Confronting a friend in tennis...

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by saram, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. saram

    saram Legend

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    I was playing dubs today. My doubles partner that I play with and shared a state championship with in previous years--took a shot on an overhead on another friend of mine during a friendly match. The shot hit my other friend in the shorts--but did not hit the body. I shook my head in dis-approval, and a conversation ensued.

    I shared that it is never right to hit a ball that hard in an overhead at a guy at the net when he is your friend and it is friendly play and not in a tournament. He disagreed stating it was 'tennis' and 'just tennis' and told me to get over it.

    We played two more games and the set ended and we all switched partners. I thought about the scenario more and had to get it off my chest as we were still discussing it in the next set with new partners.

    At 2-all in the last set, the discussion got heated. He asked why I was so pissed--and I declared that one should not hit at a fellow friend in practice and friendly play and that any 4.5 with skills could hit an overhead away from their friend to win a point versus hitting them at point blank. He once again disagreed. I told him not to take my opinion personal, but my thought is that no friend hits another friend in practice play intentionally. Later in the set, during a tie-breaker with my side up 7-6, he had a forehand to hit at my partner and I at point blank and shanked it into the net and we won the last set.

    My friend that shanked the ball was livid. Pissed. Threw his stick out of the court and into the grass citing our previous conversation and stated he would kill me at the net any and any time he had the chance because I got in his head about the whole ordeal. I may have lost a dubs partner and friend.

    Was I wrong or right? Is it okay to hit a friend in friendly/practice play?
     
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  2. dataseviltwin

    dataseviltwin Rookie

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    Back in the day...

    Back in the day we were taught to hit it at the right hip (friend, foe, or even your sister...). Anytime a ball is in the air and is a sitter, if you're on the opposite side, at the net, and still facing the net, you're fair game. I've seen guys charge, then duck under the net with the racket up high (sorta smart...), but normally when the other guy has a ball over chest high and you're toe-to-toe, you're nucking futs to keep charging - turn away, live another day. Brian Brothers do it, as do all the other top teams. Thus... methinks you're fair game if you're not ducking/covering on an overhead, or moving the heck back so you have a prayer of hitting a reflex shot back. But standing in there and/or charging... that's a recipe for getting killed, even if he is your friend.
     
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  3. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    i used to train with some intense guys and we would kill each other with sitters. never got mad as it was expected that if you hit a weak shot at net your gonna eat it. we were all playing tennis at a futures level so we were good players so i dont know how it would go with a bunch of rec players.
     
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  4. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    I've been on both the receiving and giving end of those kind of overheads. Playing with friends, I've been hit in the right eye by a point blank overhead and I've dished out some overheads that hit feet or legs or go through the 5 hole. In my mind, I don't go for Mach 1 power but I also don't dink it over either; I go for placement (with a full swing) a whole lot more which includes handcuffing my opponents. I also don't intentionally try to tag someone with an overhead. With that said, it really is 'just tennis'; mistakes happen (like getting hit in the eye with a wild overhead) and if one is at the net they should be ready to dodge/duck/turn around/pray. How did your friend who got hit feel about it?
     
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  5. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I wouldn't do it to a stranger in a pickup game, and I wouldn't do it to a person that I didn't think could avoid it, but I have no problem drilling a friend, they expect it, and I expect the same in return.

    If you or your partner cough up a lame duck, you get out of dodge, or you eat the fuzz sammich.

    J
     
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  6. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    jolly you ever play butts up with your friends. thats when pegging gets funny.
     
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  7. saram

    saram Legend

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    Now that is a fun game when everyone joins in. I'll agree with that!
     
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  8. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

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    With the way Jolly hits I wouldn't want to play butts up.
     
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  9. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think any of my friends would want to play that with me.

    But we often hit droppers or short chips to bring in the other guy, then rail the ball at him if he leaves it up.

    J
     
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  10. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    ive played with guys who got there serves clocked in 130's so jolly doesnt scare me. this thread just made me think of how much fun that used to be.
     
