2008 Olympic Gold Medalists

2008 Olympic Gold Medalists
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Saturday, June 30, 2007

More on Norway

Norway has continued to be wet, cold and dreary. Phil and I have been fortunate that we have not played in the rain yet. Yesterday we played in between downpours.

So far Norway has been good to us. We have won all 3 of our pool play matches. We beat Japan in 2 games. We had a lead for most of both games. It was very cold during that match. During timeouts and breaks I didn't stay in the bench area very long. Phil and I were wearing long sleeve shirts under our jerseys to stay warm. Lot of people have been wearing leggings and long sleeve shirts. The high temp. has been around 55 degrees. Add in rain and wind and you see where that can go. Still not nearly as cold as Tahoe when it snowed last year though.

Our second match was against the Netherlands. They are a good team and beat Wong/Ring in the qualifier. The little left handed guy was crushing his serve in the first game. He had 4 aces and forced another 2 or 3 bad passes for points. That was pretty much how they won that game. He ended the first game with an ace off Phil down the middle and then an ace in Phil's deep angle. Both of them were crushed serves. The second was a battle. We limited him to only 1 ace but he did create several bad passes for points. We were able to end the match with a dig and putaway by me and a big block by Phil. The third was close until 8-7 and then we pulled out ahead by a couple of points and won by 3 or 4.

Those first two matches were on Thursday. Our only match on Friday was against a very good Estonian team. They won a couple of weeks back by going all the way through the losers bracket after losing in the first round. It was pretty much a sideout battle that in the end we scored a few points and that was the difference. So we came out of our pool is the number 1 team.

This gives us a bye in the first round straight to 9th. We do have a tough draw as we play either the Germans that beat Stein and Mike or the third seeded Brasilian team of Franco and Pedro. Probably the brasilians. They lost to the Netherlands in pool play to take second in their pool. They have been playing well though with 2 second place finishes to Ricardo/Emanuel in the last 2 tourneys. Should be a fun one regardless of who we play and hopefully the weather will be decent.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cold in Norway

Hello from Norway. Rainy and cold here so far. When I got in on Monday it was actually a nice day. Yesterday it started out a bit overcast and cool and then started raining in the afternoon. Today it is cold and miserable out there and I feel sorry for the teams that have to play. Then again, I will be playing tomorrow and dealing with it just like everyone else.

Stavanger and Norway in general is a beautiful place. Very quaint town with cobblestone streets in some areas and lots of little lakes and rivers. The people here are very nice and speak excellent english which is great for us americans. Other than the weather, this is a great place to be.

Wanted to thank everyone for the support on the blog. Been great to read everyone's comments and I try to answer questions as best I can.

Lastly, some of the matches are televised on WCSN.COM/BEACHVOLLEYBALL. Not sure how much but it may be worth taking a look at for those of you interested in watching.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Todd's Blogs from Paris (posted to AVP.com)

June 24, 2007
Bet on Misty, Kerry in the finals
AVP star Todd Rogers blogs from belle Paris

June 23
America Falls to Brazil

From Thursday, when I last checked in, to Friday was good. From Friday to Saturday it was not so good if you are waving the red, white and blue.

Friday was once again good to the Americans. The women were very strong with all three women's teams receiving byes in the first round of the playoffs. Then all three of them won their matches. EY and Nicole had the toughest draw in the Salgado sisters from Brasil. I was able to catch the latter part of the match and it was a good one. EY and Nicole were able to pull it out in the third, 15-13.

The men were solid as well. Sean Scott and Matty Furbs were the only ones to go down. They went down to the team from Cuba. I did not see the match, but from all accounts, the little guy was digging everything and ripping aces on his jump serve. Phil and I got the winner of that match and faced them in the afternoon. We played very well to take the Cubanos down in two games.

