We knew going in that it would be tough to compete against a public school of 1,900 students with Tristan and Jack out with injuries, Kylan ineligible because of transfer rules, and Atty having to leave early to help continue the impressive Laguna run in CIF D6 Basketball Playoffs. Instead of focusing on what we didn’t have yesterday, I’ll focus on some things I saw that looked promising.
Ben Furukawa – Ben was playing excellent tennis yesterday. He went 2-1, and though he fell 0-6 to Kento Perera (click his name to see his ridiculously high national ranking), he played lots of good, long points at a very high level. The San Marcos coach told me that earlier this week, Perera dropped only 5 points in three sets against the best guys from Santa Ynez, so Ben definitely did better than the three of those guys combined. We’ll take it as a minor victory! In his other two sets, Ben looked in control from start to finish, winning 6-1 and 6-0, including a win over a tournament level player in Dan Coulson.
Phillip Hicks & Martin Barnick – After a slow start in the first round, these two started to play some smart doubles and picked up our other two wins of the day. As we’ve only been practicing for one week and haven’t had everyone together at the same time, most of the doubles combinations were brand-new, and I’m pretty sure these guys have only played together once before. I’m happy with the way they worked together and played actively at the net in their second and third sets.
Henry Farrell & Atty Roddick – These guys have literally never been on the tennis court together before. Atty is still in the midst of basketball playoffs, but has been doing his best to squeeze in the occasional lesson, while Henry just finished soccer and only has a few consecutive days on the court. Given the freshman/sophomore combo and the relative inexperience and lack of practice, I was very impressed by the way they came together against San Marcos’ #2 doubles team yesterday. Fighting back from 2-5, they even took the lead at 6-5, before falling 7-3 in the tie-breaker.
Fan Support – Laguna Blanca boys’ tennis parents were out in full force yesterday, which was great to see. I saw lots of supportive cheering and I think we benefited from their presence. We’re all very excited to play in front of a growing number of fans and supporters at our home courts this coming Monday at 3pm against a very tough Malibu team.
Collectively – Everyone got to play in the match and that means everyone’s got one under the belt. We looked nervous in the first round, but I think we’ll be less so at the next one having had the experience. Also, after a 13-2 season last year, it’s almost nice to have a loss to a D1 team early on in the season because it takes some of the pressure off as far as trying to have the “perfect” season.
While the score was a bit of a bummer, we know we have tons of potential and plenty of time to step it up so we won’t take this one to heart. I intentionally scheduled us a lot of tough matches this year, because over the last few years we’ve earned the opportunity to prove ourselves on a higher level. I have a feeling we’ll look back on this at the end of the season…well, actually, we probably won’t look back at all. Onward!
– Trevor Thorpe