Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekly Update and Nationals Wrap

Not a lot to report in 4.5 this week but the calendar is getting closer to some interesting matchups.  There’s just not a lot to report in 4.5 at all this fall because thus far the flights have pretty much gone to form.
Flight A has Rossouw and Way in the driver’s seat.  Both are undefeated, everyone else has at least two losses, and except for playing each other at season end the both have easy finishing schedules.
Flight B also has Rossouw on top and Harlee in second as soon as he finishes his match with Stonebridge.  The Rossouw/Harlee match was a 3-2 final with Rossouw’s bunch winning two of two third set tie breakers, so a tight finish between these two.
Flight C is a bit more interesting with every team having already taken at least one loss.  Reiman leads the pack with one loss but has two loss Bogle to finish.  Warren’s crew has clawed their way back into a likely second place finish.  They have two losses but they are done.  Bogle owns the head-to-head tie breaker over Warren so it will all come down to the Reiman match for a playoff birth.

In 4.0, things are starting to shake out a bit. 
Flight A is a three horse race between Parrish, McHugh and Browning.  Parrish has three matches left with two solid teams down the stretch.  Eldorado has the most favorable finishing schedule of the three.  I still think McHugh has the best team and if the fall played out third sets instead of having tie breakers they’d be in the lead.  As it is, they finish with two good teams and could be on the outside looking in if they aren’t careful.
Flight B has Sisk with a resurgence of sorts.  Powered by some of his 4.5 bump downs they are undefeated.  Bartlett and Noel are both tied at one loss and they square off next weekend.  The winner should be in the playoffs.
Flight C should be done.  Ratcliffe has no losses with only one match left.  Peterson has one loss with two left but everyone else already has three losses.  These two are in unless Peterson forgets to show up the next two weeks.
Flight D, well, what to say.  Jayaram and McIntosh are in the lead with one loss each but they play each other next week so one of them will be log jammed in the two loss category soon.  Meyers, Reifsnyder and Jenison are still in the hunt with two losses.  I’m not sure any of these teams make the playoffs in another flight.

18s Nationals Wrap Up – and the winners were? 

5.5/Open had the team from Austin winning it all over Northern California.  I’ve never seen so many 7s on a roster as some of these Open teams had.  Austin went 12-3 for the weekend against some pretty stiff competition.

In my favorite result, 5.0 had Southern beating Southern in the final with Northern and Intermountain both making the semis.  I’ve heard the ALTA league in Atlanta has some unbelievable high end talent but, needless to say, the boys in the Southern section seems to know how to play high end tennis.

In 4.5, Pacific Northwest took a tight win over Southern, with the boys from Amarillo and Caribbean both in the semis.  For those of you who wondered how Logan Powell would fair at nationals, he did quite well.  He went 6-0 in singles and all four sets on Sunday were 6-1.

At 4.0, Mr. Freeman was oh so close to that elusive national title, dropping a close final to Southern California.  It’s an impressive effort for any team to make it that far and they did it short handed in singles.  Florida and Middle States were both in the semis.

At the recently completed 3.5 event, it was Northern California over Caribbean, with Pacific Northwest and Southern California in the semis.  At 3.0 it was Texas over Northern California, with Pacific Northwest and Eastern in the semis.  And at 2.5, yes they have this, it was Pacific Northwest over Northern California, with Florida and Eastern in the semis.

From 5.0 to 2.5, with 4 points for a win, 3 for a second and 2 for a semi, the BIGGEST CHEATER AWARD goes to - PACIFIC NORTHWEST with a total of 12 points.

Southern and Northern California tied for second with 10 points.  Texas just missed the medal stand with 9 points.  Southern California had 6 points and Caribbean had 5 points.  Tied at 4 points each were Florida and Eastern.  Honorable mention with 2 points each were Northern, Intermountain and Middle States.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nationals Season, Combo Finished and Fall Season in the Home Stretch

We are in late October and there is a lot of Dallas tennis things going on.  The least interesting is actually the fall season. 

