Tuesday, July 18, 2017

City PlayOffs... The Fellowship of the Crystal Tennis Ball

It is finally time for annual heat stroke inducing Dallas City Playoffs.  With all of the comments preoccupied with Mixed, I decided it is time to take a break and get to an important event.  Since I am short on time, let me get started.

5.0--  We have the division I am most optimistic about advancing to Nationals and winning.  This is one of those play-in tournament events. 

2 v 3 Match--We have Cooper Fitness/Vahdat-Noel versus the 5.0 ever present Perkison (formerly Village and now Springpark).  This looks to be a tight match.  Cooper has current Louisville player Parker Wynn and a lot of players I don't know.  I am guessing they are really good.  Cooper won the head to head 2-1 in the first week  Perkison has Loren Collins and longtime 5.0s with other players I don't know.  I will take Cooper in a 2-1 but I expect a dog fight. 

In the Winner to Sectionals match, it will be the Cooper/Springpark winner versus Lakes/Jannasch.  The Lakes have a tremendous team.  They only dropped one line all year.  Lakes has a lot of options and the beat Cooper 3-0 without dropping a set.  They beat Springpark 3-0 but former Baylor player Zoltan Papp did take 3 sets to beat Kyle Davidson.

In the end, I take the Lakes to win this and go on to win sectionals.  These are three really great teams.  I don't see a wildcard in their future but any of these teams would represent Dallas well.

4.5-- Greenhill/Rossouw-- We start withe the ever present City Playoff participant and QT winner Greenhill/Rossouw.  Normally, I don't think too hghly of QT winners but this team is pretty good and like all Rossouw teams...  very deep.  This is a deep, experienced and talented team.  He has several marginal 4.5 playoff players but he does have some top in 4.5s as well.  Marc's top players are very formidable.  I think this QT champ is in the mix.

Brookhaven/Bartlett--This is a name I don't generally associate with 4.5 City Playoffs but it is another large deep roster.  I don't think they have the top end players of some of the other rosters.  They will do well but I think they are probably safe from the August Sectionals heat.

Brookhaven/Harlee-- This is a name I do typically associate with 4.5 City Playoffs.  Like the other BH team, it has really good players but he appears to be lacking those  next level ringers that could be playing in 5.0 and competing.  They will be in the mix but I am not sold.

JCC/Reiman-- This is another frequent attendee at this event.  Thye have top talent like Clint Sumrow and they will be a tough out.  I expect them to have a good chance to win this event.

Sprinkpark/Aguilar-- These are the new kids on the block and the surprising number 1 seed.  They are clearly a very good team.  I am curious to see how they stand up in the post season.

In the end, I will take JCC and Springpark with JCC wnning a close 3-2.  Springpark will be hoping for a wildcard but 4.5 is so iffy about wildcards.

I will be back tomorrow to ponder 4.0!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

QT Time... It is the Weekend for the Worst fo the Best...

It is that time of year when we have a mini tournament for the teams that didn't win and give a mulligan.  I'm not entirely opposed to this participation event because the DTA has a pretty long track record of putting the best teams in the same flight. 

4.5 

We have a four team playoff.

Life Time Fitness/Arcaria: This is a good team that probably had no playoff aspirations in March but Arcaria had some players and added some.  Beavers, Takashi and Jean Nguyen are all very good 4.5s.  He has some new names and they look pretty solid too.  This is a good team.

Greenhill/Rossouw-Myers:  I knew Marc and Brandon were BFFs but I had know idea they merged and even took each other's last name.  In all seriousness, this roster suffers from a serious void of depth.  It is concerning in the heat to have only 28 players on the roster.  He does have some really good players with Cash, Bell, Lafavre and others.  He just needs to be sure and play his best players and not spread the playing time.  Marc has always been good to his players and got his extras playing time so that is a little concern.

Gleneagles/Juhn:  This is a team that is surprising to see in the post season.  When I look at the roster, I see a pretty good and not great 4.0 team.  I am pretty sure they can keep the next weekend open.

Oak Creek/Sangren:  This is a strange team.  They definitely would be a force in 55s.  They have some younger guys that I do not know but it is a god team.  I think they will need to overachieve to see city playoffs.

