Monday, May 20, 2013

What's goin' on

Yeah, this blog has gotten to the point where once in a while I will notice something and post it here. If anyone wants to take up some of the slack, have at it!

Some good matchups in 4.0 this week. The Hurricanes and Sienna are virtually tied and have their first meeting down at Sienna Plantation this week. On paper, with their best team, the 'Canes should prevail, but Sienna is dangerous.

Upsets have been in short supply so far, but the Ace N Spinners loss to the Acers puts them behind the 8 ball. They'll take on undefeated The Good Guys this week, and now may be in a position where they have to sweep them. At this point they certainly can't count on a wild card slot.

Biggest 4.0 surprise to me thus far: Double Trouble.

The 4.5 Hurricane team is stacked. Can YOU figure out a "top 8" from that roster? I can't. Regardless, the Gypsies team they play this week IS 5-1. Jason Kanthack has quietly put up a very impressive doubles record over the last year or two, but really, who can play singles on that team? I smell a blowout.

The DBags continue to hang around, and both the division and the Wild Card are still in play for them. They will need to punish a scrappy Hulks team that they handled pretty easily in the first go-around.

Another big match this week is between Enter the Unicorn and the Black Sheep. Usually by this time, Tommy Ristau's crew has a stranglehold on their (typically easy) division. Not this year. After inexplicably losing to Serve and Folly last week, Westside's consecutive playoff berth string looks to be coming to an end. They haven't really infused any new talent onto the team this year.

Somebody emailed me this question over the weekend: Name the top 10 doubles players in 4.5 right now. Tough question. You can choose Kiser without Richardson, Brice without Hirvela. Or both. Or vice versa. Discuss, since I'm bored at work.

46 comments:

  1. 1. Will Brice
    2. Bryan Taylor
    3. Greg Medford
    4. David Mertz
    5. Ben Hirvela
    6. Michael Mitchell
    7. Matt Mussenden
    8. Ben Farmer
    9. Erick Kiser
    10. Jason Kanthack

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  2. I had forgotten about Medford. Seemed like he was struggling a couple of years ago but maybe hadn't fully recovered from the knee thing. I don't think he's playing summer league this season, but does Tom Caine merit inclusion? Yeah, I know he's not the most well-liked guy, but he sure does win a lot.

    Also, what's up with Ben Farmer? His results seem to have improved a ton over the last few years. I played him a coupla' years ago and would never have thought he'd get a top 10 mention in the near future.

    I told you I was bored.

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  3. What are the top 5 4.0 teams looking like?

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  4. I think the Hurricanes are clearly one of the top 4. Lakeside has some nice doubles pieces, which we saw when they won the 40+ league. I think you have to say the Good Guys and the Unicorns are also in the top 4. After that, in my mind, it's a crapshoot, mainly because I'm not well-educated. So that's my AP Top 4 with everyone else "also receiving votes".

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  5. It will be interesting to see all the juniors coming into the league this time of year at the 4.0 level and see how teams improve off of that.

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  6. Yeah, I really feel like a well-connected high school coach could assemble a killer 4.0 team. I spent a year coaching in CFISD and the number of non-supers who could really be factors at 4.0 is quite high. With the 18 year old age thing nowadays, the talent pool is even wider.

    The Unicorns and Copperfield have found some good ones over the last few years. This is an area where traditional powerhouse captains like Freeman/Benzon, Spoor/Kerig are not as well-connected.

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  7. yeah i agree with both. i saw copperfields the other day and one of the unicorns last thursday at lee le clear playing singles. Needless to say he could definately play.

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  8. Copperfield managed to keep Zach Salinas (Cy Falls product) at 4.0 for another year but some of their 4.5 youngsters got moved up. They didn't really maximize him and Bromley last year. Same with Fojtasek at 4.5.

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  9. My old doubles partner used to tell me "it only takes four guys to have an unbeatable team". Well, Copperfield had four really good ones last year in Bombonattie, Fojtasek, Odion and Galvan, but couldn't get them all on the court when it counted.

    At the time, I don't think I realized how good their team really was, despite Rios telling me about it every week. :)

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  10. @12:56 Medford is playing this season. He's 4-0 in doubles and 1-1 in singles, he doesn't get as much notice because he's generally stuck with a less than stellar partner. I don't think Tom Caine is playing summer league, he's probably one of the most talented guys not on a roster currently. Captains Mei/Yang really aught to be giving him a call to help compete with the Hurricanes. I think there's some drop off after Mussenden, if push came to shove this is who I'd pick up. Some of the Unicorn guys may deserve a spot as well - Kristian Rodriguez especially, maybe Kevin Lotz if/when he gets back into the swing of things.

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  11. I thought Kiser and Richardson were something like 20-0? They must be playing against cupcakes if only one of them barely makes your top ten.

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  12. I haven't seen Rodriguez play either, but based on the Facebook site I am guessing he's the much stronger of the Rodriguez/Nguyen pairing.

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  13. Who are the good singles players in 4.0 this season? It seems like many of the top teams are really susceptible here, and it's why I don't see anyone competing with the Hurricanes. Good Guys are playing guys like the "Sandwich Blaster" most weeks, and I don't see that being a playoff caliber player. It doesn't look like Lakeside has Rutherford/Soto who also aren't going to be overly competitive in the playoffs. I think Ace N Spinners and maybe Unicorns have complete enough teams to challenge them?

