Friday, March 30, 2018 (Court Day #141) – Easter Weekend

I got to Brommer Park at about 9:10. It was going to be a warm one today. It was just shy of 60° when I left the house. I had a bit of a sore right calf when I woke up. Nothing major though.

Eric was there already and I jumped in and warmed up with him and tennis pro Chris and his wife Jen. This rolled into our first game. Eric and I played well and we beat them 11-3. We relinquished the court, but were shortly back out for a rematch. The rematch wasn’t much different in the result, 11-4.

Next, we played Karen Long and Stuart. This was a closer game. Nonetheless, we won this game too, 11-8.

The next game, we mixed things up. Jen and Eric beat Barb (tall, long gray ponytail) and me 11-6. I made some mistakes, Barb made some mistakes.

Alan and I took on Eric and Peter. It was pretty lopsided. 9-2, I think before Alan and I opted to go out of our way to hit to Eric and hit more risky shots. They climbed up to 6 points after a couple service rotations. We got the serve back and Alan said, “Ok, let’s wrap this up.” We won the next two points and the game 11-6.

In the next game, Eric and I beat Asian Ted—Eric calls him “Hawaiian Ted”—and Alan 11-0. That was kind of surprising. Both are decent players.

We looked for a harder game and got ourselves into a game with Kent and Jen. It was a more challenging one, but we won that one too, 11-5.

Eric had to go and left on a high note. As partners, we’d gone an undefeated 5-0 against opposing teams. And not wimpy opposing teams. Eric leaned over and quietly said, “We’re getting too good.” He was speaking relatively, of course, we’re not about to jump into 5.0 matches. We do play very well together. But, now, if we could just be more consistent. As I told Eric, my lows are getting higher. Even when I play badly, it’s better than weak players on good days. And occasionally, I’ll pull off a shot that a 5.0 would be proud of. But consistency and reducing unforced errors are what make a strong pickleball player. I still make too many unforced errors.

The Last Two Games

I looked for another game. Gil (from San Jose) and a man with a goate whom I’d seen before, Steve, were signed up in red on the board. I added my name in red below them and asked John Connor if he’d play as my partner, he agreed especially with Kim’s encouragement. (She wanted the box cleared so she could have her all-women game!) I think Steve may be from a San Jose as well since Gil and Steve were stacking. This was my first game that I recall—aside from Jerry Louis’ class last summer—that I played against a stacking team. We got about halfway through the game, John and I were down 8-3 I think, when John abruptly said he had someone waiting for lunch, the game was taking too long, and he had to go. The 8-3 deficit was almost as much John’s fault as mine and I’m sure he’d admit so. I’m sure he would have stayed if he could since we’d just started closing the score gap. Ah, well. I did hold my own in that game. It wasn’t a case of me being a big liability for John, that was good. (I was a big liability for lefty Steve very recently.)

“If you can find a partner, we’ll finish the game,” said Gil smiling, then he added, “Nah. We’ll start over!” I asked Asian Ted if he’d be my partner. He asked how our opponents are. I told him, “They are pretty good. Steve is a banger. Gil is a lefty. He hits hard too. We’ll want to get them into the soft game.”

Ted and I did get them into the soft game and took a 6-0 lead. But that wasn’t to last. We both make our share of errors and Gil and Steve came back and won 11-9. It was a bummer to lose our lead and the game, but against two advanced players, 11-9 is very respectable. And, fun, during that game was a yell from Kim after a high-speed contested ball at the net: “All right, Andrew!” I’d won the point. A few women were sitting partly watching while chatting.

Asian Ted and Gil chat about paddles after our game.

Goatee Steve and friend about to hit the road.

Overall, it was a great day.  Yes, errors, but limited and far ourweighed by good shots. I’m happy. I left the courts at 12:20. There was one game still going, Karen Long, Dean, Asian Dave and a fourth. When I got to my car, I checked my weather app for the temperature. 77 degrees. Yep. Warm.

Unfortunately, my schedule will keep me from playing for almost week. Maybe Thursday night, maybe Friday morning.

Number of days on a court: 141
Number of total hours: 403

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