Yesterday, the boys traveled to Alvirne for what we knew would be a tough first round tournament match at Alvirne. We knew we would have to fight hard on all courts, and we did. As you read this, please note that even though the match came down to two individuals, one single match does not decide the outcome. This is a team sport, and it takes five matches to win.
Our number one Jack Schroeder faced another one of the top players in the state, junior Peyton Meuse. Jack played his own game, read his opponent well, crashing the net and forcing the Alvirne player out of his comfort zone. He led for a large portion of the match, but ultimately succumbed to the barrage of returns and heavy forehands from the Alvirne number one, losing 6-8. Christopher Lynch played the twin brother of the Alvirne number one, who is almost equal in skill to his brother. Even though Christopher was outmatched, he fought harder than the 0-8 score showed. Chris Van Natta at number three singles faced a great player who was having an unbelievable day. After Chris came out with an early lead at 2-1, the Alvirne player ceased making unforced errors, and began a period of flawless play that never ended. Chris lost 3-8. Max Smith played a solid match. Although he was feeling the pressure, he led for the entire match, playing his hallmark hard-hitting baseline shots. After two loose games at 7-4, Max put his opponent away with ease, 8-6. In much the same way, Jack Krasnof was in control of his match. Jack was faced with a very consistent opponent who did not make a mistake. Jack found his stride and through well-timed net crashing, took the match 8-6. At number six singles it was all about Logan. From the first game Logan had control of the match. He showed his improvement from practice and moved his opponent in all directions, forcing errors. Logan won 8-1.
The score was tied going into doubles. With three matches won for both Alvirne and DS, it was going to be a struggle for two doubles matches. The Meuse brothers from Alvirne showed their grit, jumping out to a quick lead on court one. They played great doubles, picking our guys apart and finding holes through which to hit their hard forehands. Jack Schroeder and Christopher Lynch went through all the plays in their book, but could not find one that worked, losing 0-8. Now we jump to number three doubles, where Jack Krasnof and Ben Brar asserted their dominance early and jumped out to a 4-1 lead. Although they let their opponents back into the match twice, they held on and through constant movement at the net pulled out the win, 8-6. It was all down to two doubles. Max Smith and Chris Van Natta were working to overcome some nerves, but they remained with the Alvirne team. At 4-5, Max and Chris had some narrow misses, dropping two games. They knew they had to cut out the unforced errors, so they renewed their focus and pulled out the next two games making the score 6-7. In the final game the Alvirne players played big at the net, closing the middle and shutting down Max and Chris 6-8.
Although our season is over, the boys should not hang their heads in this loss. The boys exceeded all expectations for this season and I am proud of the way they came together as a team.