Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tri Level-February 22-24 at Kingwood CC

So next weekend is the Tri Level Sectional and I am imploring your help so Team Madison and Team Bazan can sweep the weekend. If we don’t win I guess I would cheer for the Fort Worth teams.

Should be some great teams and it is always hard to plan to play against teams in a State event because you are lucky if you have seen one or two of them. The easy thing about this is there are only so many lineup options. My team has 7 players so the only choice I have is our rotation at 4.0. Justin has 3 at each level so he has a little flexibility but if I was him I would play Eugene Davis until he falls over from exhaustion.

Lower Tri Level

College Station: 4.0s Eric Schroeder and Ryan Hillestad seem to be strength but entire team doesn’t have a lot of results. Could be not so good or a pack of good new ringers.

SETX: 3.5s look to be strengths with Michael Getz and Shamus Darden being somewhat regular tourney players.

Fort Worth: Very balanced team, 4.0 Tom Hillebrecht has great record at singles and their other 4.0 Timothy Hatcher is a recent bump up like myself from 3.5. Jonathan you played him any advice?

NETX. Very good looking team on paper, glad we play them last. 4.0s William Rohrer and Erik Fleming were at sectionals last Spring. 3.5 Charles Lusk also made it to sectionals at 3.5 last year.

Upper Tri Level
Much was made that the Austin and San Antonio teams are allowed to use before end of the year ratings but I think there are other teams that can hang with them.

Flight I
This flight is stacked with Austin, FW Wild and Dallas. FW Wild has Prather and Delira playing 3.5 dubs, they should be very tough to beat, they did lose to the FW team of Aranda/Kinson in a 3rd set tiebreaker though.

Flight II
San Antonio will be the favorite but NETX will pose a threat I think. College Station has Omon Dibua playing dubs at 4.5 so they shouldn’t be counted out here.

Flight III
This will be a tough fight between Houston and Fort Worth. Both teams are stacked with depth at all levels and that should be a great match. Only 3 teams in the flight and no schedule listed not sure if there is going to be an additional area sending a team or possibly a wild card.

Feel free to leave any advice about any other players you know about.


  1. Cary,
    I've played both of those people. Last summer, I beat Shamus Darden and Timothy Hatcher.

    Shamus is a bump-up from 3.0. Very big serve but nothing else. His net play is more suspect than mine. Against most people, his serve is erratic, but for some reason it was "booming" against me. I played him in Houston/Beaumont last summer. Ground strokes are suspect. Just a "big" guy who only weapon is his serve.

    Timothy Hatcher is a left hander. I beat him as well. Serve is "ok", not great. Has some pace to it, you can attack his second serve. Plays alot of 4.0 doubles, don't remember his volleying too much, because I went for the passing shot as much as possible when he ventured up to the net. He's a better all around player than Shamus. Good forehand, defensive backhand I believe.

    Any legitimate 4.0 player should be able to take him out. Maybe in doubles he is better. Who knows, I beat Kraemer in straight sets, and he and his partner blasted me off the court in doubles. Doubles is so tricky. Somewhat quick temper, if you can get him angry, he gets "flustered".

    Advice against Darden, block his first serve back. Attack his second serve. Make him volley.

    Advice against Hatcher, make him hit that extra ball, go after him on his backhand side, he makes more mistakes there. And block his first serve back as well.

  2. Cary,
    Also on the Fort Worth team, there is Max Thompson and David Brown. I played them once in doubles and lost. David is a strong 4.0 player who primarily plays just doubles, but has managed somehow to keep his rating at 3.5. Max is a player who is older, tall and loves to stand about 6 inches from the net. I tried to blast him off the net but wasn't successful. His mobility is limited, so if you force him to move, you could do well. Max is easily a lower level 3.5 player in singles, but he and David have played countless matches together, and are ranked very high in Men's 3.5 Doubles.

  3. Thanks for the in depth analysis Jonathan. I expect FT Worth to be very strong. We play them back to back along with NETX on Sunday. I feel good about our 3.0 and 3.5 players, they will be hard to beat. I expect some very close matches on Sunday and Saturday won't be a breeze either.

  4. Cary, I look forward to seeing you in Kingwood next weekend.

    In my opinion:

    POOL 1 - Fort Worth (Burke) is the team to beat. They made it to the finals last year and Burke has put together another good team that was upset by Fort Worth (Kinson) in local tournament play. However, they are in the toughest pool. Austin and Dallas look good. Also, don't count out SETX - last years champion and National runner-up....had to get in a shameless plug there :) SETX 3.5s are weak (better 3.5s are playing on the 3.0-4.0 team) so they'll be counting on their 4.0 and 4.5 lines to win each time. Dallas should win easily on Friday since SETX will have their top players unavaiable until Saturday.

    POOL 2 has the best 4.5 doubles tandem in the tournament with Dibua/Armstrong who will be playing for College Station. They will go undefeated. I don't know any of their 3.5s or 4.0s...if they are decent then College Station may be the team to beat. The captain has played on Sectional 4.5 teams in the past so he may be a very solid 4.0.