In the end, it should be between Lifetime and Greenhill.  If this were 18th century warfare, Greenhill would overwhelm with numbers.  Since 8 can play and you only need three lines, I will take Lifetime Fitness in a close 3-2.

4.0
We have two three team flights.  We even have some new party crashers that really aren't familiar with playoffs in Royal Oaks, Lakes and Canyon Creek.  Congratulations to the new kids on the block.

Flight A
Brookhaven/Bartlett:  Bartlett has a bunch of guys that have a lot of QT experience.  This looks like the same guys at the club I have been seeing at Brookhaven for a long time and really don't get to 4.5 so they are a solid group.

Lakes/Reifsnyder:  This is one of the new guns.  I'd like to say I see some potential ringers but I do not.  they look pretty average top to bottom.  I don't see enough to take down Brookhaven Brad and the Bartletts.

Royal Oaks/Templeton:  Everything I just said about Lakes is rinse, wash and repeat.  They are basically the same guys with different names.

Winner of Flight A:  This should be a walk for Brookhaven.  The only caveat is the same as others...  you must play your best.  This is not the time for equitable tennis time.

Flight B:  This is easily the more difficult flight.  All three teams in this flight are capable of winning flight A.  Put Greenhill/Canyon Creek/Brookhaven in a flight and it could go any direction.

Canyon Creek/Patterson:  This team has quite a few players that have been around for quite awhile.  If they play their cards right, they can get three lines against anyone in the flight.

Greenhill/Ohl: This is pretty much the same as Canyon Creek.  They will need to play their lines right.

Garland/Kanchi:  This is the team I expect to win city playoffs and do damage at sectionals.  The only surprise is they are in QT.  He has 23 on his roster and if Kanchi learned from his mistakes of the past and actually play his best, he wins this flight, QT, city playoffs and maybe sectionals.

As I read this, there is a recurring theme on these captains... if they will just play their best players.  I have always wondered why so many captains do not play their best and get bitten as a result. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

4.5 and 4.0 Turn the Corner For the Final Push to the Finish Line


4.5 Flight A - in a double round robin format, Brookhaven/Harllee has moved clear of the field sitting at 7-1.  Everyone else in this flight has at least four losses already.  McKinney/Rodriguez, Seay/Hall nad Gleneagles/Juhn are all tied in the four loss column.  McKinney still has to play Brookhaven, and Seay and Gleneagles have another match against each other.  Advantage to the winner of the Seay/Gleneagles match.

4.5 Flight B - continuing the trend in 4.5, Springpark/Aguilar has walked off with this flight as well sitting undefeated at 8-0.  They've had several 3-2 wins but they still keep winning.  They face second place Greenhill/Rossouw in the final match but already have this flight locked up.  Greenhill sits tied with Oak Creek/Martin at the three losses.  Oak Creek has the easier finish so they should edge Greenhill out for second.

4.5 Flight C - in a continuing good year for Bartlett, his Brookhaven team sits atop this flight at 7-1.  Oak Creek/Sangren and Springpark/Khaing are tied for second with three losses.  At first glance it looks like Brookhaven has this flight in hand since there are only two matches left.  Hold on a minute, those matches are against Oak Creek and Springpark.  This one is much more up in the air than it looks.  For Brookhaven, its two to make one.  One win down the stretch will seal the deal.  Oak Creek sits clear in second based on lines but they finish with Brookhaven and Las Colinas/Arnold, both of whom already beat Oak Creek. 

4.5 Flight D - back to the earlier theme, JCC/Reiman is undefeated and has a two match lead on second place Lakes/Way.  While JCC and Lakes still have to play, JCC need only beat last place Greenhill this weekend to lock up first before the final match.  Third place Lifetime/Arcaria still has a path to slip into second.  Lakes finishes with first place JCC and third place Lifetime, so two losses to close the season are not out of the question.  A Lifetime win over Lakes and SamGrand would then slide Lifetime into second.  Much will depend on how seriously JCC takes its final match against Lakes after they've already wrapped up the flight.  If JCC empties the bench, Lakes could catch a break.

