On Saturday, November 9, we would meet our ‘enemy’ – Iduna. Although this might need some explanation for new members. For they might not know the days, way back, when our trainer John Tjoa called you up in the evening, to hear you out about your match against the ‘enemy’ (this was before Whatsapp and when match results were mailed by post). Unfortunately, I (Eric) don’t know all the details either, since it happened even before I became a member of DVS-Koto Misi, but I believe it had to do with the fact, that John Tjoa no longer was the trainer for Iduna in a rather unpleasant way. So, Iduna was henceforth called the enemy. But that animosity – luckily – has waned in time.
Another reason why this match was so important, was the fact, that with OSM, they were the opponents directly above us, so winning against them would improve our ranking. Since Iduna had only won against OSM, this might be our chance. For up until now, we are having a rather difficult season. Having lost all our previous matches, we were now last in our poule. We were desperately in need of a victory.
The day didn’t start well though, because both Anke and Yee Ning already mentioned in the morning, that they weren’t feeling well. We were already not in full force, since Julia couldn’t play. It promised to be a tough match. Again. Hopefully Michel and I could set a good example, by winning our men’s double. It was our first match together in the competition, but it went quite well. We played aggressive and could keep up with our opponents. That is, up until about 15-16. Everything that went well up until then, went wrong now. service returns went into the net or went out. We were too eager to make the point. Luckily, we could leave this behind us, when we played the second game. Again the scoring was very tight. But the pressure to win this game to force a third game got to us at about the same point. So despite all our efforts, we lost our first match – 16-21 and 15-21.
This put some pressure on our ladies double. They did their best. The first game they tried to keep up, but they didn’t yet have an answer to the service of their opponent Linh. The second game went better. They played a little more aggressive and started to win rallies. But despite their effort, they lost the second game as well – 15-12 and 17-21. This put a lot of pressures on our singles, because we were already two points behind.
Michel did his best against Hans, but he was just outclassed – 8-21 and 8-21. Our hopes were now set on Yee Ning. She won the first game with 21-15. She was well underway in securing our first point today. Alas, she lost the second game and so the third game would decide who would get the point. Unfortunately, Yee Ning could not find the winning tactic. She lost the third game as well – 21-15, 13-21 and 12-21. During the time Yee Ning was playing her epic match, Jaap was also playing his heroic match. At first, the game didn’t start too well, because he wasn’t playing consistent enough. Luckily, he found his stride after the short break and the points started to come his way. He just won the first game. The second game went very well. He kept the opponent in the back and was about to win the game. But three points away from victory, he couldn’t keep up the tiresome rallies and errors started to slip into his game. Sander noticed this and put on some more pressure and started to close the gap. Jaap was unlucky and ended up losing this game. After losing this game, all energy was gone and the third game was no contest at all – 21-19, 20-22 and 8-21.
Having now already lost our match (0-5), all we could do now, was making the loss as small as possible. Anke tried in her single, but she just couldn’t get into the flow. The second game went better, but the opponent was just too good – 5-21 and 13-21. This left only our mixes, to make the end result a little bit more bearable. Due to the limited time, we would play them at the same time, which unfortunately meant, that we couldn’t coach and cheer each other on.
Yee Ning and I could keep up with our opponents, but in the end of the first game, we tried to force the points, but just made more errors. Luckily, it went our way in the second game, which we just won. This gave us some believe in a victory, but this time, our opponent showed no weak spots – 17-21, 21-18 and 12-21. On the other court, Anke and Jaap were struggling as well. They kept up with their opponent as well and barely lost their first game. The same happened in the second game – 20-22 and 19-21. Despite all our effort, we again lost the match – 0-8.
So, we continue to struggle to win our first match. We still have to play against OSM, who have only won one match. There is a chance to win. Still, it is already clear, that this will be a tough season, in which we will have to fight very hard to stay motivated and to prevent degradation. On the bright side, we are improving! Besides, the only way is up!
PS Last Sunday we played against OSM and the match ended in a draw. This was a real confidence boost!