Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wow

What a great year it was, despite the disappointing finish. Some observations:

Roger Mark, de facto captain of the Seattle team that beat us in the finals, won his sixth National championship as a player and "coach". He has taken twenty teams to Nationals. As with most successful captains, he is a charming, gregarious and very likeable guy that players love to play for.

Having been associated with several Freeman teams now, this is the first time I felt we truly came together as a real team as opposed to a collection of pretty good tennis players who happened to play for the same team. It almost reminded me of the old Mob Squad days, minus the cheering. The players, wives, girlfriends and mothers all hung out with each other and truly supported each other. It makes League tennis much more enjoyable. However, as with many other Freeman teams, we were not all that vocal and were drowned out by the cheering of the Seattle team. Players can feed off the crowd and that could well make a difference in a match where we were just a couple of points away from a National Championship. Brad Beinart was awesome in support and had a nice doubles win as well.

Still, second place out of the literally thousands of 4.0 teams across the country is something to be proud of, and far exceeded my expectations at the beginning of the year.

One byproduct of the successes of the Houston 4.0 team and the Austin 5.0 team will be a ratings inflation in Texas next year. A rising tide floats all boats, and the high ratings of many of the players who went to Nationals will filter down to all local players. We'll see how Joel Pickett's 4.5 team will do in a month or so.

As always, thanks go out to Freeman, Red, Tuyen and everyone else who helped out with the Hurricane team this year. A job well done.

40 comments:

  1. Did Rios play singles at Nationals? How did he do?

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  2. Great season for the Hurricanes. I am slightly disappointed they did not win it all. I thought they were the best team.
    The only questionable call was putting Carlos in singles. Carlos is a great 4.0 player but he is no ringer. Pete Rios might have been the better choice since he did have college experience.

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  3. Pete went 5-1 at Nationals. He won both of his matches (playing doubles) in the semis and the finals.

    I agree that in hindsight playing Pete at singles instead of Carlos may have been a better strategy in the finals. However, it looks like Seattle had some very good singles players who might have beat anyone who Houston put out there. Overall, it was a great job of captaining by Jason.

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  4. RIOS SUCK!!!!!!!!!! STOP POSTING ABOUT YOURSELF. THIS IS THE HURRICANES, NOT PETE RIOS AND THE SUPPORTING CAST.

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  5. Rios had college experience? How did he lose his singles match then? Can he make an impact in 4.5?

    Heard Danny Vu had Nationals on his racquet. What happened?

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  6. Carlos only loss in singles in league was in the finals of Nationals. A ringer is someone who never loses no matter what. There were no dead ringers on either team.

    Vu lost a hard fought 3rd set tiebreaker and it could have very well have gone the other way around.

    If you go back to early posts in the season Htown didn't give this team much credit. In the end they dominated at sectionals against two tough Dallas teams. They even went 15-0 in their first three matches in pool play. That's a lot of accomplishments for this team.

    Congrats Hurricanes for a great showing at Nationals.

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  7. I agree. Carlos had a great season. He's one of the top 4.0's in the nation.

    Congrats to everyone on the Hurricanes!!

    You came in 2nd in the freaking NATION!!!!!! WOW!!!!

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  8. Great Job Everybody, I am glad a Houston team did so well, especially with my good Friend Gucci on the team. Congrats on the great finish and I hope to play yall in the summer 4.5 league lol.

    -Sandwich Blaster

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  9. tsu is not a real tennis college. who cares if rios played college tennis for them. most of the people he lost to did not play college tennis.

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  10. Aiming at the girl 8.0September 25, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    I hate tuscon, such a shitty city. Gave me ultra shits, but I'll be back.

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  11. top 4.0's in the nation? lol, thats like the smartest retard

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  12. I second 9:17.

    He's not the best but definitely one of the top 4.0. You can lol but his resume speaks for him.

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  13. I'm a long time 4.5 and I will readily admit most of the 4.0s on the Hurricanes would toast me. Unless you are in the top 20 in the world, there will always be a higher class of players that will make you look like a "retard".

    So, STFU 3:32. The Hurricanes did well this year. Period. When you are on a team that made the National Finals, we'll give you the same respect.

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  14. congrats on being second best Freeman

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  15. Pete Rios just told me he picked up six strikes at Nationals. That will be the end of his 4.0 career. Obviously, he will be unable to play at Mixed Sectionals next week as a 4.0.

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  16. Was he the only one to set disqualified?

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  17. Not bad getting 2nd at Nationals in past 2 years.

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  18. Rios is a F'in liar because you never know when you pick up a strike. nice try once again self-promoting yourself Pete

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  19. I have not yet dropped a D since coming back to Houston. Tuscon, you evil evil city.