In other matches, Rosy-Gibb took an Estonian team who won just two weeks ago down in two games fairly easily. Metzger and Lambert played the Chinese No. 1 team of Wu-Xu. The Chinese team can be very potent when they get it going, but the American team pretty much dismantled them in two games. At the end of Friday, the total match count for the USA was 24 wins with only two losses.

Saturday was a different story. It started with Gibb and Rosy falling to the Brazilian team of Franco and Pedro in three tough games. They had a swing for game in the third, but were unable to get the point. Then Phil and I had a very good game with the defending gold medalists, Ricardo and Emmanuel from Brazil. We had a chance in the second game after taking the first, but were unable to convert to go up 20-18. They took us down in three games. Stein and Lambert were the only American men to be on the winners side today. They took down Herrera-Mesa from Spain in two games fairly easily. They then matched up with Emmanuel and Ricardo, but came out on the losing end of the stick. It was not the Americans' best game and the Brazilians did play well.

They had a bit more success on the women's side. It started out with Misty-Kerri taking down the Australian team that won a couple of weeks ago in two games. Not very close. Then Rachel-Tyra took down Austria rather easily. The only loss in the fifth-place round was by Nicole and EY. They lost a heartbreaker to China. I was able to watch the third game and it came down to the wire. They played well and it could have gone either way.

Unfortunately for Team USA, they had to play each other. Rachel-Tyra lost in two games to Kerri and Misty. Team USA No. 1 is looking pretty good so far, and if I were a betting man — which occasionally I am — I would put my money on them to defeat the Chinese team in the finals.

Hopefully the Americans can garner 50% of the medals here in Paris with one gold and two bronze medals.

Au revoir,


June 21

Paris, Paris, Paris, a "romantic" city. Unfortunately for me, my romantic one and only — my wife — is at home. I guess Phil (Dalhausser) and I will have to gaze at the lighted up Eiffel Tower. Just doesn't seem like that would be so romantic with a 6-foot-9 bald guy. But he is good as a partner in volleyball.

The American onslaught continued today in Paris. Yesterday the three American women's teams went a combined 6-0 and followed that up today by going 3-0. They are all seeded in the top 8 and received a bye into the second round of the single elimination playoffs after pool play.

The American men have continued what the women started. Four American teams went a combined 7-1 in the first round of pool play today. Sean Rosenthal-Jake Gibb, Stein Metzger-Mike Lambert, and Phil and I all went 2-0 on the first day of competition. Matt Fuerbringer-Sean Scott won their first match but lost to the Brazilian team of Marcio Araujo-Fabio Luizin in three hard games. I know Phil and I have already clinched our pool, and I believe that Rosy-Gibb have clinched theirs — Not sure about Stein and Mike though. From what I saw, all four teams are playing at a high level and look to do well here.

For Phil and I, we started off midday against a potent Spanish team in Herrera-Mesa. Pablo Herrera took a silver with Javier Bosma in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He is a very good player. Raul Mesa is young, as is Herrera, but a very good player in his own right. We served Mesa for the most part. In the first game, Phil was very good. He was serving really tough and stuffed Mesa a fistful of times. We won 21-7. The second game they mixed it up on us and were shooting the ball a lot more. Phil did not serve as well and neither of us, particularly me, adjusted our game to shot mode. They took that one in a tight battle, 22-20. The third was tight in the beginning at 6-6, but we gradually pulled away with a couple of digs and putaways, a tough serve by Phil and a big block by Phil. Final score was 15-11.

In our second match we took on the Swiss team of Laciga-Laciga. They are brothers who do not speak a word to one another when on the court. They played for a long time together before breaking up at the end of 2005. Marcus Laciga normally plays with Marcus Egger, but Egger has been hurt this season. Phil and I played very solid volleyball and were able to win 21-14, 21-13. I sided out well and Phil blocked a lot of balls in the first game. The second was closer until I scooped a couple of balls and was able to put them away. At that point we pulled away to win.