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  11. saram

    saram Legend

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    So if you could hit an overhead away from a friend and win a point or hit a friend and win a point--which would you chose? That is my question here.
     
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  12. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    guy i trained with or travelled with is dead. im gonna nail him hard. guy i dont really know ill hit him in the legs.
     
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  13. ESP#1

    ESP#1 Professional

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    Lets hope you lost that friend cause he sounds like a real ****** bag
     
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  14. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    I personally do not try and hurt any one but handcuffing someone at the net is a legit shot. An overhead pointblank though I don't think should be aimed at some one's head. It also depends on who the other person is. If they are female there is no way I'm aiming at them. If they are elderly 4.0 or less, have any physical disabilities etc. I'm not aiming at them simply because I don't want to be a jerk. The situation and who you are playing really has a lot do with the right answer here.
     
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  15. TsongaEatingAPineappleLol

    TsongaEatingAPineappleLol Banned

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    You should always aim for the nuts, it's freakin' hilarious. :twisted:
     
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  16. bet

    bet Banned

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    Saram, tennis-wise you have no leg to stand on here, it's fair game and on a sitter, nobody should get hit except in the back or butt, because you should concede the point and turn/run!

    But what you're appealing to is a "friendship rules/sensibilities". There is no right or wrong objective standard there. It's up to you and your friends to draw those lines. So you and your buddy obviously don't see eye to eye on that. He is more intense in practice and winning, even in practice means a lot to him obviously. One of you has to adjust for the other, or you both have accept that you are going to play differently(you hitting away and him hitting at you).

    I, like you, prefer not to go at anyone during practice (and all the high level players(open level 5.0+) do the same, perhaps because we could seriously injure each other and that's a good way to ruin a practice) but that's just a personal choice. I can see why he got a bit annoyed when you were 'preaching" that you never do that, that's just your standard/sensibility. As you can see, some don't think that way and don't take it personally if somebody does that in practice!
     
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  17. bluegrasser

    bluegrasser Hall of Fame

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    Hey that's nothing - in a doubles match last Sat a friend didn't like a line call I called out on a serve, and kept grumbling, so I told him to just play - he then flipped me off and told me to go get *F* 'd.
     
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  18. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    This is the part of the story that bothers me...he shanked the ball, and blamed...your conversation??? And then he would kill you at the net because you got into his head?

    Uhhh...hello? Isn't it 'just tennis'? Isn't that what he said to you earlier?

    Seems like this guy is fine when he is pegging others ('just tennis'), but when he loses, just can't handle that *he* lost (shank into net) and tries to blame it on someone/something else.

    I get he is your friend, but he doesn't sound like a very good sport in general, and I doubt it is just on the tennis court.
     
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  19. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    I think you just make a big deal of it. It is not so serious, I personally do not aim to people, but if happens happens, I do not get mad if I get hit, actually it may be better that you hit him with a soft shot, he probably will learn that when a ball is high you better run or turn your back, because if it is not a friend then it wont be a soft shot.
     
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  20. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    I hate to admit it, but your right. I prefer not to hit at someone either. There is little need in that. Yeah, you might push someone off the net, break their nerve, yada, yada yada. But, in practice, with friends, especially with guys who can crank it, it aint cool.
     
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  21. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    you can say anything you want. however, in tennis, hitting at your opponent is a legal shot. if your opponent does not want to get hit at the net, he should stay away from the net. If I was playing against you, and you started complaining about being hit at, I would start aiming for you.


     
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  22. taz23

    taz23 New User

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    I also think it depends on the group of friends you are with. Right now me and some of the people I play with are keeping track on how many times we can peg someone with the ball. The worst that happens is a bruise, but its just a fun side game we have going. At the same time i wouldn't play this game with anyone I thought might aim for my head cause that could be a serious injury. Plus since you mentioned that you guys were practicing it makes sense to practice how you would normally play.
     
