Monday, September 25, 2017

Climbing Report 16: Wabash Invitational

Match Report
What a crazy day.

Three close matches ended up in two wins, but it didn't always look likely to happen. In fact, in each match of the day, it looked like things could go either for a win or for a loss.

But what I liked most about the day is that we are really learning to respond well. At the end of the season, it's good to see us rise up to take on challenges.

In the first match against Taylor, our biggest challenge was against ourselves. It became clear early in this match that we would be able to win the doubles matches fairly easily. Dustin, Nathan, Jonah and Philip all played nice matches and the two teams won. That meant we only needed to win one singles position. But Taylor throughout the year has had strong singles lineups, and so winning just one position would still be difficult.

In fact, it ended up all coming down to Jonathon's match. A match that he had lost the first set 6-1. A match that was close in the second set. Jonathon knew what he needed to do, all he had to figure out was whether he had the confidence to execute it. He had to hit the ball deep and confidently approach the net. And so, he did. In the second set he kept piling on the pressure, and slowly he began to win points and then games and build momentum. He also kept his energy up by vocalizing it with positive encouragement for himself. He won the second set and headed into the 3rd set 10 point tiebreak, which would decide the team match as we were tied at 2-2.

In the tiebreak, Jonathon started out well and built a 8-3 lead. After he lost a point, he had an overhead to make the score 9-4, but he hit the net. Credit to Jonathon, he honestly told his opponent and the score was 8-5. It looked like it might get close again. But Jonathon reattacked and won the final two points to seal the first match for us.

So we moved into the second match at 1-0 on the day, and faced up against Wabash, the hosts, who had also won their first match. This match was a 3-2 win for Wabash, but the interesting thing is that even though the score seems close, none of the matches were particularly close or particularly intense. There were still great things about it... like Braden Bohn's first varsity win, or Dustin and Jonathon decisive turn in their match where they ran off 7 straight games to seal their win, or even Liam's change in attitude. But all in all, it wasn't the most dramatic match. Perhaps that was because of the 90 degree heat draining us all as we played on the courts in the sun :-)

But we headed back to the shade for our last match, and played against an Eastern team whose lineup could give us some problems. Their strength lay in their singles lineup, with their #1S and #2S both being very competitive players. Once again, we started off well by winning both doubles. But with both #1S and #2S losing their first sets, it looked like the match would come down to Braden Bohn, playing at #3S.

It's worth mentioning the discipline and focus that both doubles teams played with. Eastern had one doubles player who hit an unorthodox underhand serve, and strokes like that can make it hard to stay focused. But Dustin and Jonathon used a lot of positive energy to ensure their win. At #2D, the Comets were trying to hit the ball hard much of the time. This can be intimidating. But Jonah and Nathan stayed calm and made good solid strokes and volleys.

But the thing that was amazing in this match ended up being Liam Bradford. After difficulty earlier in the day, Liam played a very positive match. He stayed under control, didn't hit his foot, and after losing a close first set, he ended up being in control of the rest of the match. There were even several times where he let loose with a fist pump :-) His game followed his attitude and he played some of the best tennis I've seen from him. He won the second set 6-1 and then the tiebreak at 10-4 to seal the second win of the day for the Bruins and 2nd place in the tourney.

Braden Bohn followed that up with his 2nd win, and we ended up with a 4-1 victory over Eastern. Not a bad day for the Bruins. One in which we learned a lot, one that hopefully serves as a turning point for several players and one that sends our seniors out of their regular season with 3 straight great victories!

Climbing Up (A Prayer)
Lord, we are thankful. Today, You taught me about grace. Often, You give me gifts that I don't deserve. I have been given opportunities to raise wonderful children, to coach gifted athletes, to work at a caring school. And I still make the mistakes of being lazy, neglectful, hurtful, or saying the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. But You are love. And that means that You are patient and kind. Thanks. Continue to show us how gritty You are :-)

v. Taylor
#1S - Jonathon Yousey - 1-6, 6-3, 10-5 - Bailey Owens (12)
#2S - Liam Bradford - 6-2, 6-7 (4), forfeit - Peyton Tray (12)
#3S - Jacob Woolace - 1-6, 2-6 - Wynn Takacs (12)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Nathan Oostland - 6-0, 6-0 - Jacob Doty (12)/Casey Switzer (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Philip Krabill - 6-2, 6-1 - B.J. Pemberton (11)/Kendall Lanning (9)

v. Wabash
#1S - Liam Bradford - 1-6, 3-6 - Rob Ford (10)
#2S - Jacob Woolace - 1-6, 1-6 - Luke Mattern (12)
#3S - Braden Bohn - 6-1, 6-2 - Gage Ballard (11)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 6-4, 6-0 - Matt Stein (12)/Alex Driscoll (11)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 2-6, 0-6 - Asif Khan (10)/Jonah France (10)

v. Eastern
#1S - Liam Bradford - 3-6, 6-1, 10-4 - Isaac Beachey (12)
#2S - Jacob Woolace - 1-6, 2-6 - Matt Harrison (10)
#3S - Braden Bohn - 6-4, 6-0 - Lukas Darling (10)
#1D - Dustin Miller/Jonathon Yousey - 6-2, 6-2 - Manny Moreno (12)/John Rush (10)
#2D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 6-1, 6-0 - Caleb Newhouse (11)/Andrew Hartman (10)

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