Monday, August 11, 2008


The (unconfirmed) word on the street is that 3.5 self-rated ringer Glenn Flora has been DQ'd for Nationals. The Houston team was undefeated when it played its last match against Dallas, losing 3-2. Flora provided one of the wins for Dallas. Michael and the rest of his team will never know "what might have been".

I know I may sound like a broken record, but the decision not to run the computer during Sectionals was an extremely poor one. There's no way of knowing which match gave Flora his third strike or whether his scores would have been "different" had the computer been running. I know running the computer after each match is inconvenient and time consuming, but it really HAS to be done in the future.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Houston 3.5...So far so good

Houston beats Midland 5-0 in our first match. The clouds and slight drizzle were a blessing as we were able to finish our matches before the heat started rolling in. 2 of the lines went to 3rd set tiebreakers but we were able to complete the sweep.

The 2nd match against Austin was a little more difficult as we split both singles and lines 1 and 2 of the doubles. It came down the line 3 doubles team of Pham-Tran. After winning the 1st set 6-4, we dropped the 2nd set 4-6 but we were able to recover and take the 3rd set tiebreaker 10-7 to take a 3-2 overall victory.

I didn't have much time to look around at some of the other matches. The overall skill level of all the teams seems just a tad short of last year's teams but then again I was part of the Freeman/Goodwin 3.5 national all last year so I might be a little spoiled.

I did notice a young fit blonde guy that was really tagging the ball. I have no idea who he was but he didn't seem like he'd pose a problem........FOR JASON KERN!! I guess there is always going to be a few guys that are out of level but this guy looked extremely solid. He had a one handed backhand that did not belong in 3.5. Anyone who is familiar with the players up there know who this guy is?

NoHo is not playing at the same site as us which is unfortunate. It would be great for us to be able to root each other on. I hope Jeff Tomek and Ed Colingado are doing well as I haven't seen the Tennis Link site updated yet.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

3.5 Sectionals

Sectionals for 3.5 will take place this weekend. I'm not familiar with many of the players, but Michael Tran may be providing updates for those of you who are interested in the goings-on up in Dallas. Good luck to the Houston team!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Computer

I have been told that "the computer" has been run for all of the results from Sectionals this past weekend. This is third-hand information, but I heard that only one player, on the women's side, received his/her third strike up in Dallas. I didn't see the DQ reflected on tennislink yet, so I won't name names.

I'm sure some people would differ with me on this, but I personally feel the "tolerance" level is a bit too high and that we don't have enough DQ's, particularly for computer rated players. I realize that DQ's can be avoided with "score management", but I just feel that right now it's too easy for a guy to get his two matches in, maybe in a mixed doubles league, and then pretty much be safe for the entire next year. A John Kudrick type could probably survive the weekend and be eligible for Nationals should his team make it.

I like to play "what if?", particularly after we have lost. As noted, the computer was not run during Sectionals. What if it was? Would things have changed? Would captains have been more protective of their players? Would NOHO have been more careful with Heim? In 4.0, I have to think that Dallas might have sat Gene Davis in their 3-2 Waco win and my team might have advanced to Sunday. We'll never know, I guess.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Love him or hate him, these are the facts:

2004 Mob Squad - Sectional Runner Up
2005 SWAT - Nationals
2006 SA Cambon - National Champs
2007 Hangovers - Sectional Semi-Finalist
2008 Noho Bobo/Teague - Nationals

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tough ending...

The Houston Hurricanes 4.0 team went down to defeat in a tight one against Dallas this afternoon. Houston won the first two matches off, with Roberto Narajos dominating 6-2, 6-0 at line 1 singles, but then dropped the next three in third set breakers. I was having flashbacks to Sectionals past with the Mob Squad with all of those lost tiebreakers.

Jason Freeman did a great job of captaining all year. It's really tough to lose a tight one when you're sitting out. In my head, or maybe it's my heart, I feel that I am one of the eight best players on the team...but I also feel that Freeman was TOTALLY correct in putting out the lineup he did. It just didn't work out.

The Noho 4.0 team had a chance to win its way into the final four, but got crushed by Fort Worth 5-0 as Fort Worth overtook Wild Dallas after its inexplicable loss to San Angelo while resting some of its top guns. There are very few pushovers at Sectionals, and depth is even more important at 4.0 with the extra match in round robin play.

Quick 4.5 update

What drama today in 4.5. David Guy pulled off one of the gutsiest wins we've seen in a long time. With the team score tied at 2-2 and down a set, he fought off cramps to come back against Fort Worth Wild's best singles guy (Bob Barrie) and pull out a three setter. The match was filled with drama, as Guy accidentally applied ICY HOT to his groin area and dramatically was granted a let after losing a point in which the ball broke. Noho moves on to the semi-finals, where it appears they will play Waco, who edged Dallas Wild 3-2.

