Thursday, September 6, 2018

Westview Match Report

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This night was hot and humid and against a very competitive Warrior team. It didn't bring out the best in many of us, including me, the coach. We had great effort, we hit some great shots, but we struggled with our attitude and our plan. As a result, we couldn't keep our level of play high in pressure situations, and lost the match 4-1.

At #1S, Liam struggled to find ways to attack the Warrior #1S player, Kurtis Davis. Davis has the best record of any player Liam has played yet this year. Davis had very controlled strokes and usually found the right tactical answers for anything Liam threw at him. To me, it looked like Liam needed to be more aggressive, but Liam was tentative in doing that. Toward the end of the match, Liam took some bigger chances, which moved the match in the right direction, but it was too late to make a full comeback.

At #2S, Caleb really came out energetic like we talked about and playing with confidence. He built a first set lead behind biting topspin balls and attacking the net. But as the set wore on, Westview #2S Justin Schwartz began to hit more confident shots. As he made a comeback, Caleb's shots lost their punch and fell shorter and shorter. Caleb fought to take a 6-5 lead, but was taken to a tiebreak. After taking a 4-3 lead and building up some energy, Caleb saw Schwartz finish out the tiebreak calmly. In the next set, Caleb had trouble finding more energy in the heat, and lost in two sets. As coach, I couldn't find the right words or attitude or plan to help in this match either.

At #3S, Philip struggled with sickness. Leading 4-1, Philip actually threw up a little bit on the back of the court. Going to help him, he had already started playing again, saying that he was feeling better now. But it didn't look like he felt better. He soon was tied in his match and headed to a tiebreak. Of course, his tiebreak was happening right as Caleb's was happening. But Philip came out on top with some confident serves and deep topspin forehands. In the second set, Philip cruised to a 3-0 lead before throwing up again on the side of the court. Now, he said, he felt much better, much lighter, and then he finished off his second set with a win. What a crazy night for Philip.

So, the match ended up coming down to the doubles. Could we pull off victories in both? Well, both teams had good parts of the match and bad parts. Unfortunately, the bad parts came at crucial points of the match.

#1D started out well in their match. They were confident, they were attacking, they made the simple plays. Westview responded by sneaking to the middle of the net and taking away the simplest plays. And at the end of the first set, we didn't respond well to that. We continued to loft soft balls across the center of the net. But in the second set, we patrolled the net. We found the aggressive shots. We served well and moved well. We forced a third set. But in that third set, we hoped to win instead of keeping up the shots that got us there. So, again we were lofted balls to the center of the net. We went down 5-2 in the set. Then I was really proud of how we recovered, getting back into the match by winning the next two games and putting pressure on our opponents. But in the end, we couldn't finish off the comeback.

#2D was a crazy match, with each side grabbing momentum at different points. The first set was all Westview as we had difficulty finding the court with our shots. A lot of that was our anticipatory movement. In between shots we would get so flat footed and static. In the second set, we moved. We got on our toes, we kept moving within the points. Our shots followed, striking balls down the line, finding good lobs, controlling the net, dominating our serves. In the third set, we got nervous and started standing still again. We weren't ready for the shots that came back at us from our opponents. We got down 3-0, then 5-0, in the third set. Down 5-0, we resumed our movement. We started to make a comeback, but the hole was a little too deep.

As for myself, I was too frustrated watching us make the same mistakes. It was hard to not be negative, and I found myself giving in to that. But we don't have to give into that. We can find the attitude and the plan that will make for epic comebacks and passionate victories. And we'll move toward that together.

Truth be told, another coaching deficiency in this match was that I didn't make it around to the JV matches nearly enough. I saw enough to know a couple of things...

1. This wasn't our best match.
2. We didn't move very well.
3. We were ready to learn and move forward.

Braden Bohn played one of his best matches of the season at #1SJV. He had finished off his match against Triton with some really great play, and he carried that into the match against Westview. Playing at the top of the JV, he swept to an 8-0 victory and was off the court quickly. I really liked his controlled aggression.

At our other positions, we struggled to move in the heat and keep the ball in the court. I'm not sure what caused our tentative nature, but we just didn't really even look like ourselves. We were missing the passion and energy that we often bring.

There were a couple of really bright spots, the freshmen really working hard and getting better at all sorts of things. Matthew's serve is coming around, Austin's serve is gaining consistency, Jacob's strokes are going in more and more, Josiah is continuing to learn where to position himself, Josh works hard within his matches.

But nothing was really working, and we didn't really find ways to make it better within the match. However, that is what practice is for, right?

It was enough to come with effort tonight. It was enough that we are ready to come with effort tomorrow. It was enough to have that base of desire to start from.

You are my brothers. After the match, I realized how poorly I had modeled the hopeful and positive attitude that I want you guys to take on the court. So I emailed out a note acknowledging that, saying sorry. I got an email back in four minutes saying, "No problem Matt. You are enough." My brothers, that was so soul refreshing. I got another email talking about dealing with frustration. I love that we really get to do this thing together. You are my brothers.

I am grateful for...
- your effort.
- your desire.
- your nerves.
- your misplayed shots.
- your attempts to improve.
- your successes.
- your failures.
- your movement.
- your love of each other.
- your encouragement.
- your forgiveness.
- each one of you.

Lord, thanks for people doing things together. Bring us together again!

#1S - Liam Bradford - 0-6, 2-6 - Kurtis Davis (11)
#2S - Caleb Shenk - 6-7 (4), 1-6 - Justin Schwartz (11)
#3S - Philip Krabill - 7-6 (3), 6-3 - Kendall Schwartz (9)
#1D - Nathan Oostland/Jonah Farran - 4-6, 6-1, 4-6 - Brandon Eash (12)/Elijah Hostetler (9)
#2D - Will Nisley/Tyson Miller - 1-6, 6-3, 1-6 - Will Clark (10)/Brady Hostetler (10)

Junior Varsity
#1SJV - Braden Bohn - 8-0 - Brennan Beachy (9)
#2SJV - Josh Cartwright - 3-8 - Micah Yoder (11)
#3SJV - Aaron Shenk - 0-8 - Isaac Rogers (9)
#4SJV - Jacob Leininger - 0-8 - Micah Yoder (11)
#1DJV - Joseph Mounsithiraj/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 1-8 - Ryan Klaassen (11)/Anthony Miller (11)
#2DJV - Christopher Craw/Matthew Dyck - 5-8 - Ryan Klaassen (11)/Anthony Miller (11)
#3DJV - Austin Shenk/Josiah Schlabach - 1-8 - Brennan Beachy (9)/Isaac Rogers (9)

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