For the third year in a row Simsmore juniors have qualified for the State Championship!!!

The 18and 14 teams had a fantastic year! Congratulations to all players that participated! A big thank you to the parents for getting the players to all of the matches!

Our approach for the state tournament was to give as many players as possible the opportunity to experience the tournament.

The 14s played on Saturday March 21. They were the number 1 seed thanks to their undefeated season! Unfortunately we had to default a line because only two girls were available to play. The rules for the state stated that each team had to have a minumum of three boys and three girls.

The match of the day belonged to Andrew Bell. He played a singles match and was down 0-3 and 1-4. He was able to take some simple coaching, change his game plan and turn the match arround. He displayed what we teach at Simsmore Tennis, which is an all-court game. Mentally he was able to stay positive and showed great spirit!

The doubles match that stood out was Brady Cowling and Cole Miranda, who were able to recognize their opponent’s weakness and pick on it! They were able to change the basic doubles strategy of hitting cross court returns to hitting down the line, which their opponents were not covering! Again, our players displayed the ability to change their game plans according to the situation!

Newcomer Nick Hayes, age 9, showed how to move forward in doubles and take over the net, even though his opponents out-weighed him by 50lbs and were 1-2 feet taller! There are no size categories in tennis, only heart! We look forward to watching Nick in the upcoming years!

Pam Fetzer, Jamie MacNeil, Ellen MacNeil, Ashton Kille – rounded out the team and all deserve a lot of credit for a very succesful year!

The team did not make it to the finals, but showed good sportmanship and had a great time together!

The 18’s had a stellar year as well with a 7-1 record! The Tuesday/Thursday high school practices were a great time this year with excellent energy!

“Variety is the key to success” – Claudia Berns

This comment turned out to tell the whole story of the 18’s day at states. The players that had variety, or could deal with it, won. They players that did not, lost.

As an example, in Jason Sittambalam’s first singles match, when he was able to hit underspin slow shots and make his opponent play from the mid court or have to pass him, he won the points. When this tactic was not used the result was not in our favor. As in life, we need to be able to pick our battles and how we choose to fight them is very important. It was a great match, but Jason lost a close one 4-6.

The comment also held true in an excellent singles match by Brianna Raymes. Brianna was steady and moved the girl around the court and brought her in, which she did not like. At 5-1 there was a classic mental situation that occured. Brianna, up two match points, became quite nervous. At 5-3, the opponent became quite nervous realizing that she was coming back from the edge! Brianna went on to win 6-3. The match showed the mental situations and momentum shifts that are common for all players. When you are winning, you need to be able to keep it up and finish off your opponent. When you are down, you are not out until it is really over!

Jason and Colin Kirkland had a great doubles match, with Colin really showing his improvement at the net this year! They had the only doubles win , 6-2.

Morgan Kille also showed the ability to change her game some to take advantage of her opponent’s weakness in moving and the mid-court. She was down 0-4 and brought it back to a tiebreak! She lost 4-5 in the breaker, but showed tremendous heart and competitive spirit!

Mary Pearce, cameron Raymes, Meghan Rosenberger, Lauren Nuewrither and Emma Spirko rounded out our 18 team.

Thanks to all who participated!!!

-Reported by Coach Tyler Gibson