Friday, August 31, 2018

South Bend Clay Match Report

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It was a solid night for the Bruins tennis team. After really struggling on Tuesday to adjust to different styles of opponents, to the wind, to so many things... tonight we adjusted quickly and played really solid tennis. It added up to a quick 5-0 win over South Bend Clay.

Liam Bradford had a match similar to Tuesday, a player who played a lot like him except for his Colonel opponent had a really big serve. But Liam excels at returning big serves, so that weapon didn't hurt Liam very much. Instead, it was Liam who was able to do damage, again whipping shots into the backhand corner to win many points.

At #1D and #2D, we really tried to start playing to our strengths. I loved seeing Nathan and Will finish off a lot of points at the net. I loved seeing Jonah get his overhead and volley going as well. Probably my two favorite points were watching people take confident shots in areas where they've struggled in the past. Jonah got a low volley and instead of trying to finish it for a winner, he adjusted and popped it over into the service box. As the Clay player scooped it up, Jonah readjusted his feet and put away the overhead. A simple play that led to an aggressive one. In #2D, Tyson lifted a lob over the Clay net man, and then a ball was lobbed up over Will. Will took three confident steps backward, got under the ball, and rocketed an overhead cross court. It was so good to see!

#2S and #3S kind of were the opposite of each other. At #3S, Philip started off very strong. He was attacking, placing balls where he wanted and eating up any mid court balls. He also had very few errors. At #2S, Caleb started off shaky with a lot of errors and missed serves. He was feeling some frustration too at the slow pace of play. But as Caleb forgave himself for that, he really began to come on. After trailing 2-1, Caleb won 11 straight games.

Philip's focus maybe slipped a bit in the second set. He was on cruise control and then started to miss a few more serves and shots. These compounded into his loss of a couple games. Still, he finished things off well and didn't let it get too tight. I was really proud of the work that he put in.

So, another win is in the books for the varsity. I can see the path forward for our improvement, and I can't wait to win a close match. That day is going to be so much fun!

The JV match was really short tonight. Christopher Craw and Angel Torres played doubles for a 6-0 victory. There isn't too much to say other than I felt like Chris served well and Angel didn't let anything go. He competed all the way through the points. Plus, now Angel is undefeated to begin his senior season. That's fun!

Since there were no other JV matches, we played a Blue v. White Scrimmage. That was pretty fun, as all the JV players got to play 2 out of 3 sets, even though the sets only went to 4. There were some pretty competitive matches. Josh Cartwright and Aaron Shenk played contrasting styles, Josh on defense and Aaron on offense. That match went to a second set tiebreak. Matthew Dyck relied on consistency and one solid weapon while Jim Lyu went for big shots. Angel Torres and Sam Setiawan got better as the match went on, but were foiled by the more consistent freshmen, Josiah Schlabach and Jacob Leininger. And Joseph Mounsithiraj and Theo Siemens-Rhodes showed great net presence in their victory. So, even though they didn't get to play the other team, each JV guy had a chance to get better.

It was enough to have fun with you guys. Middle-Middle was a blast, slamming balls and moving quickly as we waited on Clay to arrive. Relaxing and watching us play to our strengths without too many nerve wracking moments was fun. It was a night to enjoy tennis and that was enough.

You are brothers when you support each other. Even though the other team lacked a JV, it showed me the commitment of so many of the JV players that you stayed around and supported the varsity. That's super cool, and it makes our program unique. And you got to eat some delicious food after the match. That time committed to each other makes you brothers.

I  am grateful for...
- the beautifully cool weather the last 2 days.
- the shade of our pine trees when we play.
- the generosity of the parents who provide us with delicious meals.
- the plan of improvement that I see in front of us.
- the understanding of players who didn't get to play tonight.
- the effort in the JV Blue-White match.
- simple tennis.
- dinks and lobs.
- Middle-Middle.
- Nathan's serves :-)
- Caleb's ability to let go and move forward.
- Jonah's willingness to commit to the net.
- so much more...

God, may we continue to live in the joy of Your grace. You provide us with so much that we need, and when we work for each other, we experience so much joy. Give us that perspective. Thanks!

#1S - Liam Bradford - 6-1, 6-0 - Johnny Anderson (12)
#2S - Caleb Shenk - 6-2, 6-0 - Michael Dukes (12)
#3S - Philip Krabill - 6-0, 6-2 - Shaedyn Springer (11)
#1D - Nathan Oostland/Jonah Farran - 6-0, 6-1 - Benjamin Aberegg (11)/Braydon Dukes (11)
#2D - Will Nisley/Tyson Miller - 6-0, 6-0 - Jarod VandeZander (11)/Nathan Duszynski (9)

Junior Varsity
#1DJV - Christopher Craw/Angel Torres - 6-0 - Marquise Dawning (10)/Zondre Riles (9)

Blue v. White
#1SJV - Braden Bohn - 1-4, 0-4 - Andrew Buschert
#2SJV - Aaron Shenk 2-4, 4-5 (5) - Josh Cartwright
#3SJV - Jim Lyu - 1-4, 2-4 - Matthew Dyck
#1DJV - Joseph Mounsithiraj/Theo Siemens-Rhodes - 4-0, 4-1 - Christopher Craw/Austin Shenk
#2DJV - Angel Torres/Sam Setiawan - 1-4, 3-5 - Josiah Schlabach/Jacob Leininger

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