Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3.5 Wrap Up - Show 'em The Love, They Get The Same Towels That We Get

Hey, ma, check out the new unis!  We're headed to sectionals and don't we look good.

In case you missed it on Sports Center, Dallas had a 3.5 city playoff and someone played.  Someone even won.  I got this report over four or five beers so what they got right and what I actually remember is a matter to be decided by someone who might know or care.  Here’s what stuck with me:

The number one seed played two matches and only won three lines.  Huh?  How did they do the seeding?  Must be the same guys that do the Big 12 pre-season football polls. 

There is a hole in the back fence at Brookhaven next to the barn where a group of 3.5s thought they were at Fenway trying to hit it over the Green Monster.  I’ve noticed this at tri-level.  The lower the level, the harder they seem to try and hit it.  No matter where it goes.  Remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome.

It looked like old, grainy footage of high school girl’s doubles.  Ok, that was my interpretation, but the serve and volley is evidently dead at this level.  Maybe that’s a good thing considering all the over hitting.

This crowd must like the E-Entertainment channel because evidently there was a surplus of neon.  I’ve noticed this one since I was a kid.  Under the same theory that brought us ‘if you can’t do it, coach it’, we have ‘if you can’t play it, wear it’.  Show me a team full of color coordinated opponents and I’ll show you a sure win.  As Adolf once said in his famous video, what am I going to do with all these team uniforms?  No self-respecting 4.5 wears a team uniform.

But someone did win.  And while there were only three teams at cities, two of them will go to sectionals.  So in retrospect, maybe they know something we don’t.  Congrats to Fretz/Nguyen who will be representing Dallas as the city champion and congrats to High Point/Gardner who will be at sectionals as the wildcard.   And, of course, this year they only have three sectionals flights so someone will come in second and still play in the semis.  Sounds better and better the more I think about it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Groundhog Day

I wake up every day, right here at 4.0 sectionals, and its always Houston winning the finals.

I'm not the most knowledgable guy on 4.0, particularly around the state, but someone put up a nice analysis of sectionals flights so we're going to start with that.  Thank you Mr. Anon.  I did make some calls around town however, and have it on good authority that the Dallas teams will be missing some key players.  I didn't like their chances before and I sure don't like their chances now.  Looks like Houston or Wild Houston will be taking home the crown again this year.

Flight 1: The marquis matchup is the first round rematch between last year's champion Houston, and last year's runner-up Waco. Waco has seven new self-rates in addition to a few of last year's players. Not to be outdone, Houston has nine self-rates/appealed players. One has already been dq'd, so that leaves 8, including a former top 50 D-1 player. Look for some close matches, but edge to Houston. 

Flight 2: NOHO and San Angelo both have largely the same guys as last year, when they finished 4th and 5th respectively in Bazan's flight. Wild San Antonio wasn't expecting the bid, and some made other plans for the weekend, and aren't coming. Not a strong team to start with, but weaker now. Dallas looked good at cities but won't have the same team available for sectionals.  Amarillo didn't even field a team last year, but this team is pretty decent. Amarillo for the surprise winner.  Missing players will definitely effect this flight's results.  

Flight 3: Wild Dallas a great singles player, but San Antonio and Corpus each have two. Can Bob get a better lineup out for sectionals than he did for cities finals?  SETX is usually a doormat, but this year looks like a pretty good team. Won the league even though 2 of their players got dq'd. Wichita Falls is the only weakling in this group. Barely qualified for the tournament, and mainly older guys. Edge to SA.

Flight 4: Wild Houston should take this one. The only team to beat Freeman this year, but also lost to them, both in close matches. Austin is a pretty decent team, especially with Andy Merritt. Third at best for The Old Gang from Ft. Worth. Midland and Lubbock didn't bring teams last year, and this year they will battle it out for cellar dweller.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rise and Fall of the 4.5 Houston Empire - Gladiator Style

It’s just outside Huffines tennis center at 8:00 on Friday morning.  Freeman stands with his inner circle surveying the soon to be bloodied battlefield, keeping a wary eye on the massing horde from Corpus Christi.  In the distance a headless rider approaches.  Seeing the slain envoy from the Houston ranks, one of Freeman’s cadre is dismayed.  “People should know when they are conquered.”  Freeman stares into the distance, “Would you, Waters?  Would you?”  There is nothing to do now but begin the onslaught as Freeman rallies his legions.  “At my signal, unleash hell!”

And so it begins.  These battles have raged for generations.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Neither will it be destroyed so quickly.  Indeed, progress has been made on different fronts, but the Houston Empire remains intact.  The warring Dallas tribes have yet to unite to defeat the Empire, but they will now be attacking from three different flights at once. 

To the north the forces of Dallas, Wild Dallas and Dallas West have made camp in three different facilities.  Pickett addresses his troops, “An hour from now I will be drinking my beer.  Imagine where you will be, and it will be so.  Hold the net!  Stay with me!  If you find yourself alone, playing on red clay with the sun on your face, do not be troubled.  For you are at Roland Garros and you are already dead!”

