Friday, March 31, 2017

40s playoffs have finally arrived

4.5+ over 40 - this will be an all Sunday affair.  Brookhaven/Bartlett plays Lifetime/Arcaria at 9:00am and the winner plays Oak Creek/Sweeney at noon.  And did I mention there is now a 100% chance of rain on Sunday?  Good thing there aren't a lot of matches.  Never more than in these "plus" leagues is availability more important.  Sure, in your 4.0 league you have some players better than others but in this flight the difference in a top end 5.0 and a good 4.5 is huge.  Of course the first problem is actually having a top end 5.0.  There are a couple out there and if they are or aren't available they can make all the difference.  Sweeney proved he had the deepest team only losing one match while the other two playoff contenders lost three apiece.  Depth is now less of an issue.  How good are your top six - not eight through twelve - becomes much more important.

4.0 over 40 - this is the most wide open city playoff at this level I've ever seen.  40s has been around for a few years now and while there have been some good 4.0 teams each year, this is the most balanced year for the playoff contenders that I've seen.  That may be because Dallas just doesn't have a dominant team this year, or possibly several teams or good (we won't really know until sectionals), but it should be a wide open event.  These guys are playing a round robin over Friday and Saturday, with the seeds listed as: 1) Oak Creek/Ramasami, 2) Springpark/Walters, 3) Canyon Creek/Patterson and 4) Huffhines/Clark.

Just to reacap: 9.0 55s was won by Oak Creek/Sweeney going away and 8.0 55s was won by Greenhill/Kayser in a three team playoff. 

Good luck to everyone this weekend.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seniors, still?

A bit of a yawner this time of year.  Nothing really going on except for 4.5 over 40s finishing up their flight play matches. 

Oak Creek/Sweeney cruises 4-1 over TBar/Fikes with Fikes and Pascal pulling out a third set tie breaker to keep from being swept.

Lifetime/Arcaria sweeps Greenhill/Rossouw with Rossouw defaulting two lines.  He has 21 people on the roster and he defaulted two lines?  Rossouw's playoff chances are all but done at this point.

In a Brookhaven intra-club challenge, Bartlett's team took down Harllee's team 3-2.  That was a big win for Bartlett, moving his guys into third and dropped Harllee into fourth and in danger of missing the playoffs. 

High Point/Martin lost to JCC/Reiman 3-2 and likely took itself out of the playoff hunt as well. 
Reiman even pulls out a third set tie breaker himself at line three doubles to secure the victory.

And in the battle for the basement, previously winless Greenhill/Ohl edged Gleneagles/Juhn 3-2 to pass them in the standings based on lines.  Ohl's guys sweep singles and in what is becoming a trend, another captain wins a big match and clinches the victory.

In other news, 55s has now wrapped up as well. 

9.0 finished as follows: Oak Creek/Sweeney, Brookhaven/Bartlett, Gleneagles/Juhn, TBar/Hackett, John Paul II/Gradick and Eldorado/Entrekin. 
8.0 finished as follows: Greenhill/Kayser, Springpark/Blesi, Brookhaven/Bartlett, Lifetime/Heflin, Canyon Creek/Rainwater, TBar/Snow, Brookhaven/Tarangioli, Stonebridge/Cummings and High Point/Meyers.

So far it looks like Sweeney and Bartlett are having good senior seasons.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Quick seniors update

4.5+ over 40 - the tight race that was anticipated is holding true to form.  Six matches in with five remaining there is no team that is undefeated so far.  Oak Creek/Sweeney and Brookhaven/Harllee are the only one loss teams with OC holding a slight line lead even though BH beat them head to head.  In third with two losses is Lifetime Fitness/Arcaria and Greenhill/Rossouw.  The big question is what happened to JCC/Reiman?  4-3 at the halfway mark isn't a typical JCC season.

4.5 is at the halfway mark and 4.0 is already done.  Is that right?  Seems so.  Advancing out of the two 4.0 flights are, in order of strength of record, Oak Creek/Ramasami (6-1, 27-8), Springpark/Walters (6-1, 26-9), Canyon Creek/Patterson (6-1, 21-14), and Huffhines/Clark (5-2, 24-11).  Oak Creek had a dominant season until the last match of the season against CC.  Having already wrapped up first place in their flight they lost a tight 2-3 match.  Does that match have a different conclusion at city playoffs?  This a much more competitive field than in years past but I'm not yet sure if that's because Dallas is weaker or there are just more good teams.

