Thursday, July 22, 2010

4.0 Sectionals Preview

I want to start this out that I would never plagiarize anything from the Houston Blog or from anyone else for that matter.

Flight 1

San Angelo
Wild Ft. Worth

There are two dangerous teams in this flight. Houston and Wild Ft Worth. You can't discount Wild Ft Worth, as Ft Worth City winner (non wild) might just find themselves in Nationals this year.

Houston - This is a Freeman team who always has solid squads. They are led by their 2 stud singles players Ellingsen and Knutson. Both are top 4.0s in the state. As a doubles team they beat Somabut/Palacioz 6-1 6-1. Doubles are strong but the core of the team is those 2 singles players.

The Houstonians should waltz through this group. I couldn't believe the amount of players that they have and with a roster so deep that they could play all their matches and never have the same guy play twice.

Winner - Houston

Flight 2
Wild Austin
San Antonio
Fort Worth

Wild Austin used Vlad Chub at 1 singles and Chris Lewis at 2 in the finals of their playoffs.

San Antonio's Blossom Smash waltzed through their playoffs, dropping only one line. Rodrigo Sabag was really tough playing singles, with a win over Carl Bain on his resume. Isai Martinez looks to be even tougher. This team looks really tough. In the Spring season, they won most of their WHOPPING SEVENTEEN (17) Spring matches 4-1 and 5-0.

Fort Worth's team is the team to beat in this flight... Jay Bigam is a flat hitter with old school grips, but has had success at the 4.5 level in the past. Chris Whipple has also been dominant in singles. Their doubles look solid. Their name "Old Gang" is very deceptive as many of these kids are stupid young. As long as they don't get Young Kid's chokeitis, I think that they win most of their matches in their flight with a 4-1 and 5-0 spanking.

Waco and Abilene don't have much data to draw from. Waco's Erich Schwarze is a 4.5 drop down who was dominant the last time he went to 4.0 Sectionals.

Flight 2 winner - The Ft Worth Young Children lay a solid whooping on San Antonio with a 4-1 crushing blow leaving San Antonio wondering and other teams shaking.

Before we start with Flights 3 & 4, I need to note that the big clear advantage for BOTH Dallas teams is that they have already played at LBH, the courts that somehow are able to maximize both heat and Mosquito potential in Dallas. Mosquitoes there are not to be taken lightly as I can't remember which I use more of, OFF or Sunblock while at LBH. It should also be noted, as all of Dallas knows already, the outdoor gun range next to LBH can be a little disturbing when Johnny Yeehaw decides to take his Uzi to the gun range on Saturday.

Flight 3
Wild Dallas

Austin had its "ringer", John Dwyer, DQ'd after their city playoffs, which will really hurt its strength. Interesting that the match that got Dwyer DQ'd was a 7-6 6-3 win in the playoffs, further proving that NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT THE FORMULA IS TO GET DQ'd. Of course, maybe he just got DQ'd because Sisk or Arcaria had dirt on him and turned him in. We will never know. Nevertheless, without their ringer in singles, they never would of made it through the city playoffs, as many of their wins were 3-2 wins. Of course, Austin notoriously has good teams in Sectionals, so this team should still NOT be overlooked.

NoHO - The core of this team also went to Sectionals last year. Their 2 top singles players got SPANKED last year in Sectionals with 6-1 6-2 losses, so I don't know if they crack under the pressure again, but can anyone every forget a 6-1 6-2 beat down? Never mind, I am sure that they have forgotten that by now and whom am I to remind them? There doubles are very strong, however, and the doubles will need to carry NoHo if they want to get far.

Dallas - Scouting report. Many of the players are former Davis Cup champions and should not be playing at 4.0. I hope this doesn't get out.

Midland - notoriously a middle of the pack team in sectionals, but it is always fun to go to Sectionals. Enjoy yourself gentlemen. There are no bad teams in Sectionals, and when a captain overlooks a team is when a captain makes mistakes.

NETX - Tierney & Wynn look to be a really good doubles team. Dallas is also going to have to watch out for Aaron Smith. If I were the captain of Wild Dallas, I would definitely have all barrells blazing against this team. Fortunately for NETX, the Dallas captain is lazy and generally doesn't scout other teams. This is a clear advantage for NETX.

It's going to be a dogfight of NETX v Wild Dallas in the last match, but I just can't pick against the previous Davis Cup players.