Rossouw makes his final preparations as well.  Studying his endless roster he asks a trusted advisor, “Can any of them play?”  The advisor surveys the roster as well, “some are good for playing, others for dying.  You need both I think.”  Reiman relaxes with his troops in the comforting shade of SpringPark.  Soon he too will be engulfed in the melee.  For now, he scans his roster, adjusting his battle plan for those who are now encamped elsewhere.  Much is yet to be decided.  The hill tribes from Austin, the river people of San Antonio, and the desert nomads of West Texas all have significant roles to play in the battle to come. 

Rusty Aurelius stands atop a hill reflecting on the battles of his youth and anticipating the struggle below.  “I like Pickett’s chances,” he says to no one.  For in Pickett, he saw something of himself.  “Fear and wonder, a powerful combination.  I think he knows what USTA sectionals is.  It is the mob.  Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted.  Take away their chance to play on Sunday and they’ll still roar.  The beating heart of sectionals is not the glow of the champion’s plate, it’s the sand of the coliseum.  He’ll bring them death – and they will love him for it.”  “Besides,” he mused, “You know I’m not picking Houston.”

Are you not entertained?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Playing For Peanuts

In the immortal words of Charles Schulz, “I would have won but I got off to a bad finish.”  That’s about as much sense as I can make of 3.5 tennis.  I’ve been hit up all season for some analysis, any analysis, on the 3.5 leagues but I know next to nothing about the teams or the players.  Of course these people made the city playoffs and I did not so I’m going to give it a try.  In fairness, I asked around a little bit and very few people seemed to know much either.  So with very few insights and a little research, here we go.
There were only two flights and only one undefeated team this season.  The combatants will be Greenhill/Alzuro as the #1 seed, Fretz/Nguyen as the #2 seed, and High Point/Gardner as the #3 seed (QT winner).  Both Greenhill and High Point had one self rate disqualified.  Evidently this is not a round robin.  Instead, I have been told that #2 will play #3 and the winner will play #1 in the finals.  So it should be Fretz v High Point in round one.
High Point’s only loss was against Greenhill.  For the season they went 4-4 in singles against the four best teams in their flight.  Their DQ’d self rate played line 1 singles or doubles in four of his five matches, so that had to hurt.  Fretz went 5-3 in singles against its top four teams but had a 2-3 loss to a team that High Point beat easily in QT.  That’s a little discouraging.  I’d call this one a coin flip but will take Fretz based on High Point losing a top player.
For a Greenhill versus Fretz final I’ll have to take Greenhill.  I'll take Greenhill if High Point makes the final as well.  They went undefeated in the tougher flight (according to QT results) and they only have to play once so they should be fresh.  The Fretz versus High Point winner will have played an extra match and will have harder time getting their best lineup out for both matches. 
Not extremely insightful but that’s what I’ve got.  By the way, if he was playing this weekend I’d take Snoopy at #1 singles.  Good luck to all the competitors. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

City Play Offs Preview

QT is behind us and City Playoffs are upon us.  Here is a quick and dirty breakdown for everyone to discuss.

5.0+  This is a 3 team knockout format.  Since Dallas was last years runner-up at 5.0, and the team had to move up or split up, Dallas would be hard pressed to repeat as sectionals champs.  Regardless, these are some of our cities finest.

In the first match, we have The blogs own Marc Rossouw from the mean streets of Greenhill.  While Wagner will try to invade their turf traveling all the way from Frisco and the Lakes.  This rumble of heavy weights take place at 8:00 on Saturday.  The winner gets to deal Perkison's Village Boys at 12:00 Saturday.  That is a mighty quick turnaround.

Rossouw v Wagner
In the first match between these two Rossouw won a tight 2-1.  Anis Mezzour knocked off Bartzen.  That is a very good win.  Bartzen wins the first set 6-1 and then drops the second one 1-6.  Bartzen is tough and there is no doubt but so is Mezzour. 

Honestly, I have no idea who wins as I think it will come down to that match again.  They split doubles and have to win singles.  Just for fun, I will pick Rossouw.

Perkison vs Rossouw

In round 1, Perkison won a 2-1 with Mezzour handling Walker.  I think there is a good chance it won't be Walker this time around.  I think Collins will get the nod.  I will take him in a close match but his legs should be fresher.  In the end, I will take Perkison in a 2-1.

Best of Luck and should be some good tennis.

4.5  This is a 4 team round robin.  We have QT winner Lakes/Way versus GH/Rossouw's 5.0 in training squad.  Village/Warren brings their guys too.  The favorite is JCC/Reiman.  JCC has a few that are not eligible to play and if they don't win, I think that will be the difference.

JCC has a Rossouw or Pickettesque sized roster with a lot of very good players.  Although Kiron & Kern played for Pickett in Fort Worth.  Cambron is not eligible.Guillod is 5.0.  There are others too.  It doesn't mean he is toothless but those are some good players that would make a difference.