All in all a good day for Phil and I. Tomorrow we play the top team in our pool, one from the Netherlands. Never played them before so I am looking forward to it.

Au Revoir to Paris

And so the first Grand Slam of the 2007 FIVB Tour ends. Successful for the americans overall and decent for Phil and I.

I last checked in Friday night and we only had one game since then. We played Emanuel and Ricardo midday Saturday and it was a great game. Very high level match that could have gone either way. As expected, they served me every ball and I felt pretty good in general. We went mostly at Ricardo and he was up and down. Phil blocked him pretty well and I dug him well too. The difference was probably their serve. Both of them had clutch serves at the right time and we did not. We had our chances in the second game but a couple of little miscues were the difference between winning and losing. It was tough to swallow but I look at it in a positive light. We played the best team in the world down to the wire and if a couple of things had gone differently we would have won in two or three games. A realistic point of view if you will.

From the qualification for the Olympics point of view, we are still in a solid place. Lambo and Stein have jumped out to a slight lead with their 3rd place finish here and Jake and Rosy and Phil and I are all knotted up. But guess what, we get to do it again next week. Yahooooo!!!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

So Far So Good

So far so good in Paris. Phil and I have kept on our schedule and won two matches today.

Our first match was a pointless match against the 5th seeded Netherlands team. They had lost twice the day before and we won twice. This meant that no matter what happened, they would be last in our pool and we would be first. We had never played them before so we felt it would be good to play them. The most games we could play today would be two as we received a bye in the first round of the playoffs. It was a very unenthusiastic game by both teams. They took the first 21-18, we took the second 22-20, and the third 15-12. Both teams new they had nothing to play for but it was good for us and probably them to see what the other team could do. It was kind of funny as there were several cameras from other teams filming our match and after the first game most of them were taken down. Gotta love the vagaries of pool play.

We received a bye in the first round of playoffs. We went home and took a nap as both of us were a bit tired with jet lag still. Getting over it but still tough around 5am in the morning (trying to sleep) and about 8am (trying to wake up).

We played the winner of Sean/Furbs and Cuba. We felt that it would probably be Sean/Furbs but Cuba made the upset win. Cuba has probably the best defender in the world. That is when he wants to be. Against Sean and Furbs he was unbelievable by all accounts. Against us he was good but not as fired up. You never know with Cuba as word on the street is that they do not get all of the money they earn out here. It is somewhat sad and most of the guys on the tour try to take care of them in other ways. Pair of shorts here, buy them a beer, get them a cool hat or sweatshirt, whatever to help them out. They are good guys. We ended up playing well and beating them 21-14 and 21-10. Phil blocked very well once we figured them out. They served me every ball but two and I was able to chop it around.

Tomorrow is a much stiffer test as we play the defending Olympic Champions in Emanuel and Ricardo. They won last week in Portugal so are probably starting to play better after having been a little shaky in the beginning of the year. Will be a good test to see where we are.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Been fairly good so far here in Paris. Left Charleston on Monday after a good workout in a local gym. Phil and I got a bit lucky and were able to upgrade on our flight from D.C. to Paris. Always nice being in those reclining seats in business class and getting a nice dinner to boot. Got into Paris on Tuesday morning about 7am. Took a taxi down to the site and did a sand plyo workout like we normally do at home. Let me tell you, that was mucho difficult. Been on a plane all night long and then going to the beach and jumping, sprinting ect... Took a long warm-up before and a long cool down afterwards.

For the entire day we just stayed down at the site and stretched, watched country quota matches and tried not to think that it was still 3am or 6am in the morning back home. We managed the entire day at the site and then took a taxi to our hotel. Paris is booked solid with this FIVB event, a huge AIRBUS airshow, and some music festival going on throughout the city. We had to book a hotel about a 30 minute cab ride from where we are playing. Fortunately, we only had to stay there one night. We were going to get up at 6am and go play but when the alarm went off I asked Phil if he was ready to roll and he said absolutely not!!! So we slept till about 11:30am and then made ourselves get up out of bed. It was very difficult. We went to the site and played a little to break a sweat and touch the ball. Then we finished the day by checking into the players hotel, only about 5 minutes from the site, and then had dinner. Finally got to bed around midnight.

