Wednesday, June 29, 2011

4.0 Playoffs Start, 4.5 in Home Stretch

Sorry I have been negligent this week. It's come down to crunch time. In 4.0, the first round of playoffs begin on Thursday, with some top teams in action hoping to avoid an upset. In 4.5 there are a few matches remaining that will decide who gets those last spots. Again, I'm not privy to the game count, so your guess is as good as mine as far as who is "in the lead".

There are four playoff matches in 4.0 this week: Lakeside/Sienna, Copperfield/Chancellors, Hurricanes/RPM and Unicorns/GTAC. All feature division winners against wild cards.

Lakeside, who skated through what appears to be an easy division almost unscathed, will face its first test of the year against a Sienna team that improved itself vastly as the season went along. A couple of key additions have turned them into a team that can be dangerous. I'm looking forward to a Lucidi/Etienne matchup.

By virtue of winning its division, Copperfield will get to host Chancellor's, though they remain an underdog according to Vegas. Has Minh Hoang's gimpy knee healed? Will they need to use him in singles against a Copperfield team that appears weak in that area? Can't see anyone on Copperfield taking out Cuong Truong. Tuan Tran is playing some good ball. I'll pick Chancellor's, but it may be a close one.

Can GTAC threaten the Unicorns? The Unicorns may have the best doubles lineup in the city, but has not proven itself in singles...yet. Sumit Arora has been MIA for GTAC since April. Can he and Curren sweep the singles and put a scare into the Unicorns?

Two beloved captains, Freeman and Soewito, square off in the last 4.0 battle. RPM has a solid doubles lineup and the Hurricanes have shown weakness in that area. Steven Herold has been virtually unbeatable for Freddy's crew and could help make this competitive, but it's hard to see RPM's singles hang with the Hurricanes.

In 4.5 No Way Out will have its hands full this week with Lakeside Country Club. A win is necessary, as a loss will see the Coaches take second place in that division. Will NWO gamble with Westen at line one or put him at two and try to take two of three doubles lines if he beats Quack?

Fresh off Alex Ellingsen's great comeback, the Gypsies continue their improbable run to a division title by traveling to play Ssshhhwings this week. With the Black Sheep beating up on the Phoenix this week, Rothe's guys may need a resounding win (or a last second DQ) in order to even be in playoff consideration.

Copperfield played a match last night and has another bottom feeder on Thursday. Two sweeps give them the division title and perhaps the top seed?

The Big Bangers take on the Clambakes. Are they in the running, games-wise? Will Facker and/or Cannon get protested this week? I wouldn't be surprised if it's too late, given the way these things work.

Friday, June 24, 2011

4.0 Playoff Picture (90/10)

4.0 playoffs are almost settled, 9 out of 10 places are decided at least according to my math. Hopefully it matches HTA's math. HTA has posted on their website that it's games-won percentage that determines which four of the six second-place teams go to the playoffs.

One match remains to be played that has playoff implications, Cinco Ranch Comets vs. Mason Creek Stars, scheduled for tomorrow. The winner will finish 2nd in that flight. However if Comets win, their games-won percentage (currently 6th out of 6) won't be high enough to get them into the playoffs. If Mason Creek wins, it depends on their scores, as they're right on the knife edge. Either they'll go or WSTC Warriors will. Currently Mason Creek has won 52.61% of their games, Warriors 52.57%. That's what I call close. Likely they'd stay ahead of Warriors if they win the match, but not guaranteed. I'm sure both teams are stand-up guys so if I were Warriors I wouldn't bother to send a scout to observe... GTAC, MPTC-RPM, Chancellors, and Sienna look to be in the playoffs by my calculations.

Seedings are another matter. Nobody but HTA knows what the seeding criteria will be, and possibly they don't even know yet. Perhaps some judgment will factor in, as you'd hate to see (say) Hurricanes, Chancellors, and Lakeside all in the same playoff flight simply by virtue of dumb numbers. But if it's done by numbers, then no matter which statistic is used (match winning percentage, line winning percentage, whatever), Lakeside would be top seed followed by Cinco Ranch Wranglers. After that it would depend on which statistic is used. If it's percent of games won, and assuming the flight winners are seeded ahead of the 2nd-place teams, then Unicorns, Good Guys, Copperfield, and Hurricanes (the price paid for score management) would be 3rd through 6th seeds. If it's by any other statistic - well you can read the standings as easliy as I.

A new post

Commenting has been fast and furious of late, so I'll start a new thread.

Did rain affect any matches yesterday?