Nationals Season

First and probably least important to Dallas this year is it is Nationals Season.  I see where the Dallas arch-enemy Jason Freeman's 4.0 team lost 3-2 in the National finals.  Somebody astutely said that you can't get swept in singles and win.  Although, if you get swept in doubles, I guarantee you won't win either.  Looking through the results, it appears he left his best singles player in Houston or at least he couldn't bribe the toddler with enough candy.  On a serious note, I know Freeman has to feel down but National Runner Up is a tremendous year.  That crew deserves a major congratulations.

A week prior, Keith Clark's Hong Kong recruited 3.0 team did win nationals.  I give a congratulations to him.  The party will be held at Lover's Egg Roll if anyone wants to attend.  It appears he rode some great singles to a championship.

Next up is 3.5 this weekend.  Steven Nguyen is sending his team to Tucson to see if Texas can continue their impressive start to Nationals Season.  Good luck and bring Dallas and Texas another title.

Also, this week is 4.5.  We have no Dallas team and shockingly it is not a Houston team.  We have Amarillo.  I think Texas has a good chance to bring this home.  This team has some straight up ringers.  If they get their top guys out to Indian Wells, they will be a tough out for anybody.

Our own Oscar Flores sent a team out to Open Nationals.  They acquitted themselves well but didn't win.  Austin also sent a team and won Nationals.  My favorite is they had Ryan Harrison on the roster.  Ryan has been disappointed this season as he couldn't crack the starting lineup.  John Nallon got a doubles win over Alex Bogomolov.  Nice win over a former top 50.

 Combo Sectionals

Combo is possibly the second least cared about event in tennis.  I think it may be slightly better than the fall season and slightly below mixed.  Regardless, the sectionals event was this weekend and Dallas had three teams competing.

Sisk's all-star unbeatable GTC team played in 8.5.  After winning a routine match over San Angelo he ran into the always mighty juggernaut... Wichita Falls .  Yes, you read that right; the almighty Combo roster loses two 3rd set breakers to eventual champions Wichita Falls.  I hate to add insult to injury but the might one whose name cannot be mentioned, did go undefeated.  The unnamed one has to be a bit disappointed as there is a rumor that combo sectionals results will be included in ratings too.  I do think this crew can take a moral victory knowing that Wichita Falls did win this event and they were one tiebreaker away from beating them.  I've always wondered who took Combo serious and I guess the answer is Wichita Falls.  I didn't even know they were a CTA.

At 7.5, Edward L. Gardner and  George Cheng sent teams.  Cheng's team lost to flight winner and event runner up usually mighty Houston.  Yet, Houston falls to the new sheriff in town, Edward L. Gardner.  Gardner's team defeats Houston 2-1.  This is a good sign for Sisk as a number of Gardner's 3.5s players are on Big John's tri-level team.  Congratulations to Gardner.

Fall Season

This is probably the most important thing going for Dallas but has to be the least interesting.  The best players are often not trying.    At least the wannabes get a chance to make the playoffs.


Flight A:  Nothing has changed as Greenhill/Rossouw and Lakes/Way are both undefeated and waiting for 11/1 to determine who wins and who is runner up.  Neither should cafe much as both will be in the playoffs.  While others are nt mathematically eliminated, they are just dreaming.

Flight B: This is a three way race.  BH/Harllee, GH/Rossouw2 and OC/Herget.  Herget and Harllee were suppose to play yesterday but I don't know the results and they are not posted.  If BH won, then it is pretty much over for OC.  I started the season thinking it would be GH and BH and still think so,

Flight C: JCC/Reiman needs to win one line against Huffhines/Bogle to win the flight.  There is a logjam with Village, Huffhines/Bogle and Greenhill/Tucker for runnerup.  All three have 2 losses and won the same number of lines.  Bogle has to play JCC and that is a tall task.  I think this eliminates them.  GH plays Aud's team.  I think they probably winbut it will of the 3-2 variety.  The Village gets BH/Bartlett.  This is BH's weakest 4.5 team so I suspect a 4-1 or even a 5-0.  I think Village advances on tiebreakers.