Today we didn't have to play until 1pm. This was nice as some had to play at 9am and I know that Phil and I would have really struggled. We got up a little after 9am and had breakfast. They have a nice free breakfast at the hotel here. We mosied down to the site for our 1pm game. We played Herrera Mesa from Spain and beat them in three. 21-7, 20-22, 15-11. It was a good game as they are a solid team.

In our second game we played the Laciga brothers from Switzerland. We played very well and won 21-14, 21-13. Paul Laciga is set to retire after the World Championships in Switzerland at the end of July. He is playing with his brother because Martin's normal partner is injured. They did not look too fired up during our match.

Tomorrow we play a team from the Netherlands at 10:30am. Hopefully our bodies are starting to adjust and it won't be too tough of a wake up call.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Charleston 2nd

Phil and I were back in the finals but didn't finish how we really would have liked too. We lost to Stein and Lambert in the finals in two games with scores of 19 and 15.

In the crossover semis we beat Keenan/Hyden who had beat Rosy/Gibb in the 5th place match. That game was a battle as we beat them 21-18, 18-21, 16-14. I had a sideout for game but Brad stuffed me. They played really well, particularly Brad. He was siding out exceptionally well and very consistently. Something he hasn't always done. Hyden was his usual very good self. We were fortunate to sneak by them.

In the finals we basically got beat. They played better than us, created all the breaks, and had a little help from me. I hit 3 balls out in a row on wide open line hits/shots. Two of the hits were out by an inch and felt good. They played really good. I was impressed by them. They were very aggressive and went after it. Congrats to both of them.

To touch on some of the other teams:
Hyden/Keenan had a great tourney after losing in the second round to Casey/Willy. Travelled all the way through the losers to take a 3rd. Impressive.
Casey/Willy lost to Jake and Rosy and then travelled through the losers from 9th to 3rd. What made it all the more impressive is that Willy sprained his ankle pretty badly in the 7th place game. I saw the ankle, it was nasty. Large and purple/blue all over the outside part of it. Nice gutty finish by them.
Jake/Rosy took a 5th. Not what they wanted I am sure but redemption and a more important tourney is right around the corner.
KK and Wong took a 5th too. I think the hard pack took a toll on KK's body. I know it took a toll on mine so I can only imagine what he must have been feeling like.

Charleston gets a grade A on everything but sand quality. That was an F-. That brings the overall tourney to a B tourney. I am a tough grader. If the sand was good, and I expect it will be next year, this tourney will rock!!

Charleston Night Session

Saturday in Charleston has been very nice. The weather has cooperated and we have had mostly sunny skies with no rain. High temp. was probably around 85 degrees with relatively low humidity. Good conditions to play in. The sand is still very compact, especially center court. No injuries directly due to the packed sand. Mark Williams did sprain his ankle vs. Fred and Anthony. Fred came under the net and Mark landed on him. It could be said that if the sand were not so compact, Fred's foot would have gone into the sand and there would have been more give when Mark came down on top of him. As it is, there was no give and Mark sprained it pretty badly from what I hear.

No major upsets in this tourney with the exception of Dax/Jeff and Ring/Olsen taking 13th place finishes. They were the 6th and 5th seeds respectively. Dax and Jeff lost their first match of the day on Friday to Nick and Billy. They beat a qualifier team and then lost their first match on Saturday morning to Paul Baxter and Dain Blanton. Little surprising there but perhaps Jeff is still rusty from his surgery. I would think they would win that match being a blocker/digger team vs. a couple of tweener guys.