 

4.0 Flight A - this flight looks like its neck and neck at first glance with three teams tied in the one loss column, but upon further inspection I'd say Oak Creek/Iyer has this flight locked up.  Garland/Kanchi has the schedule to slip into second but with the fall wild card they may choose not to.  Royal Oaks/Templeton and TBar/Snow match to close out the season could weigh heavily on the playoff race.

4.0 Flight B - Huffhines/Ratcliffe has this flight all but wrapped up with one match remaining and sitting as the only one loss team.  Canyon Creek/Patterson and High Point/Somabut sit tied for second with identical 6-2, 28-12 records but CC has the head to head tie breaker.  CC has a walkover final match so they should be hard to catch for second.

4.0 Flight C - this flight has our first 4.0 undefeated team with Garland/Russell sitting at 7-0 with only a straggler left.  Garland has been squeaking by with a lot of 3-2 wins so we'll have to see how that holds up.  Brookhaven/Bartlett and Greenhill/Ohl are tied in the one loss column but they finish the season playing each other so second place should be decided on the court this weekend.

4.0 Flight D - the final undefeated team in 4.0 is Eldorado/Browning.  They have slowly distanced themselves from the field, now sitting with a two match lead with only one left to play.  A full four teams sit tied in the two loss column so this flight is going to be a photo finish.  Lakes/Reifsnyder has a commanding line lead on the rest but they close against first place Eldorado so that could be the end for Lakes.  Oasis/Smith and LB Houston/Trentino still play each other so that's an elimination match.  And the last two loss team, Chandlers Landing/McLemore still has to play LBH.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

4.5 Update - if we must

Image result for french open 2017
HOLY CRAP!  That thing from Alien looks a lot like Andy Murray.

4.5 flight A - Brookhaven/Harllee has jumped out to a commanding lead in this flight.  Mediocrity reigns supreme in this flight so no surprise with this result.  The boys from Brookhaven are 6-0 with their next closest pursuer mired at 3-3. 

4.5 flight B - no surprise here either, as Springpark/Aguilar remains unbeaten.  We do have a couple of teams rising up a bit, with Oak Creek/Martin and High Point/Somabut tied at 4-2.  Interesting in this flight, Greenhill/Rossouw has 27 players on the roster and the team is 3-3 so far.  Losses to HP and OC have them in a bind at the mid-way mark.

4.5 flight C - also hitting the 20 roster mark but managing to keep up the wins thus far, Brookhaven/Bartlett leads this flight at 5-1.  Springpark/Khaing sits alone in second with a 3-2 mark but three teams are tied at 3-3 with four matches left so the door is still open.

4.5 flight D - JCC/Reiman has bounced back from its disappointing 40s season with a 5-0 mark in this flight.  Lakes/Way and Lifetime/Arcaria are a peg back both stuck in the two loss column.


Since these are round robins at 4.5 a lot can still swing for any team but they're going to have to make their moves quick as the season is drawing to a close fairly quickly.


Friday, May 12, 2017

First look at how 4.0 is shaping up


We are now four matches into the season so there is enough match history to have a bit of a picture to work from.  Also I just changed jobs and my new employer has actually wanted me to work.  Hopefully that changes soon.

4.0 flight A - at the head of the pack and undefeated is Oak Creek/Iyer.  They have been in or close to the playoffs fairly frequently the last few seasons.  Tied at 3-1 are Garland/Kanchi, TBar/Snow and Royal Oaks/Templeton.  Normally I'd pick Garland to win this flight but they also have the QT wildcard from winning the fall so that muddies the water a little.  Should be Oak Creek and Garland at the end.

4.0 flight B - much to still be decided here.  High Point/Somabut is the only undefeated team in this flight but there are four teams still tied at 3-1; Canyon Creek/Patterson, Springpark/Walters, Huffhines/Ratcliffe and McKinney/Clifton.  High Point will be there when the season is done.  Who will be with them?  Inside edge to Huffhines because they have already beaten Canyon Creek, but Huffhines plays Springpark this Saturday and the winner is in the driver's seat for second in this flight.