Greenhill has a ton of players that are good.  Most of these guys have been to sectionals (or farther) a dozen times.  IF Marc manages his roster well and gets his best out; he has a legitimate shot.

Lakes/Way won the QT.  As someone mentioned, they need to get more singles production to hang with the rest.  Welwood and Vu could be the reason the win.

Village/Warren has a number of players that almost get to sectionals every year.  I suspect this will be the same.  I am not saying they aren't dangerous as they are.  They are very capable but all of these teams are really good.

4.0  For some reason this is the level most care about.  I suppose since it is the biggest level that makes sense.  It is broken into 2 flights with 2 QT winners.  I just realized QT didn't play a championship until after it was over.  First time I have seen that.  One strange thing I noticed is the QT winner Canyon Creek had to play reams in their own flight in QT and again now in City Playoffs.  On the other hand, Oak Creek is in the other flight and otherwise, they would be in the same flight as their flight champion.  Since not all flights are created equal, in flighted playoffs, most organizers try to split that up.  Oh well, it looks like they take the math and went with that.

Flight Red:
Village/Gordon is a team that won its flight and had one loss.  I can't take much stock in that loss as they had the flight wrapped and emptied the bench in the last match.

Fretz/Clark won a flight but had a ton of 3-2 wins.  Still, most thought that was the toughest flight so that has to mean something.

Canyon/Creek came in second in this flight with only a loss to Fretz/Clark.  They went through QT and should be a little more battle tested.

Tough flight to call but I am taking the unpopular pick of the Village.  So many times I have seen the team that quietly takes care of business and nobodyt discusses come through.  Who am I kidding I like the chicks at the Village pool.  They deserve my support for that. 

Flight Blue
High Point Somabut is the heavy favorite in this flight.  They went through their flight undefeated and not really tested too hard. 

Brookhaven/Bartlett lost twice in a not so tough flight.  They definitely have some solid players but they have to be ready to play.

Oak Creek/Rich was the other QT flight winner.  While they are probably better than they get credit, they are a step below.  Still, don't be surprised if they catch Brookhaven. 

HP v Village goes to High Point.  Somabut has won countless championships at 4.0 and I am sure he will add another towel or jug to his already overcrowded city championship closet.

Good Luck to all and may nobody get hurt

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mid Season Ratings...

Mid-season ratings are out.   75% of them will change at year end but until that time, complain...

Mid Season Ratings

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Biggest Loser Winners are...

Here are the before and after pictures of the winners.  All of the hard work paid off and now they get to prove themselves in city playoffs with a chance to make it to sectionals. 

At 4.5, Lakes/Way took out Brookhave/Goswami in flight play.  Tridib was missing some players Friday night and even had to default a line.  Ron Way always has a good team but so often comes up just a little short.  He has enough to be formidable next week.  His guys had a pretty easy time with Brookhaven/Harllee.  The Fankhouser v. Loesberg line 1 match didn't feel like a 4.5 line 1 but it counts as one line.

Reiman is still the favorite but so many of his players are on Pickett's Fort Worth team and many played in the playoffs.  I think Reiman still wins.  It will come down to which players are available.  Ask Tridib... 

At 4.0:

Apparently, there are two flights with both going to cities in 4.0.  I did not know that as I was waiting for the finals to get posted.  I have never seen that.

Red Flight had Oak Creek/Rich winning.  Most believe this was the easier flight.  On the previous thread it was asked how well they would do in the blue flight and someone commented 0-3.  I can't say I know much about the flight but that may be true.  Regardless, they are in city playoffs.

Blue Flight was the most talked about and Canyon Creek went through the very difficult flight.  They beat three teams that are full of players that have been to cities/sectionals at their level.  I thought they were due as they have been close. 

My very early pick for 4.0 champion is Somabut but that might change when the final schedules are released.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Biggest Loser... QT Starts Tonight

Tonight is the first playoff weekend and it gives those second and third place teams to prove who is really the Biggest Loser.  The winner of this weekend takes home the title of the Biggest Loser. 
The flights in 4.5 are:


All three have good teams but I think Goswami has the edge.  Regardless, it is very close.  Had it not been for a DQ, Tridib would be in cities.  Instead, I can't really decide who the clear cut favorite is... because there isn't one.  I stick with my first prediction.  Goswami in a couple 3-2s.


This is the much softer flight.  I see Harllee winning this flight with little difficulty.  OC/Loose-Herget could be the spoiler and the OC/Pribadi is just an overachieving team.

The flights in 4.0 are:


This is definitely the soft flight. I pick T-Bar but the Village could definitely come through. I say that because I have absolutely no idea who any of those guys are and that can mean something.  I stick with T-Bar but not sure about that either.  It will be hot and those guys are not young.


Very tough flight.  It is time for CC to get over the snake bite and come through.

Please tell me why I am wrong.  If I get no responses, I will start making stupid predictions so I can get you Lemmings to tell me how stupid I am.

Good Luck to all and most important, may nobody get hurt.