Ring/Olsen lost their first match on Friday to Loomis/Stolfus. Came back later that day with a win vs. a quali team but lost Saturday morning to Scott Wong and Aaron Watchfogel. Looked like a tough battle by the scores. Would have thought they would have beat Wong and Aaron. Aaron switched to the right side for the first time in a long time and I would have thought an established team like Ring/Olsen would have beat a new team with a new right side guy. But, that is why they play the game. Wong/Aaron and Paul/Dain both ended up taking a 9th place finish in the tourney.

Other teams to note are Loomis/Stolfus with a 9th place finish as did Lucena/Strickland. Seems like Billy and Nick just can't quite get over the hump. They are consistently good and have been around the 9th to 12th seed all year long. I think they can get to a final four and then who knows. They are good blocker/defender team. I think to get to a final four, Billy needs to sideout more consistently and hopefully Nick can score some cheap and easy points with his jump serve. They are right there and should have beat KK and Wong in the first game. I thought they got hosed on a couple of bad calls by the ref and they let it effect them on the next point.

Medel and Fred were solid again in 7th as were Sean and Furbs. Medel and Fred had a great chance to get to 5th if they could have taken advantage of Mark Williams injury. I thought Sean and Furbs would do better too. They played well against us. I didn't see the game but I heard Hyden/Keenan served Furbs every ball and he made a lot of errors. Surprised me as I thought they would be in the final four at this tourney.

Phil and I played in the night session as the last match. They got a late start due to trying to fix up the court. Didn't help by the way. We ended around 11pm Saturday night. We played very well in winning 15 and 13. I sided out fairly good. Made a couple of unforced hitting errors but other than that we were solid. There were a lot of good rallies for the crowd as both KK and I had quite a few spectacular digs. KK had an amazing dig on Phil in the second game. Wong was serving me and I told Phil to watch for the on 2 ball. I set him on 2 and Wong was nowhere to be found. Phil hit the ball as hard as he could to about the 15 foot line and KK dug it. I swear it moved KK back about 5 feet. Wong set him but it was off the net a bit and we were able to dig it and convert. Really impressive though. Right now it is a close toss up between KK and Rosy for best defensive player on tour. KK hasn't played all the tourneys but he is playing some amazing defense.

So today we play the winner of Gibb/Rosy and Hyden/Keenan at 1pm. Stein and Lambo play the winner of KK/Wong and Casey/Mark. See if we can't avenge one of our losses to either team. Last time we played Hyden/Keenan in Tampa quarters we lost. Last time we played Gibb/Rosy in Atlanta crossover semis we lost. See if we can't improve.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Charleston pre-review

Never posted on site from a tourney before. That is why I call it the pre-review.

Going into Charleston should yet again be interesting. New venue, new city, new site. No idea what to expect. It is at a tennis venue and most of the tennis venues we have played at over the years have actually been pretty nice. Might have to deal with some heat and humidity at some point over the weekend.

Phil and I have started strong this weekend. We received a bye first round as the second seeded team. Yes, we are seeded second vs. first. Rosy and Jake are the top seed. We have the same seed value but they have more points over the last 6 tourneys by 18 points or something like that.

In our first match we played Rester and Lee and played well. We beat them 13 and 17 on center court. We sided out well, served well, blocked well and made a few good defensive plays too.

In our second match we played Sean and Furbs. They play us tough and I think they are a very good team. We played a very good game to win 19 and 15. They played well in my opinion. The second game would have been closer but Phil went on one of his patented runs from the service line. He had 3 aces in a row at about 11-13 or so. Sean's defense is really improving and they are a good jump serving team. They had at least one clean ace and also caused some passing problems for Phil and I.

Our next match is against KK and Wong. They are still rolling along and playing great volleyball. We play them tonight, Saturday, in the last game of the evening session. I expect a good one.

