Monday, August 25, 2014

Observations from Pacific Northwest USTA League 18 & over Sectionals - Two teams play each other three times in a season

I was browsing through the results from the PNW Sectionals held in Spokane this weekend and came across an interesting situation where two teams from a local league where they played each other just once in their sub-flight ended up playing three times.

In the Men's 3.5 flight, the final came down to two Seattle area teams, and not just that, but two teams that were in the same sub-flight in local league play.

In their local sub-flight, Robinswood finished 10-1 with a 43-12 court record and 33 sets lost.  Mill Creek also finished 10-1, 43-12, but had 31 sets lost.  However, because head-to-head is the tie-breaker before sets lost this year, Robinswood's 3-2 win over Mill Creek put them in first place.  And one of those court wins was a match tie-break, so a very close match.

Both teams advanced to local playoffs where they met in the final, Robinswood winning 4-1 this time, one of the matches in a match tie-break.  However, because there was a wildcard for the Northwest Washington District, both teams advanced to Sectionals.

At Sectionals, the teams were in separate flights, and Robinswood went 4-0 to win theirs, while Mill Creek went 3-1 and 13-7 to tie with a team from North Idaho, but Mill Creek had won the head-to-head match 3-2, one in a match tie-break, to win the flight.  Thus, Mill Creek and Robinswood had their third meeting.

Alas, the third meeting was no different from the first two.  Robinswood won 4-1, this time only the one win by Mill Creek was a match tie-break so it was nearly a sweep.

So congratulations to Robinswood who is headed to Nationals and did so by beating a persistent Mill Creek team three times.

I have to think this is pretty rare, two teams playing three times each at different stages of the season. Has anyone heard of something similar?

Update: It turns out it is common.  See this.