Not too much of interest last night at LLTC, other than the constantly circling helicopter. I DID finally get to meet the Sandwich Blaster. He and Pete Rios were both on the grounds, but there was no sign of Babu. Still haven't managed to make the acquaintance of the World's Most Interesting Man. Perhaps during the playoffs.

Somebody made a statement to me that Hung Nguyen is the second best (behind Kudrick) singles player in 4.5 this year. Interesting. Word on the street is that he is playing at a much higher level than last year. It's too bad his team wasn't able to put it together enough to get into the postseason. It would have been interesting to see how he would have fared. Wish he had played Taylor instead of Medford in the last matchup.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not Much Going On

There's not much to focus on as the season winds down. One negative to the games percentage thing is that it's hard to know at a glance where a team stands in the playoff hunt. One thing is certain: to be eligible for wild card consideration a team must finish in second place. In 4.5 we still have some battles for second: Chancellor's/Sugar Creek, No Way Out/Katy Coaches and the three way logjam between Black Sheep, Gypsies and Ssshhhwings. One wild card slot is sewn up, presumably (Copperfield or Dbags). 4.5 Playoffs begin July 7th (4.0 on June 30th), so many important matches will not be played until next week.

I know I shouldn't have to say this, but please try to refrain from the personal, non-tennis-related attacks. I try to delete them as quickly as possible, but I am certainly not monitoring this blog 24/7. Hopefully Chris will be able to get some of the ones I miss.

Blog MVP voting for 2011 will begin soon. Rios, Babu and the Sandwich Blaster are the heavy favorites.

Friday, June 17, 2011

One more week

We had a fun night out at LLTC last night. Chancellor's and The Hurricane 4.0 team matched up again. Both teams were loose, as most figured that the teams were playoff-bound, win or lose. Chancellor's is a likeable bunch and I'll be rooting for them in the playoffs.

As it turned out, we pulled out a 3-2 win. Again, it could have gone either way. Arata Yamaguchi squeaked out a win over crafty Cuong Truong to provide the margin of victory. There were multiple representatives from other playoff teams "scouting". I doubt they came away impressed, as there was some spotty tennis going on and the match didn't quite have playoff intensity.

In another 4.0 matchup where both teams should feel good about their playoff chances, The Good Guys took out RPM 3-2 last night at Memorial. Word on the street is that there were some impressive looking doubles teams in that matchup.

It looks as though the Sienna Aces and Pecan Grove played two matches yesterday. I am assuming that one of them was a continuation???? If that is the case, I have a question: How did Baton Rouge native and recently added Nicholas Lucidi get into both matches? I'm not making accusations...I haven't watched their roster closely enough to know when he was added, but it sure looks fishy. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Lakeside 4.0 stumbled and lost its second line of the year last night.

The Deucebags got a walkover against the Ball Busters the other night. I believe the Busters defaulted two lines last night. Is it me, or have there been more unplayed lines in 4.5 this year than in years past?

The Blast took down Chancellor's 4.5 3-2. Nice win for Hung Nguyen over Greg Medford.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Notes on this Week

The season is winding down. Keep on eye on rosters this week as teams try to add players in time to get them eligible for the playoffs. For instance, the Sienna Aces have added Nicholas Lucidi, who has been tearing up the Baton Rouge league. Also the Copperfield 4.5 team added Shaan Patel, former superchamp and star at Cy Falls High School under coach Joiner.

There are quite a few matches with playoff implications this week as several wild card spots are probably still in play. I'm guessing that only two people have actually done all of the math to calculate the games won percentages, so at this point most people are making educated guesses as to where teams actually stand.

In 4.0 the previously discussed matchup between Chancellor's and the Hurricanes takes place at LLTC on Thursday. Both teams appear to have a good shot at grabbing a wild card spot, but as I said, at this point we just don't know. Also, the Good Guys and RPM vie for supremacy in division II, playing the first of two matches within the next week. If the Good Guys dominate the two matchups, RPM could potentially drop out of the playoffs. Lastly, the CR Comets and Mason Creek square off for second place and consideration for a wildcard slot.

In 4.5 the Black Sheep and Ssshhhwings play for the second time in the last few days. Their match scheduled for 6/13 has not had its scores reported. Does anyone have any news on that one? The playoff situation in that division is, quite frankly, a mess. There has been no resolution to the disputed match between Shwing and Katy HS, but I suspect it will be finished up on the court.

The Hurricanne 4.5 team takes on the Big Bangers, who are still mathematically alive. Also, JCC Blast take on Chancellor's. The Blast have basically sewn up the division title, though technically they still could collapse. Chancellor's has been a disappointment but still may qualify for the playoffs. They have Sweetwater in the final week, so they can certainly fatten up their game percentage should they still be in the hunt.