As to how the venue and city are: Pretty nice. The town is pretty cool. Phil and I flew in Thursday morning. We took the red-eye Wend. night. Flew SB to LAX, LAX to DC, and then DC to Charleston. Fortunate to get the upgrade to Business on the LAX to DC flight and were more comfortable in the big chairs to sleep. Were able to go to the old town district of Charleston for lunch on Thursday before we did the Hilton Garden Inn clinic on Thursday evening. Hence the reason for flying the red-eye into Charleston.

The actual venue is really nice. Nice to go into an air conditioned clubhouse and take a shower after a game. They have a nice flat screen TV in there to pass the time between games too. The only downside has been the weather and the sand they chose for us to play on. The weather was mostly rainy all day yesterday. Pretty heavy at times. Our first match was played in the rain. Might rain today as well. The sand they chose is very fine and when it gets wet it becomes clumped and hard packed. Our first game on center court reminded me a lot of some of the grass tournaments I played back in college. It was ridiculous to say the least. Even the outside courts are all pretty hard packed. The drainage on center court is non-existent. This site has great potential and hopefully the sand will get better for next year.

Chances of rain at these venues is always high and needs to be taken into consideration when choosing sand for the courts. Also, the AVP has to be more cognisant of the players safety when playing on these courts. Someone is going to get hurt if we continue to play on hard packed surfaces. Perhaps the answer is not to play at all when our health is in jeopardy. These kind of conditions are when people blow out their knees. Believe me, I have seen it several times on the FIVB tour on this type of sand. Hopefully the AVP will take care of its players first and foremost and not put the almighty dollar in front of our health.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Slacking and Fingers

I have to apologize for slacking big time in getting any kind of blog out. I have had a lot going on this week and it had to take a back seat to a lot of things. I am on the road now and will be able to keep up on it.

First thing I want to do is to apologize to the heckler in Atlanta and any fans who may have witnessed my inappropriate behavior when I flipped off the heckler. It was not done in anger, it was done flippantly. Wrong place and wrong time though and I hope there were not any kids that saw that. I know I would be pissed off if my kids saw that and I apologize to any kids and the parents of kids that were there.

It has been a long last 7 days. Atlanta was hot but did not live up to the Hotlanta moniker. Phil and I started off well against Canyon and Chad Turner. We beat them in two games although the second game was a barn burner, 22-20. In the quarters we played Casey and Mark and they were kind of testy but we were able to handle them despite Mark stuffing me 3 times in the beginning of the 1st game. I think the scores were 17 and 18 or so.

We got the rematch we wanted when KK and Wong beat Dax and Jeff. We lost to them in Tampa and really wanted to play them again. We played better and won in two 17 and 18. They played well though. Karch got a gaggle of digs again and Wong was solid. Phil and I just were a bit better than last time and more focused on what we wanted to accomplish.

In the crossover semis we lost to Jake and Rosy 21-19 and 21-19. They had lost to Stein and Lambo in the winners semis. They went on to avenge that lost in a barn burner of a finals, 15-13 in the third. They played very well against us as we could not seem to turn the tide. It was frustrating. Sean had some great digs and Jake was his usual consistent self. Congrats to them on a second consecutive victory.

My travel home was really fun. :) I went to the airport at 3:30 trying to get on an earlier flight. Everything was sold out on one leg or another and I ended up taking my original flight at 10pm. Yes, I was at the airport for 6 1/2 hours doing a whole lot of nothing but killing time. I did fly first class from Atlanta to Vegas but first class on USAIR is like a glorified coach class on any of the major airlines. Was not impressed. Had a couple of glasses of vino and then was able to sleep for an hour or two. Of course my flight to SB was cancelled due to a crash on the runway in SB. I needed to get home though for a couple of reasons. One, I was meeting my buddy at 7am and putting in the sand in my sand court. Secondly, I leave for 18 days and didn't want to miss any moment with my family. Thirdly, I really did not want to stay in Vegas. Not my type of city unless my wife is there and I have a specific purpose to be there.

