Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Wrapup

Congrats to the Hurricane 4.5, Lakeside 4.5, Chancellor's 4.0 and Hurricane 4.0 teams, as all secured berths to Sectionals this weekend.

What stood out for me:

Ed Hess's dominance over Pete Taylor.

Tommy Connell. How old is that guy, anyway?

The other "old man" Ward Jannuzzi winning two singles matches in Sunday's heat to give the Hurricane 4.5 team a slot in the "easy" pool up in Dallas.

Kevin Lotz, who showed he could be competitive at a higher level.

The "David and Goliath" match between Minh Hoang and Musa Salihu.

The Chancellor's 4.0 team, who breezed through the playoffs, winning 23 lines and dropping only two and avenging their losses to the 'Canes while using fewer "starters" in the final match.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Big Weekend

Sorry for my recent Blog neglect.

Nothing earth shattering happened in last night's round of 4.0 playoffs. It will still, in all likelihood, come down to the Lakeside/Chancellor's and Hurricanes/Unicorns matchups on Sunday morning.

It's earlier, percentage-wise, in the 4.5 playoffs, so there is still a chance for a team who lost their first match to sneak into Dallas (at least in theory). However, it's probably a safe bet to say that the Blast/Lakeside and Hurricane/Black Sheep matches will both be for a trip to Sectionals. A close Hurricane win against the Black Sheep may still leave the door open for Copperfield on Sunday afternoon.

My picks: Lakeside and Hurricanes earn trips to Dallas.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Not too many surprises

The 4.5 playoffs got underway last night. I suppose there was a mild upset as the Black Sheep took down Copperfield 3-2, but everything else went according to form.

I haven't seen the "box score", but I heard Arin Faggard played singles for Copperfield. That's a head scratcher, for me. Where were Patel and/or Martinez or even McMullen?

Also MIA were Muhala and Ellingsen as the Gypsies put up little resistance for the Blast, getting shut out. Another good win for Kiser/Giordanelli, who beat the veteran team of Regent/Li in three sets.

Perhaps NumbersGuy could tell me, and if I have a chance today I will do some research, but I would guess that the team that sweeps the singles win postseason matches close to 95 percent of the time (yeah, I know the Hurricane 4.5 exception a coupla' years ago). Greg Schmucker did his best to get the singles split, but Quack Bui was a little better and Lakeside prevailed.

A nice win for Roberto Narajos over Jason Cooney for the 4.5 Hurricanes. The number two singles spot is a question mark for the 'Canes, and Narajos may be an answer. He certainly has the talent, but I was unsure of his fitness level for singles. I'm sure Cooney made him hit a lot of balls...

The 4.0 matches were even less surprising. Chancellor's dominated, the Unicorns swept, the Hurricanes rolled and Lakeside cruised. It's looking like Sunday morning will feature two matches for all the marbles when Chancellor's/Lakeside and Hurricanes/Unicorns butt heads.

Kevin Lotz again dominated for the Unicorns. He may be the best 4.0 player in the city.

Sienna's Nicholas Lucidi was ruled ineligible and his win over Lakeside last week was reversed. He had already advanced in the postseason with a team from Baton Rouge and was thus not eligible to play for another playoff team, so last week's double bagel gets stricken from the record.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Playoffs Heat Up.

Well, the playoffs finally get into full swing this week as both the 4.5 and 4.0 divisions have four matches scheduled for Thursday.

Is there a prohibitive favorite in 4.5 this year? I think not. Copperfield, Lakeside, the Hurricanes and the Blast are all considered the frontrunners by some knowledgable observers. None of these teams face each other this week, but all will be tested.

Lakeside takes on the Deucebags at home. It's hard to see the Dbags winning without splitting the singles, especially if Connell/Wright take the court. Quack Bui will be their target...can Nazario or Bishop (or Schmucker/Goldberg/Chavarria) take him down? I'll take Lakeside to win.

The Blast take on the Gypsies. Who will join Pete Taylor in the Blast singles lineup? Li/Regent seem to be the strongest doubles pairing on the two teams, but can the Gypsies eke out two more lines?

The Hurricanes take on Sugar Creek. Douds' guys were overlooked last year and shocked the 4.5 world. There's no Antoine Ford on the team this year, but the Hurricanes don't have any singles juggernauts themselves. I think the 'Canes take this one based on their doubles.

Finally, Copperfield hosts the Black Sheep. The Lobsters were once looked upon as heavy favorites, but there hasn't been an Adam Kent appearance since April. Shaan Patel may provide the margin of victory. As an aside, does anyone else feel that the USTA may have changed their "tolerance" level for three strikes this year? Yes, I know score managing has increased, but it seems to me there are some players out there who would have been DQ'd in previous years who have escaped in 2011. Perhaps Patel will be fine.

The 4.0 division also has four matchups this week. Some teams will be making their first appearances after having a bye last week, so we may find out a little more about some "unknown" teams.

One of those teams, The Good Guys, went undefeated this year and plays a tough Chancellor's squad that pulled off a sweep last week. Incidentally, Flight One appears a bit tougher to me, and it's possible that three teams could end up with one loss when all is said and done. The Good Guys are solid at four lines. Chancellor's Cuong Truong flirts with danger every week. Do Kiss or Mei have enough game to beat him?

Lakeside got their two "easy" matches upfront and shouldn't have too much trouble with Copperfield this week.

The Hurricanes travel out to Cinco Ranch to face a mystery team that has completely dominated their division during the regular season. Not many big names on the Cinco team, so we may find out a lot more about them this week.

Finally, The Unicorns take on an RPM team that surprised a lot of people last week, but probably doesn't have doubles depth to take three lines.

BTW, I got this from Anthony Tatu on the Austin Blog: Evan King is blogging about practicing with the U.S. Davis Cup team. I found it interesting.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Gypsies/Shwings results are interesting. I was surprised to see Rothe/Hall and Kim/Kim taken to the woodshed like that...

Where was Callaway???

The Hurricane 4.0 team is overrated. If Soda Heng doesn't cramp up, we might be talking about a huge "upset" last night...

I am curious to see just HOW MUCH tanking goes on in the remainder of the 5.0 season with nothing on the line. Will there be roster additions simply for tanking purposes???

Looks like Copperfield 4.5 swept out and took the division crown. Not surprising...

What IS surprising is that nobody told Shaan Patel about "score managing". Two double bagels? Yikes...

Lakeside 4.0 may find the playoffs just a BIT tougher than regular season matches in their easy division. Good job pulling out a win last night...

Minh Hoang was in the singles lineup last night. Glad his knee has healed. His presence in singles makes a huge difference for them...

Kevin Lotz played singles for Unicorns last night, shoring up what looked to be a weakness. Unicorns have emerged as the favorites to win their pool...

Anyone have any news on Clambakes-Big Bangers? I haven't done the math...are the Bangers still in the hunt???

Black Sheep won about 64 pct. of games last night. Will that sew up a spot???