Friday, August 17, 2018

Goshen Match Report

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VARSITY MATCH REPORT: Goshen 5, Bethany Christian 0
Experience and success.

Goshen has a team that has experience. They also have a team that has experienced success. In matches where strokes seem close, where it feels like we have similar tools to our opponent, the experience of success can do a lot in turning the tides.

In many of our matches tonight, we couldn't quite close out points, games and then matches. We got close - going to deuce a lot, getting advantages, holding 5-4 our 4-3 leads in sets. Then in these crucial situations, Goshen would play extremely good points. Or we would play extremely tight points. Or some combination of both.

And that's okay, we have a way forward:
1. Have a plan for constructing points.
2. Have confidence in our plan (ie. build it around our strengths).
3. Take time to visualize success in our plan.
4. Get our body into the patterns of success (shadow swing, split step, movement during point).
5. Stay committed to the plan.

In terms of the match, Goshen has a great singles lineup. Wes Beck, their #1S player from last year, is now playing #3S. That in itself should tell you how strong this singles lineup is going to be. But the players backed it up by the way they played. Diego Torres at #2S was ruthlessly consistent, and came forward to the net at the right moments to end the points. Ryan Hammelink played with big topspin and great placement against Braden Bohn (playing up at #1S because Liam went home sick). It was fun to watch us compete, and find some really good stretches of play, in these matches.

At doubles, our skill level was closer to the Red Hawks. Nathan and Jonah really hung in at #1D, taking leads in both sets before seeing the lead slip away. Nathan volleyed really well and Jonah had his groundstroke game working. But the Red Hawks had a bit more aggression, and our team didn't do quite enough to put the pressure on them.

Will Nisley returned to play #2D for us and partnered with Tyson Miller, who was playing his first varsity match. They played a great match, losing in three close sets. But they showed us the path to progress, simple shots in the big moments and lots of passion. The way they dealt with pressure in their second set tiebreak was excellent, simply moving on to the next point and playing it for what it was: one point. Will showed a great net game and Tyson set him up with lots of solid groundstrokes.

Now, we build on this. We always keep coming back to a belief in progress.

JV MATCH REPORT: Goshen JV 5, Bethany Christian JV 1
Admittedly, I didn't get to see much of the JV match. Assistant coach Andrew Buschert reported that it was similar to the varsity, we didn't convert the end of game points. It's hard sometimes to remember that every point is just one point.

Even though I couldn't see the matches, it was great to hear them. I could hear Matthew, Austin, Joseph, Aaron, Chris and others really getting vocal about their good moments and pumping each other up. That was so much fun.

And again, it was the doubles where we competed the best. Austin and Theo both have winning records with their victory over Goshen's #2D. And Aaron and Joseph had a very intense and entertaining match at #1D, falling just 6-8.

Ending points is important, but the same advice given to the varsity works for our JV guys too. Make a plan based around your strengths, have confidence, visualize success, move your body, and stick with it!

It was enough to process this match with you. Many of you are getting frustrated with the results of this first week. I get it. It's brutal. 3 teams with winning records year after year and experienced, high-level players. School got real this week, with assignments starting and it was our first full week. But its times like this where I step back and take a deep breath, and realize that I'm glad that I get to do this with you. I don't have to be alone. It is enough to process this stuff with you.

You are brothers. Doubles teams are awesome when they talk to each other. I loved Will and Tyson's looseness throughout their match, their smiles, their laughter. And then I heard that in Joseph and Aaron's match too. I am really glad that we can switch up doubles team within our group and still have people that have fun playing together. That come back and give high fives and fist bumps and laugh off mistakes. You do that because you are brothers.

I am grateful for...
- let's go and c'mon's!
- Braden's willingness to fill in at #1S.
- third sets with the whole team watching.
- winning tiebreaks (it's such a great feeling!)
- the way we responded to difficult games.
- the sunshine after a dreary day.
- bananas and snack mixes with M&Ms.
- each one of my players.

Lord, refresh and renew. Breathe life again into our spirits. Heal us from sickness, literally, as we've been passing a cold around the team and school. Give us a chance to rest. Give us eternal perspectives, that the relationships we form by doing this together far outweigh any wins we get. But we'd like some relief from our nerves and fears as well, so give us that grace. Thanks!

#1S - Braden Bohn - 0-6, 0-6 - Ryan Hammelink (11)
#2S - Caleb Shenk - 1-6, 1-6 - Diego Torres (12)
#3S - Philip Krabill - 2-6, 0-6 - Wes Beck (12)
#1D - Nathan Oostland/Jonah Farran - 3-6, 4-6 - Ben Bontrager-Singer (12)/Drake Crowder (12)
#2D - Will Nisley/Tyson Miller - 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 3-6 - Axel Brown (12)/Wyatt Fisher (11)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Christopher Craw - 1-8 - Carlos Lichty (10)
#2SJV - Josh Cartwright - 0-8 - Carter Schmucker (9)
#3SJV - Josiah Schlabach - 1-8 - Cormac Koop Liechty (10)
#1DJV - Joseph Mounsithiraj/Aaron Shenk - 6-8 - Josh Haimers (12)/Braxton Kincaid (12)
#2DJV - Theo Siemens-Rhodes/Austin Shenk - 8-5 - Zach Barker (11)/Zef Fransen (12)
#3DJV - Matthew Dyck/Sam Setiawan - 1-8 - Carlos Lichty (10)/Zef Fransen (12)

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