For the second time this year, I hopped in a rental and drove home. Took me 4 1/2 hours to reach the SB airport and then another 30 minutes or so to get home in my car. I got home around 6:30am and my buddy showed up just before 7am. Slugged down 2 mugs of coffee and started cleaning things up for when the sand got there. By 6pm we were all done. Only 2 Red Bulls and 2 beers later. Pretty good for only 1 1/2 hours sleep the night before. The court looks great though. Just have to set the net up and then do the landscaping and some other little knick knacks. Really looking forward to using the court.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Going to Hotlanta and I hope the humidity stays low. Looks like it will be high 80's to low 90's. That is fine. It is when that humidity kicks up that you feel like you are in an oven.

Phil and I look to get back on top this weekend. Had a good week so far so hope to continue into Atlanta.

This is another parking lot event. A little bit different than a normal parking lot though. There is a bunch of cool shopping areas and it is tucked away in a corner area. Don't get me wrong, it is still a parking lot event. If I recall, last year the day sessions were not very well attended. The night sessions were better with Saturday being the best. Hopefully, this being our second year there, we will get a good crowd for all sessions. I will keep my fingers crossed anyways.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tampa Recap

First off, congrats to Jake and Rosy for breaking through to the winners circle. They lost the same round we did and came through the losers to win it all. Didn't see much of their games but they must have been playing well to beat all those teams and play a ton of games.

Stein and Lambo were off again. Took a 9th by receiving a bye and winning their first game. Then they lost two straight matches to Romaine/Witt and Fred/Anthony. Saw them in the box with their coach, Jeff Alzina, having what looked to be a heart to heart chat between the three of them for an hour after their second loss. I am at a complete loss as to why they are not doing better. Lot of people have asked me and I just don't know why. I have not been scrutinizing them by any means but from what I have seen they look healthy. As the saying goes, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going." I expect they will do pretty well in the next two tourneys gearing up for the FIVB events.

Ring and Olsen had a tough go. Still a little bit on the inconsistent side. Had a bye and then lost in the second round to John Mayer and Scott Wong. Came through to 9th but got a bad draw with Jake and Rosy. Made a good game of it in the second but couldn't pull it out.

Wong and Karch were of course the story of the weekend. Karch looked very fresh after his off weekend. He was jumping very well and scooping a ton of balls as he has done all year long. Wong was his usual solid self. Good passing and setting and mixing up his shots and hits. They played very well against us and their coach Rangy (Mike Rangel) had a great game plan to shut me down. Kudos to them on their second place finish.

Mark and Casey took a 9th. Lost in the second round to George and Larry and then to us at 9th. I honestly expected this team to be more consistent. Great ball control and all around skills. Plus game moxy as well. Not sure.

Sean and Furbs keep going up the ladder. After AZ, where a lot of people thought they were breaking up, they have just kept getting better. Took a 9th in AZ and since then took a 7th, 5th, and now a 3rd. I guess that means they will be taking a 2nd in Atlanta and 1st in Charleston. They actually had 3 match points vs. Jake and Rosy in the semis. They won the first game and then were up 20-17 serving. Stinger on that one. Playing better though and in a good rhythm.

Hyden/Keenan took a solid 5th. Kicked our booties so to speak. Also beat Nick and Billy, who took a 17th, but I think are a very good team. They ended up losing to the 2nd and 1st place teams so not a bad finish.

George and Larry took a 5th and were very good. Beat Stein and Lambo and Mark and Casey. Two pretty good teams in my book. Nice finish by those guys.

Nice finish by John Mayer/Scott Wong and Canyon Ceman/Chad Turner. Both teams took 7th place finishes and beat some solid teams along the way.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Traveling Sucks

Why can't every tourney be at Hermosa or Manhattan or better yet, East Beach in Santa Barbara!! I am already sick of traveling having racked up about 35,000 air miles and still have about 100,000 more to go.

