After losing first set, senior bounces back with better footwork
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Opponent: Forest Lake Christian
Location: Forest Lake
Date: April 5
Final scores: Senior Nico Burns won (2-6, 6-1, 6-0); junior Leo Eisner de Eisenhof won (6-4, 6-4); junior Chardonnay Needler lost (0-6, 0-6); senior Zihao Sui and freshman Ming Zhu lost (0-10)
Inside info per Burns: “I’ve been really rusty this year because my coach from outside of school retired, so I’ve been playing a lot less often. During the first set my game was still off, and I was missing the ball a lot. After the set ended, I realized that my footwork was really bad – I wasn’t moving my feet. I was also keeping my weight on my back foot, which throws off your balance.
“After that I tried to move my feet a lot more and keep my weight forward, which really helped. I kind of got back to the level I was playing at last year, so I was excited about that. I hope that I can continue to play as well as I did in the last two sets for the rest of the season, because everything kind of clicked for me.”
Inside info per Eisner de Eisenhof: “I feel as though I should not have won the match. My opponent was obviously much better with his technique and accuracy, (and) the score was extremely close the whole time. The only way that I was able to beat him was by playing smarter, not better.
“Instead of putting a bunch of spin and strength on the ball, I just (tried) to get it over the net. With this, I allowed him to make the first mistake. (However), this method is very iffy, especially against someone who plays tennis with more skill.
“I really want to be able to place the ball where I want on the opponent’s side of the court. My opponent could position the ball wherever he wanted and ended up aceing me during many rallies. My accuracy could definitely be much better. This score was the closest I’ve come to losing, and (I) am very pleased to have kept my winning streak alive.”
Next match: Friday, April 13, against Highlands High School at 3:30 p.m. at Rio Del Oro.
—By Sarina Rye