Monday, September 29, 2014

A Day In The Life

a day in the life beatles

For those of you who haven't been following Dallas tennis as long as some of us, I dug this up out of the archives.  That's Reiman, Rossouw, Harllee and Way back when they first joined the league.

Ok, let’s try this again, but by popular demand we have added 5.0.  Come on Corey, we’re all rooting for you.  Well, some of us are.  Short post but I’m doing some tri-level research and will have a preview up as soon as player registration closes.  From the looks of it, tri-level commentary has already started without me.

5.0 Playoffs: Village – according to our expert guest analysis we don’t need to go any further.

4.5 Playoffs – It looks like the key for these teams will be keeping their focus until they get to the big matches at the end.  JCC found that out this weekend, although Village is much better than 1-2.

Flight A – Greenhill/Rossouw and Lakes/Way square off the last match of the season.
Flight B – Greenhill/Rossouw and Brookhaven/Harllee do the same in flight B.
Flight C – JCC/Reiman lost to a 1-2 Village team.  Still JCC’s flight to lose.

4.0 Playoffs – Key contenders and upcoming match-ups

Flight A - Canyon Creek/McHugh – cream of the crop.  No issues until playoffs.
Flight B - Garland/Sisk versus Fretz/Noel on Oct 12 for the flight.  
Flight C – Huffines/Ratcliffe’s flight to lose.
Flight D – Fretz/Jayaram and Huffines/McIntosh in a November showdown.

Stay tuned for a tri-level primer that has a little more effort put into it.  I'm going outside my normal circle (small circle) for some expert insights and predictions.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Off To The Races

Sorry, but I can’t really bring myself to get interested in any sports this fall except for college football.  And while this may be closer to the NASCAR Chase series than the new College Football Playoff series (really original name by the way), I thought we might take an eliminator approach to fall USTA.  This is done mainly to limit the amount of research I have to do on flights I don’t care about and new players I don’t know.  We’ll roll it out and you can see what you think.  Instead of a match by match, flight by flight review, we’ll just focus on who is in the lead to make the fall playoffs each week.  This list could change a fair amount as the season goes, but it’s something different.  Just going to talk about the week to week contenders, not drag us through the mud of the also rans. 

4.5 Playoffs – looks like a six team playoff this year

1.            JCC/Reiman – not the spring team, but quality none-the-less.
2.            Lakes/Way – always in the mix, these roster sizes in 4.5 scare me a little but there are some freebies in this flight so it shouldn’t hurt them.
3.            Greenhill/Rossouw – enough familiar names to make a go of it this fall, but a tough flight at the top.
4.            Greenhill/Rossow – see above.  With two pretty big fall rosters it will be interesting to see if he has two spring teams as well.
5.            Brookhaven/Harlee – another perennial contender. 
6.            Huffines/Bogle – always interesting to see new teams in the mix but I’m hard pressed to see them making it all the way.     

4.0 Playoffs – I’m going to guess this is an eight team playoff again

1.            Canyon Creek/McHugh – solid roster, good depth, not too much baggage.
2.            Garland/Sisk – some of these guys look like they’ve returned to form.  They have a quality top eight they can get out.
3.            Fretz/Noel – good top eight but some baggage at the bottom.  If they can make the playoffs they should be tough.
4.            Huffines/Ratcliffe – their lineups don’t scare you but they seem to find a way to win.
5.            Fretz/Jayaram – got some guys back and added a few new ones.  They are a perennial fall contender.
6.            McKinney/Peterson – solid roster but there are so many guys do they lose a few trying to get everyone matches?
7.            Eldorado/Browning – solid lineups but a lot of firepower, more work to do to get to the playoffs.
8.            Huffines/McIntosh – what is it with the Huffines teams?  Another group that just finds a way to win.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Week 2... Still not an interestng season...

This week is no more interesting than last week but opted to put something out just to keep the week moving along.


In flight A: Rossouw beat a group of 4.0 bumps and did what was expected.  Lakes are 2-0 with an equally inconsequential win.  T-Bar and Canyon Creek are both 1-0 but Lakes will stop that when they play CC this week..  T-Bar and Rossouw play this week leaving Lakes and Greenhill as the only two undefeated teams.

In flight B: Rossouw, Herget and Harllee are all 2-0.  These are the three best teams in the flight so I guess that is appropriate.  Rossouw and Herget face off this week in probably the week's biggest match.  I expect Rossouw to take this one.  Harllee has Royal Oaks and should stay undefeated.