Flight 4
Wild Houston

I wrote this completely myself, but I must state I am very disappointed that July 22, 2010 1:23 PM (aka Shawn Arcaria) was able to plagiarize my hard work and research before I even wrote it. All I can see is as far as 4.0 goes here is what I know.

Lubbock - This team returns almost all of the key players from the team that went to nationals less than 2 years ago. How they are back at 4.0 is beyond me and is a complete joke. They have 2 very good singles players. Lance Coleman is a former 4.5 who did very well at that level, beating some very good players and going 3 sets with Huffman (Oc Branch). He was not even part of that national team and makes them that much better. Shaunaman was part of that national team and is their other singles player. Most of their doubles players were all the national team. That national team did beat the Dallas 4.0 team from Springpark, which included Charles Rasor, Eugene Davis, Jim Walters, Greg Odell, etc. All of which are still at 4.5. This team will be strong.

Wild Houston - they lost to the Houston Freeman team 3-2 in the final. Another team with strong singles with Wooten and Larrazolo. Wooten has a win over our John Kraemer and Mark Anderson locally in singles and did not lose in league this year. They look to be very strong.

Amarillo - Another team that made it to Sectionals, only to have their star player Jason Wait DQ'd just before sectionals. This is yet another obvious DQ mistake by the captain, as Jason Wait crushed his opponent in his final match with an eye catching 6-3 6-4 win. I believe Dallas is playing Amarillo in morning, but Amarillo would not be on my mind.

Dallas - Many of Shawn's self rates are future Davis Cup Champions as soon as they become old enough to play Davis Cup that is. It should be noted that Stephen Bennett is a former Sumo wrestling super champ. Sisk tried to get him DQ'd under super champ status, however, the appeal was denied.

Flight Winner - I really want to pick Dallas, but I have to give the nod to Lubbock this year.

4.0 Wrap up done. My biggest disappointment is that I had to bump down the great Fantastic with his exceptional Star Wars based summary. That was post of the decade Fantastic - IMO.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Star Wars 7 - Decimation of the Sith (aka GTC)

There were battles of galatical proportions this weekend throughout the DCC from 3.5 to 4.5. All season long we heard about the army of players Darth Sisk had recruited and that City Championships were in the bag for 3.5 and 4.0. His side-kick Nancy Noel defects from his home base to form a 4.5 team out of GTC, hoping to ride his coat tails and have 3 teams from Garland go to Sectionals.

While the hype has been about GTC and their dominance in recruiting ringers, out of state players, college players, nationally ranked juniors, high school ringers, ex-convicts, and the extra-terrestrial (not to mention playing “dirty”), it was all for not as the stars were aligned against them. Their “dirty” tricks could not break the power of the Force and the mighty Jedi. Call it Fate. Call it Karma. But the lines went against him. The Death Star implodes, and Garland is shut out of post season play, losing the DCC with no teams advancing as wild cards to Sectionals.


Jabba the Hutt (aka Sisk) – Known for his evil and menacing ways, he has recruited an army and built an empire of warriors for the Rebel Alliance, boasting of their ability to attract the most experienced of players to the Dark Side. Between his 3.5 and 4.0 teams, he has recruited close to 60 players. However, this vast army of players were unable to capture a title, and were choked off at both levels 3.5 and 4.0.
Salacious Crumb (aka Nancy Noel) – Known as Jabba’s sidekick and pet, and for burrowing his head into Jabba’s back side. As an avid supporter of Jabba the Hutt, he leaves his base of Northwood to join the Rebel Alliance and form a 4.5 team out of Garland. Unfortunately, Jabba’s hands are too full with is other teams, and Salacios Crumb was unable to get the manpower to compete. While making a respectable showing this weekend, Obi-Wan and his Jedi knights decimated too many along the way and taunt him with a Sunday win, knowing he still falls short by lines.  Karma strikes again.
Master Yoda (aka Bender) – Known in the galaxy for his power with the Force, and for using it to go to a place called Nationals. Yoda has made the trip too many times to count, and has won almost as many titles as Federer’s reign at Wimbledon. His focus is to go their again with his team of newly recruited Jedis, who have sharpened their skills with the light-saber at level 3.5.
Han Solo (aka Traeger) - Although not officially a Jedi, this warrior can compete with the best of them and proved so this weekend by giving the upset to Garland at 3.5. They were underdogs from the beginning, but pulled themselves together nicely to secure a wild card spot at Sectionals.
Luke Skywalker (aka Arcaria) – This young Jedi apprentice steps in with no prior experience but quickly gains respect from his peers. He is lured by the Dark Side in questionable recruiting practices, but is quick to stay resolved in the Force, and benches his self rates before the post season. While questioned of his ability to go up against other seasoned captains, this Jedi paved the way with some impressive wins over worthy opponents to secure a spot at Sectionals. He hopes the Council looks favorably on his newly recruited Jedis, and that all of them can join him in the post season.
Anakin Skywalker (aka BMO) – This Jedi fled his home turf to establish his own Alliance force . He was rumored to have the most powerful Jedis at 4.0 throughout the City, but were put to the test early in the season by a loss to the Lakes, ony to face Déjà Vu again this weekend. However there upset win against Jabba himself and decimation over Brookhaven gave them lines needed to make the finals. They put pride aside and lay down to team Arcaria in the finals hoping for an easier path in Sectionals. But nothing in life is ever easy. It will be interesting to see if Anakin made a wise choice.
Obi-Wan Kanobi (aka Branch) – This veteran Jedi knows what it takes to build a powerhouse and Force of domination. This year was no exception as his slew of the most talented Jedi knights, decimated anyone that came up against them.  Their experience is next to none, and appear to be the most capable of all Dallas teams to take the Sectionals title.
So the drama is over in Dallas, and now it is time to pull our forces together and root for our home teams.

