Intense Tennis Match Brings Win for Varsity Team


Courtesy of Kenneth Peiser

Senior Clayton Shaw serves during a doubles match against Stevenville Sept. 15 while senior James Vasquez stands with racket at the ready.

Veronica Butler, Online and Social Media Editor

Varsity tennis played at Brownwood in a close match Sept. 22.

“This was a nail-biter, fist-pumper, heart-beater, emotional up-and-down battle tonight,” tennis coach Kenneth Peiser said the night of the game. “We have won or lost by two matches or less over the last few years with Brownwood and this one did not disappoint.”

The teams played for almost five hours, with some students playing a 2-hour doubles match just to turn around and play 2-hour long singles matches.

“This was probably the most stressful match I’ve ever watched with how close it was,” junior Allison Valdez said. “But seeing everybody cheering each other on and keeping our spirits was great and I’m proud of us as a team for pulling through and supporting each other.”

The game started with doubles matches. Senior Sierra Vincent and sophomore Chesley Breuer went first with a win. Senior Jordan Venegas and sophomore Loretta Hodges lost their match. Senior Madison Miles and freshman Caroline White won their match in a tie-breaker. Valdez and senior Amore Zapata lost in their third set tie-breaker, as did junior Luke Rogers and senior Nate Champion and sophomores Clyde Ashfield and Tyler Ecker. Seniors Clayton Shaw and James Vasquez, however, won in their third set tie-breaker with a score of 11-9.

“[Brownwood’s] boy’s doubles team was intimidating,” Vasquez said. “But that gave me and my partner all the more reason to give it our all. Winning that match was huge, the best-feeling-win I’ve had in a while.”

The varsity tennis team only went to a tiebreaker for five matches, and only won two. The team was now down 3-4.

“We have not been in this position this year,” Peiser said. “We are usually ahead after doubles.”

The game continues with singles matches. Shaw started with “one of his best playing matches of the year” according to Peiser, but lost.

“[He had a] great approach, but couldn’t finish point,” Peiser said.

Vasquez lost his singles match as well. Peiser said he had excellent serves and volleys, but also couldn’t finish point.

“My singles match consisted of just thinking about consistency,” Vasquez said. “Compared to earlier in the season, I was staying the most consistent I have in a while. All I have to do now is touch up on my volleys and I’ll be unbeatable.”

Miles, Zapata, and Valdez all won their matches. The team was now tied at 6-6.

“It felt great to win my singles match after not doing my best in my doubles,” Valdez said. “I was trying new things and feeling more confident in some of my shots, so winning felt good knowing that I had earned it and was playing my best.”

Rogers, Vincent, and Champion lost their singles matches, making the team score 6-9.

“I was really upset after I lost, and I know I could have done better,” Rogers said.

Ashfield, Ecker, White and Breuer were the only players left on the court at this point. All four needed to win for the whole team to come away victorious.

“I was thinking, ‘I know I can win this, I just have to focus and think about every shot,” Breuer said.

White won her first set in a tiebreaker, lost the second set 2-7 and won her third set 10-6. Breuer won both sets, falling behind slightly in the second set, but ultimately winning. Ecker was running out of steam after running cross country that morning, but won both of his sets, bringing the score up to 9-9. Match point. Either team needed one point to win.

“It was so nerve-wracking because the whole team wanted to win so bad, but Clyde was playing so good, so we were all hopeful and knew we could win it,” Breuer said.

Ashfield was the last one left to play that night. Both teams looked on with anticipation. He lost the first set, but won the second one 7-4, bringing the match to the tie-breaker. The 4 ½ previous hours of playing came down to this moment. The score was back and forth the whole match.

3-3, 6-6, 9-8, 9-9, 10-9, 10-10, 11-10.

“Ashfield had three match points and finally hit a shot deep enough that the opponent hit it up in the air,” Peiser said. “The only thing you could hear was the hearts of every player beating loudly with nervousness.”

The ball came down and fell into the net.

  Ashfield won his match 12-10 bringing the team score to 10-9. Lampasas won by a singular, harrowing match.

“The players charged the courts with excitement,” Peiser said. “[It was a] replay of last week’s match against Leander, where White won in the tie-breaker. [It was an] awesome team-building experience and confidence boost for those players.”

Varsity tennis won against Glenrose Tuesday with a score of 14-5. The team is now 3-0 in district and 8-2 in the season. They will play Copperas Cove tonight.