Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Well, we've reached the end of the regular season. With very little rain this year, many teams have already completed their schedules. There are still a few matches remaining with playoff implications.

The Smokers and Chancellor's 4.0 match to be played this week will presumably decide the second playoff spot in their division.

SAP and Lost Forest have a matchup that will decide who is the winner of their division (SAP beat the Rolido Boys in their recent makeup match, with John Grego showing the form everyone expected when trouncing Robert Kane). What I didn't realize is that the first week of playoffs this year (the July 9th matches) will be held at home sites and not all at LLTC. There's been some discussion about allowing the higher "seeded" team to somehow get the home court advantage (though that "advantage" does include incurring court costs and providing balls), but I'm not sure if there's any way that will/can be implemented.

Lastly, the much anticipated Ahmed-Morales final set is to be played before the Hurricanes and Deucebags battle for a third and perhaps final time. I believe Miguel and Sarosh may finish right before the scheduled match on Thursday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All or Nothin'

There's potentially a huge match in 4.0 this week as the Smokers take on Chancellor's. The Smokers have not reported their score from last week, but if they won 5-0, then this week's match gives them a chance to unseat Chancellor's from their playoff perch. The Smokers would be 33-7 while Chancellor's is 35-5. A 4-1 win from the Smokers would give Chancellor's 9 losses. Lakeside has 7 individual losses and figures to romp this week against Pecan Grove. Chancellor's will have to bring out its top lineup this week to ensure their playoff spot.

Last I heard, Sarosh and Miguel were planning on finishing their match tonight, but those plans were not firm. Someone update us, please, if that is the case. I would expect the Deucebags will be out in full force supporting their teammate. They're a tight group.

In 4.5 Ssshhhwing meets Copperfield's Lobsters. If, as expected, the playoffs are round robin, this match will have little meaning other than bragging rights. No Way Out plays Kingwood and would have to stomp them and hope Lakeside Estates takes some lines from the Black Sheep. Not likely.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm Bored.

I was just thinking about the 4.5 playoffs and the fact that there really are a lot of quality singles players. How would you rank the singles players (my guesstimate as to who they are) on the seven potential playoff teams?

Omon Dibua
Ted Pumma
Aadrian Hasker
Dat Bui
Antoine Ford
Sean Straley (maybe he'll play singles in citywides???)
Quack Bui
Steve Phan
Ted Bradley
Sean Lacy
Alex Bergmann
Sam Holmes
Neil Carpenter
Flad Patterson

I'll give it some thought and post my opinion later.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Early Updates.

It sure was boring out at LLTC tonight. The most interesting match out there may have been the practice match being played by Hiep Chung, who will probably make it to Sectionals on the Austin 5.0 team.

The Sugar Creek-Hurricane match was a dud. Sean Straley again missed the Hurricanes match, instead playing 5.0. I didn't hang around 'til the end but I believe the 'Canes swept. The only decent matchup was between Omon and Antoine Ford, which went to Omon in a third set breaker. Matt Sumrall and Soong Hay Tam were almost flawless in their doubles matchup. I think the Hurricanes may have another tough doubles team that they can count on come playoff time. It was nice to see the Aggies dominating on the tennis court. If only the football team were as talented. :)

The Hurricane 4.0 team had a yawner as well, and SAP also looked to be in control of their matchup.

As of right now the Deucebags are ahead 3-0 with the other two matches looking pretty tight. Aadrian Hasker won a tight two setter over Juan Trevino.

The Lakeside 4.0 team breezed to a 5-0 win, putting the pressure on its two rivals. It appears now that they will make city playoffs and the Smokers/Chancellor's battle will decide the other spot.

My last report was that NWO was trailing in its matchup with the Hurricane junior varsity. I heard that Roberto Narajos had easily handled Corbin Cooke and that singles specialists Eddie Janek and Ismael Dutchover had pulled out line three doubles in the third set.

Edit: Hurricanes JV ended up winning 4-1 and Kingwood beat the Black Sheep 3-2. I believe Bradley and Lacy swept the singles, beating Quack Bui and Steve Phan, respectively. If that's true, it's Steve's first ever singles loss in 4.5.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nearing the Finish Line

Most of the playoff races have been decided, but there are a few important matches as the season enters its penultimate week.

