Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Jimtown Match Report

VARSITY MATCH REPORT: Jimtown 5, Bethany Christian 0
It was a really tough night for our varsity tonight. Across the board we looked like we were nervous and were lacking confidence. And perhaps that is natural as many of us were playing in new positions or on varsity for the first time. But we just didn't play to our potential.

A large part of that was due to Jimtown's set of skills. In the singles positions, Jimtown fielded excellent athletes who were able to return a lot of balls. Early in the #1S match, Liam was able to win the long rallies and slow points with his signature style of play, mixing up slices, lobs, and driven ground strokes. But just before the end of the first set, the Jimmie's Austin Pearison adjusted and began to change his approach. He became more consistent and that change left Liam with little to do.

At #2S and #3S, we really played nervous in the first set. This saw us make a lot of errors while the Jimmies' players consistently hit the ball in and made us finish off points. In the second sets, we became more patient, which meant that the points lasted longer and we were in better positions when we were aggressive. These sets became really fun to watch because their were points and games where Caleb and Philip really played their best, and their energy really started flowing. Unfortunately, we didn't keep our belief and our games the same as it came to the ends of the set. We often got too aggressive or too timid, and couldn't find that normal balance.

In the doubles matches, we really struggled with nerves. As a result, we hit a lot of easy balls out. At #1D, we weren't aggressive with our net play or with our passing shots. The result was a lot of desperate, late swings that were framed over the baseline. In the second set, Nathan and Jonah settled down a little bit and forced some errors and put away some points. Taking a 3-2 lead it looked like we had a lot of life. But again, closing the set was hard and we made too many simple errors.

Simple errors was the killer at #2D as well. Many times Braden and Chris would take the lead in a game, holding a 40-15 or 40-30 advantage, only to hit a second serve return in the net or fall victim to a double fault. These type of errors are the ones that reveal our nervousness.

I think it is really important to realize there is nothing to be nervous about. To put our importance in the fellowship of the team and in the acceptance we have there, and in Christ. Realizing that the match is just fun can go a long way in letting us actually relax and have fun!

JV MATCH REPORT: Jimtown JV 6, Bethany Christian JV 3
The JV match was a difficult task. Jimtown has a very experienced JV team, especially at the top positions. In their top 7, they had 4 juniors and seniors. We had 0, and instead had 4 freshman in those positions coupled with 3 sophomores.

But I thought the team responded well. Josh Cartwright played his first match at #1SJV, and came out slow, getting down 3-0 to start the match. But then he found a rhythm, and from that point on played even tennis to lose 5-8. Austin Shenk and Matthew Dyck took the opposite approach, playing strong at the beginning of the match only to get nervous near the end and also fall 5-8. However, all 3 of those guys got a second chance to play and pulled out a win in their second matches.

Josiah Schlabach and Sam Setiawan also played their first HS matches ever, but fell to strong opponents. It was good to see them keep rallies going and keep their heads up.

Tyson Miller and Joseph Mounsithiraj had a competitive match that didn't end up showing a competitive score. Much like the varsity doubles teams, they struggled with simple errors in big moments of the match. Some of those errors are going to happen, but we have to stay in a mental state where we forgive ourselves and move to a better plan for the next time.

All in all, I was pleased with our attitude and effort on the JV level. And that is what we can control.

It was enough to see some grit tonight. Though we started out slowly, we didn't give in. We came back to the way that we wanted to play. That is so important. That is how we will get better. We could have thrown in the towel, or done something drastic, but instead we went back to work with a good attitude. It was enough tonight to see the comebacks by Philip, Caleb, #1D, #2D, Josh, and the freshman in their second matches.

You are brothers. My absolute favorite part of the match was as we gathered around Philip and Caleb's courts when they were the last remaining players. Their matches didn't matter for the varsity score, we had already lost 3-0. Even if they both won, we couldn't win. But you circled around them and cheered. You encouraged them. You stayed until the final point. Because you are brothers.

I am grateful for...
- Caleb's confident serve.
- Liam's drop shots.
- Jacob's photography skills.
- Theo's cheering ability.
- Sam's smile and wave.
- that we are off to a good start.
- that we stuck with our shots.
- that we get a chance to play again soon.
- that we could talk trumpets and the Imperial march on the bus ride.
- that we continue to learn to compete.
- that expressing love is the point, not winning.
- that you guys care for each other and for improving.
- that Theo talked to me about a tennis video he watched, and wanted to practice.
- that the season is off and running.

God, I am grateful with every breath for the guys on this team. Help us breath in the confidence of your love. Let us feel deep in our bones that we have nothing to lose. May we truly be men who find our joy in encouraging others. And may we have patience with ourselves as we make progress slowly, learn new lessons, and slowly improve.

#1S - Liam Bradford - 4-6, 1-6 - Austin Pearison (12)
#2S - Caleb Shenk - 2-6, 5-7 - Bill Pawlak (11)
#3S - Philip Krabill - 1-6, 5-7 - Sam Wort (10)
#1D - Jonah Farran/Nathan Oostland - 1-6, 3-6 - Nate Behrens (12)/Preston Philips (11)
#2D - Christopher Craw/Braden Bohn - 1-6, 2-6 - Tim Gardner (12)/Christian Vanderwerf (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Josh Cartwright - 5-8 - Matt Margraf (9)
#2SJV - Josiah Schlabach - 0-8 - Andrew Coble (11)
#3SJV - Sam Setiawan - 0-8 - Ben Behrens (10)
#4SJV - Joseph Mounsithiraj - 8-4 - Braxten Rice (9)
#5SJV - Tyson Miller - 3-8 - Aiden Short (9)
#6SJV - Josh Cartwright - 8-1 - Anderson Slabaugh (9)
#1DJV - Tyson Miller/Joseph Mounsithiraj - 1-8 - Luke Flick (11)/Koleton Dover (11)
#2DJV - Matthew Dyck/Austin Shenk - 5-8 - Kole Ross (10)/Kayden Wolfe (12)
#3DJV - Josiah Schlabach/Sam Setiawan - 1-8 - Joe Saunders (10)/Keaton Wolfe (10)
#4DJV - Matthew Dyck/Austin Shenk - 8-4 - Beau Barhams (9)/Luke Bottom (9)

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