We couldn’t find a time for everyone to get together for B, so we had to do the first side of the bracket last night at my place.
Quarters: #1 Corey vs. #8 Garrett
First, a brief history of all 1v8’s in PPPL.
2014 – I don’t have the results from the first year tournament, but I will never forget Feeney complaining about the fact that we moved the table outside, especially when #8 seed Spike took a game off of him. But Feeney won 3-1.
2015 – Feeney beat Tim in straight sets in A. I beat Alex in straight sets in B. And there was no 1v8 in C due to three players not making it to the tournament and so we moved everyone around.
2016 – After Grant won the first ever play-in game against PVP when PVP complained about his 9 seed in A and convinced me to do a play-in, Grant was then beaten in straight sets by Scott who went on to win the tournament. Peter had earned the play-in spot by winning B, which started with him beating #8 Alex in straight sets. And C again did not have a 1v8 game due to 4 forfeits.
2017 – Grant was the #1 seed, and beat Steve in straight sets, although the last two games were super close at 21-18 and 21-19. Lu failed to show up to the tournament in B, so there was no 1v8. And once again, there was no 1v8 in C as Thies ended up forfeiting.
2018 – Because we did 10 in A and 10 in B last year, there were pre-quarters games. #9 Haynes upset the #8 Matt in 5, and Brian beat Haynes in 4. And in B, Spike ended up forfeiting so we didn’t have a 1v8.
So leading up to this year, not only had no 8 seed beaten a 1 seed. No 8 seed had even pushed it to a 5th game, until last night.
Corey looked really good in the first game, dictating pace, and constantly putting Garrett on the defensive. Corey also had the benefit of a bunch of net shots that fell for double bounces. But Garrett looked significantly more confident in game 2 when he opened up with a sizable lead to start out, and began hitting the ball a lot harder, and his defense was much better. Two different styles with Garrett almost exclusively top spinning his shots from low angles several steps behind the table, and Corey mostly returning back handers from close to the table with some choppers and occasional slams.
We had the frisbee scoreboard in play last night.
It’s not super easy to keep track of every single point, but I dug deep. I was the real hero last night. 😂
That score you’re looking at was Corey winning game 3. All 3 games being won on the dark side so far. Tim’s new wife Megan was there, by the way, and she remarked how she liked the look of the vines. Maybe we grow them like Wrigley Field.
Then again, no, probably not. That’s a perfect way to lose a shit load of balls.
When Garrett won game 4, it marked the first time we had a 1v8 go 5 sets. History!!! Records!!! Also, now 4 straight wins on the dark side. At some point in game 4, we had a dog time-out. Tim’s dog got excited for Garrett and ran into the playing area in the middle of a point, so we had to call a redo. Sadie and Chloe, it should be pointed out, were good girls and stayed on the sideline the whole time. They’re fans.
Game 5, epic. Ties at 2-2, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 8-8, and 10-10 to the best of my memory. Garrett pulled out the largest lead of the game at 13-10 and again at 14-11. But Corey managed to finish it off with a 10-2 run to stave off defeat.
Quarters: #4 Van vs. #5 Tim
You would expect that the 4v5 match would be the one to go 5 sets. But Van almost never relinquished the lead in this match. His mix of spin serves caused Tim trouble in the first game, as Van took a number of first serve winners. It got so bad that at 20-9, on game point, Tim decided to switch up paddles to go to Sandy.
Games 2 and 3 were clearly a lot closer, and Tim made big adjustments to battle Van’s serve. In the third game, Tim looked somewhat defeated when Van went up around 17-10, but Tim found renewed hope when he found a way to combat that serve and brought it close with 4 straight to 17-14. But that was as close as it got. Van closed it out in 3.
This was a joy to watch this match. Corey did not seem to have much trouble at all with Van’s serves, and Van missed some easy winner slams. When Corey took it 21-15 I thought he’d sweep. If Van couldn’t get winners on his serve, and if he was gonna be inconsistent on the slams, Corey is just too disciplined to beat on longer points.
But that proved to be completely wrong. Van outlasted Corey on several longer points in game 2, and his slam was now falling pretty consistent. After winning game 2, Van dominated game 3. Corey looked lost. Like he had no answer for Van’s game. And you know Corey when he’s losing big. He just looks like he doesn’t care any more. Could he turn it around in time?
Corey needed a few breaks to grab some Gatorade, and I think I remember him doing it before game 4, which seemed to have an immediate effect when he built an early lead. In fact, Corey did something I had not seen a single player do all year: successfully return one of Van’s slams for a point. Because Van hits so hard and Corey returned the shot so quickly after it hit the table, the bounce back came to Van just after he had finished his swing. Like he wasn’t even completely done with his follow through when the ball was already back on his side. That was cool. And Van just didn’t have enough reaction time to hit it again, and netted it. Either that or he was so shocked the ball came back to him, he didn’t know what to do.
Corey ended up winning a couple points after returning Van’s slams. It was pretty impressive. And Corey ended up forcing a game 5 with a 21-17 win.
Game 5 was amazing. I’m not joking, there were at least 10 lead changes starting right off the bat when it was Corey 1-0, Van 2-1, Corey 3-2. And that continued the whole game. At some point Van held an 18-15 lead when Corey got 4 straight to go up 19-18, and naturally Van went up 20-19. But Corey managed the last 3 in a row to win 22-20. A 7-2 run reminiscent of the 10-2 run he pulled on Garrett at the end of theirs. I’m sorry, that’s the definition of clutch.
No date set yet for the other side of B bracket, but now that we know Corey won this side, I’ll start working on that again. We couldn’t find a date through the 20th which is when A Bracket happens. So that’ll be next. Saturday, April 20 at the Rhythm Room.
C Bracket is on Wednesday, April 24th. Also at the Rhythm Room.
I wrote a recap for the second half, but it completely went into the ether and disappeared. So here’s the scores.