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    1. Sandwich blaster was 3-0 in play offs last year and something ridiculous between men's league and mixed 13-0 in 3rd set tie breakers, I don't really think he is a good player, but he figures out how to win a lot. Ace and Spinners play the good guys this week, we will have a lot of questions answered then. Hurricanes are the strongest team for sure though.

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  14. 21-0 now. Kiser/Richardson play a lot of line 2 for a reason though. Their captain puts them in matches they can win.

    I concur with the facebook analysis, Nguyen was the weakest player on the court.

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  15. That's a good question. There are obviously several known commodities on the Hurricanes based on results in the HTA Houston Open. The other teams are more of a mystery, but I'm sure there are a few hidden gems out there.

    It's been a while since our last references to the Sandwich Blaster and Rios.

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  16. Mei and Yang can pick up Caine and whoever else they want. I don't see it making much of a difference. Good job, Good effort.

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  17. Good-er Guys with Caine:
    Singles: Brice/Cooper
    Doubles: Caine/Hirvela, whoever else.

    Or
    Singles: Cooper/Shroff
    Doubles: Brice/Hirvela, Caine/someone

    I think that competes with anything Hurricanes can put out there.

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  18. Where does Cooper rank amongst the top singles players right now? I really have no idea who the Hurricanes will use in singles, but they sure have a lot of doubles depth.

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  19. And since David Hall beat Shroff this year, and Shroff was basically even with Pete Taylor and Raymond Martinez last year, where does Hall rank?

    /still bored

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  20. How is it that a current Div I player can be ranked 4.5?
    http://www.goutsa.com/SportSelect.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=13100&SPID=5976&SPSID=55588

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    1. That does seem odd. It also seems like if he played on a team that won sectionals and advanced to national level competition that he should be an automatic bump up to 5.0 this year. If he can't compete at the 5.0 level then bump him back down, but make him slug it out at 5.0 for a year. The rating system could use a bit of tweaking. We should all write Todd Reed e-mails. Enough squeaky wheels and we'll get the oil.

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    2. Very clever of him. He self-rated 4.5 last year, before enrolling at UTSA, and by the end of the year he was a computer-rated 4.5 and so is now untouchable. Under the rules, it doesn't matter that he subsequently played D1 tennis. He could be playing pro right now, and still play 4.5 league, for all the rules care.

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    3. Well, it's pretty clear from looking at his record that he didn't tank at all last year. He played 4 of his 5 matches at Nationals with Scott Foster. Foster got bumped and Mussenden didn't.

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  21. A better question is how can somebody who is so bad actually play Div I?

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  22. what is the facebook page people keep talking about.

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  23. I was 12-0 3 years ago in summer league.. So that makes me 33-0 for summer league tennis... ; )
    Not that I'm keeping track or anything.. As far as Greg goes, yes he is playing league tennis and he usually does get the weaker of the partners... He def. deserves to be at the top of the list on best doubles players in 4.5 league...

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  24. What's your record at Sectionals? ZING!

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    Replies
    1. haha... I have never lost a match at sectionals!! That's a fact...

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  25. Kiser has a good record. Looking at it he has two losses to current Hurricanes. One loss to Raymond Martinez and one loss to Matt Mussenden.

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  26. Who are the top ten singles players in 4.5? It seems like a down year.

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  27. Pretty cool: Jared Palmer was number one in the world in doubles in 2000. He's playing in the big Westwood Senior Tournament in Austin this week in the 35 doubles. Tim Green and Herb Morton are playing (opposite half of the draw). Would be pretty awesome to play a guy who was that good.

    I was thrilled when I was at UT and the immortal Kelly Pace needed some practice and asked me to hit with her. I think she topped out at about 200 in the world. Not quite the same as playing Jared Palmer.

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  28. Best 4.5 Singles Players in Houston:

    TOP 5 RANKING:
    1. Chris Lee (Unicorns)
    2. Jurgens Shoeman (Black Sheep)
    3. Will Brice (Gooder Guys)
    4. Kevin Moran (Old School)
    5. Antoine Ford (Hurricanes)

    Division 1:
    Will Brice
    Ryan Copper
    Jay Shroff
    Mark Wilson
    Don Rios

    Division II:
    Ray Martinez
    Matt Mussenden
    Odion Dibua
    Antoine Ford
    Hung Nguyen
    Mike Caskey
    Jody Deluca
    Kevin Moran
    Jorge Cuesta
    Quack Bui
    Sean Streckfus
    Danny Schnyder

    Division III:
    John Griffin
    Adam Berry
    Hal Hale
    Jurgens Shoeman
    Juan Muhala
    Chris Lee
    Jordan Silas
    Olivier le Coz
    Xiaoqiang Li

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  29. Never heard of some of those top 5 guys. Must be self rated newbies.

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  30. Kevin Moran is managing his scores? His results don't look so great.

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  31. Is that the same Chris Lee who played at Kempner and went to state?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the same Chris Lee who played at Kempner and went on to play at Trinity. Really nice guy and great player. Good pickup by the Unicorns.

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  32. Jody De Luca belonged on that list a few Big Macs ago. Not now.

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  33. How is Wittorf playing this season?

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    Replies
    1. Probably not good enough to beat the Hurricanes.

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  34. Xiaoqiang Li has already beaten Griffen, Hale and Silas this year... and Chris Lee beat Muhala.

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  35. Wittorf is a beast. He took out Babu 6-1, 6-0 last Saturday at First Colony Middle School. He was eating bon bons during the change overs.

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    Replies
    1. I don't believe it. No beats Babu except maybe Rios or Sandwich blaster. Blasphemy!

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