It’s been a busy week and a half for the Laguna Owls, with four matches and two players competing in the oldest and most prestigious tournament in California.
The high school division of The Ojai is an invitation-only event, pitting the top 64 singles players and doubles teams in CIF against each other in individual competition. Laguna Blanca’s Tristan Prinz and Phillip Hicks were entered and accepted as a doubles squad, while Ben Furukawa made the alternate list but did not have the opportunity to compete. Continue reading
Over the weekend I had the rare opportunity to play a USTA men’s open tournament for only the second time in the last five years. I got a good draw and built on each win, stepping up my game as the opponents got more challenging, and by the end of the weekend I had won three matches and booked a ticket to the finals. Here’s the recap, including a play-by-play of the finals match, with photos courtesy of Les Morales Photography: Continue reading
I have been working with Tristan Prinz for almost three years now and he’s getting to a really nice level at this point. He’s been on a roll in practice of late, and looks ready to make a big jump this year in high school play.
Here is some baseline rallying we’ve been doing to get him in rhythm and improve his court fitness. This video is also a great way to compare righty and lefty strokes, as I will be in the foreground a bit in the beginning before Tristan moves to that position.
This last year was perhaps the most rewarding, and certainly the most successful year so far for Thorpe Tennis. I feel fortunate to continue working with players and teams across the Santa Barbara area and particularly to impact the lives of our young students.
A few highlights from the year at Thorpe Tennis: Continue reading
It was a summer of much activity for Thorpe Tennis. There has been a lot of enthusiasm and the results have followed. Here’s what happened: Continue reading
Today, the Owls clinched our first Condor League tennis title with a 10-8 victory against the Cate School. The match was full of surprises, upsets, comebacks, and excellent play all around, so it was a fitting way for us to win the title. Continue reading
It’s been quite a while between updates on the Thorpe Tennis blog, but it certainly hasn’t been an uneventful time out on the courts.
After a rough girls’ season over at Cate, some of the girls are looking ready to make another run at the playoffs this coming year. I’m excited to see what a healthy Marina Narain can do as a senior and if our last few court sessions are any indicator, Mady Snider is looking very dangerous coming into her final season. I’m also looking forward to seeing what all the hard work Kate Dehlendorf and I have put into her game over the last year will yield.
On the boys’ side, I’ve been working very hard with a number of players who are really turning the corner. It’s hard to pick a few guys to mention because there are really quite a few working hard and making gains. In particular, Jack Espy, Martin Barnick, Benji Sorensen, and Ben Furukawa have shown some real progression. Ben just recently won the K&W Junior Satellite Classic in San Diego without dropping a set and has been finishing in the top two of most of the local club tournaments all summer.
My younger students are also showing great promise. Alex Furukawa has performed well in local tournaments this summer and Daniel Newton made a strong showing in his tournament debut (much better than my 0-10 start when I was his age!!!). These two and a few others I teach are all headed to Laguna Blanca for high school, so this is 2x good news to me! I’m making a prediction for the future of the Condor League now: Laguna will be the dominant force and it’s coming soon.
Lately, I have been thinking about how important it is to show improvement over time, especially to those that improve. Sometimes it can be hard to see one’s own progression because it happens one day at a time, whereas, looking from the outside (perhaps a parents perspective, watching matches occasionally), change is evident immediately. One way I intend to do this is through more video analysis and archiving, but I also hope to pick this blog back up again. The future is bright and it’s important to celebrate and make note as things unfold.