Good luck to all in your Quest for Nationals. And may the Force be with you.

Enjoy Commenting…….

Saturday, July 17, 2010

DCC Underway

The games have begun and I have to say this looks like it will be a lot closer than I thought. Oh let me rephrase, the 4.0 DCC will be close. The 4.5 looks like it will be quick and easy. Well Team Corey did have a nice sweep to start out the DCC over Brookhaven but it is early but OC cruised past High Point tonight in what some thought might be there best test. I was surprised to see Gene Davis get taken to a tiebreaker v. Komshon but Mr. Sudhi is tough.

But enough about those guys with skillz, let's talk some 4.0.

Team BMO is now 0-2 v. Lakes. I drank the kool-aid too early on this team I guess although it isn't over yet. Or is it? That lineup for the Lakes although it has a massive drop off after line 1 doubles it will still be tough to beat and I think they were missing one or two players that played in the last win over GH. Garland edged out a win over Brookhaven, Zackary barely beat Archer to make this 3-2. If Garland fields that lineup again Greenhill and the Lakes will have a chance to take this flight. Luckily the young kids did play well. No Obannon??????

In the other flight, JCC got overmatched and the mightly Lutes and Reiman got taken down by Minchul and the donut man. WTF??? Next thing you are going to tell me BMO is rated 4.5 and BP fixed the oil spill. What? He is....and they did? I give up. In the High Point v. Garland rematch, Team Bob eeked out a win but it did not look pretty as Pearson edged out a win over Don Harvey, former 3.5 star from two years ago. I think the oddsmaker might have to change some numbers after looking at this result. If the thought of Lifetime winning didn't make me queasy I might make them the favorite but I don't want to make any rash judgements.

Best of luck to all of you tomorrow and stay cool. I will be at the pool but I will be thinking about you all, oh who I am kidding. I hope to be toasted by 3p.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

4.5 DCC preview

First let me start with a little rant! It is absurd that Dallas, with 28 4.5 teams do not get a wildcard! San Antonio, Austin & Houston apparently get them. San Antonio only has 8 teams that I can find! Austin not many more and Houston I believe has 19. What gives Texas? (I also think there should have been more teams included in QT - What gives DTA?)

Having said that I still believe that there is only 1 team in it this weekend and that is Oak Creek/ Branch. They are prohibitive favorites with great depth at singles and very strong doubles (Kiron/ Huffman; Slezak/ Williams are virtual locks and then on singles Kelly and Davis are backed up by a string of talented singles players like Underwood. The big mystery is their 3rd dubs line….Durten & Ledezma perhaps?). This team is built to win and I don't see anyone stopping them.

Now Brookhaven, High Point & Corey's team many give them some tough lines but I just can't find 3 lines than can beat them on the same match.

First up it's Brookhaven & Garland. Brookhaven has some very capable and play-off tough guys. My good friends Jeff Laselle & Ricky Ramos are always tough. With Schlager, Yuri & Sechen also all very capable players. Adcock & Conway had a very impressive win together over a tough Lakes pairing so they will be tough to beat. Their weakness may be their singles depth. Garland's ace is unquestionably Ben Hawkins. He has been playing incredibly well this spring in tournaments and league and mixed. If I was Corey I'd play him at singles. He's as tough as anyone playing this weekend. However, I am still picking Brookhaven 3-2 in this one as I'm not sure that Corey has 2 more lines that can beat BHaven...... (to quote Corey: "prove me wrong - how's that for motivation?"