Flight A: There is a huge logjam in this flight.  Nobody is undefeated.  There are so many teams s close and a number of matches unreported so I will stick with CC winning the flight and somebody will be runnerup.

Flight B:  This is a 3 team race.  GTC/Sisk abd BH/Bartlett are undefeated but Fretz/Noel is lurking with 1 loss to GTC.  I think the runnerup slot will go to Fretz/Noel when they knock off BH.

Flight C: Huffhines/Ratcliffe is running away with this.  McKinney/Peterson has 1 loss to Ratcliffe.  Everyone else looks pretty mediocre to down right bad.  I will go with Huffhines and McKinney.

Flight D: This flight has four teams with 1 loss.  I will update when they start playing each other.  This flight appears to be as bad as first thought.  At least some usual also rans will get to experience some playoffs.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fall Mid-Season Review and Mixed Sectionals

Fall Mid-Season Contenders

Not a lot has been resolved in 4.5 to this point in the season.  It still looks like some of the biggest matches will be at the end.  The key for now is to not stumble before the big one so you maintain a little breathing room for playoff qualifications. 

Flight A – Greenhill Red/Rossouw and Lakes/Way have distanced themselves from the crowd and are just waiting for their season end match up.
Flight B – Three horse race with Greenhill Blue/Rossouw, Brookhaven/Harllee and Oak Creek/Loose-Herget in the running.  It will be Greenhill and Brookhaven in the playoffs with the seeding determined when they play the last week of the season.
Flight C – This flight has been a bit of a mystery.  Village/Warren starts out 1-2, then beats previously undefeated JCC/Reiman.  If Greenhill/Tucker can get past Huffines and Collin College they can squeeze Village out of the playoffs.  JCC will rebound and still win this flight.

It looks like the 4.0 flights took an opportunity to bunch up a little closer before we start the second half of the fall with a couple of previously undefeated teams falling.  Should make for some interesting finishing runs.
Flight A – One loss Brookhaven/Tarangioli got a close win over previously undefeated Canyon Creek/McHugh  leaving the two of them and McKinney/Parish all with one loss.  I still like Canyon Creek and Brookhaven to advance. 
Flight B – Probably the best flight with Garland/Sisk, Brookhaven/Bartlett and Fretz/Noel all still undefeated.  This flight had the MOW but the Garland v Fretz scores haven’t posted yet.  All three have good top 8 lineups but I’d say Fretz lacks quality depth so I’m going with the other two to advance.
Flight C – Huffines remains undefeated with McKinney and Stonebriar still in hot pursuit.  Huffines has already beaten McKinney so they have a little cushion to work with.  I like Huffines and McKinney to advance.

Flight D – Previously undefeated Fretz/Jayaram lost.  Huffines/McIntosh remains undefeated.  There are two other one loss teams but I still like these two to advance.

Mixed Sectionals

Congrats to the 9.0 and 7.0 teams out of Dallas that won sectionals last weekend.  This has been a good year for Dallas mixed with 9.0 and 7.0 teams having won 18s and 40s.  We may have come up a little short in 8.0 this year but I have a feeling we might be a little better next year.  Goswami/Brookhaven had a tight 2-1 win over Houston in the finals, with Christian/Ware taking a third set tie breaker for the deciding win.  McKinney/Muniz took the 7.0 level with the team of Salinas/Botero also taking a third set tie breaker for the 2-1 win.  Good luck to both at nationals.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

News Flash! Tri-level Results Are In!

BREAKING: Hydrogen Leak in Elmira

For those of you who can’t make it out to watch tri-level this weekend, here are the results.  I think.  At least the color commentary is accurate.  In a shocker, Robinson advances to sectionals.  Bloggers note: thanks to a couple of friends of mine who provided invaluable personal insights on some of the 4.0s.  As for the 3.5s, if it wasn't on tennis link I just made it up.

