Lynch, Shure capture state championship

Posted on 04 May 2012 by Lawrence Foster of the Roswell Daily Record

NMMI’s Josh Shure, left, and Gavin Lynch pose for a picture with their state championship medals after winning the 2012 NMAA Class 1A/3A State Doubles Championship, Thursday. (Lawrence Foster Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE — The game within the game.

To the casual fan, the game within the game of tennis may be hard to spot.

But when you are on the court and tuned in to the match, it is easy to find.

In the NMAA 1A-3A State Doubles Championship match, the top-seeded NMMI duo of Gavin Lynch and Josh Shure identified the game within the game — mental advantage — and used it to their advantage in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 win over Sandia Prep’s Mike Atkins and Miles Parnegg.


Whether it was just staring at Atkins or a fist-pump after a winner, the Colts held the mental advantage and that was the key to coming away with the title, according to Shure.

“It was pretty intense,” he said. “I knew they were going to fight back and I knew we had to get some mental tricks in there. We ended up cracking them, which is why we came home with the gold and they went home with the silver.

“We pulled it through, both on the court and mentally.”

Early on, no mental war needed to be waged as NMMI set the tone from the first serve.

Lynch opened with serve and his first of the match had so much kick that Parnegg almost tripped over his tangled up feet, giving the Colts a 15-0 lead. After a double fault, Lynch responded with two first-serve winners and an ace to give the Colts a quick 1-0 lead.

The Sandia Prep duo would have trouble with Lynch’s serve throughout the entire match and Lynch said his mindset with his serve was simple.

“I was just thinking that I have to stick to the basics and have fun hitting,” he said.

The Colts had a lot of fun in the first set — they only trailed for three total points and committed just five errors.

Things turned around in the second set, however.

Sandia Prep finally got on the board by breaking Shure’s serve to start the second set and quickly built a 3-1 lead and took the second set.

In the deciding third set, Sandia Prep built a 2-0 lead and seemed poised to come away with the title.

That is when the mental game started to swing in NMMI’s favor.

The first swing came when the entire NMMI team and parents came over and started cheering for the Colts. With the added support, NMMI won the next two games to tie it up at two.

NMMI coach Jim Kelly said that the crowd was a big boost for his doubles team.

“The difference was getting the rest of the team down there to cheer them on,” he said. “They were down in the third set when we brought everyone down. That was all the difference in the world.”

With the score tied at two and with Lynch on serve, the Colts took the lead for good.

Sandia took a 15-0 lead in the fifth game on an overhead winner by Atkins, but an Atkins overhead error knotted it up at 15. NMMI took the lead with an easy but effective putaway at the net by Shure and Lynch pushed the lead to two points with another first-serve winner.

Sandia got to within 40-30, but a Parnegg error at the net gave NMMI a 3-2 lead and, during the side-change, it was obvious that the Colts were in the Sundevils’ heads.

At the side-change, Atkins threw his racket down in disgust, while Parnegg drank some water while shaking his head.

The Colts broke Parnegg to take a 4-2 lead and Shure held serve to put NMMI a game away from a state title.

The Sundevils held Atkins’ serve to get to within 5-3, but Lynch wouldn’t be denied on his next service game.

After the two teams split the first two points, Lynch gave the Colts a double-championship point with two first-serve winners.

On the first match point, Lynch let loose his most powerful first serve of the day and Parnegg’s return sailed wide, giving NMMI the title.

Lynch said that on the championship point, his mind was focused on not messing up.

“All I was thinking was that I just need to get (the serve in), get good topspin and don’t mess up,” he said.

Shure said that when Parnegg’s return went wide, he knew all of his and Lynch’s hard work had paid off.

“Basically, I knew that all the hard work we have put in on the tennis court has paid off,” he said. “We have went through a lot of tough matches this year and when we saw our (teammates) go down, we knew we had to step it up in the finals and beat those guys.”


Posted in Colt Tennis

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