Then it's HP vs Branch! The big match of Friday should probably be the final! High Pt have been sandbagging all season thanks to their wildcard and have a very deep squad. The quality on the Branch roster though will be too much though. Branch can field 7 or 8 lines that will give HP best 2 lines fits! 4-1 to Branch

Saturday we see BHaven & HP play and this should again be tough. This was Bhavens only loss in the regular season and they will be looking for revenge. Again I am picking BHaven 3-2.

Then Royal Oaks vs Garland: Royal Oaks fresh off a tough QT play Garland. Interesting matchup but I think Royal Oaks will squeak out another 3-2 win. The Bell's and Ponder are really good. Webb & Flores are solid. They have a tough team.

This will leave the standings as follows going into Sat afternoon:

Brookhaven 2-0
Branch 1-0
Royal Oaks 1-0
Garland 0-2
HP 0-2

With only 1 spot for Sectionals expect to see HP to protect the ratings of their better players and play some of the other guys on their massive roster for the rest of the weekend......

Sat pm:

Branch vs Brookhaven! Bring your popcorn. This will be a great match and again could be the final. Again I am picking Branch 4-1 but the matches will be closer than the final result.

Royal Oaks vs HP: Royal Oaks may take down HP if HP are 0 & 2. However, if HP continue to bring it I think they may be able to scrap this out 3-2. Yoshida, Ribman, Tikashi, Brownlee, Marasigan & Blumberg are all very capable and with the right matchups could pull it off. Watch out for Tada. He doesn't look like much and is rated 4.0 but he is a ringer......


HP vs Garland
– I suspect Garland will continue to play for honor while HP at this point may be spreading the love amongst the other 33 players on the roster. Garland 4-1

Branch vs Royal Oaks – More good news for Branch, One match Friday and one on Sat means rested singles players for Sunday and this neutralizes the young Bell. Branch 4-1

Branch vs Garland – Branch 4-1. Branch are just too strong.
Brookhaven vs Royal Oaks – Brookhaven will be hoping for Garland to spring an upset and bring it all against Royal Oaks who at this point are out of it. Brookhaven 3-2 bu that won't be enough

Final Standings:
Branch 4 & 0
Brookhaven 3 & 1
Garland 1 & 3
Royal Oaks 1 & 3
HP 1 & 3

I could add more detail but this would get too long.........

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4.0 DCC this weekend

So it comes down to this weekend to decide whether team Bob will return to sectionals, again. Or will John Sisk make his first 4.0 appearance after 3.5 success. A retooled Lifetime could make a 2nd appearance in two years if their new young guns deliver. Brueckner's Garland team, BMO's Greenhill crew and the Lakes look to make some noise as well.

Blue Flight
Adjusted Odds to win and advance to sectionals:

High Point: EVEN
This team although not even close to the national team from a year ago does have some solid talent like Bearden, Taylor, Pearson, Quist, Baker, Le, Thierault and Robinson (not Keith but Mike this year) Because of that depth and some solid singles players for backup like Pearson this team will be tough to overcome.

Lifetime: 5 to 1
I got to see this team first hand and most likely their strongest lineup and they will match up well with Garland and JCC but not well enough to overpower Team Bob. Huynh, Carey, Smith and Zach Baker are strong but if it comes down to Stephen Bennet, Gerber and others to come up with wins against the names listed above I am going to be hard pressed to see them coming up with wins.

Garland/Brueckner: 15 to 1
I think it will be a wash between this team and Lifetime. Sierp, Metcalf, Huling and Singh showed they can put this team on their back and make some noise but 2nd place in the QT does not get me excited enough to pick an upset but should handle JCC just fine.

JCC: 80 to 1
Happy to be here team although they will not be pushovers at all. There is just not enough depth to win a flight like this, if they do they will most likely have to win 3-2 each time out.

Red Flight
Odds to win and advance to Sectionals

Garland/Sisk 2 to 1
I don't consider this pick a lock at all. I know John has recruited and a college dorm room to play half the matches but club tennis is essentially 4.0 tennis so who knows. I do think it will come down to how these guys play and they will be up against some experienced players. They tough thing about Sisk's team is they played in a weak flight so it is tough to know how good they are.