In 5.0, the Met team is fighting for second place and faces a Copperfield team coming off a surprising loss while Willowfork has a virtual walkover in the Upsetters, who will try to live up to their name.

In 4.5, Alain Tran's Deucebags will need a blowout against Sienna. He'll need a stronger lineup than the one he had the last time he visited the Top Spinners. Meanwhile, Ken Douds' Sugar Creek team will be trying to take as many lines as possible against the Hurricanes in case Miguel Morales does end up beating Sarosh Ahmed.

Kingwood plays the Black Sheep this week. Again, every line or every set may end up being very important. No Way out faces the Hurricane B team.

Copperfield's 4.5 team has a gimme this week and Ssshhhwings are off.

It looks like the 4.5 playoffs are probably going to be round robin. Hopefully all of the captains will be honorable and continue playing hard even if mathematically eliminated. I think they will.

In 4.0, Lost Forest plays the Rolido Boys, who still have a mathematical chance of making the playoffs and will be eliminated with a loss.

Sienna has added another player, Thi Huu Bui, for this week's "big" match against the Acers. I'll be surprised if the Acers make the trip down there, to be honest.

Chancellor's, Lakeside and the Smokers all have fairly easy matches this week, and all shold be looking to sweep. If they do, the Chancellor's will have to avoid a loss of 4-1 or 5-0 next week against the Smokers or they could be on the outside looking in after being comfortably atop the division all year.

Bear Creek and the Copperheads both complete their season tonight with things wrapped up.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sugar Creek

Another exciting match between Sugar Creek and the Deucebags. I didn't see the opening two lines, as I was playing at the time. Aadrian Hasker played another tough match, beating Antoine Ford 10-8 in the third set breaker. I'm not exactly sure who won the early doubles match for Sugar Creek...I think it may have been Nick Hiemstra and Ken Douds, but don't quote me on that.

Simon Jim and Dat Bui also went to a third set breaker. There was some confusion over the score, some serving on the wrong side, but when all was said and done Bui pulled it out 11-9. Sugar Creek needed to sweep the last two doubles lines. Sean Straley and Tim Marco took down Alain Tran and Rick Boehck four and three, and it all came down to Jason Cooney and Luis Fernandez against Andy Diep and Derrick Dugas. Sugar Creek won the first set in a breaker and then closed out the final set before the lights were turned off.

I haven't done the math, but Captain Douds told me that if Miguel beats Sarosh it will probably come down to which team performs best against the Hurricanes. It seems like there's a big match for these teams every week, but they will truly need their top lineups against the Hurricanes.

In other matches, the Black Sheep destroyed the Hurricanes JV team 5-0. I believe the SAP 4.0 team won as well. The Hurricane 4.0 team rolled and Lakeside 4.0 swept. The Hurricane 4.5 team beat Sienna 4-1 with Trevino taking line 2 singles for Sienna. Also, the 5.0 Hurricane team lost its first match, against Willowfork, led by Nick Frank.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Not Much Goin' On.

As has been mentioned, the big 4.5 match this week is between the Deucebags and Sugar Creek. There have been a lot of twists and turns in their division, but it appears that this COULD decide a playoff berth.

In 4.0, Lakeside looks to crush the Spin Doctors to keep an edge in their three way battle. That division figures to get even more interesting as the season comes to a close.

In news across the state, it appears that Dallas 4.0 player Andre Vahdat and Corpus Christi 4.5 player Burke Marold have been DQ'd (based on the fact that their ratings have gone up when you click on their names in Tennis Link). No matches have been reversed at this time.

Marold is also playing on the Mason Creek 9.0 mixed team.

Friday, June 5, 2009

"And DOWN the stretch they come!" --- Dave Johnson

The playoff picture is starting to come into sharp focus.  Let's take a look at the interesting races for playoff spots.  

In 5.0, it's all over but the shouting.  There are occasionally wild cards available in 5.0, in which case it's still a three horse race with the Met, Black Sheep and Willowfork all in contention.  The edge may go to the Black Sheep, who have no more matches with Copperfield.  