Friday evening – 6:00 at Canyon Creek
Sisk versus DeFeo: a matchup of former team mates, and a closer competition than the final result suggests, went 3-0 to Sisk.  Vassberg pulls out a win with Kelly getting a slow start, evidently something about having an allergy to Canyon Creek; Wilson and Taylor’s time together in the spring was too much; and Sisk’s 3.5s successfully started down their path to an undefeated cities run.
Robinson versus Alzuro: in another shocker, Alzuro sits Vahdat so he’s rested.  The match is stopped 20 minutes in when both Spellman and Carlquist injure their opponents from the baseline with blistering forehands.   Somabut actually played this match so he could have an up close look at the carnage.
Bye for Minter: confident in their chances, Minter has the entire squad out to scout Friday night’s competition.

Saturday morning – 8:00 at Canyon Creek
Sisk versus Alzuro: this one started out looking like more trouble than expected with Alzuro blowing up Kelly with his 5.5 serve.  Adcock steadied the ship for the win and Kelly hit Alzuro up to play as his 8.0 mixed partner next spring.  Vahdat filed a protest against Kelly and Adcock because he thought this was 8.5 combo again.
DeFeo versus Minter: in another meeting of former team mates, DeFeo’s crew takes a decisive 2-1 win.  The 4.0 line was retired 90 minutes in at 4 games to 2 in the first set after DeFeo wrapped up the 4.5/3.5 lines.  Evidently with his short bench DeFeo was worried that his 4.0s would be exhausted by all of Welch’s lobbing.  Impressed by the match, Muniz signed Welch to his 8.0 mixed team.
Bye for Robinson: Bearden spent the morning icing his knee and having a beer.  Nothing wrong with that, I joined him. 

Saturday mid-day – noon at Canyon Creek
Sisk versus Robinson: the marquis match-up and likely the only match that matters.  These are the players you will be leaning on at sectionals.  Sisk has Kelly and likely Chavez, with several options at 4.0 and 3.5.  Is it Wilson/Taylor again or Zackary/Clark?  Does he go with Bender’s group of Fenter/Nguyen or Gardner’s group of Adams/Wah?  All had deep successful runs at sectionals and aren't afraid of the big lights.  Robinson is limited at the 4.5 line, but can roll out Carlquist/Johnson at 4.0.  They were a formidable team at 18s sectionals, as good as there are in Dallas, and Carlquist had a great run through 40s sectionals as well.  Gardner/ Nordlund/Bennie bring their own sectionals success to the table.  Will Gardner face off against his former players?  A 2-1 win for Sisk that was worth watching, most of the matches this weekend weren’t.  Somabut sat out injured.
Alzuro versus Minter: in the only upset of the weekend, Minter’s crew pulled out a 2-1 win.  Evidently Vahdat pulled out of the competition after being outclassed by his 4.0 partner Saturday morning.  That and someone finally told him that this actually wasn’t 8.5 combo.
Bye for DeFeo: the squad takes a mid-event break to have a luncheon mixer and introduce everyone to each other.

Sunday morning – 10:00 at Brookhaven
Robinson versus Minter: another sweep in the making, although watching Spellman try to hit it through Rajani and Bearden hopping around on one good knee was entertaining.   Somabut sat out injured.
DeFeo versus Alzuro: USTA Texas shows up to investigate after another player goes down to a blistering forehand, this time from DeFeo.  DTA also fines him for the damage to the back fence.  Alzuro was down to only five players to start this match.  Evidently no one realized they could walk away until Vadhat left.
Bye for Sisk: it’s off to Snuffer’s for an early team lunch but they don’t have a table big enough for everyone.

Sunday mid-day – noon at Brookhaven
Sisk versus Minter: it’s Garland versus Garland.  In what has now become a tri-level tradition, this match didn’t actually get played but the scores were turned in as 6-1, 6-1 for every line in case it came down to tiebreakers.  
Robinson versus DeFeo: this might be the most interesting match of the weekend.  If there were going to be another upset it might be here but Robinson’s boys proved to be too much.  Somabut sat out injured.
Bye for Alzuro: he spent his lunch break trying to get Sherri to let him add another 4.5 and replay all the matches.