9.0 over 55 has Oak Creek/Sweeney clear of the field at 7-0 and having already beaten second place and one loss Brookhaven/Bartlett.  Gleneagles/Juhn sits alone with two losses and could still work their way back into the mix.

8.0 over 55 has a very similar look with Greenhill/Kayser sitting alone and undefeated (with a mighty impressive 17-1 line record to date), Springpark/Blesi alone with one loss, and Lifetime/Heflin alone at two losses.  Greenhill and Springpark square off the last match of the season so it could come right down to the wire.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tri-level in the rear view mirror

Sorry I didn't get out a preview and I'm a little late on my post-view but I got called out of town on work for about nine days and was swamped.  Just got back so here we are.  I hate it when my day job gets in the way of tennis.

What to say?  Dallas had an unbeatable tri-level team but it didn't make the finals.  It actually does happen.  Everyone is beatable.  Admittedly, I really felt like Dallas would win and from looking at the results I still think Dallas could have won, but it didn't happen.  It's amateur tennis.  Anything can happen. 

For those of you not following along at home, NOHO took the final in a closer match than I would have anticipated.  They look to have been built on some good 4.5s, 4.0s that we've seen a lot of, and good but not great 3.5s.  Definitely not a lock at the 4.0 or 3.5 lines so good job by NOHO getting over the top in some close matches.  But that is probably the theme from this year's tri-level - closer matches than I would have expected. 

I actually got back into town Monday evening and could have posted something earlier but I was generally surprised by some of the match results on tennislink so I tried to make a few subtle inquiries of people who were there or might know something.  That was largely a confusing bust.  This person is a cheater, that person had dumb lineups, these people dumped, somebody is mad at someone else, we should have won, they weren't very good - exhausting.  The one thing that I did hear a few times that seems to explain a lot was that the level of play at tri-level this year was maybe higher than in years past across the board.  That seems to make some sense.

No team at this year's event went undefeated.  Four teams finished 3-1 in their flight.  No team went winless.  Knowing some of the players and how good they are, it just looks to me like it was a very competitive event this year. 

As for Dallas, they beat San Antonio 2-1 after splitting three setters at the 4.5 line (win) and 4.0 line (loss).  They swept Lubbock, then lost 1-2 to NOHO losing the 4.0 and 4.5 lines.  They finished with a sweep of Austin.  All in all, not a bad finish but if Dallas wins one more line in any match it advances to the final over NOHO.  Their 4.5 lines went 3-1, their 4.0 lines went 2-2, and their 3.5 lines went 4-0.  So for the event, Dallas only lost three lines and two of those were in three setters.  Pretty close.

Quick shout out to the Dallas guys on the Fort Worth team.  They went 2-2 for the weekend.  Not bad for a bunch that won Fort Worth by a razor thin margin.

Monday, January 30, 2017

And the beat goes on

40 – 4.5 – at this point it looks like hockey, lots of matches but barely anyone eliminated.  A full seven teams are all sitting with one loss.  All I can really say at this point is that Greenhill/Ohl and TBar/Fikes are out of it.  Past that, everyone else still has a shot. 

40 – 4.0 – flight A – much like 4.5 above, many teams still technically in the running.  The leaders at this point all have one loss and still have a lot of big matches left to play.  Springpark/Walters, Huffhines/Clark and Greenhill/Ohl have the advantage at this point with Springpark in the lead on lines won.

40 – 4.0 – flight B – things are a little clearer here with Oak Creek/Ramasami and Chandlers Landing/McLemore sitting atop the heap in the undefeated column.  Canyon Creek/Patterson lurks close behind with only one loss.

55 – 8.0 – still a four horse race at the moment.  Greenhill/Kayser sits alone and undefeated, with one loss Springpark/Blesi, TBar/Snow and Lifetime/Heflin in the wings.  I didn’t make Lifetime to be a contender at this level but let’s see how it all shakes out.

55 – 9.0 – looks like Oak Creek/Sweeney is in the driver’s seat here.  They have a one match lead at the moment but still need to beat second place Gleneagles/Juhn in the first round of a double round robin to secure the lead at the halfway mark.

Tri-level is two weeks away so I’ll try to sit down this week and have a closer look now that the flights are out.