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  23. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I try not to hit anyone if it is a absolute sitter..but if I'm stretched and I don't have any other shot I'm ok with hitting at someone if that is the best way to win the point. Also, I think you should always apologize if you hit someone.
     
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  24. simi

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    Not really a question of "right or wrong", or if it is "okay". However, I think you over-reacted and if I were you, I'd apologize and try to restore the friendship. That is what is more important, our relationships.

    At the 4.5 level, the net man should either have enough skill to deflect a shot, or enough sense to turn his back and concede the point.
     
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  25. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Just have to accept that some people are like that. Last week was partnered with a guy who usually plays well but was totally out of sync that day. He kept lobbing up weak short balls, and I was hit 4 times in 2 sets by the same net guy on the other side. I had already turned sideways in the matador stance each time and surrendered, yet he hit me on the foot each time. He laughs and says he must have a foot fetish and be attracted to my leg. OK dude.
     
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  26. SuperJimmy

    SuperJimmy Rookie

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    I personally do not try to hit someone in practice play. But have no problems with them aiming at me with the right shot.

    Sure you can say a 4.5 "should" be able to hit it anywhere for the winner. But you still make them hit it right? (on the off chance they miss or you can return it back) Heck, I have seen pros miss overheads at point blank range and a full court to work with. And what happens if they have to adjust to where you are standing and end up missing just to avoid hitting you? Will you give them the point because they were trying to be nice and not hit you? I've seen plenty of situations in friendly play where someone tries to avoid hitting their opponent, and in turn either makes an error or a shot that is very returnable - and all of a sudden what is supposed to be an offensive shot simply becomes a neutral one.

    It was mentioned before also, but as much as a 4.5 "should" be able to hit an overhead anywhere for a winner. A 4.5 (even a 3.0) "should" also be able to recognize when they are a sitting duck and either move off the court or retreat to the baseline.
     
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  27. bet

    bet Banned

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    Absolutely Puma! In fact, it can start to get in the way. I coached some very high level juniors and I didn't let them do that either! Though sometimes we'd do drills with headhunting involved...for fun!

    But it creates friction and it can also make people more fearful to do things in practice that they should. Most of the high level coaches i know and the journeymen pros I have hit with...none of them did that. That is not to say all high level players don't do it(I made a typo in my OP here) but, I think it's quite rare. A high sitter volley, they might! But an overhead or sitter forehand, no! It's a gentleman's/sportsman agreement, because theses guys all are well aware that any one of them can hit the ball potentially injuriously hard and there is nothing for them to prove in practice.

    Again, as I said in my OP, this is neither "right" nor "wrong" it is just the sensibility of the group. Friends playing together must draw their own line and reach their own consensus but their is no standard and no way to argue what is the "right" way.

    And of course, in real matches, protect yourself, it's totally legal, part of the game, and going at the guy is always your option and sometimes the smart shot. Though even in real matches, it's rare to see high level players go at each other with overheads and sitter groundies.
     
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  28. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I dont know, my friends are not a bunch of wuss's who get all uptight about whether or not they get hit with a tennis ball.

    Playing for "fun" for us means playing to win, if it's a friend we want to win all that much more and we're not going to whine about it if someone makes a perfectly legal move, that's just tennis.

    I think you're wrong to be a nit about this, and your friend has a right to get pissed, especially if you kept bringing it up and going on and on and on and on about one particular incident that happened 40 minutes ago.

    And just because you feel that way about it means nothing, apparently your friend does not and you can respect that just as much as you expect him to respect your opinion. The person who almost got hit didnt seem to say anything as well so you should of just let it go.
     
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  29. Tennisman912

    Tennisman912 Semi-Pro

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    I think your friend was mad because he tried to play nice and flubbed a shot he would not hesitate to crack at someone. I am certainly sure we have all been in a situation where we took it easy on another team, flubbed it and were pissed at ourselves for being “too nice” instead of taking care of business so to speak. He just carried his anger at himself and blew a gasket at you so to speak. While I don’t condone it, I understand it.

