Yesterday we had a rare afternoon Ping Pong day. That’s cause we were trying to get it all in before the Oscars. The four players started out right next to each other in PPI, the 11-14 seeds, and they remained that way afterwards, just changing positions a little. It was mostly a seeding round for the B tournament, since everyone in this group will end up in the B tournament, it’s just a matter of where. And not much was decided to be honest as Van, Matt and Tim all beat each other in one of those cyclical things that makes you go “alright fine, I’ll just let PPI decide it” between those three. Here’s the results:
This was the only rematch of the day. Matt beat Van in four sets in the cave when they met in Round 1 in November. Different table this time, but exact same result. But actually better performance by Van this time around, taking Matt to OT this time in back-to-back games. Funniest thing in this match is that Matt did a lot better when I was distracting him. After falling to Van 21-19 in game 2, we started talking about the LAOUT Hall-of-Fame award which I gave out Saturday night to Rich Hart, and we were talking about people who would be good choices for the next couple years. Names like Jeff Landesman, Nicole Belle Isle, Brent Russell, Alex David, Canada Gordon, Rich Gallagher, Katie Mares and Mike Tamada were bandied about. It was a fun conversation, but what was more amazing was how Matt was winning his game all the while talking through the whole thing. He was up 15-10 when Erin said I should probably stop distracting them. Fair point. So we stopped, and then Van started catching up again. I’m not sure how to explain that. Van actually probably would’ve taken game 3 if not for a lob shot from Matt that just barely kissed the back side of the table on its way down.
This was a match that was scheduled for last round, but Tim didn’t make it, so it didn’t happen. And so it made sense to replay it, since it was an important seeding match. As you can see from the scores, all five games were won on the same side, and game 3 was one of the highest scoring games ever.
This was actually an amazing match to watch even though it went straight sets. Van was hitting even faster than normal, and his shots were falling the best I’ve seen, and he just seemed unstoppable. A ton of low liners actually from both sides in this one.
This is the first match-up between these two since B semi-finals in 2017. Tim won that one in 4 sets, and did the same here. I can’t say for certain yet, but there’s a very strong chance these two will match-up again in the first round of this year’s B tournament. But it’s too soon to say that. Still just speculative.
This was a rematch of their January 3 match which Matt won in four sets. Game 5 was pretty exciting as Matt held the lead throughout most of the game but Bama finally came back to overtake him late, before Matt finished it off at the very end to complete the 0-2 comeback.
That 21-4 game is just crazy. I don’t know what happened there. But I didn’t say any of this Cave Match, so I have nothing for you.
Next up is this coming Sunday when we have six players facing off in Cedar, Corey, Ethan, Haynes, Keegan and Steve with the final 3 spots in A division still up for grabs. Ethan’s already captured one of the spots, along with Brian, Cody, Feeney and Grant. So 3 of the other 5 players here all will be making their final push to get in.