I have a hypothetical question. Let's say that I knew about five or six players who had illegally self-rated. Having them disqualified may have some impact on the playoffs and could actually help some of my friends make it when they otherwise wouldn't. Should I snitch?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Congrats are in order..

Congrats to Lakeside 5.0, JCC-Blast, the Deucebags and Lakeside 4.5, all of whom had a nice night last night for one reason or another. At some point or another this season, I've underestimated all of them.

Greg Schmucker had a nice win last night over Ricardo Martinez. Renish Halani has been impressive in his 4.5 matches and should be tough in the 4.0 playoffs. Jaison John and Shibu Ninan with an impressive debut for the Sienna Aces last night. Will the Aces be a playoff factor?

One byproduct of the "games" element used in wild card calculations may be some teams giving their all up until the final bell sounds. Katy Coaches had a bad loss last night...but are they still "in it" for a wild card? I haven't done the game calculations, but I would think they still have a shot.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

6/9 Matches

The 5.0 matches (that count) conclude Thursday with a Sectionals berth on the line. Lakeside has a lead but has left the door slightly ajar, and I'm sure Willowfork will put their best lineup out there Thursday in an attempt to win by a nose at the finish line. I will be interested to see what kind of lineup David Toney is able to muster as the Met travels to Willowfork. We've already seen that some Met players are reluctant to travel, and the team has very little incentive to win. As previously noted, WF can not drop a set and must hold the Met to fewer than 31 games if my calculations are correct. With just three lines contested in 5.0, the games number is well within reach. I give Willowfork a decent chance to sneak into Sectionals.

In 4.5, there are several good ones this Week. The Blast come in 5-0 (they've not yet reported the results of their walkover (Sweetwater) last week), but still have not clinched anything. They've dropped only 5 lines, so they should be in good shape in the event of a three way tie, but can sew things up this week with a win. I saw Pete Taylor hitting in the 102 degree heat on Sunday afternoon and he looked in fine form. Erik Kiser and Mike Giordanelli have given the Blast a reliable doubles line, and may be the key to this week's match.

As noted, Copperfield and the Deucebags will contest round two this week. Copperfield dominated the first battle. They'll have to put a dent in Copperfield's singles. Newcomer Alejandro Nazario was a disappointment in his first outing, so the D-bags may be in for some rough sledding against Kudrick and company. Both teams look to be in good shape for the playoffs, however.

The Katy Coaches must mount their best effort of the year. It's again do-or-die for Burford's crew as they take on Lakeside. Lakeside has gotten little attention this year. The perception is that they lost Hai Vu and Greg Zachary from a middle of the pack playoff team (13 lines won, 12 lost) and haven't added a really significant player to replace them. Thus, there's little buzz around the team, but they could surprise.

Finally, you're gonna' laugh, but the Big Bangers vs. Clambakes is actually a match with possible playoff implications. The Bangers lost to GTAC (allegedly) last week, so it may actually be the Clambakes who bear watching for the playoffs. They've already played the Hurricanes twice, so a sweep of the remaining matches may get them in. The Clambakes have perhaps one or two legitimate 4.5 playoff caliber players, but can put themselves in the hunt with a win this week. Do the Clambakes have anyone who can beat Alleverdian? Will Mitchell or Shermer be in the Bangers lineup? I'll take the Bangers 4-1.

Finally, 4.0 is a dead zone this week. There are a few matches with some wildcard implications, but nothing remotely interesting.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Results discussion

I understand there may have been some controversy out at Taylor High School last night. This is third-hand information, so the information may be faulty.

I believe that the Shwings singles player was serving at 4-5 in the second, down a set (?) when the lights went out. The overall match score was 2-2 at the time. Now, there has been a lot of discussion on here that the home team would have to forfeit in this situation, and my understanding is that Peter Rothe pressed the Taylor team for a forfeit.

I really have no idea what the actual rule is in this situation (it may be time to do some homework!!!), but it seems unfair to me that the home team should have to forfeit. We would run into situations, with our public facilities controlling the lights, where teams stalled, took bathroom breaks, etc. in order to earn a cheesy win. On the other hand, I do see the merit in a visiting captain feeling that the home team has a responsibility to provide courts after his team has made a fairly lengthy drive to play.


Katy Coaches beat NWO 4-1 last night. Great job by the two-handed forehand of Chris Lubrano in beating previously undefeated Maximiliano Westen. Trip Norkus was a DNP for the Coaches, but apparently they didn't need him.

Copperfield 4.0 blanked GTAC to take over first place in their division. Nice win for Loken's crew.

As has been mentioned, the big match in 5.0 went Lakeside's way. Laurence Sombito came up big in Aadrian Hasker's absence.