Friday, August 14, 2009

Combo, Fall Season

The USTA Season has just about run its course. We will keep you updated on events related to Nationals and hopefully Betsie, Tim, Freeman and others will update us with goings-on in Vegas when the time comes. I don't have the bracket in front of me, but I seem to remember that the men's 4.5 team is in the same flight with New England, Mid-Atlantic and Caribbean.

HTA league signups for the fall season are underway. Those of you obsessed with ratings will be happy (or sad?) to know that the fall season will not be included in 2009 ratings calculations at the end of the year. So get out there, work on some new things, and don't worry about being "bumped up."

Also on the horizon is the combo tournament. It's a fun way to play with your friends from other levels. It appears that the 9.5 division will "make" this year, and 7.5 and 8.5 are always popular. The tournament is run over one weekend (Sep. 25-27) and offers a chance to qualify for Sectionals, to be held in October. Email for a team number if you are interested.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two Outta' Three

It started at Fuddrucker's, I think. It was during Tri-Level Sectionals, and I sat down to lunch with League tennis geniuses Tim Green, Red Benzon and Jason Freeman. I sat quietly, occasionally nodding my head and sipping about three gallons of Diet Coke while the three of them began making their plans and creating the Hurricane "franchise". Most of the discussion focused on the 4.5 division, but the seeds were being planted for the goal of Nationals trips for the 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 Hurricane teams. It seemed like an overly ambitious goal, but they were just a few bounces away from achieving it.

What will I remember about this weekend? Had a great time watching the 4.5 sounds like a cliche but they really ARE a great bunch of guys. I'm astonished that they were able to win both matches on Sunday without taking a singles line. I've never seen that done before.

Tennis-wise, Jason Pieters was astounding and literally had me jumping out of my seat after he hit consecutive "trick shots" (I can't even describe them) during one of his matches. His opponent was frustrated, screaming "What is he doing here???? He should be at the Legg-Mason this week!!!" Truly awesome.

I'm happy and disappointed with the 4.0 team...we were a talented team that ran into a Dallas team that was just a little bit better. I'm now about oh for ten at Sectionals in my quest for Nationals. Still, it's been a great's always a treat to play for Freeman. The highlight of the year for me was reconnecting with my old friend and doubles partner Mike Lo, who's returned to tennis after a long absence and whose game is coming back. He'll be a factor next year.

I'm glad to see Omon and Odion make it to Nationals after coming so close the last few years. I don't think they could have gotten there if they hadn't brought their college buddies Sumrall and Tam along. Even the best captains sometimes need some talent dropped into their laps and Freeman, Green and Benzon got a little lucky with these two.

Good luck to the Hurricane 4.5 and 5.0 teams and Natural Guts at Nationals. I'm pretty confident they'll do us proud. As for me, and the Hurricane 4.0 year I plan on being one for eleven.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Checkin' in.

Austin beat San Antonio in the 4.5 division 4-1 this morning. Josh Torrez beat Mark Hildebrand and Chad Case eased past Chris Doyal. Looks like Austin Wild will be tough to take down as their singles seems rock solid.

Chris Bumann did not play in Abilene's first match. I assume he's not here, even though they're trying to say they're "resting" the nineteen year old. Don't think so. King-sized disappointment as I was looking forward to seeing him test the Hurricanes.

Good day for Houston teams for the most part. Hurricane 4.0 team was outstanding in waltzing through its first two matches, dropping only one line. The Hurricane 4.5 team won 3-2 in its first match in a match that didn't seem quite that close. The Deucebags lost 3-2 as Dat Bui decided not to make the trip, I believe due to work issues. SAP lost a heartbreaker to Waco 3-2, losing the deciding match in a third set breaker. Waco looks like it will have a battle with San Angelo for the semi-final spot.

The Hurricane 5.0 team looked to have things firmly under control in what figured to be their toughest match against Fort Worth, though the match had not yet completed at last report.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Weekend Schedule

I'm not sure if I'll have internet access (or time) over the weekend to properly update the blog. I do plan on getting out and supporting friends/acquaintances/rivals throughout the weekend and hope Houstonians will support each other. I'll print this out to give me an idea of where I might go to check out some of the action.

Here is a list of Houston teams, playing times, opponents and sites for those who might want to check out their friends during down times. Let me know of any errors. Sorry it's not very legible...troubles with Blogger formatting.


0700 Canes4.0 v. San Antonio (Spring Park)
1000 Deucebags v. Amarillo (High Point)
1100 Canes4.0 v. SETX (Spring Park)
1230 SAP v. Waco (Spring Park)
1230 Canes4.5 v. NETX (Canyon Creek)
1400 Canes5.0 v. Ft. Worth (Spring Park)
1400 Deucebags v. Dallas (High Point)
1600 SAP v. Wild Ft. Worth (Spring Park)
1700 Natural Guts v. Corpus (High Point)
1700 Canes4.5 v. Abilene (Huffines)


0700 Canes4.0 v. Midland (Spring Park)
0830 Deucebags v. Corpus (High Point)
0830 SAP v. San Angelo (Spring Park)
1000 Natural Guts v. NETX (High Point)
1000 Canes5.0 v. Wild Dallas (Spring Park)
1230 SAP v. NETX (Spring Park)
1230 Canes4.5 v. Fort Worth (High Point)
1400 Canes5.0 v. San Antonio (Spring Park)
1400 Natural Guts v. Austin (High Point)
1500 Canes4.0 v. Valley (Spring Park)