    San Antionio looks solid with a bunch of recognizable names on the roster. They will be solid at every line but not unbeatable. This is a good group of guys that seem to be at every league sectional competition (Wood, Zepeda, Stafford, Gray, Gray). Good 3.5s and 4.0s, I don't know their 4.5s.

    POOL 3 - I feel like Corpus Christi is the team to beat. They will also be solid at each line with highly talented players at each line. I just hope they all don't show up on Friday :)

    The Fort Worth team will be able to compete with Corpus in the 3.5 and 4.5 lines so it will be interesting to see which one of those teams pull it out.

    Abilene is supposed to be in pool 3 but their representitive has not been selected yet. One of the Abilene teams has the 4.0 Abilene Major Zone doubles champs from last they may be tough to beat.

    I think my guys (Houston) will be scrappy at each line and won't go down without a fight. However, we will probably need a lot of luck and many favorable breaks to make it to Sunday.

    Good luck to everyone next weekend...I hope the weather works out.

  5. thanks for the in depth breakdown Jason. I look forward to seeing you all play. I am not sure what time I am getting there Friday but hopefully early enough to see a match or two.

    I guess I will have to wait till I get there to see a schedule for Flight III.

    Can't wait to get there. I hope the weather agrees as well or it could be a very long weekend.

  6. SE Texas went to Nattionals last year? Do they have any of the same players? Their team looks really weak on paper. I think Dallas will mow thru them. Probably a good chance to get some guys in the lineup.

  7. SETX lost Freeman/Hart from last years team as 3.5 studs. They also lost Patton who was their top 4.0 doubles player last year along with Daneil Duplechin as one of their top 4.5s. They are way down at each line from last years team.

    This schedule sets up nicely for Dallas. They should comfortably win each line regardless who plays. That would be a nice way to start the tournament knowing you can get everyone involved from the start, that is a captains dream.

  8. Freeman, I got a dollar says that Bowles/Michaelson from NETX will take Dibua/Armstrong. Hopefully Michaleson will make the trip. If not, NETX will have some serious issues.

  9. I think this post was meant for this thread:

    Anonymous said...
    Have any of you seen Gene Davis' serve? It is unbelievable for a 4.0!

    I have heard he is a great player but he will be playing against a 4.5 player from Austin so he should be a little neutralized, maybe??

    I like Dallas down in Houston but I don't see Prather/Delira losing to any combo of Jolly/Parten/Loving.

  10. leach,
    I would love to see the duo that will take out Dubai and Armstrong that would be quite a match. However, I know you know what your talking about so when do they play. I want to see that one.

  11. Leach,

    I trust your judgement and I'll keep my dollar in my wallet :)


    That match will go down at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Don't worry because you'll still be out partying with your host (I gave him specific instructions) won't make it back to Kingwood :)

    I am also looking forward to seeing Eugene Davis play.

  12. "SETX lost Patton who was their top 4.0 doubles player last year..."

    Patton was their "best" yet he won only 1 of his 4 tri-level matches last year??

  13. You are only as good as your partner. SETX will come in last in that bracket. It's a good chance to put the bench warmers in!

  14. yep SETX is unlucky to be in the death flight. I would be surprised if someone goes undefeated, so SETX will be important because you need to sweep the lesser team in your flight.

    I see NOHO joined the party in Flight III and have two very good 3.5 players. They may just provide some competition for Jason's group.

  15. Dallas beat SETX 2-1. They won the 4.0 and 3.5 lines.

  16. What's this... don't tell me little SE TX (that was obviously the weakest team) made to the semi's... knocking out Dallas, Fort Worth & Austin!

  17. well it has been fun so far. I expected some great 4.0 play and it has been here. SETX took us down today and we can only hope they trip up against NETX or CST which is possible since both those teams look very good. I didn't see the end of the 4.0 CST v SETX but congrats to Eric and Ryan for taking out the SETX that team looked unbeatable but now you guys have given me hope I can hang with those guys tomorrow. I look forward to two more good matches tomorrow

  18. Southeast was not that impressive. Other than the 4.5 guys they had that were obvious 5.0 players they did not impress me at all.

  19. Jonathan FYI Timothy Hatcher is not a lefty. You did playing him in a really bad day in the Walnut Creek Tournament. You can't analyze his game if you just playing him once. I bet he can beat you any other day.

    Jonathan FYI Timothy Hatcher is not a lefty. You did played him in a really bad day in the Walnut Creek Tournament. You can't analyze his game if you just playing him once. I bet he can beat you any other day!!!

  21. yes Jonathan was mistaken about the left handed remark but looking back on his comments on Tim's game he was actually pretty accurate. Dennis and I played Tim and Tom down in Kingwood. Tim's 2nd serve is very attackable and his volleying was a little questionable. His forehand started out really shaky in our match but turned out to be the difference in our match. He is a strong player but I don't think Jonathan meant any disrespect because as 4.0 players we should have weaknesses because by definition we are average players. Best of luck to you and Tim in your upcoming season, hopefully we will get to play at sectionals, Jonathan might just be there as well so who knows they might get a rematch but probably in doubles.