Holy smokes, what an amazing day for James and Andrew (JAVA). After defeating the Emory team 61 61 they took the court for an evening match against a very talented John Hopkins team. The Hopkins team is not only talented but dangerous — both players were 4-star recruits and earlier in the day defeated the #1 seeds in straight sets.
JAVA picked up this evening where they left off — punishing returns and dominating at the net. They jumped out to a quick 2 break lead and won the 1st set 6-3. In the second set were up a break when the Hopkins team started to find their rhythm with blistering returns and ferocious net play. The Hopkins duo broke serve at 5-5 to serve for the match at 6-5. Really interesting because Hopkins did end up serving out the set BUT in that game Hopkins was up 40-love when James and Andrew saved 3 match points. And those points were amazing. In one of the points the Hopkins team had three chances to put away overheads but somehow someway James and Andrew were able to dig out balls by climbing the fence. I honestly believe that those three points broke the Hopkins momentum and gave us a needed lift going into the 3rd set tiebreak.
In the tiebreak JAVA showed great resilience to twice come back from a mini break. We gained the lead at 8-7 giving Andrew the opportunity to serve for the match. Honestly I don’t remember the 8-7 point. But I do remember that at 9-7 Andrew uncorked a monster ace to win the match. Very exciting match. It was also the last match on and many of the tournament participants lingered to watch the end of the match.
Tomorrow the Whitman duo has the opportunity to play for the ITA Small College National Doubles Title!
I should mention this is a very unique college sporting event. The ITA National features all the regional winners from D2, D3, NAIA and JUCO. The winner of each respective tournament plays in the “small college super bowl” with the victor advancing into the D1 national indoor tournament.