In 4.5 Division I it's pretty clear that Copperfield and Ssshhhwings are both going to the playoffs. Copperfield is a great story...they've managed to overcome the loss of John Kudrick without skipping a beat.   The addition of Samuel Holmes (seen here in his youtube video) makes them a very interesting.  (This blog is not about social commentary, but I think it's great that league tennis has become SO much more diverse than when I first started playing).  Shwing still needs to get Neil Carpenter qualified.   I've not seen Holmes play, but if I had to make a list of the "elite" singles players in the Houston 4.5 league, I'd say: Dibua, Dibua, Phoummarath, Phan, Carpenter, Holmes, Bradley, Trevino, Straley, Hasker).  Playoff teams lacking a singles player of that caliber will not have a prayer.   

In 4.5 Division II, Kingwood has a leg up on both Westside teams, but doesn't have things clinched, as they play NWO and the Black Sheep in the last two weeks of the season.   If we assume the Black Sheep sweep Lakeside Estates in the final week (other than Orozco their roster is very weak), then the two Westside teams will be tied at 4-2 with 20 individual wins and 10 losses and both will have a match against Hurricanes 2 and Kingwood. Whichever team performs best in those matchups will make the playoffs.   Any "throwaway" lines may come back to haunt either of these teams.

In 4.5 Division III Sienna has made things interesting, and they're actually mathematically still alive for a spot in citywides, but with two matches remaining against the Hurricanes their chances are slim and none.  So, it'll come down to the Deucebags and Sugar Creek if Miguel Morales can pull out that third set breaker.  If he loses, the Deucebags chances may just evaporate.  

In 4.0 Division I, it's Bear Creek and Copperfield.  Willowfork still could tie in wins and losses, but is too many lines behind to realistically have a shot.

4.0 Division II is the most interesting Division to me.  Despite its undefeated record, Chancellor's is not assured of a spot.  They dropped two lines last night.  If the Smokers swept, then Chancellor's will have dropped 5 lines on the season, Smokers 6 and Lakeside 7.  Chancellor's has the toughest schedule down the stretch, playing the Spin Doctors and Smokers.  A loss to the Smokers gives all three teams a shot. 

4.0 Division III has the Hurricanes somewhat comfortably on top, but still in slight danger as they play JCC in the season's final week.  Right now Sienna and JCC are tied in wins, losses and individual lines won.  Sienna could be in the interesting position of NEEDING a Hurricane victory in the final week to even make the playoffs.  

4.0 Division IV has SAP and Lost Forest with berths sewn up.  The only drama will be which team wins the division.  SAP with the edge right now, but the teams meet again in the season's final week.  

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Early results

The Deucebags-Hurricanes 4.5 match is still being played but Aadrian Hasker squeaked out a win in his rematch with Ted Phoummarath 10-8 in the third set breaker.  The Dibuas had won their line one doubles match against Dugas/Jannuzzi.  

A good matchup on another court as Ryan Cooper was taking on Samuel Holmes in the Copperfield/Jedi Knights battle. 

SAP won its big match with Lost Forest 3-2 as Chris Towle and Eric Urban won the decisive line in a third set breaker.   The Hurricanes 4.0 team won an easy one over the Acers.  

No word yet on the big battles between the West Side 4.5 teams or the JCC=Sienna 4.0 matchup.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Rule

I like this.  There has been some shadiness in the past, including at Nationals, which may have been the impetus behind this.  I certainly hope that the rule is in place at Sectionals, where it's easier to pass someone off as someone else.  

Hey Team Captains,

Please note:

Effective Immediately, June 3, 2009: Team captains may request a picture identification (drivers license) to verify opposing players identification.  The league committee may take any action they deem necessary for failure to provide this information upon request by the opposing team captain.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Across the State

Austin Wild won the big battle with Old School for 4.5 supremacy in Austin, 3-2.  The decisive match between Juan DeKruyff and Chad Case was 6-7, 7-6, 10-7 to Case.  

San Antonio had its 4.0 playoffs this weekend.  Michael Spadoni's team featuring James Murray and crafty veteran Armando Abney prevailed after finishing the season undefeated.  Second place team Smash was upset in the semis, perhaps costing itself a berth at Sectionals.