    Again, whether anything goes is a personal choice and I wouldn’t go trying to kill someone at the net even if that group encouraged it with a few exceptions (as some groups like to see how many welts they can put on their friends as we all know) even if it would be expected. But you take a certain risk by stepping on the court in the first place and I know plenty of people who will just kill any sitter with little regard to where it is going or who may be in jeopardy.

    But I completely agree that if you don’t turn your back immediately, instead hold your ground or rush in to try to mess up the sitter, you are fair game and have no right to complain if you catch a hard shot. I, a lot of times hold my ground trying to punch it back and if I am too slow reacting I certainly wouldn’t be mad at the person hitting at me.

    Just part of the game. Most people play in practice how they play for real with rare exception.

    Good tennis

    TM
     
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  30. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    I'm with Saram on this one. I know it's a perfectly legal shot to take, but that doesn't mean you should. Remember, just because you have the right to do something, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. In my opinion, if you can win the point by hitting away from your opponent, friend or not, then that's what you should do. I used to get so concerned about hitting someone on on overhead shot that I'd screw it up all the time. Now, when I get an overhead at the net, I simply concentrate on the ball, and smack it! I don't aim it at anyone, but if they're in the way...I was SO concentrating on the ball, I didn't see them. Sorry.
     
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  31. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    ive been hit hard and hit people hard to me its part of the game. either get your racket up or get out of the way. i agree his friend was more pissed that he screwed up after saram said something but he needs to get over it.
     
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  32. saram

    saram Legend

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    I did forget to mention in the thread when I started it that the guy that hit the overhead at my other friend is a very very successful 4.5 player with a thunderous serve. The bloke he took a shot at is not quite a solid 3.5. He's also pretty non-mobile and about 50 lbs overweight. I was upset that a player that much stronger than the weaker player took such a cut and deliberate aim.

    I may be wrong here--but I just don't think that kind of play should happen among friends unless a title is on the line. And, we were up 5-0 when he took the cut.
     
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  33. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    i would say that would be your reason he was pissed afterwards and the why he went at someone.
     
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  34. Bama

    Bama New User

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    I was playing doubles in a tournament on court 1 with a big crowd watching and it was a tight match with some great shotmaking at that point. I hit an overhead at the feet of the net man who smartly turned around but blindly stuck his racket out and luckily backwards half volleyed it for a winner. The crowd went crazy and the momentum swung their way and they started rolling. I should have pegged his ass in the back.

    Winning a big point that should have been lost can change a match, so I don't see why I should ever give mercy to any player of the same skill or better. I'm extremely aggressive on the net and it gives me a big advantage and gets a lot of easy points sometimes. I don't expect someone to avoid coming at me if that's their strategy to get me of the net. If you're playing up on the net you're fair game....end of story. Who says tennis isn't a contact sport!
     
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  35. saram

    saram Legend

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    He was on my team when he took the cut and we were up 5-0. We play sets and switch partners to keep it fresh. He was my partner when he took that cut at the weaker player on the weaker team. It was at the end of the following set when he failed to take the cut about 40 minutes later or so.
     
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  36. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    then i dont see his problem. why he got mad at you is beyond me. sounds like a guy i would avoid if he was willing to start a fight over something so stupid.
     
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  37. saram

    saram Legend

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    He and I always beat these two 6-0. I saw no reason to add injury to insult once again.
     
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  38. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Oh... you left that part out.

    Not cool in that case.

    I play dubs pretty often with people of a lower level, and if the net man is a good soldier and just minds his position and plays whatever balls come to him, then I just return crosscourt, and we play, and have fun.

    But if he starts dancing around and chirping his sneakers, and fake poaching, then I drill him.

    J
     
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  39. ferb55

    ferb55 Rookie

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    Personally, I think if your opponent hangs in there, racquet ready to try and get it...then fire away. By his stance he is saying.."Come on, lets see what you have". So I would nail him.