In Flight C: Reiman is 2-0 and Warren is 1-0.  I think these are the best two teams in the flight and everything will be decided on the 27th.  So far, there is nothing to write.  I still expect the JCC to win this flight.


In Flight A:  There is much less parity in this flight than 4.5.  There are 4 2-0 teams and 4 0-2 teams with 2 1-1 teams.  Talk about haves and have nots.  It is the country club flight with CC, BH and El Dorado at 2-0 along with McKinney.  CC plays McKinney and the others play nobodys so all the country clubs can celebrate as being undefeated.

In Flight B:Sisk's A team and Noel's team are both 2-0 and probably the two best teams in the flight.  They don't play each for a few weeks.  So far, neither team has beaten anybody.  Brookhaven Bartlett is 1-0 and they are usually a threat but never seem to break through.  Garland plays 1-0 Royal Oaks but that should not matter much.  We will have to wait until October 12 for Sisk to play best buddy Noel.

Flight C: Ratcliffe, Davalos and Clark are undefeated.  Ratcliffe beat Peterson and he appears to have some singles players.  Strong singles players always puts you at the front of the line.

Flight D:  Fretz Jarayam is 2-0 and 9-1 on lines.  I see them running away with this flight.  Good team and bad fights work that way.

I know this wasn't much of a write up but that fall tennis picture was getting on my nerves.  Please write up and argue in the comments.  That is what makes this fun.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Week 1 in the books, Sorta


The always much anticipated and all important fall season is under way.  Most teams played and most teams finished.  I never made a fall preview due to work and time constraints.  While this won't be heavy on analysis, I'll try to combine a week 1 wrap with a little preview.


Flight A
There are three flights with Flight A looking really tough.  T-Bar looks decent but takes a step back.  Rossouw has one of his rosters here Looks like Marc has added some pieces.  Tristan Stitt is the last guy on the roster.  I don't know him but I know his dad and if the apple doesn't fall far from the tree I think he will be good.  Marc added a few other quality parts.  Lakes has their usual group of good players.  I take Marc's Greehill crew to take this going away.

With week 1 in the books, Marc routed Fretz/Noel.  The competition gets tougher but I am sure Marc will put out a better lineup too.  Lakes defeated a good Oak Creek team 3-2.  Oak Creek would make the payoffs in a different flight.  T-Bar defeated a very 4.0 heavy Village team 4-1.

In the end, this is between Lakes and Greenhill with Greenhill having too much firepower.

Flight B
Marc has another good team in this flight.  This is definitely his B-Team but it has a very good chance to win the flight.  It has very good players like Fleming, Baker and Durten.  

The flight has Brookhaven/Harllee and his core group of solid geezers.  It also has Oak Creek Hegret with another group of experienced guys.  Gleneagles is probably the next team in this tough flight.

In week 1, Harllee's guys beat Gleneagles 4-1 and that is a good win to start.  Marc's team wins over cellar dweller LB Houston.  Oak Creek wins 3-2 over Royal Oaks but this Royal Oaks team does not have the depth and star power that they are accustomed at their disposal.  

In the end, Marc will send two teams to city championships...  Impressive, I guess that is what his plans were with those mega rosters.  These rosters are far more manageable.

Flight C
This is easily the weakest flight.  It does have JC/Reiman and I would think they are the favorite to win.  They beat Greenhill/Tucker in week 1 4-1.  That was closer than I would think as Jacob Vedane lost and Reiman/Hong went three as well as Reisteiner/Hunt.

Village/Warren has some great talent but 9 guy rosters are problematic.  Eventually a default or injury wil sink that.  It is early, I think Jason can get a few more bodies...  Just hope they are more than warm bodies.

I like JCC to take this flight.

I really hate to do 4.0 talk.  There are so many teams and 3 flights is a pain.  4.0 has 4 and I am already tired of looking through 4.5 but I know this is the level that gets the most interest.

The first thing I notice is how Sisk and High Point are intermingled on rosters.  Tony Le, De La Paz (Sisk B Team... Really????), Somabut are on Sisk rosters.  I am not sure what to read into that but I am sure the fearless anon posters will have some theories.

Flight A
This appears to be Canyon Creek's to lose.  While Canyon Creek has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory a number of times, I don't see how in this flight.  They did start with a 4-1 over Garland 2/Sisk (B Team).  De La Paz lost and Bob Somabut won.  Canyon Creek swept doubles.

