Saturday’s NESCAC regular season finale between #4 ranked Amherst and #6 ranked Midd was all over D3 news as being the first battle in a war for the national title between the two conference powerhouses.
|Trivia: what shot is Chris hitting?|
After the smoke cleared, Amherst came away with the match, rocking us 9-0. As we have reflected back on this loss we have all agreed there wasn’t the same buzz and concentration amongst us as for the Emory match. When we arrived at the courts on the morning we played Emory, we all felt electricity in the air, and we responded wonderfully to that tension. However, upon arriving to Amherst College, all of us have agreed that we lacked the same sense of urgency. It’s important we’ve all acknowledged this subtle feeling, and we’ll use it to guide us into the final stages of the season.
We played Amherst close in many of the singles spots; Ari lost in a breaker for the 3rd that could have gone either way, Noah took a set off a talented player in a match that featured an age old matchup between the net rushing Solimano and the baseline shot-maker Noah. Even though Noah lost in the breaker for the 3rd, he proved he can play with the very best 2 players in the country.
Timo’s backcourt ball striking propelled him to a 7-6, 5-2 lead before the match slowed down and his Amherst opponent grinded back for the win. Undoubtedly, this was a difficult loss for Timo, but if anyone told us Timo would find himself up a set and 5-2 against the defending national champions’ 6 player, we would be thrilled to be in such a position. With more experience, Timo will win this type of match in the future.
The purchasing of two HD pole mounted cameras has given us further insight into our doubles, as we have full clips of both 1 and 2 doubles. We plan to integrate the use of film examination into our ever-improving program going forward.
There is a noticed change in the winds surrounding Midd men’s tennis since we’ve returned from Saturday’s match. There is a noticed change to the intensity with which we’ve been approaching our work.
With the regular season over, and the NESCAC tournament this weekend, our guys know it’s time for business to become even more focused, and our practice yesterday sent a clear message that we aren’t happy with the Amherst result. There was purpose in every ball we struck, impressive concentration, and furious force in our legs to position ourselves correctly for every shot.
|Charlie- behind the scenes work.|
Our physical conditioning has been slowly transforming us all season. The physical ability of our guys at this morning’s workout finally confirmed what has been in the works for a long time: we have officially traded in our PT Cruiser bodies for a fleet of roaring ’67 Ford Mustang muscle cars and Kawasaki street motorcycles. The NESCAC won’t know what to think when we roll up the garage door on Saturday with engines firing.
NESCAC Tournament Seedings: