the lines are still good

Follow the happenings of an animated college tennis coach and his teams in their pursuit of an NCAA National Tennis Championship. It is always the impressive trophy that is displayed for all to admire that gets the attention, but it is the journey to claiming that trophy, the relationships built, the people served and the memories created, that live forever...and what I hope you will find interesting...

Sunday, February 09, 2014

A Start...

Well we are off to a good start folks.  In case you missed it, your Clippers defeated the Fordham University Rams yesterday at the Meyers Tennis Center 9-0 registering the first of hopefully many wins this season.

One of the big challenges this year will be the formation of our doubles teams.  The last few seasons our teams have been pretty consistent.  However, with the graduation of Andreas, David and Andrey, new pairs need to be identified.  Thankfully, Dani and Benas have stepped up and become a formidable squad that are capable of competing with the best teams in the country as demonstrated by their great fall and current #1 doubles ranking in the country.  With the addition of Rafa, Ofir and Pulat we have players to choose from but we need to find some chemistry for the remaining two doubles teams.  Something tells me that we will do some experimenting as the season begins.  With any good luck we will find three and maybe even four solid pairs.  That being said, what we wrote down in the book yesterday seemed to work pretty well as we swept the three doubles points.

Our good fortune continued in the singles and we were able to grab all six points for the match sweep.  It was nice to see Ofir and Rafa successful in their debuts.  We will need both players to make significant contributions for us to continue our recent success.  As you can see by clicking on the (9-0) above, the scores were pretty one-sided this match.  I have to be honest, I am really not sure if this was due to our great play or a less than enthusiastic performance from Coach Neil's Alma mater.  It seemed to me as though the Rams were not inspired from the moment they arrived in the building.  I certainly feel for Coach Brzov, my friend and former USTA summer league partner, as he has his work cut out for him to get his team to reach its potential.  I hope he can use his tennis smarts to get these guys on track.  I believe that he can and will do just that.

With respect to our performance I was certainly happy with the result at #1 doubles as Dani and Beni were solid and defeated a good pair.  I would like to see them get back to playing with the high energy as they did in the fall but sometimes a one-sided match takes some of that away.  I think that our new guys playing in their first collegiate matches showed their talent and promise but also some opening day jitters.  Pulat, Ofir and Rafa have plenty of experience so I expect that they will get comfortable with match play quickly and become tough outs anywhere in the lineup that they are asked to play.  I am really proud of Juuso.  He has made a great leap and is a legitimate #1 singles player in the division.  He works as hard as anyone on and off the court and his results demonstrate this.  Great things are in store for this young man.  Benas is also very hungry to compete and aspires to be the best he can be.  He is one of the guys that could play at the top for us at this point.  In addition, Ricky picked up two wins for us and looks ready to have a good senior campaign.  He is playing with more confidence and we are counting on him a lot this year.

I hope that this team continues to gel and play for each other.  We really need all eight players working hard and pushing each other to be the best.  At this time we have not achieved this.  We are close but not quite there.    I have tried several tactics to accomplish this and I will keep trying until I get it right.  I have been doing a lot of reading and have a new approach that I hope works for us.  Time will tell.

On another front, it was nice to have a solid amount of fan support at the match.  Included in the group was former AASU Pirate Dan Regan and NYIT Coach Chris Frusci.  Great to have them in Bronxville.

Next up will be Merrimack Saturday 2/22 at 2:30pm.  Hope to see you there.  Coach Neil is sneaking up on his 500th win with the men's team and that will be an amazing day in the history of Concordia athletics.
Until we meet again, God Bless You and be well.

Nuff said...