It seems like forever until Nov 30th but I will go ahead and post this up for lack of matches to talk about. (I guess we will have new ratings to talk about around 11/20)
I will be interested to see the pairings for the tourney but here is what I expect (just my guess on past pairings)
Garland, HP and Oak Ridge
Greenhill, SBridge and Oak Creek
And here are my pre-playoff thoughts.
3.5 Playoff Rankings
Undefeated and only lost Vijay Singh from their runner up finish in the Spring. Even though they lost Singh they gained Oberto. I think the difference with them will come down to Delira. This is probably his last hurrah at 3.5 and he has come up with great results in the playoffs but has also had some really bad results (I watched him get trounced by Rob Bliss in Spring 06 (6-2, 6-1). If he plays well they will be tough to beat but without strong results from him I am not as confident in their chances to finish on top.
2. High Point
Hmm. We lost 8 players off of the sectional team, one got his appeal through but we moved up 5 players from our 2nd team who had a 6-2 record in the Spring so they are experienced. Strong addition of singles specialist Di Zhao will help in that area as well. Although not as strong as our previous group I like the makeup of this team even better, there are three consistent doubles teams and three strong singles players that almost seem interchangeable. Also the bench players are very capable of stepping in and making contributions. Sorry I can't put them 1st but I don't want to be a total homer.
3. Oak Creek
Old and crusty but good enough. I haven’t seen the new dominant doubles team (Yauch/Rivera) but they should account for one win v. just about any team in the tournament. After that the doubles talent drops off a little to just good unless OC decides to split them up to disperse their strength. Singles now lands on the shoulders of Marc Klamecki, he must get a win each time out or I worry about their chances. Marc is strong but if he runs into a pusher he could get in trouble. Not sure who will be a regular in the #2 slot behind Marc, maybe Barnhard but line 2 singles will be important for them.
I like this team and would have them rated higher if not for the stronger and younger teams at the top. Greenhill will rely heavily on their doubles strength to do well. Their roster reads like a senior all star team at doubles but singles is pretty much John Sims and Jason Fraser, both solid players but not guarantees to win. If they can get a split at singles I like their chances but don’t see them being able to win a match unless they can grab at least one singles match in each match.
This team continues to hang in there and returns just about everyone if I am not mistaken from their Spring team that made it to the QT tourney in the Spring. Too bad them and Garland look like they will not play a rainout match, I would be interested to see how they match up. They will probably go as far as Fitzpatrick and Ackerman can take them. They don’t have much at singles after that although Greg Barats is solid. Kevin Dooney, Ruben Muniz and Jim Bostick are probably their best doubles players. I think this is a good team but not enough firepower to contend with the teams at the top.
6. Oak Ridge
Jeromi should be happy I listed this team last. Truly nothing personal in fact I would say they could be tied with Stonebridge at 5th. I know a lot of these guys play tourneys but league tennis playoffs is a whole other animal. I took a talented team to this tournament last year and ended up 0-3 in our flight. I look at their results and roster and they all have good results but nothing stands out to say they can contend with the big 3 at the top. Prather and Girder have some good results but these teams squeaked by a few teams that were weak in the C flight. I did like their win v. Greenhill but Sims didn’t play that match and Terry Newman was playing singles, I would have liked to seen that match with Newman at doubles and Sims playing #2 singles.