There is nobody else in this flight worth mentioning.  It is a sad state when I find it more intriguing the players on the bad team winning and losing is more interesting than even mentioning the winning team.

Flight B
Garland 1/Sisk won 4-1 against Oak Creek/Some long name...  Like De La Paz, I see Tony Le is still struggling with his game.  Shame that De La Paz's game has fallen so far that he can't make Sisk's A Team.

Fretz Noel is my pick to win this flight.  This is a two team flight between Sisk and Noel.  There are a few bump downs that look like very solid 4.0s on the Fretz team.  They have McKinney and Phelps and others that have done well at in the past.

Flight C
In Flight C, I will go with McKinney/Peterson over Fretz/Clark because the Fretz roster looks a little different than the spring roster.  Peterson appears to have kept his roster intact.  Could go either way.

Flight D
This is another flight where you scratch your head because there is no good team or even makings of a good team.  I will go with Fretz/Narayam because I recognize the name and they won in week 1.  After that, it looks like a really weak fight.  

If anyone ever notices, my analysis gets worse by flight.  The truth is I get bored and tired.  The pay should make it worthwhile...

Have fun and talk a little trash.

Monday, September 8, 2014

40s Sectionals Wrap Up

Looks like we did no better in 40s than we did in 18s.  In 4.5+, we effectively had two Dallas teams.  Both were very good teams and both were the closest to eventual champion Austin.  Both lost 3-2.  It appears Sweeney was a little closer by losing two 3rd set tiebreaks and losing 3-2.  Rossouw was more or less dominated in all three lines he lost.

I was confident that Dekruyff would go unbeaten as he is a beast.  As it showed, that was the truth.  He dropped only two games against Baker and Cechen... Combined.  Those guys are very good players.  I have to think Rossouw had a better option than Gound.  At least sacrifice him to DeKruyff.  You know the 5.0 has to play 1 singles.  Baker probably loses to Cohen too but had a better chance.  I just have to think there was a better option.  In the end, it probably didn't matter.  Austin had four guys playing three lines better than anything you had available.

Sweeney scouted well enough to know that he had to avoid DeKruyff.  Cechen is a good player but not at that level.  Lafavre had his chances against Cohen but came up shortin a third set breaker.  He loaded his 5.0s of Rich and Correia at Line 1 doubles and got through it in a tiebreaker.  Kiron/Pollard lost in three and Austin advances.

In the end, Austin was probably just a little stronger.  They got to play with mid-season ratings and we did not get that advantage.  One has to wonder if that was the difference.  I heard from someone who heard from someone that the DTA told them that Austin wanted no more mid-season ratings and that is why they move Dallas mens (still didn't move women because of TCD is what I heard... not sure why they don't tell TCD to move). 

In 4.0, Wiley's mighty 4.0 team got thumped at the hands of eventual champions San Antonio in the semi finals.  I had people say this team was extremely strong and expected them to go all the way.  Yet, they lose 3-2 but when I look at the scores they really only win 1 match because San Antonio walks off a singles line up 6-1, 5-2.  San Antonio must have had some great players.  Looks like he hadn't lost a singles line until San Antonio and then Mike Zackary gets beat 4&0 and his other player gets beat 2&1.  Just like Rossouw and Sweeney, Wiley learns you must have singles ringers.  Even without the singles guys, I thought Wiley could have used better doubles lines than he did. 

Wild Dallas made the semis too.  I believe they over achieved so I am not going to bust their chops at all.  They got swept 5-0 by Midland.  They were just thumped in every way.  After that, Midland took about the same pain (maybe more) than Wiley at the hands of San Antonio.  Wild Dallas had a huge highlight.  They took out mighty Houston by sweeping them in Doubles.

At 3.5, Bender wins sectionals for what must be over 20 times.  I don't follow 3.0 or 3.5 but I know every time i have looked at sectionals at these levels it seems like he has won.  I don't know what captain has the record for most sectionals championships but I suspect Bender may hold that record.  We all talk about Freeman monopolizing sectionals championships but he is a long way away from Bender's numbers. 

In the end, it looks like it was a bunch of good Dallas teams but not good enough.  We need to thank the lower levels as without them, Dallas was shut out this year. 

It is time for fall season.  We will hash that out this week too but fall is about as important as combo and mixed.  We play it because we love playing tennis not because it matters much.  A third of the league is merely trying to stay at their perceived level they can win (about 2/3rds of those aren't in danger of getting moved up anyway.)  Regardless, that is for another day.