Kingwood had a dramatic day as well, crushing an overmatched Corpus team 5-0, and securing enough lines (9) to capture the coveted wild card spot. Omon Dibua crushed "ringer" Andrew Maingot, but supposedly reinjured his knee. It will be interesting to see if he is able to play singles tomorrow. Phi Huynh won the other singles line for Kingwood.

It appears Kingwood will be matched up with Rusty Branch's Dallas team, who are looking like the strongest team out there. Slezak and Williams deposited Jason Kern back into the 4.5 ranks, and Rusty pulled his boys after securing three lines.

There was quite a bit of drama in the 4.0 ranks today as Chad Henagan went ballistic after being called for foot faults on four consecutive serves. His partner eventually got him to cool down, but the duo fell short in the third set breaker and Chancellor's season has come to a close. Division 2 will come down to a battle between Amarillo's youngsters and the Landsharks from Austin.

Freeman's 4.0 bunch will have its big matchup with Dallas in an hour or so. Gene Davis has been unstoppable for Dallas, so Freeman may have to take 3 of the 4 remaining lines. The valley wild 4.0 team pulled out after starting out 0-2.

Somabut's Dallas 4.0 team barely escaped a tough Valley squad to keep control in Division 4, needing a 3rd set breaker from Newman and Voss to keep Noho from tying them for the divsion lead. Noho dominated San Angelo 4-1 in their morning match, but needs help from San Angelo to advance.

Friday, August 1, 2008


The local teams fared pretty well in the 4.0 division. Jason Freeman's Hurricane team took 9 out of 10 lines, using 4 different singles players and all of his available players in the process. The team looks deep, and Freeman may have a tough time deciding on a lineup if his team gets in a do-or-die situation. Ricardo Martinez was particularly impressive today for the Hurricanes, and Bill Morris and Robert Pritula had a nice doubles win. Freeman's team will have its hands full with Dallas and Gene Davis, who stomped both of his singles opponents. It's quite possible we could see an all-Dallas final on Sunday afternoon.

Jerry Pham again provided the decisive 3rd set breaker for Chancellor's in the morning match as they pulled out a 3-2 win over favorite Austin, who played without ringer Colin McKinsey. Ismael Dutchover also pulled out a gutsy singles win. Chancellor's had a late afternoon matchup with Midland to get a stranglehold over Division II.

I didn't see any of 4.0 division looks like Tyler is gonna' take that one.

I thought Division IV had the highest quality tennis, with each team fielding quality players at almost every line. Wild Dallas is 2-0. Dan Keller has been unchallenged in both of his singles matches and Jean Nguyen beat tough Fort Worth lefty Ryan Reid in the afternoon match. Somabut's team looks like a shoe-in to make it to the finals.

Noho gave that Dallas team a scare, losing 3-2 as Peter Razeghi cruised in winning his first set 6-1, but couldn't hold on. In the afternoon match, Noho beat a tough Valley team. Kevin Burke, a 3:19 marathoner, used his superior fitness to wear down a tough opponent at line 1 singles. Rick Pricket sliced and diced his way to victory at line 2.

What a day in 4.5....

I just got back from T Bar M watching the Noho 4.5 team squeak out another one, 3-2 over San Antonio with Red Benzon and Antoine Ford providing the clincher. Billy Heim has breezed through both matches and suprisingly NOHO hasn't missed Dave Wanja all that much. No word on whether he'll be making an appearance later in the weekend. Noho will have a big battle tomorrow with Fort Worth Wild for a berth on Sunday. Kudos to Noho for getting each of their traveling players in a match and still ending up 2-0.

Everyone at T Bar was talking about the stunning Kingwood loss to Waco. Waco showed their strength in the morning match against Corpus as one of their singles players took Maingot to three and the other had a resounding victory. Kingwood's singles lineup this weekend: Omon Dibua, Raymond Santiago, Phi Huynh and Glenn Wright. Even with their doubles you're playing with fire with that group in singles. But we all knew they were not that strong in singles, and it did end up costing them. Waco is better than people suspected: Luedtke and Rivera and Longacre have had tournament success, but most of their other guys were under the radar.

Dallas Branch and Abilene are both undefeated in the other 4.5 group. Dallas has 8 lines won, giving them a good shot at the Wild Card even if they fall to Abilene tomorrow. Jason Kern may continue his ascent from 4.0 right up to 5.0 next year with two impressive wins today.

Other notes: Anthony Tatu said his team was strong in singles and weak in doubles. He was right: 4-0 in singles and 0-6 in dubs. Marcos Valdez has been awesome... The Austin teams, historically the state's top 4.5 league, are a combined 0-4.

Doubles player Eric Strawbridge surprised some people by going 2-0 in singles today in the heat for AustinWild.

Let's get ready to rumble!

Since we're online, you've been spared from my bad Michael Buffer impression.

The forecast says a high of 101 with more humidity than normal for Dallas. Hopefully that will bode well for Houstonians.

Good luck to everyone...I'll be trying to get around to some of the 4.5 matches, time permitting, and will blog what I can. Keep hydrating...