Adventures of Andrew Lenz and a Yellow Ball

Month: September 2018 (Page 1 of 5)

Cruisin’ Well

Sunday, September 30, 2018 (Court Day #206)

I was up early. There was no cloud cover, it was going to be a beautiful day. I arrived at Derby early, about 8:45. Nick (from Monterey) and his friend Tami (from Prunedale) were already there, dinking over the permanent tennis net.

Jean, Allan, Craig, Leah, Dan, Janet, Olga, stuart, Maria, Bruce, Karl, Grita, and a man I don’t know.

I played a random assortment of games. There weren’t lot of strong players around, though Nick is already in the mix. Eric and Oleg would arrive a bit later. There would be no Dean, no Terry Long, no Leslie, no Kim, no lefty Steve.

John and I agreed to wait for the other so we could play together. That person turned out to be me as the waiter as John finished his rather long game!

During a game, John turned to me and said, “You are playing very well.”

John and I got in a game with Eric and Oleg. John and I won 11-5. We had a rematch and John and won again 11-8. A first happened in the first game, I hit a ball (unintentionally) back over the net with the side of my paddle—it happened to be for a winner, but very weird!

Eric and Ted B. took on John and me. I was expecting a fairly easy win, but Eric played a great game and Ted also played really well. John and I lost by a substantial margin. We were all dragging but played one more game. John and I had been playing for over three hours. John and I pulled ahead early and cruised to a win. It was 12:29 p.m.

As the site coordinator, i was responsible to close the court. One game was still going.

Tami drives a forehand toward her friend Nick as Oleg (nearside) and a man visiting from Palo Alto look on. 

Their game wrapped up and, and me as a glutton for punishment, snuck in one more game. Nick and me against Dan and Oleg. After falling behind initially, Nick and I won. I was still pretty beat. Dan gets away with some things with youthful speed. Once he gets his drop shots and a bit more strategy, he’ll join the elite of the club. It’s only a matter of time.

A take-away for today is the reminder to set before hitting the ball. I drove a short return right into the net. Later, I noticed Angie doing the exact same error.

USAPA Update

The USAPA sent out an email announcing the “3rd Phase of UTPRs”. I checked and they moved my rating up to 3.446. Up a little bit since their last announcement. The two upcoming tournaments for John and me are not sanctioned and so will not affect our ratings…actually, I think if Livermore submits their results, it might, since they are using Then again, they’re the tournament with their online registration all messed up, so who knows.

Number of days on a court: 206
Number of total hours: 571

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.


Friday, September 28, 2018 (Court Day #205)

As I was driving to Brommer Park, mist was descending on my windshield. A quick wipe with the wipers and it was gone. For a few seconds. Then it got a little heavier. This was no longer light mist. It was a heavy mist, not quite rain, but approaching quickly drizzle. Uh, oh. I decided to gamble and continue on.

A text from one of my staff while on the road. I had my phone read it to me. One of the staff was calling in sick. I pulled off the road. I asked if he could manage to work until 1 p.m. and he said no, he’d been throwing up at 3 a.m. Decision time. Mornings are quiet. I decided to go ahead with a very short session. I let my assistant managers know that I’d be in around 11 a.m.

Wet courts. Barb S. on the far left, Mike on the far right. 

Leslie was fretting a bit over the wet courts. To limit club liability, she limited play to the permanent courts. Permanent courts would be “private play whereas play using club nets would be “club play”. We all limited ourselves to “dink games” until it was safe for play. After about 20-30 minutes, the courts dried enough for regular play.

Mike and I lost to John P. and short Barb S. We were leading by a substantial margin, but they clawed back into the game and won it. My part in the loss was throwing away good strategy and driving too many shots at them while they were at the net. We lost a few points like that. Aside from that though, I was playing quite well.

John and I played against Alan (English accent) and Barb R. It was a lopsided and quick game. We won 11-2.

It was still before 10 a.m. and so skills were all mixed on the sign up board. John and I signed up. Kim and Lora added their names.

As we got to the court, John shared with me, “We’re going to get schooled.” I was more optimistic. I figured we should be in the mix and it’d be a good game. The skill levels between Kim and me is no longer a chasm. We won the first two points. 2-0. The serve switched. We held them to no score. Kim tried a “no-looky” drive passing shot while we were both at the net, but I returned it down the middle for a winner. She smiled and said, “You were ready for that one, were you?” We scored another point. 3-0. Side out. It continued like that until we finished the game. An 11-0 victory. Wow. Shocker.

As we walked off, John told our opponents, “The score does not reflect skill or looks.” We all laughed.

It was 10:15. It was already past time to go. Off I went. As I left, Eric was just arriving, we passed each other on the sidewalk above the courts. Ted/Theo yelled up, “Andrew! Leaving already?” “I have to go to work!” Allan K. also called out after me, something about me leaving early. “Because you smell really bad, Allan!” (We kid each other!)

When I checked my email in this afternoon, there was a message saying the Brommer start time had been bumped to 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Oh, well!

Number of days on a court: 205
Number of total hours: 567.5

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.

Squeezed In

Thursday, September 27, 2018 (Court Day #204)

I awoke with a rather sore back. In particular, near the small of my back on the right side plus my right glute muscle. It was enough that I was wondering if I should take a few days off from pickleball. I took an ibuprofen and went to work.


John P. FaceTimed me, “I need to get your number so I can just call you instead.” We talked about the tournament. He hadn’t received the message back from the director, so I forwarded that to him. She had said we’d have five teams in our round robin and maybe the advanced (4.0) team would be added to our group. So John was a firm “go”. (Tomorrow would have been the last day to cancel and get a refund.) John also asked about us playing in a tournament in San Juan Batista the following weekend (October 14), saying it might be too much. But I said, “Sure!”


A couple of my staff wanted to meet with me after work without any notice, but this was unusual and obviously important, so I agreed. It took about 45 minutes and made me fairly late to Scotts Valley. I don’t recall the precise time, but after a pit stop at home and a couple ibuprofen, I arrived around 7:15, I believe.

On the far side of the net: Larry, Bruce (dark), Allan, Olga, Oleg. Near side: Sharyl, Terry, Wayne.

Aside from missing a few balls due to being unable to judge depth under the lights, I played pretty darned well. Sure, I messed up some shots, but far more were solid.

Kris and I played my first game against older Chris (tall tennis player)—not Chris Yoder—and a woman I don’t know. Kris and I won 11-4, if I recall correctly.

Wayne and I played a game against Oleg and Larry. It was a good combination for me, I got to play against the two strongest of the three. We lost, as was expected, but it wasn’t a horrible loss.

Olga and I played against Beth Black and Bruce. We won.

Terry (Laura’s husband) and I played against Beth and Olga. Olga has improved a whole lot lately. Sure, she has off games, but she continues to improve. Terry yelled to Olga, “You’re like playing against a backboard!” It was close, but I think we lost that one.

The last two games were Mark Dettle and me against Oleg and Olga. Mark and I won both games. I was playing extremely well. Oleg is such a competitor, he wasn’t happy with the loss. He’s always such a challenge to play against.

I was pleased with my performance tonight. It was a bit surprising given my back. But it loosened up over the 100 minutes of play or so. And it was an evening of all  good games.

I was in my car just before 9 p.m. I drove home content.

Number of days on a court: 204
Number of total hours: 565.5

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.

« Older posts

© 2024 Pickleball Journey

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Pickleball Journey