Monday, July 8, 2013

City Playoffs

There's less than a week for trash talk, speculation, accusation and whatever else usually leads up to City Playoffs. The 4.0 festivities begin on Friday evening while 4.5 starts bright and early on Saturday.

One of the underrated facets of captaining is convincing your players to put things aside and commit to playing in the "big" matches. Teams like the Hurricanes which consist of players plucked from all over often lack that bond that other teams have. There are at least three key players in 4.5 whose statuses are a question mark, at least in my mind. Any time a team has stud players who play one match and get written into a default, you have to wonder just how committed that guy is. The Hurricanes have two such players, Sydney Jim and Bryan Taylor, and if Freeman can get them out there, they give the Canes two huge legs up in any match.

While I was under the impression that Zach Marnitz had been cleared for play, his 0.0 under "Find a Rating" is curious. Marnitz played 3 high quality 4.5/5.0 types in the HTA Open in April: Hersh Pise, Bryant Mohns and James Bui, winning 2 of 3 and being extremely competitive in the other one. And that was in April...a kid his age could well have improved since then. That said, I don't think he has enough help to make ETU a true factor to win. Silas will have to help. Bear in mind, 4.5 players and captains, that a Wild Card is always a possibility. Second place is worth fighting for.

The buzz is around the Good-er Guys right now, with many onlookers proclaiming them co-favorites. I'm not totally buying the hype. The Hurricane team made it to the final four in the nation last year with (in my opinion) a much weaker roster. Sure, they haven't shown great strength in singles, but Martinez and Mussenden did just fine last year when asked to play.

Old School...well, they have a win against the Canes as well as a ton of experience. They won't be an easy out.

Admittedly, I often look at things through a Hurricane prism, which hopefully is understandable. In 4.0, when looking at the Canes' flight, I have to wonder: How many players from the other rosters could make Freeman's rotation? Copperfield: Salinas for sure. After that? Solis? Orchard? Westside: Hobbs and Gomes probably. Anyone else? Corey Kruseman may have slipped under some peoples' radars. He was a solid player at Stratford. This team may have some sleepers. For ANS, Madamba, Vargas, Narvarez, Soria and Ye all have wins over current Hurricanes earlier in the year. But the Hurricane summer team will be much stronger than their 40+ team and I don't think ANS has upgraded since then.

The other flight is much more interesting to me. Lakeside is what we thought they were. Singles is the question mark. Kris Jacobs came up big in the 40+ playoffs against Janek, but also struggled with Madamba. Rutherford was overmatched in the playoffs last year. Soto will have to carry a heavy load.

I still don't know exactly what the Unicorns have. Saw Sheldon Henderson hitting on a distant court. Looked powerful. We'll see what he's got this weekend. Paniagua is dangerous. He hasn't been used in singles yet this season. Deshazo, Mohan, Lequoc, H. Nguyen, Q. Nguyen...they've got some pieces to work with.

The Good Guys don't seem to be as strong as last year's team. It will be tough sledding for them. They'll need a clutch performance from the Sandwich Blaster. Sienna is more dangerous than you might think.

72 comments:

  1. Take off the Hurricane goggles. The 4.5 team is not that good.

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  2. By the way, AusTennis won the big pseudo-winner-take-all battle against Lakeway for the 4.5 championship in Austin over the weekend.

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    Replies
    1. What do you mean by pseudo winner take all battle ? Just curious...

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    2. Second place team had to blow out the first place team I believe.

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  3. Don't expect the Old School guys to vote for themselves in the poll. Most of them haven't figured out that new-fangled internet thing yet.

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  4. Sheldon Henderson got qualified?

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    1. According to tennis link, he has one match played and was entered into a defaulted match.

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    2. But the defaulted match occurred BEFORE he signed up for the team.

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    3. Yeah? Says who? Prove it.

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    4. Considering Sheldon Henderson self-rated on June 3rd and was reported as receiving a default for a match defaulted on May 23rd, I would guess that is proof enough.

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    5. Oh my my my. Proof indeed. This will be an interesting one to watch play out.

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  5. The Hurricanes win easily if their top players show up.

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  6. My personal Playoff predictions.
    In 4.5 I see the hurricanes getting it done but in no way an easy fashion
    Hurricanes- they are just too deep and will be able to field lines regardless of the weekend a typical problem for some teams. As for singles, they have moose and martinez both proven players
    Gooder Guys- I see these guys as a real threat to the hurricanes. They can for sure win three lines against the hurricanes, but will need everybody on there team to play. Cooper is on fire this year and can easily get a line won as well as Brice/Hirvela and Shroff. Can they get everyone on the court at one time, and can they all win is another story.

    ETU- Solid team for sure, but can they beat Gooder guys and Hurricanes in a row. Not impossible, but i dont see it. There depth is questionable and they are relying heavily on young players. If they can keep this team for the upcoming years though I see a huge force possibly.

