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.