4.0 flight C - this flight is completely back loaded for the second half of the season with four teams still undefeated.  In order of current line lead we have Greenhill/Ohl, Hackberry/Myers, Brookhaven/Bartlett and Garland/Russell.  The gauntlet begins this weekend though with the first elimination match being Hackberry versus Garland. Neither of these teams has excelled at singles and have been riding their doubles thus far.  Greenhill and Brookhaven look a little stronger on paper but all these teams are close enough that it will depend highly on who is available for the key matches.

4.0 flight D - while flights B and C are the toughest top to bottom, this is the weakest.  We currently have Eldorado/Browning as the only undefeated team followed at one loss each by Chandlers Landing/McLemore and Lakes/Reifsnyder. 

Not the strongest year for 4.0 in Dallas in general and several teams have a fair shot of advancing to sectionals.  Early favorite is still Garland/Kanchi but it isn't anywhere close to the team he had last year.

Friday, March 31, 2017

40s playoffs have finally arrived


4.5+ over 40 - this will be an all Sunday affair.  Brookhaven/Bartlett plays Lifetime/Arcaria at 9:00am and the winner plays Oak Creek/Sweeney at noon.  And did I mention there is now a 100% chance of rain on Sunday?  Good thing there aren't a lot of matches.  Never more than in these "plus" leagues is availability more important.  Sure, in your 4.0 league you have some players better than others but in this flight the difference in a top end 5.0 and a good 4.5 is huge.  Of course the first problem is actually having a top end 5.0.  There are a couple out there and if they are or aren't available they can make all the difference.  Sweeney proved he had the deepest team only losing one match while the other two playoff contenders lost three apiece.  Depth is now less of an issue.  How good are your top six - not eight through twelve - becomes much more important.

4.0 over 40 - this is the most wide open city playoff at this level I've ever seen.  40s has been around for a few years now and while there have been some good 4.0 teams each year, this is the most balanced year for the playoff contenders that I've seen.  That may be because Dallas just doesn't have a dominant team this year, or possibly several teams or good (we won't really know until sectionals), but it should be a wide open event.  These guys are playing a round robin over Friday and Saturday, with the seeds listed as: 1) Oak Creek/Ramasami, 2) Springpark/Walters, 3) Canyon Creek/Patterson and 4) Huffhines/Clark.

Just to reacap: 9.0 55s was won by Oak Creek/Sweeney going away and 8.0 55s was won by Greenhill/Kayser in a three team playoff. 

Good luck to everyone this weekend.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seniors, still?

A bit of a yawner this time of year.  Nothing really going on except for 4.5 over 40s finishing up their flight play matches. 


Oak Creek/Sweeney cruises 4-1 over TBar/Fikes with Fikes and Pascal pulling out a third set tie breaker to keep from being swept.


Lifetime/Arcaria sweeps Greenhill/Rossouw with Rossouw defaulting two lines.  He has 21 people on the roster and he defaulted two lines?  Rossouw's playoff chances are all but done at this point.


In a Brookhaven intra-club challenge, Bartlett's team took down Harllee's team 3-2.  That was a big win for Bartlett, moving his guys into third and dropped Harllee into fourth and in danger of missing the playoffs. 


High Point/Martin lost to JCC/Reiman 3-2 and likely took itself out of the playoff hunt as well. 
Reiman even pulls out a third set tie breaker himself at line three doubles to secure the victory.


And in the battle for the basement, previously winless Greenhill/Ohl edged Gleneagles/Juhn 3-2 to pass them in the standings based on lines.  Ohl's guys sweep singles and in what is becoming a trend, another captain wins a big match and clinches the victory.



In other news, 55s has now wrapped up as well. 

9.0 finished as follows: Oak Creek/Sweeney, Brookhaven/Bartlett, Gleneagles/Juhn, TBar/Hackett, John Paul II/Gradick and Eldorado/Entrekin. 
8.0 finished as follows: Greenhill/Kayser, Springpark/Blesi, Brookhaven/Bartlett, Lifetime/Heflin, Canyon Creek/Rainwater, TBar/Snow, Brookhaven/Tarangioli, Stonebridge/Cummings and High Point/Meyers.

