Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bouncing Back

We had a tough match this past Sunday morning. Wabash came into town and handed us our first loss of the spring. It was a 2-7 result but we did have some positives come out of the match. Logan and Eliot are continuing to play well together. Joe and Sam were points away from giving us a 2-1 lead after doubles but fell just short. Logan is also playing very well in singles, getting his 2nd win at the #1 spot in as many matches this spring.

We have Heidelberg this Saturday. The team is nursing a few nicks right now but looking ready to get us back on the winning path.

"You play to win the game. You don't play to just play it. That's the great thing about sports"
-Herm Edwards

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Spring Starts

Match #1 is in the books and the men's tennis team is 1-0 in the spring. It was really nice to beat Malone because we not only got the spring off to a good start, but we avenged losses of the last 2 years.

The match started off well with the team of Eliot Heaton and Logan Chun demolishing their opponents at #3 doubles by a score of 8-0. Juniors Joe Leffler and Sam Towne followed this with a win of their own at #2 doubles (8-6). Ben Turchin and Charlie Marks had their chances at #1 but fell in a tiebreaker to make our lead 2-1 after doubles.

In singles we started well, but Malone didn't roll over for us. The guys had to fight for almost every court. Eventually we won the 1, 4, 5, and 6 spots with Joe Leffler capturing the clinching point at #5 in dominating fashion (6-1, 6-0). The final score - Oberlin 6 Malone 3

We are working hard this week taking what we learned from the Malone match and use that this week when we take on NCAC west opponent Wabash. I expect a tough match from the little giants, but feel that if we come out with confidence and energy we'll be able to come out with another win.

Check out my weekly video update (which can be found on the Oberlin College Athletics page on facebook - please become a fan).

"Practice does not make the athlete. It is the quality and intensity of practice that makes the athlete, not just repeated practicing."
- Ray Meyer, long-time DePaul basketball coach

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Term 2011

Campus is quiet right now as our students take advantage of our Winter Term to do independent study projects. They pursue these on or off campus and the tennis team is no different in that some of our guys are here while others are away. It is always interesting for me to ask the guys what they are doing every year and this year is interesting once again. Here is the breakdown –

Eliot went with the Oberlin Orchestra to China and will be spending the rest of the month on campus preparing for auditions.

Joe is on-campus working in Professor Braford’s neuroscience lab working on research studying neural growth as influenced by caloric restriction.

Sam is also on campus working with Oberlin High School students on their college search process through the Ninde Scholars program.

Billy is in Shanghai, China interning at an IT company.

Ben is interning at the Houston Animal Hospital.

Our three freshmen all went to their respective homes this winter term for their projects.

Charlie is in Cleveland doing an internship with a company helping plan a big event for the end of the month.

Logan is at home in Hawaii volunteering at a hospital blood bank.

And last but not least, Alex is home in southern California doing an internship at a law firm.

As you can see, our guys have very different interests and have gone all over the country (and beyond) for Winter Term. We start practice February 1st and are looking forward to the spring season.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

School is about to start!!!

School is about to start! The fall sports teams are on campus and in their preseason and that has really gotten me excited for getting our guys here and started with our fall season. Freshmen arrive next Tuesday and I’m excited for those guys to get here and meet each other and the returners who will be back at that time. We start practicing the first week of classes and will be hosting our annual fundraiser with the women’s team on September 11th.

Two other quick things. Ben Godlove (who just graduated in May) sent me a book over the summer and I finished reading it last night. I want to recommend it to everyone. Too Good by Scott Draper, a former tennis pro who is trying to make it as a pro golfer now. It’s a great read that really shows how someone has dealt with different types of adversity.

Lastly, here is a short video talking about what we are looking for in a tennis recruit for our program. Thanks to Sam Towne and Ben Turchin for taking part.

“There is a dignity that comes from doing something well or being part of a group that does something well. Pride means having an understanding that you put your signature on everything that you do and ensuring then that what you do is done in the best manner possible.”

- Mike Krzyzewski

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oberlin College Tennis Gear

We have Oberlin College tennis gear available now. The sale ends September 5th and all orders will be shipped out when the sale closes. The men's tennis program gets a part of every sale made through this website. I'm excited that we can offer this and hope to do it again in the future.

Go to and click on the big arrow. When it asks you for a code enter ocmt10 and that will take you to our gear.

"It's not where you start but where you finish."
- April Heinrichs

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fun & Competition

I recently played a match in my USTA men’s league that brought the two words in the post title to mind. My partner last Thursday is a local high school coach who I’ve teamed with only once before and isn’t really known as a doubles player. Our opponents were two teaching pros from a local club. They were probably the best team I have played against this season but that is not an important part of the story.

My partner and I won the first set (single break) but got down a break quickly in the 2nd (my serve). Trailing the entire set, when we were down 4-1 my partner looks at me and says, “Doesn’t matter, they’re not having as much fun as we are.” And how true that was. Our opponents were very nice guys and great sports (and I’m looking forward to playing them again), but they didn’t look happy to be on the court while we were laughing and joking with each other (and occasionally the crowd). This by no means meant we were not taking the match seriously or didn’t care if we won or lost (there was a playoff berth riding on the match). We just had fun and enjoyed competing. It wasn’t that we were playing perfect or even pretty tennis at times, it was just that we were having fun doing something we loved.

I just wanted to share this experience because you do play better (or work better) when you’re doing something that is fun or that you’ve convinced yourself is fun (everybody remembers making games out of chores as kids). It’s just that we too often get wrapped up in being overly serious and lose sight of the fact that we are enjoying what we do.

By the way we won the match 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) to clinch first place in our division.

"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play. It’s as simple as that. God, I love the opportunity."

- Mike Singletary

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Busy Start to Summer

It’s been a busy summer so far. We ran a 4-day Nike tennis camp on campus and had a lot of fun with it. Joe Leffler worked it with us and did a great job. Immediately following camp I flew to Connecticut for a recruiting showcase. I got to see some really good players there before I headed to Fort Myers, FL to recruit at the Florida Open. There were great players there as well and it is excellent to see how players adjust to different conditions (the Florida Open is a clay court tournament).

Now I am back in Oberlin getting work done in the office and preparing for the fall season. I’ll be doing a little more travel before school starts. Visits to the Midwest Open and Nats at the Zoo are definitely planned and hopefully I’ll get out to a couple more as well.

"Get out there and do your best and don't think!"

-Judy Rankin