ALTOONA — There are high school tennis players, but then there’s David Lindsay. The Central Mountain junior tennis player put himself into an elite category on Wednesday afternoon. Lindsay continued to embark on his amazing career when he won his third-straight District 6 singles tennis title, 6-0, 6-0, over State College’s Mark Sandow.
Winning the district title has always been a goal that Lindsay focuses on from year-to-year. He understands that winning state gold is the ultimate achievement, but getting out of the district comes first, and it’s something that he’s done consistently over the past three years.
As far as Lindsay’s accomplishment goes, there’s no doubt that he’s made himself a once in a lifetime star in the area. But it’s important to recognize what he did as much as how he did it. In the district tournament–which was a tournament over the course of two days–only one player was able to garner a point on Lindsay in four matches that he played in.
“I was really looking forward to the district tournament, but the main thing is I wanted to get back to the state tournament,” Lindsay said after his title win. “That was really cool last year to win it and I want to try and defend this year.”
Lindsay certainly played like he wanted to get back to the another state title. That type of style that Lindsay plays–intense and quick serves along with making players adjust to his style of play rather than theirs–is a testament to how much work Lindsay has put in over the years.
“He’s consistent,” Central Mountain coach Jeff Brinker said after Lindsay’s title win. “He hits his shots, he knows where he wants to put the ball…he’s a machine. From where he wants to put it on the serve to his forehand and backhand, he doesn’t make mistakes … it’s a lot of fun to watch.”
In set one, game one, David got going early and opened the first set aggressively. Lindsay’s serves weren’t returnable by Sandow and he went up 1-0 in the first set after a 40-0 start.
In games two and three, Lindsay continued his dynamite serves but this time he placed balls in spots that were tough for Sandow to reach. And when Sandow did return them, they were out of play or easy balls for Lindsay to make a play at the net. Lindsay’s power serves and volleys gave him a 3-0 lead in the first set.
In games four and five, Sandow started to heat up a little bit. He gained a few points but Lindsay came right back at him. As Sandow began to speed him up, Lindsay made nice plays at the net to counter.
In game six, Lindsay went back to the basics and went at State College’s Sandow. He continued placing balls in tough spots and hitting intense volleys to go up 6-0.
In set two, game one, Lindsay came out with the same intensity and went ahead 1-0.
In games two and three, Lindsay started out the second game continuing to place balls in tough to reach places. His hits were still strong, but what Lindsay focused on was keeping Sandow off balance by keeping balls just out of reach.
In game three, Lindsay’s opponent came back strong on a couple serves, but Lindsay continued mixing up his ball placement and went ahead 3-0.
In game four, Sandow got a feel for Lindsay and picked up the pace. He threw Lindsay off on a few balls, but Lindsay’s experience of rallying gave him points when Sandow tried to score a few points. Lindsay, again, returned balls out of reach. He went up 40-0 and took game four, taking a 4-0 lead.
In game five, Sandow had a lot of good serves and returns over the net, but Lindsay handled them well. Lindsay’s fast start in the beginning had him warmed up, and the junior returned all the balls State College’s Sandow had for him. He then took a 5-0 lead.
In game six, Lindsay continued to play his opponent by the edges, forcing him to make some tough plays. Lindsay had a couple errors, which gave his opponent a couple scores, but Lindsay finished the game winning points on an error and won the second match 6-0 to win the title.
What makes the title sweet is just how much appreciation the savvy player can be with the racquet and the competition he’s faced to make him the player he is today. Coach Brinker, who is a first-year coach after Pete Wert stepped down to take the tennis job at Lock Haven University, has watched Lindsay put on a show throughout Lindsay’s career and looks forward to continue watching his progression.
The show continues May 26 when Lindsay takes his district title down to Hershey Racquet Club to compete in the state championships.
“I’m just along for the ride,” coach Brinker said. “David (Lindsay) has put in the time over the years with his dad and sister and has worked hard. It’s been a pleasure to see him progress from his freshman and sophomore years to this year.”