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There's lots that I could report about this match. I could give the play by play of each match, could talk about my kids running around during the day, could say all the things that I appreciate and all the things that got on my nerves. But instead, let's make this short.
It all came down to the Wabash match for who would win this tournament, and while we started out strong and were given the opportunity to win - we seemed to see that opportunity as something to fear. So instead of closing out a couple of close matches, we lost 3-2.
Which meant that our last match was a little dicey, because Wabash had only beaten Eastern by a score of 3-2. What was really important about the day is how we would respond. And we responded so well. Liam bounced back from his defeat in the Wabash match with a very controlled 6-2, 6-2 victory. Caleb fought off his disappointment to play a dominating match, winning a close set 6-4 before turning on the jets and winning 6-0 in the second. And #1D, after having lost in a 10 point tiebreak, redeemed themselves in the Eastern match. They went down 2-7 in the 10 point tiebreak, looking like they were headed to another loss. But Nathan and Jonah decided they were not going to lose, and reeled off 8 of the next 9 points to win the third set 10-8. Their demeanor, their belief, everything changed.
And Philip at #3S, Tyson and Will at #2D, they performed really well in getting 3 victories on the day. As we ended our regular season at 9-10, we have improved with 2 more victories than last season. Every position on our team has around a .500 record, and is playing their best heading into the end of the year. That's a really fun place to be.
IT WAS ENOUGH
It was enough to see your response. To see you come back from the disappointment of Wabash with a new energy and new belief. It is amazing how much our attitude and belief has to do with how we move and how we play. It was most evident in #1D, but I have seen it everywhere throughout the season. It was enough to see you return to what you wanted to do.
YOU ARE BROTHERS
You are brothers. I love this tournament because it is always such a chill environment. I love Portage because it's big, complex, and teaches you to work through matches with your partner or to motivate yourself. I love Wabash because it is intimate, the matches are close by each other, the courts are shaded by trees, it's often cold... all these things that make me want to snuggle up with my coffee and watch you guys compete. And you did. And then you sat around and laughed at the picnic tables. You gave energy to #1D as they completed their comeback. You understood what it takes to win. I love you guys. You are brothers.
I AM GRATEFUL
I am grateful for...
- the ways I saw us play at our best.
- a wonderful weather day to coach and play in.
- my kids ability to be around you players.
- the vocal support the team lent to each other in this match.
- so many more things that I can't write them all...
God, it's been a great regular season. I give all credit to You for keeping us free of injury and helping us work together as different people pursuing faith and tennis. As we head into the end of the season, God, grant us freedom and lightness. Not to come down hard on ourselves but to know that where we are is enough, because we are Your children, and You've given us a lot of wonderful gifts this season. Thanks, in Jesus name, amen.
Round 1 - v. Taylor
#1S - Liam Bradford - 6-1, 6-2 - Ethan Klepinger (10)
#2S - Caleb Shenk - 6-1, 6-1 - Casey Switzer (12)
#3S - Philip Krabill - 6-1, 6-0 - Evan Fleek (9)
#1D - Nathan Oostland/Jonah Farran - 6-0, 6-1 - BJ Pemberton (12)/Kendall Lanning (10)
#2D - Will Nisley/Tyson Miller - Forfeited by Taylor
Round 2 - v. Wabash
#1S - Liam Bradford - 2-6, 2-6 - Rob Ford (11)
#2S - Caleb Shenk - 6-4, 1-6, (5-10) - Alex Driscoll (12)
#3S - Philip Krabill - 6-0, 6-0 - R.J. Steig (10)
#1D - Nathan Oostland/Jonah Farran - 6-4, 1-6, (6-10) - Asif Khan (11)/Jonah France (11)
#2D - Will Nisley/Tyson Miller - 6-0, 6-2 - Gage Ballard (12)/Logan Lutterall (10)
Round 2 - v. Eastern
#1S - Liam Bradford - 6-2, 6-2 - Matt Harrison (11)
#2S - Caleb Shenk - 6-4, 6-0 - Lukas Darling (11)
#3S - Philip Krabill - 6-0, 6-0 - Sam Salkie (11)
#1D - Nathan Oostland/Jonah Farran - 3-6, 6-2, (10-8) - Josh Rush (11)/Caleb Newhouse (12)
#2D - Will Nisley/Tyson Miller - 6-3, 6-3 - Andrew Hartman (11)/Nolan Lapp (11)