So far it looks like Sweeney and Bartlett are having good senior seasons.

 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Quick seniors update



4.5+ over 40 - the tight race that was anticipated is holding true to form.  Six matches in with five remaining there is no team that is undefeated so far.  Oak Creek/Sweeney and Brookhaven/Harllee are the only one loss teams with OC holding a slight line lead even though BH beat them head to head.  In third with two losses is Lifetime Fitness/Arcaria and Greenhill/Rossouw.  The big question is what happened to JCC/Reiman?  4-3 at the halfway mark isn't a typical JCC season.


4.5 is at the halfway mark and 4.0 is already done.  Is that right?  Seems so.  Advancing out of the two 4.0 flights are, in order of strength of record, Oak Creek/Ramasami (6-1, 27-8), Springpark/Walters (6-1, 26-9), Canyon Creek/Patterson (6-1, 21-14), and Huffhines/Clark (5-2, 24-11).  Oak Creek had a dominant season until the last match of the season against CC.  Having already wrapped up first place in their flight they lost a tight 2-3 match.  Does that match have a different conclusion at city playoffs?  This a much more competitive field than in years past but I'm not yet sure if that's because Dallas is weaker or there are just more good teams.


9.0 over 55 has Oak Creek/Sweeney clear of the field at 7-0 and having already beaten second place and one loss Brookhaven/Bartlett.  Gleneagles/Juhn sits alone with two losses and could still work their way back into the mix.


8.0 over 55 has a very similar look with Greenhill/Kayser sitting alone and undefeated (with a mighty impressive 17-1 line record to date), Springpark/Blesi alone with one loss, and Lifetime/Heflin alone at two losses.  Greenhill and Springpark square off the last match of the season so it could come right down to the wire.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tri-level in the rear view mirror



Sorry I didn't get out a preview and I'm a little late on my post-view but I got called out of town on work for about nine days and was swamped.  Just got back so here we are.  I hate it when my day job gets in the way of tennis.


What to say?  Dallas had an unbeatable tri-level team but it didn't make the finals.  It actually does happen.  Everyone is beatable.  Admittedly, I really felt like Dallas would win and from looking at the results I still think Dallas could have won, but it didn't happen.  It's amateur tennis.  Anything can happen. 


For those of you not following along at home, NOHO took the final in a closer match than I would have anticipated.  They look to have been built on some good 4.5s, 4.0s that we've seen a lot of, and good but not great 3.5s.  Definitely not a lock at the 4.0 or 3.5 lines so good job by NOHO getting over the top in some close matches.  But that is probably the theme from this year's tri-level - closer matches than I would have expected. 


I actually got back into town Monday evening and could have posted something earlier but I was generally surprised by some of the match results on tennislink so I tried to make a few subtle inquiries of people who were there or might know something.  That was largely a confusing bust.  This person is a cheater, that person had dumb lineups, these people dumped, somebody is mad at someone else, we should have won, they weren't very good - exhausting.  The one thing that I did hear a few times that seems to explain a lot was that the level of play at tri-level this year was maybe higher than in years past across the board.  That seems to make some sense.


No team at this year's event went undefeated.  Four teams finished 3-1 in their flight.  No team went winless.  Knowing some of the players and how good they are, it just looks to me like it was a very competitive event this year. 


As for Dallas, they beat San Antonio 2-1 after splitting three setters at the 4.5 line (win) and 4.0 line (loss).  They swept Lubbock, then lost 1-2 to NOHO losing the 4.0 and 4.5 lines.  They finished with a sweep of Austin.  All in all, not a bad finish but if Dallas wins one more line in any match it advances to the final over NOHO.  Their 4.5 lines went 3-1, their 4.0 lines went 2-2, and their 3.5 lines went 4-0.  So for the event, Dallas only lost three lines and two of those were in three setters.  Pretty close.


Quick shout out to the Dallas guys on the Fort Worth team.  They went 2-2 for the weekend.  Not bad for a bunch that won Fort Worth by a razor thin margin.



