Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wild Cards and Brackets Posted

The Wild cards have been defined and released for the 3-5Aug sectionals

Link here

In 4.0:
Mob Squad got Wild SA in their bracket
Good Guys ended up in flight with Ft Worth, Amarillo, Wild Austin and Waco
Noho got Wild Dallas in their bracket

In 4.5:
JCC ended up with SETX, Austin and the Valley
Hurricanes got Wild Dallas
Noho got Wild Austin in their bracket

Good luck to all Htown in this event.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Midyears are out.

The usual disclaimer: These may bear little resemblance to the end-of-year ratings.

Chris usually posts a link to an excel spreadsheet, perhaps that will follow if he's not too busy.

Here they are:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Going into Sunday....

Great matches yesterday.  Glad the rain stopped by but didn't stay.

Here is how 3.5 looks (we will give them top billing since they never get any love):
There are two spots for Houston this year.
The Pearland team and Tran's Expendables are both 2-0 coming into the final non-factor match.

Mike is carry a lot of self rates on this team.  Advice:  Play for 2nd place today. Leave the pride in the car.  They are on the court now!

Here is how 4.0 Looks:
For Flight I -
CuField has to win against Westside to stay out in front of Good Guys.  If Lance's team trips up and/or gets a DQ then it could be Good Guys who come out on top with fewer losses as of now. They need a 4-1 or better result to avoid getting burnt by the DQ.  Oh the irony of that happening.

Also outside chance that Westside wins v. CuField and has enough lines to end up on top. After 0-5 v. Good guys that seems unlikely.

For Flight II -
Mob Sqaud has locked it up.  Even in the even of a  0-5 loss to Cinco they will still come out ahead with fewest losses.  I would expect to see some line score management in this one...

It will be interesting to see how Thursday goes next week as the winner's flight is defined, the wildcard bracket is still TBD.  Good move by Texas to withhold this info.

For 4.5:
Flight I:
Hurricanes are in drivers seat with match against Blacksheep today.  They are looking good with only 2 losses to date, so even a loss to Westside still has them probable first place.

Lakeside has easy one today against Deucebags.
Prediction is:  Hurricanes, Lakeside, Westside

Flight II:
For all the smack talking JCC is sitting pretty going into Sunday.

They are playing the 0-2 HRC team.  Jam and CuField get to beat each other up this AM for 2nd place.  What happend to all of these junior studs everyone was saying is the gravy train to Arizona?

I hope I get to see my good friend again today in the parking lot.  I have NEVER been flicked off by a 60 year old woman in my life. If I was only faster with my camera that could have been the background for the blog for the rest of the year.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Wow. A lot of unexpected stuff happened last night. Some of the scores have yet been recorded, so I guess I'll have to speculate.

Let's start with 4.5. I'd not seen the Black Sheep play this year, but had heard nothing but raves from those who had. I knew, as did everyone, that their division was quite weak. I must admit I was skeptical, as it seems that every year we hear stuff about the Black Sheep only to see them flame out come playoff time. I was told Sanborn is unstoppable, that he and Davila would waltz through the playoffs. I'm curious to see what the singles matchups were last night. Anyone know?

In my mind JAM was still the favorite. Sydney has the pedigree, the resumé that nobody in 4.5 can match. Hornsby has been untouchable. I'd heard they would be using him in singles in the playoffs. I assumed he would shine there as well. JCC has a leg up on winning the flight, but is not out of the woods yet. Three teams ending up with one loss is a distinct possiblity. JAM will have to go for the jugular in each of its remaining matches.

I really don't see any way the Hurricane 4.5 team doesn't win their flight. They absolutely destroyed the Dbags last night with something not even approaching their best lineup.

As shocking as 4.5 was, the 4.0 Hurricanes losing (to the Phoenix?) was even a bigger surprise. Greg Nitayamekin is supposed to be one of the top 4.0's this year. Last night his career playoff record moved to 0-2 as self-rate Sebastian Olmos came from out of nowhere to beat him. The 'Canes still have matches against the other powers (Mob Squad, Unicorns), so they're by no means eliminated.

