Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rematches galore

Tomorrow could be a day filled with rematches. It's virtually a certainty that the Hurricanes and Rice will be facing off for the third time this season. The Hurricanes have handled Rice both times, but this time the 4.0 city championship will be at stake. Likewise, we face the prospect of a fourth meeting between the Hangovers and Kingwood, but the Black Sheep still have a chance to earn a trip to the finals (and to Dallas).

The biggest matchup of the day in 4.0 was between Rice and Lakeside. To be honest, it was a bit of a disappointment from a fan's perspective. Lakeside was again without both Bret Hern and Eddie Perdomo and had to use Chris Mulgrew in singles. Quack Bui handled Mulgrew but Carl Poston took out Wade Karel to split the singles. Rice's doubles teams of Strasser/Rexilius, Nguyen/Tran and Lemus/Grahm all won their matches, with the Vietnamese duo the only one to drop a set. The much awaited matchup ended up being anticlimatic as Rice won easily, 4-1.

I thought about handing out some postseason "awards" or naming an "all pro" type of team but decided against it. However, if I could give out a "captain of the year" award, I would have to give it to Bill Hunt of Rice. Last year's team was loaded and came very close to going to Nationals. Rice lost 3 singles studs from that team: Yang, Monsigny and Hau, who (according to Hunt) went a combined 43-2 last year. This year he had a team that was basically one tiebreaker away from missing the playoffs, a team with no superstars, and yet they have again earned a trip to Sectionals. Well done.

The Hurricanes also basically clinched a trip to the finals. They trounced Lost Forest's Hackers 5-0, but did have to pull out some tough doubles matches (two third set tiebreakers). Inexplicably, Lost Forest defaulted line 2 singles and had a weak player at line 1. I guess their strategy was to try to sweep the doubles.

On paper, the 4.5 matches today were closer, as both ended 3-2, but there was little drama as the three wins came off the courts rather quickly in both matchups. Ssshhhwing figured to be the Hangovers biggest test, but they passed it with flying colors. Line 1 singles was a battle of lefties, and Don Rios' forehands were a little too much for Danny Vu to handle as Rios prevailed 3 and 6. Chris Hunkler handled Jody Deluca in two close sets, so everything came down to the doubles. Huffman and Whitsett dominated Rothe and Chec, and Green/Benzon squeaked out the first set and coasted in the second against Patterson and Hall. Justin Benoit and Mark Judson took out Allen Teague and Craig Bobo to make the score 3-2.

For all the criticism they took, the Hangovers also deserve some credit. They won their bracket without using either of the two players (David B. and Grant Murphy) that many people felt were "ringers". This certainly bodes well for the Hangovers in Dallas if those to are able to aid the cause at Sectionals.

The other 4.5 match between Kingwood and the Jedi Knights ended up 3-2 Kingwood. For the second year in a row, the doubles matchup between Hai Vu and Tom Caine had some drama and fireworks. Caine came out on top this year, winning the third set breaker with Lawton Park against Vu and Paschal. Ryan Cooper also salvaged a disappointing season by beating previously undefeated Omon Dibua in 3 sets. Dibua had won 4 of his 6 matches in a 3rd set breaker, but Cooper was able to counter the big serve and pull out the win. Odion had less trouble, trouncing Andre Dafel. Armstrong/Hurlbert and Kilshaw/Barrera both surrendured just four games to their overmatched opponents.

So, assuming Kingwood beats the Black Sheep tomorrow, (sooner or later my assumptions about the Black Sheep will be correct) we will see a fourth matchup between the two top teams. Apparently the draw in Dallas is easier for the city champion in both the 4.0 and 4.5 divisions, so there will be a lot riding on tomorrow's finals.


  1. According to TennisLink, Jim Patton of the Jedi Knights only played one leagure match. However, he played (and lost) against Kingwood in the playoffs today.

    Is HTA just asleep or have the rules changed?

  2. A better question is Why the hell does he put himself in the playoff lineup every year?

  3. The HTA officials onsite have dozens of courts going and hundreds of players. They don’t have time to check every player in every match.

    It is the responsibility of the captain of each team to see if the opponents lineup has any violations and report it to the HTA.