After Louisville, where I missed my original flight to Dallas and then on to SB, I caught a later flight to Dallas and then had to weasel my way on to a flight to LA. Got in around 11pm and took the SB airbus up to SB. Took a taxi to the airport to pick up my car and then drove home around 2am.

After Tampa it got even better. Took a 3rd so wasn't super happy guy. (sounds kind of bad, doesn't it?) Changed my original flight at 9pm to Vegas to 5pm to Phoenix on USAir. That was the choppiest flight I have had all year. Not the worst ever but in the top 10. Got in late to Phoenix, rushed to the gate to SB and of course we are delayed because we have no pilot. 2 hours later they cancel the flight. Announce they can get us to SB by Tuesday!!! Not okay with that. Look at all the options. Fly to Vegas and then to SB? SB flight is oversold. What about flight to LA? Gate agent says I have a chance as I will be second on the standby list. Go over to that gate and hold my breath. My name is whispered by the gate agent there but fortunately I am standing 5 feet away. I get on so I am stoked. But that flight doesn't get off the ground until 10:10pm and we get in to LA about 11:30 which is 5 minutes past the time to catch the shuttle to SB. Grab a one way rental car and charge up to the SB Airport with a bottle of water and some sunflower seeds. Drop the car off and grab my car for the 40 minute drive to home. 2:30am I got in. Then of course my kids are charged to go at 7am. Oh how much fun those mornings are. Love to see the kids but can barely do so with my lids mostly shut.

Tampa was just not the greatest tourney all around. Phil and I played poorly for the most part. Had a bye first round and then played Jewell and Loiola. We won 21-9, 21-18. Good second game as we had the sideout advantage and then Phil got a stuff and I scooped and put away for game.

Next day the weather was horrible. Tropical Storm something or other decided to start the season off on the second day of Hurricane season. Drowning down poor in the morning and all games were canceled. Got going again around 11am. Thought we would play around 1pm and then Phil calls me in the hotel and says we are up. Take a quick warm-up and fall behind to Hyden/Keenan 10-4. Struggle back to 19-19. They side out and Brad raps an ace to Phil's angle. Impressive that Phil even touched the ball. Lose 21-19. Second game is a back and forth battle in gnarly wind. At about 15 all Keenan decides enough is enough and nails 3 straight untouched aces. First one was to Phil's hard angle and he punished the ball. Second one he took a little off and it dropped off the table in front of Phil. Third one he unloads on and you can read Wilson the entire way. Phil lets it go by him and it is in. The bottom line, they played well and served exceptionally well and we did not step up to the plate. We lose the second 21-17.

Drop into the losers bracket for the first time all year and play Mark and Casey. The wind was still howling. We played well enough to win 21-18 and 17. We got lucky the next round and received a bye vs. Canyon and Chad Turner. Chad hurt his shoulder.

On Sunday we played Larry Witt and George Romaine. Good battle. In the first they scored some points off of me in the beginning and the score was 11-10. I cleaned it up and we were able to pull away 21-16. In the second at about 11-10 they started serving Phil. Then it was 16-10. Bit of a melt down by Phil. We lost that 21-18 or so. Third game we came out strong up 7-0. Most of them on Phil blocking Larry. We took the game 15-5 I think. Nice tourney by big George and Larry.

Next game we played old pinky hat and the Wall of Wong. They systematically put me into a pretzel. They were good and I was really bad and that combination spelled our worst one game loss of the season 21-14. In the second I got a little bit better but not enough to win. Karch scooped me for the billionth time and smacked match point off of Phil's block. Match over 21-19. They deserved to win in a big way and they did. Kudos to Kevin for continuing his amazing season with Karch and others. Congrats to Karch for making it to the finals.

Overall it was not a fun tourney. Not very focused and lost my poise and cool several times over the course of the tourney. Reminded me of old Rasheed for those few of you who remember those days. I will have to clean it up.