebreaks, and it was because we became active, aggressive and positive. In the #1DJV match, Braydon Harshberger continues to show that when he is positive and consistent, his shots put all sorts of pressure on the opponent. Playing with a steady hand like Joseph helps him too. Although Joseph and Braydon trailed 7-6 in their match, they moved into Braydon's serve with confidence. Even a 10 minute rain delay didn't stop them as they roared into the tiebreak. In the tiebreak, they got loud and they got confidence. After each big shot, Braydon hi-fived Joseph and yelled "C'mon!" His attitude was great, his footwork followed, and Braydon and Joseph breezed to the tiebreak win.

At #2D, the comeback was even greater. Down 6-3 and then 7-4, Chris and Tyson figured out how to move together to aggressive positions on the court. This movement simply upped their energy, and suddenly they had all sorts of good shots. Chris had several overheads that he put away at the net. Tyson played consistently with his backhand. Not only were they making a comeback, they were playing good doubles. They moved into a tiebreak and the score never got close. They won the first 5 points in a row and eased to a 7-2 tiebreak win.

The singles matches were close, but we were on the wrong side of the comebacks in these matches. Our juniors, Tommy and Philip, both built early leads on the mistakes of their opponents. But when the mistakes dried up, they didn't have a good way to finish the points. Which leads us to a great point about singles matches.

Singles matches are usually won by the player who has a weapon to finish points.

That weapon may be many things: an unbreakable serve, a winner creating forehand, the ability to attack the net, or feet that never quit and hands that enable you to get everything back. In any case, in none of the singles matches did we have that big weapon. And that big weapon is something that we need to develop over time.

Climbing Up (Moments of Gratitude)

1st Rung - I'm grateful to the team for their attitude. Tonight's lineup shuffles (both JV and varsity) seem like the culmination of many problems throughout the season. Injuries, sickness, and other things seem to have plagued this season. I'm grateful for the way you guys have rolled with it and given each challenge your best.

2nd Rung - I'm thankful for the special shots we hit. The ones we will remember. Joel Yoder hit a baseline overhead for a winner in the second set and let out a big "Let's go!" It will be a shot that I will always think about when I remember Joel's tennis career. It showcases his exuberance and continued skill improvement.

3rd Rung - I'm grateful for this team's self-honesty. For the most part tonight, when I pointed out to guys what they were doing wrong or lacking, they were willing to agree. We didn't defend ourselves or make excuses. That is so awesome! The next step is turning towards doing the right things instead. When we recognize that our feet are lazy, that we are timid, that we are tired... we need to also turn that around and not get stuck at the "confession." I'm grateful for where we are, I'm excited about where we can go next.

#1S - Liam Bradford - 2-6, 4-6 - Kurtis Davis (10)
#2S - Joel Yoder - 1-6, 1-6 - Austin Hostetler (12)
#3S - Braden Bohn - 1-6, 1-6 - Ryan Barker (12)
#1D - Jonathon Yousey/Jacob Woolace - 7-5, 6-1 - Brandon Eash (11)/Ryan Miller (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 1-6, 3-6 - Ethan Roth (12)/Justin Schwartz (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Philip Krabill - 6-8 - Will Clark (9)
#2SJV - Aaron Shenk - 0-8 - Tim Brandenberger (9)
#3SJV - Tommy Nguyen - 7-8 (3) - Brady Hostetler (9)
#4SJV - Angel Torres - 2-8 - Micah Yoder (10)
#5SJV - Jim Lyu - 0-3 - Anthony Miller (10)
#1DJV - Braydon Harshberger/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 8-7 (2) - Anthony Miller (10)/Ryan Klaassen (10)
#2DJV - Chris Craw/Tyson Miller - 8-7 (2) - Jairo Mojica (12)/Alex Young (12)
#3DJV - Kameron Branum/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 0-6 - Will Clark (9)/Tim Brandenberger (9)

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