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  20. You're a moron 2:33. The USTA will tell you which matches produced strikes after you are DQed.

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  21. Heard Vu was up 8-4 in the 3rd set tie breaker? Can someone confirm this?

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  22. Yes, he was up 8-4. While that may seem like he "choked", that was not the case. His opponent came out firing with very gutsy shots that were literally painting the line on many occasions. While it may be easy for the spectators or people looking at the score to say "oh wow, he had it on his racquet danny choked", i think that he handled the pressure well and represented our team well.


    blame alex m and blake

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  23. Yes,
    8-4
    8-5
    8-6
    8-7
    8-8
    8-9
    9-9
    9-10
    9-11.

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  24. If I recall correctly, Danny plays a very defensive style in singles, trying minimize his own unforced errors. If his opponent refused to make errors and happened to get "hot" and hit lines repeatedly (in a 3rd set tiebreaker deciding the National Finals!), then Danny's opponent deserves mad props. Sounds like Danny played his game and lost. No shame in that.

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  25. Danny's opponent came up big. Could Danny have played more aggressively? Sure. But he pretty much played the same style he had played the entire match. Sometimes an opponent with his back to the wall comes out firing and hitting. The kid had big balls.

    No "blame" should go to anyone, including Blake and Alex M. They actually were paired up against the top doubles team from Pacific NW. If we had stacked our doubles lines (Rios/Jones 2, Montes/Adrian 3, Yamaguchi/Pham 1) it would have been interesting. We potentially could have swept, but in all honesty could possibly have lost all three as well. We'll never know.

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  26. o i was just kidding, hence my name "JUST KIDDING"

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  27. I think a huge question would be if Hurricanes had flipped Danny and Pete, would it have made a difference. Danny has to work so hard on every point in singles. Had he played with Jones I'm sure they would still have been favorites at their line in doubles.

    All the top singles players for Hurricanes at Nationals took a loss.

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  28. There were numerous lineups we could have gone with. Basically in every one of our big "second match of the day" matches we had gone with Arata and Pete in singles and moved Danny and Carlos into doubles. We strayed from that for a number of reasons.

    1. Arata didn't seem comfortable playing singles and was probably not in the same physical condition he had been in earlier in the season.

    2. Both Arata and Pete had been very unimpressive in the previous day's singles.

    3. In my opinion our doubles is weakened when we move those guys into singles. While Graham and Quijano had been amazingly clutch for us in the past, I think they would have been underdogs against any of Pacific NW's doubles teams.

    4. Danny won his morning match in literally about half an hour and was seemingly still fresh and very sharp.

    I honestly felt coming in that Pete was (by a fairly decent margin) our best singles guy, but he was a little under the weather and honestly was exhausted in his singles match against New England. If he had looked good in that one, I don't have much doubt that we would have played him in singles in the finals.

    There are a lot of twists and turns during a sectionals or nationals weekend that can color your perceptions as to what is the best lineup.

    FWIW I think Danny beats the guy Carlos plays...his left-handedness and slice serve means a right-hander is going to see a heavy diet of backhands. I think that would have proved troublesome for Carlos' opponent.

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  29. So you think that Rios-Jones are a lot better than Vu-Jones? Ranking the Hurricanes singles players I'd say #1 Rios #2 Arata #3 Vu #4 Carlos. If you wanna go deep at Sectionals or Nationals it is a know fact that you've got to take the singles lines. Looking at the line up in the finals you guys went for the doubles sweep.

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  30. The reality is that, for every team but one at each level, their USTA season ends with lots of what ifs. You guys made it farther than 99% of USTA players will EVER make it in their career. I said it before; you guys did good.

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  31. 4.0 league really have to suck, if rios was #1 singles player for the canes. past 4.0 canes, ahmed, chambert, grego, martinez, foster are much better than rios

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  32. i bet rios can beat you 10:15

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  33. They might be better than him now but they have gotten much better. hard to match was Rios was able to bring to the table in both singles and doubles while he was playing for the canes.

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  34. How come the HTA is not putting on a Fall Festival tournament this year?

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  35. After looking at the draws, I was sure it would be cancelled due to lack of interest.

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  36. So that's it for the Houston 4.0 team? All that work and only a few tens of lines of comments in a blog to show for it? Where's the parade, the keys to the city, the adoring adulation of the thronging masses? This is how team tennis ends up? What a rip off, barely makes all the tanking and cheating worthwhile. Naw, just kidding, we'll do it all over again.

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  37. Maybe they got some cool bag tags or towels?

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  38. Is Greg Zachary a douche? Retired down 6-2, 5-2 to Armen Allaverdian.

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  39. Is The Pope Catholic? Does a Bear Shit in the Woods?

    Douche.

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