Sunday, October 18, 2015
If at first you don't succeed, at least try one more time
Normally I wouldn't focus on something like 3.0 over 40 Nationals but a funny thing happened this weekend. This event was a three flight format so the best second place team makes the semi-finals along with the three flight play winners. In this case, the flight winners were Pacific NW (1), Southern (2) and Texas (3). This would normally have flight 1 winner PNW against flight 3 winner Texas in the semis and flight 2 winner Southern playing the best second place team Caribbean. However, since Southern and Caribbean were originally in the same flight they can't play each other in the semis so it was Caribbean versus Texas and Southern versus Pacific NW.
In flight play Southern had beaten Caribbean 3-2. Caribbean swept singles easily but Southern won all three doubles lines in third set tie breakers. After Caribbean beat Texas 3-2 and Southern beat Pacific NW 4-1 it set up a flight play rematch in the finals. At this point I'd expect another Caribbean sweep of singles and Caribbean to find a way to edge one its doubles teams over the line.
Caribbean pulls their #2 singles guy and moves him to doubles while rolling out their #1 and #3 guys for singles. It almost works as the #1 guy rolls but their #3 guy gets beat in three sets. The #2 singles guy who moved to doubles gets his line into the win column and one of the other two existing doubles lines gets a favorable matchup in the reshuffle and Caribbean wins 3-2 for the title. It's an interesting study in the moves you'd make the second time around. We see this a lot in the city playoffs but the Caribbean captain found a way to make it work in the national finals.
Not to be forgotten, the High Point/Bender team did defeat Pacific NW for third place.