    In any case, he lost, not only his match, but the team as well. Are you suggesting that he be taken out and we throw rocks at him?

    For all the CRAP we have given them this season, Cheryl, Diana and the rest of the HTA crew have done a very good job with this season and deserve our respect and thanks not this nit picking whining!

  4. Quote from a previous comment:

    Anonymous said...
    Kingwood and Ssshhhwings will go to Sectionals. Guaranteed. July 10, 2007 4:25 PM

    I guess guarantees aren't what they used to be. The only thing I heard was a "Ssshhhwing" and a miss, strike three!

  5. Well, the rumor about Jendek being a no-show was false. He showed up and bageled Barrera in the first and squeaked out the second. Brandon Stevens and Hai Vu had to pull out a third set breaker over Elias Gumpel and Mike Hansen or else Kingwood would have been sent home. Congrats to both teams.

  6. ****** (sooner or later my assumptions about the Black Sheep will be correct) ******

    What an ass this blogger is. The Black Sheep lost 2-3 and were 4 points away from beating Kingwood in a 3rd set. Kingwood had to bag 2 lines, Carr was out of town but knew they would do it, matched them on 1D and it almost worked. Give credit when credit is earned. 1 Doubles with Roberts/Lee and the Black Sheep would be on the way to Dallas, PERIOD. Did the Black Sheep do something to you to earn their name and your disrespect? This team played very well and just missed Dallas by 4 tie-breaker points.

    Nice win Kingwood, it was hard and you earned it!

  7. Who won and who lost today? Any upsets or intersting tidbits?

  8. Congratulations to both of Freemans teams. They will both fair very well at Sectionals.

    In 4.5's Kingwood beat the Hangovers again 3-2. At line 1 singles Dibua beat Don Rios in a 3rd set Tiebraker to clinch the win for the Kingwood Crush Team.At line 2 Dibua beat Tim Green in another 10 pt. Tiebreaker.

    In doubles Kilshaw did the best he could with his shorthanded lineup and at line #2 Armstrong and Hurlbert defeated Li/Regent from the Hangovers. I am very Happy to say that Kingwood deserves alot of Credit for bringing in 2 solid singles players with the Dibuas this year. Every League team needs to Have solid singles players to advance at Sectionals.

    Best of Luck to all of the Teams that have advanced to Sectionals. It's gonna be hot in Dallas so be ready for a Long Weekend come August 10-12.

  9. Congratulations to the Hangovers and Crush for hanging in there. All their other opponents gave them some good competitive competition. A few points here or there and both winning teams could have been sent packing. The difference in my mind was the team depth of both winning teams. Looking forward to next year, all the other teams are just one player away from winning.

  10. Jim did not put himself in the lineup. We had a couple of injuries and the player that was supposed to come did not show up. He was out there to watch some tennis and had to play.

    To anonymous, nice assumption that he put himself in the lineup.

  11. The KIngwood team will be tough. The Dibuas in singles and Hurlbert in doubles is all they need for 3 wins against just about anybody.

  12. Not so about the last comment.The Dibuas are good but playing up at Sectionals you need good depth not just 3 lines your Depending on winning. Plus, the Dibuas are not the Open Level Players that show up come Sectionals. Don't get me wrong the Dibuas are very good but can and may be Beaten come August.

  13. Agree with the last comment. The Dibuas and Hurlbert are really good players, but they do not make up a whole team. Kingwood, nor the Hangovers have the ringers that show at Sectionals every year. Both teams are aware of this (they have been there before). But the right line ups could still pull them through. GOOD LUCK GUYS!!

  14. That San Antonio team looks loaded in singles with Reader, Regmund, Hilderbrand and even Trautmann, who beat Schmucker one and oh this past weekend.

  15. With that San Antonio has players to be reckoned with. Reader and Hildebrand are a Good 1-2 punch but what they really have is alot of Depth with alot of players playing tournaments going in to Sectionals,which in my opinion is a Huge Advantage. They Dominated the Alamo City Major Zone this past Weekend.

  16. Look at Reader's results the past couple of years. How in the hell is this guy 4.5 rated? I think the computer has a virus big time on some of these ratings.

  17. Reader has a win over our very own Jonathan Magid a couple years back. And most would agree Magid is without a doubt, 5.0 rated.