    If you don't want to get hit, turn away and concede the point.

    Now, if someone takes a defenseless posture or takes a step away because it is just friendly tennis...and someone still goes at you...then its on and I understand getting mad.
     
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  40. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I don't see anything wrong with what your dubs partner did UNLESS the shot he hit was intended to "kill" your other friend. Also, I don't see why it's not okay to hit in someone's immediate direction forcefully regardless of whether you're friends or not.

    I, generally, don't hit at anyone on overheads but if it's my only shot I WILL pop it with some pace in their direction but not with enough force to cause serious injury. In this case, I think the OP overreacted UNLESS, like I said earlier, his doubles partner was essentially headhunting on the opposing player.
     
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  41. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    you're men on court, not mice. act like it. fair game.
     
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  42. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    I'd almost never try to hit anyone on purpose friend or not. Unless of course they hit my partner when it could have been avoided. Or if they are hookers or a-holes. An example being I played in a parent-child with my son who was 12 at the time and the other parent hit my son (twice). I did not hit his kid, however, I did "Lendl" (drop shot followed by nailing him with the pop reply)the guy twice. How else are people going to learn etiquette? ;-)
     
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  43. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    When I get an overhead, I just concentrate on the ball. I never look at where my opponents are and I do not care where on the court my opponents are. My attitude is that, they are never gonna get my overhead back even if it is hit to them.

    I have hit many opponents, friends, ladies. I think it is part of the game. If you put up a crappy lob, please get the heck out of the way. I turn my back and move out of the way if I am around the service line or inside. It is my fault if I get hit.
     
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  44. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Part of the problem is that it is usually the person at the baseline who puts up the sitter...putting their partner in harm's way. The net person is a sitting duck if they don't get warned by their partner (and sometimes even still...they don't have time to get out of the way).
     
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  45. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    My buddies and I hit hard baseline shots at the net guy all the time, and will gladly try to tag an opponent with a well placed volley.
    However, we rarely try to hit anyone with an overhead at close range. That's just not sporting.
     
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  46. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    you say not sporting, but what if you get an overhead, you have time to set up for it, and you see the net guy just waiting at the net in order to try to hit back your overhead. Are you saying you have to avoid the net guy with your overhead? I think that that is crazy. If the net guy is trying to make a play on your overhead, then you have every sporting right to go at him with the overhead.

     
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  47. shissncg

    shissncg Rookie

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    If the net man doesn't turn away or back up then feel free to hit them.
     
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  48. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    I agree to a certain extent. However, the person at the net doesn't always have to be warned.

    If I was at the net, at point blank range and I see my opponent prepare for an overhead, unless I think I have a shot at hitting the ball back I concede the point by turning my back before they hit the ball. At that point I fully expect my opponent to at least make an effort to hit away from me. If I choose to play defense and attempt to return the shot, I don't mind getting hit. For me that is fair play.
     
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  49. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    I'm saying I wouldn't intentionally try to peg someone with an overhead from point blank range. To be honest, 9 times out of 10 when I hit an overhead I'm looking up at the ball and just mentally aiming for an area of the court. I don't know for sure where my opponent is, and I don't make an intentional effort to hit either at or away from him.

    If somehow, as you suggest, I knew the net man was going to try to return my overhead - I'd probably try harder to hit away from him. I don't really see the reasoning in hitting the ball TO the player that wants it.
     
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  50. CyberInferno

    CyberInferno Rookie

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    I mostly hit at the target player (assuming there is one) regardless of it being a friendly match or a competitive one. But I always aim for shins or shoes. For one thing, getting hit in the legs doesn't hurt that badly. For another, it's hard to return a shot like that. I played a competitive mixed doubles match this past Sunday and my partner popped a ball up. I started backpedaling and the guy smacked an overhead right at my midsection. I volleyed it back right by him. I didn't take any offense from the shot, obviously, but I did relish in the stupid look on his face as the ball went by him.
     
    #50

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