    Old School. Pulled out a win against the hurricanes but were their top players there? I cant see these guys beating 2-3 of these other teams but i guess only time will tell.

    4.0 Flight one

    I see this one coming down really only between the Hurricanes and Copperfield

    1. Hurricanes- This entire year has been seen as these guys years. With Rossi,Copley, Reeves and others, all signs strongly favor these guys especially in the singles area. Ive got these guys winning this flight by quite a bit unless there are any surprises. They have ringers and depth something which just is hard to beat.

    2. Copperfield. This team seems to rely on Salinas and Solis. Both have only lost one match which were three setters(If im correct) and in tie breakers #effing anything can happen. If these guys for some reason dont play, there chances are done. For these guys to pull off an upset both Salinas and solis are going to have to carry lines and there going to need someone else to carry a line and idk who that would be but upsets occur just look at Wimbledon.

    3. Westside- These guys were in a joke of a division and with looking at there roster, I just cant see them taking out the hurricanes or Copperfield. With a few good guys this team just wont have the depth to take either out.

    Flight 2.

    By far the more even flight. I see this coming down between lakeside and the Unicorns although the good guys can make it interesting along with Sienna.

    Lakeside- These guys have experience and a solid team. Jacobs will have to be big and what will soto do. I see them having strong doubles, but what will there singles do. Its going to be an awesome playoffs watching what happens with this flight.

    I briefly watched the unicorns practice last week when I was practicing at LLTC. I have to say i was impressed and am giving them an edge in this flight. They looked like they could easily field three strong doubles fields and where i see them beating lakeside is in singles. They have used Lequoc, Huynh, and Brown pretty much exclusively this season in singles and they all have lost either only one match in three sets or none. Lequoc has the experience, Huynh hasnt lost but idk who hes played quality wise, and brown beat dipesh patel (2 and 1 which bars watching). I think they can get through this flight, but beating the hurricanes I can see them winning two lines but not that third one.

    Good guys- I just feel like last year was there year to do it with nguyen and that talent packed team. They lost a good amount of talent, but still have the Sandwich blaster who can easily win in clutch situations. This team played in a solid flight and has proven that they can win. I feel like they will easily take both lakeside and the unicorns to the brink with the guys they have.

    Sienna- These guys are the wildcard in the flight and I see them shocking a team above and maybe even two. With Fontenot taking a set of rossi, it looks like hes a real player. Also they dominated in there weak flight excluding the canes which shows they at least have solid players.

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    Replies
    1. Since when is Solis some world beater?

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    2. 4.5 Unicorns play Good-er Guys at 8:00 AM and Old School at 12:30 on Saturday. Then have the Hurricanes on Sunday. It's the Good-er Guys that have 8:00 AM Unicorns and 12:30 Hurricanes.

      Having Old School on Saturday really helps both the Unicorns and Hurricanes. It will make it a lot tougher for the Good-er Guys.

      If Cooper can beat Chris Lee at 8:00AM do you think he's going to be full strength vs Martinez fully rested (I assume he won't be needed for the morning match).

      Good-er Guys are in trouble with their reliance on singles and the Houston summer. Current weather forecast is only 10% chance of rain and high of 99.

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  7. I thought Chris Lee got DQ'd? Guess I missed the update.

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  8. They may not be great, but Old School seems...underrated by the general populace.

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    Replies
    1. Old School did beat the Hurricanes in the regular season, but I think that lineup was intended to lose in case the good-er guys/deucebags drama possibly eliminated the good-er guys.

      As this is the case, I think it's widely excepted that they cannot beat the hurricanes. Even if they're better than the Unicorns or Gooder Guys it's not important because it doesn't look like they have a chance to win.

      The sucky unproven team is more fun to write about than the good known quantity.

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  9. What is the % likelihood that Houston will get a second 4.5 state spot (wildcard)? Historically, has Houston gotten 2 spots in 4.5?

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  10. Houston has received a 4.5 wildcard each year as long as I can remember.

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    Replies
    1. There is a random draw for it. Houston has been lucky.

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  11. Here are the 4.5 singles. Majority of the time, the strength of the team depends on the strength of the singles. As for doubles, any team can win at anytime, but I still give the doubles edge to Hurricanes against any of the three teams. After Sunday, this is how I see the standings, just from gauging the singles.

    #1 HC
    Jim
    Martinez
    Ford

    #2 OS
    Cuesta
    Bui
    Moran

    #3 ETU
    Lee
    Marnitz
    Silas

    #4 GG
    Cooper
    Shroff
    Loweth


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    1. I agree with your theory. Not sure about your rankings. I'd move ETU up myself, but agree that OS is being shortchanged by many.

      The question is: if Sydney is a no-show, how far do the Hurricanes fall in the singles rankings? Plug Mussenden in as their third singles option...