Greenhill 12 to 1
This team showed up strong and BMO was even throwing out some INSTANT Karma smack talk. I love it. This team has some depth and after avoiding losing any players last weekend I like them even more. I think Bergeron/Yaremenko will be the difference if these two can win against Garland and Lakes I like their chances, if not I don't see them winning.

Lakes 25 to 1
I have always been a fan of this crew and I am surprised they cruised along to the DCC. It is hard to pick them 3rd but I just don't see them overtaking Greenhill and Garland but they will be in the mix till the end.

Brookhaven 60 to 1
Also in the happy to here crew with JCC. This team earned this spot with a great DCC in the Fall and it will take another great effort for this team to make some noise. The pieces they lost were just not replaced and therefore they are just in it for fun but will still be dangerous in doubles, there only reasons for pause is there win over High Point in the regular season, but can they pull out 3 wins of the caliber in a weekend?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

4.0 QT Results, Look Ahead to the DCC

So Greenhill(pictured above) and Garland took the top two spots and had a close match to close out a somewhat uneventful Sunday as the final match only decided placement but that may prove to be important. Village was a surprise finishing 3rd and Brookhaven was hurt by the absence of Arenas and Kraemer for sure. After looking over results I think the outcome would have been the same either way. Congrats to both teams and good luck next weekend at the DCC.
The winner of each flight will make it to sectionals next weekend and to me it is hard to say there are clear cut favorites.
1st Flight:
High Point/Bob
2nd Flight:
These are 8 solid teams and I do think it is anyone's weekend and will depend on lineups, tiebreakers and availability.
I will put out some odds and poll soon but feel free to throw in your two cents, as if I needed to request that.

Friday, July 2, 2010

4.0 QT Next Weekend

So one week till the QT starts so we might as well start the smack talking. Two teams will advance because of Brookhaven's finish in flight A. This makes each match very important, should be a great weekend of tennis.

Odds to advance:
Greenhill (EVEN)
If not for a slip up early in the season this team would be in the DCC, but as we all know (especially me) early season slip ups will come back to haunt you. I think this team matches up well especially since there is no amazing singles players in this mix of teams. My only concern is the number of self rates that are already flirting with expulsion. Having to play more matches cannot be a good thing if this team has August aspriations.

Garland (5 to 1)
On paper this team doesn't do much to excite me but I cannot argue with their results in a solid flight A. My apprehension from making them a lock would be their lack of depth. I think they have a solid 8 that they used against Bob's team but is there anyone that can step in. Vijay will be the most important player along with Kingsley and Sierp, if those three are on this team should do well..

Brookhaven (8 to 1)
This is a hard pick between Garland and Brookhaven. I like the doubles teams of Burt's better than Garland but I think for the most part their match will be a 3-2 toss up. Echeverry and Boccara will be key in that match up. Is Arenas going to see more singles time or will he help out in doubles?

Canyon Creek (25 to 1)
It is a good thing for this team I am picking them so low because I did the same in the regular season and look where they ended up. The match I have to look at to see how far this team can go is their match v. JCC. The match wasn't close at all and that is the level of play they will see from the top 3 teams in this QT.

Village/Gordon (Pick a large number to 1)
I didn't realize they had made it into the QT until I just pulled up the schedule. Actually just looking over their roster Crow was a good pick up and Angulo is solid. Durand and Ravoof are very capable players but there is just not enough depth or star players to make me think this team can be competitive.

Big matches:
Friday night:
Garland v. Brookhaven (This could decide 2nd place very early)

Saturday afternoon:
Greenhill v. Brookhaven ( If there is a team that can take out BMo and crew it would happen here)

Sunday morning:
Greenhill v. Garland (Depending on what happens in the other two matches this one will either decide seeding in the DCC or who makes it in.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

3.5 QT Schedule Out

3.5 QT Schedule:

Friday, July 9 - 8:00 P.M.
JCC vs. Bent Tree
Village vs. Oak Creek

Saturday, July 10 - 9:00 A.M.
Oak Creek vs. JCC
Village vs. Bent Tree

Sunday, July 11 at 11:00 A.M.
JCC vs. Village
Bent Tree vs. Oak Creek

The match of the weekend is actually on Friday night with the Village vs. Oak Creek. The winner of that match wins the QT. I have given an analysis of who I think takes it on my comment inside. But who cares what I think. I am opening this up to the anons and players from the rosters of the QT teams. Give us your insights and smack talk!

Regardless, Good Luck to all !!