Latest Update

In an interesting turn of events, the DTA awarded the sectionals birth to Robinson.  Something about not handing any more local champion towels to Kelly.  Austin quickly upheld this decision but I understand an appeal may be in the works.

Tri-Level 2015 - This Year's Fab Five (never forget Pete Best)

High Tri has five teams and a real mixed bag of contenders.  Here’s my analysis by ranking:

Sgt. Sisk's Lonely Hearts Club Team - So confident were Sisk and Kingsley, they decided to have a team photo taken before the event.  Unfortunately they couldn’t fit the whole team in the camera frame. 

Sisk/Kingsley – Big John has the ever popular Mike Kelly leading his million man army.  This squad is an eclectic bunch but is well represented at every level.  This year’s city competition has some real weak spots so everyone can get qualified (one match), but it will be tough for John not to sit a lot of these guys at sectionals if they advance.  So here’s hoping you enjoy your one match and ‘My team went to sectionals but all I got was this stupid T-shirt’ shirt.  It’s an odd lineup at 4.5 but with Kelly you do have an automatic head start.  The 4.0s have some quality but they didn’t match up well against Houston when they had their chance.  Maybe the new guys will solve that issue.  The 3.5s are probably the best quality foursome for their level.  Based on my research, Dallas was undefeated at the 3.5 line the last few years so we’ll see if these guys can carry the load.  Pickett won it all a few years ago with a group of 4.0s that went 0-4 at cities so anything is possible.  This is a 4.5/3.5 team.



With a Little Help From My Friends - Robinson, Somabut, Carlquist and Bearden rolling up to Canyon Creek still in search of another 4.5.

Keith Robinson – Robinson finally added a second 4.5 and that should edge them into second and a possible wild card, assuming they still have the gas to go every match at a high level.  The 4.0s look to be the strength of this team with some very successful sectionals participants.  They can play with anyone in Dallas.  The 3.5 line is well represented, but I have to think they could be a little bit off the mark.  If they deliver it could be an upset in the making.  More likely looking for a wild card in their Christmas stocking.  This is a 4.0/3.5 team.

Come Together - DeFeo, Hill and McKinney chasing Barry Gibb.

Jerry DeFeo – sold at every level but not outstanding at any.  The dark horse for the wild card if someone takes them lightly.  Another short bench.  They don't have the best line at any level but they don't have the worst either.  I'd put all three of their lines as the third best, so I guess I'd have them third.  See how that works?  Probably not true, but if they can catch Barry Gibb he'd make a great addition.  Lines fairly well balanced but against this competition probably a 4.5/4.0 team.


Carry That Weight - Alzuro in younger days.  

Rene Alzuro – don’t know much about this bunch but tennislink would suggest that their 3.5 line is probably the best.  Another short bench and about to get shorter is my guess.  This team only has two 4.5s (did Vahdat just enter the wrong team number?).  I don’t know Knight so I looked him up and saw that he self rated on September 14, 2014 so he can’t even play in tri-level.  They have plenty of 4.0s so I guess Vahdat gets his pick.  Didn't Alzuro play the 4.5 line last year too?  Not knowing who's playing 4.5 or 4.0 I'm not sure what this team is.  I do think their 3.5s can pull off some wins though.  

The Beatles Yesterday

Yesterday - Minter fondly recalling 4.0.

Mike Minter – only seven guys so it will be hard to finish with much left in the tank. Minter/Rajani were an odd but effective 4.0 team but this isn't 4.0.  After that it gets a little sketchy.  Not great at any level but could challenge for fourth depending on who Alzuro rolls out for this match. 

Do You Want To Know a Secret? - We don't care about low tri.
A candid shot of the low tri participants before the start of the festivities.

Low Tri – I hate to even attempt this but here it is (sigh):

Rene Alzuro – looks like this team’s strength fades as it goes up the NTRP food chain.  They’ll need to do well at 3.5 & 3.0 to advance.

Roland Love – nice guys, nice team, but doesn’t look like they have enough.

Brian Burson – I can honestly say I know no one on this team.  Maybe that should make them the favorites.