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    2. If Sydney is no-show, I will still have Canes as #1, but only by a slight margin, which means their singles can be sweep but two close matches. However, their doubles is a level above everyone elses. The reason for ETU below OS, because Lee hasnt played any tough opponents and Marnitz lost to Lagarde.

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    3. I assumed that Marnitz match was probably a tank job.

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  12. I see close to 11 players on the Hurricane roster that would be top 2-3 singles players on any other playoff team.

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  13. 4.5 or 4.0? Probably both.

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  14. Those are 4.0 players that could be 2-3 singles on any other 4.5 team.

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  15. How can Sienna make it interesting. THey really dont have anyone that solid. Probably a bunch of average 4.0 players that beat up on below average players in a weak division.

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    Replies
    1. We shall see. Fontenot had one really impressive match in a losing effort. Donnie Rochelle beat Soto in the playoffs last year. Dean Cushing has had a bunch of wins in the past, including in the playoffs.

      Will it happen? Doubtful. But if they have one other hidden gem on their roster they could easily sneak up on somebody.

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    2. Cushing is out with hemorrhoids, Donnie is out with priapism, and Fontenot was playing a tanker. Sienna sucks and their captaining sucks.

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  16. I wonder if they have Baboo waiting in the wings...

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  17. Donnie Rochelle could give anyone a run for their money in the heat of the day. He can play for hours and uses very little energy on his strokes.

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    Replies
    1. Donnie Rochelle vs Sandwich Blaster.... Serve the ball, rally tell someone dies of heat exhaustion.

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    2. Is the Sandwich Blaster a pusher? Never seen him play. I tried to hit him up to play but forgot to follow up. Maybe that saved me from heat exhaustion...

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  18. Not a pusher, just gets a lot of balls in play. And is certainly one of the fastest guys in league. Never seems to give up on a point.

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  19. You belong on double trouble

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  20. haha stop deleting comments

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  21. stop deleting our comments you gay homo fag freeman ball licking mofo

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  22. Is Troy Gor playing? A couple of years ago he crushed Wooten in the playoffs and never really heard of him again.

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    Replies
    1. The dude with the Troy Gor hardon has returned! Or is it Troy himself?

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    2. I think he got bumped up but I haven't seen him on any rosters. Solid player that could've helped Sienna if he was still on their team.

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    3. Troy Gor has determined to dedicate his life towards procreation. He is currently cruising the singles scene...

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  23. Is Zach Marnitz eligible for playoffs or not? No response from HTA. Anyone else ineligible that's worth highlighting? HTA needs to send a list of ineligible players to all the captains not just the captains they belong on.

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  24. All non-Freeman related cheaters should be given a pass. Kind of like affirmative action.

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  25. What's the biggest match to watch for tonight? Any ideas on who to keep an eye on?

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    1. Lakeside v. Sienna match intrigues me the most. Could be a blowout, of course.

      If Fontenot is an automatic (no idea if that's true) do you flip the Singles if you're Sienna, figuring that Kerig knows that only a singles sweep can put him in jeopardy and will flip himself? Rochelle DID beat Soto last year, but it was 3 sets.

      Who knows...maybe Wittorf plays singles tonight. No matter how it plays out, this is the match I'm most curious about.

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    2. Lakeside is going to own Sienna. 5-0, nuff said.

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    3. Word on the street is that Sienna has a secret weapon. Maybe two...

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    4. Looks like the word on the street is accurate.

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  26. lol wait till they get to tmrw...

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  27. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE

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  28. 7/12/13 945a

    You are a jackass!!

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  29. What are the results from today?

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  30. Unicorns and Hurricanes in 4.0 and 4.5. Cream rises to the top.

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  31. Who did Rizarri play today?

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  32. Damn, Zachary got spanked!!!

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    Replies
    1. You really expect someone nicknamed Titties to compete in singles?

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  33. Canes and Canes.

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  34. Unicorn are whipped cream...barely beat Old School with 3rd set buster in final match tied 2-2 then went out and got spanked by Hurricane. OS finished 3rd whipping GG's 4-1.

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  35. Whipped cream is cream that has been beaten by a mixer, whisk, or fork until it is light and fluffy. Whipped cream is often sweetened and sometimes flavored with vanilla, and is often called Chantilly cream or crème Chantilly.

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  36. Congratulations to the 4.0 and 4.5 Hurricanes and Unicorns on great seasons. They will represent Houston well at sectionals. Hopefully they can continue Houston's dominance of late.

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  37. Hurricanes getting it done 4-1 in both. Any teams missing players? or are the hurricanes just too good.

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    Replies
    1. Canes are just too good... Go Beinart!

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    2. Beinart is crazy.

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  38. Any predictions for the women next weekend?

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  39. At 3:15. Thank you Cliff Clavin!

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