Monday, January 30, 2017

And the beat goes on


40 – 4.5 – at this point it looks like hockey, lots of matches but barely anyone eliminated.  A full seven teams are all sitting with one loss.  All I can really say at this point is that Greenhill/Ohl and TBar/Fikes are out of it.  Past that, everyone else still has a shot. 

40 – 4.0 – flight A – much like 4.5 above, many teams still technically in the running.  The leaders at this point all have one loss and still have a lot of big matches left to play.  Springpark/Walters, Huffhines/Clark and Greenhill/Ohl have the advantage at this point with Springpark in the lead on lines won.

40 – 4.0 – flight B – things are a little clearer here with Oak Creek/Ramasami and Chandlers Landing/McLemore sitting atop the heap in the undefeated column.  Canyon Creek/Patterson lurks close behind with only one loss.

55 – 8.0 – still a four horse race at the moment.  Greenhill/Kayser sits alone and undefeated, with one loss Springpark/Blesi, TBar/Snow and Lifetime/Heflin in the wings.  I didn’t make Lifetime to be a contender at this level but let’s see how it all shakes out.

55 – 9.0 – looks like Oak Creek/Sweeney is in the driver’s seat here.  They have a one match lead at the moment but still need to beat second place Gleneagles/Juhn in the first round of a double round robin to secure the lead at the halfway mark.

Tri-level is two weeks away so I’ll try to sit down this week and have a closer look now that the flights are out.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Halftime Break










So it's pretty slow.  The 40s/55s season is just getting started.  Tri-level sectionals is a full month away.  Hell, it was COLD on Saturday and windy on Sunday.  Not exactly my favorite tennis weather either way.  As much as people can take a dim view of nationals on this blog, I have a feeling many of us will be watching another group of amateurs compete in the national finals tonight.


I'm a college football fan and this promises to be as good a game as last year.  At least for the state of Texas tennis, this Freeman versus...uh...well, whoever from Dallas is trying to dethrone him this year.


Yes, I do see a few similarities in the USTA tennis scene and college football.  A version of amateur athletics, lots of recruiting, a few rules violations, underperformers, overachievers, I could go on and on.  Throw in one Lane Kiffin per major market and you have plenty to keep Todd Reed fully employed. 


So, dynasty or new kids on the Power 5 block?  What's it gonna be?



Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's Play Some Old Guy Tennis


 Image result for old guy tennis

Since there’s only one over 40 flight in 4.5, it looks like the top three teams from the flight will make the playoffs with the format being #2 versus #3 and the winner plays the top seed in the final.
There are some tough teams in 4.5 this year.  From playoffs past we see TBar/Fikes, Gleneagles/Juhn, Greenhill/Rossouw, Oak Creek/Sweeney, Brookhaven/Harllee, and JCC/Reiman.  That’s six recent playoff teams and only three can advance.  I also see a couple of dark horses who could make some noise.  It’s going to be a very interesting season to watch in 4.5 this year.  With a few of the weaker teams falling out and not fielding squads, it really puts a premium on availability and having some quality depth.  There won’t be many easy matches to play the bottom of your roster.


4.0 has two flights again with the first and second place team advancing from each flight.  Unless we change our mind, or we don’t like the weather, or whatever. 
Flight A has Brookhaven/Bartlett, Springpark/Walters, Greenhill/Ohl and Huffhines/Clark.  All of these teams could be playoff contenders.  In flight B I like Oak Creek/Ramasami, McKinney/Jacobson and Canyon Creek/Patterson.  Flight A looks to be a tad tougher but both flights will have quality teams sitting home for city playoffs.


In 55s, there are only six 9.0 teams: Brookhaven/Bartlett, Gleneagles/Juhn, Eldorado/Entrekin, TBar/Hackett, Oak Creek/Sweeney,  and John Paul II/Gradick.  A couple of these rosters don’t look full yet so we’ll keep an eye on this one.  At the 8.0 level there are several familiar names: Brookhaven/Bartlett, Greenhill/Kayser, Springpark/Blesi and Canyon Creek/Rainwater look to be the cream of the crop.  One of these teams will be on the outside looking in come playoff time.