Haslam brings skill and fire to his tennis game | Sports


Senior Philomath Nate Haslam has never experienced a shortage of competitive juice on the tennis court. In this last round of table with the high school program, he obviously wants to play well and win.

But if a shot doesn’t quite go as planned, don’t be surprised if it moans or even takes a few seconds to berate itself.

It’s part of his desire to play well enough to return to the state tournament. As a fourth-year college player, he knows what it will take.

“The discipline and the mental game,” he said. “I get frustrated with myself very easily. With doubles, you’ve got your partner to say, ‘knock it down,’ but I have to go on and not put myself down when I miss stupid shots. “

This happened on several occasions in his 6-0, 6-1 victory over his South Albany counterpart on Friday on the courts of the Ashbrook Independent School in West Corvallis. The outcome of the game was never in doubt, but Haslam’s mission is to improve with every appearance this season, an indicator of his perfectionist mentality on the pitch.

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“I missed some stupid volleys… but my serve was a little more reliable than usual today,” Haslam said when asked how he played.

Obviously, a strong serve game goes a long way in determining the outcome. Haslam thinks he’s seeing improvement in this part of his game, saying: “This year, certainly, it’s been a little more consistent as I’ve played more in the offseason.”

It turned out that only three matches were played before the rain swept away the Philomath-South Albany game. As the No.1 singles player, Haslam was first on the pitch and beat his opponent in less than an hour.

“When I get up I try to work on things because in the toughest games you want to change a bit more and get different kinds of shots,” Haslam said when asked what he’s getting. concentrates when he easily overcomes an opponent. “So I started changing my serve a bit to train on a heavier, higher spin serve so I could serve and fly more.”

Haslam switched to singles after three years of playing varsity doubles. In 2014 as a freshman and again in 2015 as a sophomore, Haslam teamed up with Derek Stucki. Last spring, during his junior campaign, Haslam played with foreign student Jose Vizcarra-Osuna.

“There are aspects of the doubles that I like best,” said Haslam, who has qualified for the state with his partner in the past two seasons. “They are very different; it is difficult to compare them. I would say that in doubles I like the fast pace of the game and how involved you have to be because there is so much going on at the same time.

With two people on the court it can get a bit crowded with less room to hit the ball.

“So you have to be very smart with your shots,” he said, “and you have to be able to look at both people (from the other team) because if one person is moving and you are not looking at them, she can get out of your sight and get an easy volley.

Singles provided Haslam with new challenges.

“I would say what I love about singles is you hit the ball a lot more,” Haslam said. “It’s a lot more rally and technically it’s probably a bit more demanding with the simple aspect. I like to hit groundstrokes so it’s really fun to be able to go out and hit groundstrokes because the double is usually a serve, a smash and maybe two hits.

In a pre-season interview, PHS coach Gary Quandt mentioned what Haslam needs to work on.

“He’s going to have to be a lot more patient, more balanced… waiting for someone to make a mistake rather than the aggressive game you’re playing in doubles,” Quandt said. “He has the physical tools, we just have to keep him patient during a game.”

Haslam knows that patience can pay off.

“I really have a hard time generating rhythm when playing against someone who isn’t hitting that fast,” he said. “Of course I have to be patient enough to pick the right winning shots when playing against some of the softer hitters.”

The wetter-than-usual spring had an impact on all PHS sports, but perhaps none more so than the tennis programs. Cancellations and postponements outnumber the number of times these teams have been able to compete.

It affects athletes.

“It’s a little frustrating not to play as many games as we hoped for, but I tried playing OSU or Timberhill, not as many as I would like,” Haslam said, referring to their shorts. interiors. “Certainly we don’t have as many workouts as possible, but we try to get the most out of it with a little bit of conditioning on the inside. “

The Haslam family had more to watch than Nate during Friday’s game. His younger brother Luke Haslam, who played on the pitch next to him, was paired with Alec Stucki in the No.1 doubles match. Interestingly, this is the third time that Haslam and Stucki have played doubles. It all started with Nate’s older brother, Austin Haslam, who played with Nathan Stucki.

The boys were due to play at the Estacada on Thursday, but it was also popular. The Warriors were due to start a busy week on Monday preparing for Estacada’s game, and on Tuesday they were scheduled to play Stayton. Both are said to have occurred after the newspaper deadline.

Philomath is expected to play at home at Ashbrook on Thursday against North Marion and Friday against Madras in a makeup match. The team will then travel to Portland on Saturday for the Oregon Episcopal School Invitational Tournament.


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