"Hey, Coach, when will my doubles match start?"
That's a common (and good question). In VIC tennis, that usually means about an hour later after the singles matches are at least partially completed. Generally, a singles point is over in around 8 seconds. Minimum of 4 points per game. Minimum of 10 games in a single match. Do the math and an hour seems impossible to fill. But that doesn't take into consideration the need to win a game by a 2 point advantage and to win the match by a 2 game advantage.
And with the distribution of talent and experience at high school levels, stories generally focus on the wins (and we don't want to minimize those). But one of the best tennis matches in recent Hargrave history occurred today at the Landon Tennis Center. Hargrave's #1 singles player, David Kiesnowski (Appleton, WI) battled against New Covenant School's (Lynchburg, VA) Logan Duncan over a 2.5 hour period.
The play began rather oddly. The players opened a new can of tennis balls to find them completely flat! Then on Kiesnowski's last warm-up hit, he snapped a string and needed to borrow a racket. But from then on, neither player was willing to give up a point with every game going to multiple deuce points. Kiesnowski jumped out to a quick lead, breaking Duncan's serve to go up 2-0 before Duncan held, broke back, and held serve to finally take a 3-4 lead as the last regular singles match finished and exhibition matches got underway with the team match clock having ticked over an hour. As each player held serve and contested each game, the score slowly climbed to 7-9 with Duncan trying to slam the door on the match as the 2 hour mark crept up (and the doubles matches ended).
With the match in jeopardy and Duncan pressing hard to either break or hold at deuce to decide the match, Kiesnowski ground his way to win 3 games to first tie the match and then serving for the match at 10-9. Two tough rallies full of gritty full-court attack by both players saw Kiesnowski down love-30. But he somehow brought the score back to a deuce. On the third and out, it looked like the tank might have been empty and the match score rested at 10-10 as Duncan finally halted his slide. The match would have to be decided with a tie-breaker format. At 3-3, Duncan fired off an ace to take the lead 4-3. But Kiesnowski fought back to 4-6 and then served at match-point to make the score 5-6. It was fitting that the match ended on another great rally and demonstration of solid all-court tennis as Duncan served out the point for the win.
The line score is below, but the other notable matches were Sam Wilkerson's return to play at #3 singles after a frustrating loss the previous week at #4 singles against EHMS. Richardson's match saw a resurgence after a 4-0 lead, but he closed out the tightest singles match with a handy 10-4 score that didn't reflect the grit demonstrated by Tiger Richardson (Charlotte, NC) and Gryphon Wilson. Finally, John Ratchford (Charlotte, NC) made his debut in Varsity Tennis competition with partner Mason Rucker (Matthews, NC) at #3 doubles with a 8-3 win. On the "growing the future" side of things, Max Eskew (Wilmington, NC), Connor Henretta (Roanoke, VA), Dave Mueller (Miami, FL), Tyler Medlin (Chatham, VA), and John Paul Kapp (Chatham, VA) were able to get in exhibition play against an equally enthusiastic New Covenant squad.
Man of the Match:
In an afternoon of good tennis, it was impossible to ignore the great tennis at #1 singles. In recognition of his determination and great sportsmanship in a tough 2.5 hour battle, David Kiesnowski is Hargrave's Man of the Match.
- Dr. Jim Tung, Academic Dean & Head Tennis Coach
Image credit: Cadet John Ratchford '22
Dr. Jimmy Tung, Ph.D., was named the Academic Dean of Hargrave in August of 2017. He has been the Director of the Center for Integrated Studies (Grade 7-9 program) and Director of Summer Programs since his return to Hargrave in 2011. Between 1997 and 2008, Dr. Tung has held the positions of Science Department Chair, Director of Summer Programs and Faculty member. He has taught courses in chemistry, physical science, astronomy, middle school math, pre-algebra, and engineering science. He has coached or advised Middle School soccer, JV baseball, JV/Varsity tennis, and the photography club.
Dr. Tung’s training includes a Bachelor’s of Science (chemistry, pre-med studies) from Truman State University and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College (physical chemistry). He has continued his training in education and management through the Virginia Association of Independent School (VAIS), AdvancEd, University of Virginia, and Georgia Tech. He has been awarded two professional fellowships in education: the Lankford (Hargrave-sponsored) to investigate college freshman student weaknesses and develop technology-enhanced science classrooms, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Leadership Program for Teachers’ Environmental Science Institute (Princeton/Rutgers) to study teaching global climate change models to secondary-level students. His teaching awards include the Wolfenden Prize (Dartmouth), the E.A. Floyd Award (Hargrave), and the Outstanding Active Educator (Hargrave).
He is currently an adjunct instructor (chemistry) at Richard Bland College of William and Mary. His other professional experience includes South Piedmont Community College (faculty), Virginia Tech Office of Special Programs (research professor), the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR, research scientist), and adjunct faculty positions at Liberty University, Averett University, Danville Community College, and Radford University.
Outside of classroom endeavors, Dr. Tung has published articles in the fields of experimental gas phase kinetics and characterizing and processing composite polymeric materials, given presentations on educational technology and at faculty training workshops. He is currently on the executive committee of the Blue Ridge Section of the American Chemical Society and served as a judge at junior/high school science fairs and undergraduate research competitions sponsored by the Virginia Academy of Science. He been a contributing reviewer for two current university chemistry textbooks, and for Science Books and Films (American Association for the Advancement of Science, AAAS). He has visited several VAIS member schools as part of their accreditation process.
Dr. Tung married his wife Cynthia shortly after graduate school. They are blessed with two children. He enjoys hiking, tennis, and photography. He is a member of Cornerstone Church of Christ in Chatham, Virginia.
The Tigers won their sixth straight track meet by the following team scores:
Hargrave - 125 pts
Gretna - 83 pts
Altavista - 82 pts
Dan River - 46 pts
Chatham - 36 pts
4 x 800 Relay - Higdon, Powers, Khraisat, Morris
Triple Jump - Hankins
110 Hurdles - Williams
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