The Mob Squad took out the Unicorns 3-2. Crafty veteran Cuong Truong again came through in the clutch. The Unicorns unleashed a self-rate (William Loweth) who has primarily been playing 4.5, and he won easily at line 1 singles. Quizzically, they used both Phi Nguyen and Shishir Mohan in doubles. Kudos to Mob Captain Tuan Tran, who split himself and Bao Hangoc up in doubles. Tran paired with former junior standout Thomas Hoang and Bao played with Alastair Le, resulting in two doubles wins.

Finally, the Good Guys squeaked past Copperfield. Andrew Nguyen dominated in singles, winning 2 and 1. Copperfield paired up Bromley and Zach Salinas in doubles, where they barely won. Will Nguyen's win result in a DQ? If so, will that result in a reversal? I should know the answers to these questions, but I don't.
Props to the Sandwich Blaster, who came through with a big win for the Good Guys in doubles.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Weather Permitting...

I'm really looking forward to three matches tonight. In 4.5, I think the JAM-JCC match could be interesting. On paper, it should be JAM all the way. Mario Hornsby is 9-0 in doubles on the season, and has got to be 2012's Rookie of the Year. Does anyone really think Sydney Jim will lose? I'll believe it when I see it. Still, JCC's Kiser/Richardson combo has been unstoppable, Pete Taylor is still a quality singles guy, and players like Medford, MacKinnon, and Berry are dangerous. I'm still going with JAM 4-1.

In 4.0, there are two headliners to watch. The Good Guys play Copperfield. Copperfield's Heath Bromley and Zach Salinas played their first match of the season together. If I'm not mistaken, neither will get a strike for that one as the computer can't really assign a DNTRP with multiple players with no record. So Bromley probably has one strike. Would LOVE to see him match up against Andrew Nguyen... There are a bevy of solid guys on both teams: Salinas, Salinas, Bombonatti, Hays, Kiss, Mei, Helvenston, Le, Truong and a bunch of others. Should be a 3-2 match. A shame one of these teams won't make it to Dallas.

The other good 4.0 matchup is between the Unicorns and the Mob Squad. How good are the Unicorns? A better question: Just how good are Shishir Mohan and Phi Nguyen? Are they better than anything the Mob Squad can put out there? Do they give the Unicorns a 2-0 lead from the outset? I don't know, but it's definitely possible. Coke winners Tuan Tran and Bao Hangoc are the top 4.0 doubles team until someone beats them. Mob will have to find two more winning lines. Kim Lequoc? Joseph Mai? Thomas Hoang? Someone will have to come up big in crunch time. I see another 3-2 finish.

Also on tap tonight if Mother Nature cooperates: Hurricanes-Deucebags, Black Sheep-Lakeside, and Copperfield-HRC in 4.5, and Lakeside-Sienna and Canes-Phoenix in 4.0.

Friday, July 6, 2012

No Real Story Last Night in 4.0

Let's face it, only an upset last night would have been newsworthy. The HTA has done a good job of back-loading the schedule and the early matches are either mismatches or feature two (expected) also-rans.

The Hurricanes breezed to a win over a completely overmatched Cinco Ranch team. The Unicorns won 3-2, and displayed a complete lack of depth. Despite a couple of really nice pieces, they may not be ready for prime time. Due to a lack of court availability, the Good Guys will not finish beating up on Sienna until tonight. Finally, despite Pedro Saiz giving Mark Etienne a scare, the West Side Warriors handled Lakeside 3-2. Westside won three third set breakers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Playoff Brackets

The 4.0 playoff pools have been released.

Teams in Flight I: Copperfield, Good Guys, Lakeside, West Side Warriors, Sienna
Teams in Flight II: CR-Comets, Hurricanes, Unicorns, West Side Phoenix, Mob Squad

Matches start on Thursday. On paper, none of the matches this Thursday are headliners.

At first glance, one might be tempted to assume that Flight II is a lot stronger (and it may be), as it contains the recent powers in 4.0: The Hurricanes, Unicorns and Mob Squad. Can Copperfield "rest" their vulnerable players until a match-up with the Good Guys? Oooh...that takes place on the 12th. Can't wait for that one.

I assume the 4.5 stuff will also be released shortly.

Very Sad News

I haven't been able to find anything in the Chronicle, but I've been told that Cheryl Hutlquist's husband has passed away after a battle with cancer. I will pass along more details as soon as I become aware of them.

Cheryl has been THE woman in Houston Tennis for as long as I can remember, and has put her heart and soul into the job. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.