Sunday, August 23, 2015

In USTA League playoffs, winning every court and set counts

The Intermountain section is one of the sections holding Sectionals this weekend (18 & over) and I was just browsing some standings and saw several cases where the team that is advancing to Nationals was decided on a tie-breaker.

Some flights were remarkably symmetrical with a team with every record.  For example, in a four team flight, there was a 3-0, 2-1, 1-2, and 0-3.  And a six team flight had a 5-0, 4-1, 3-2, 2-3, 1-4, and 0-5.  These are pretty straight forward, there is a clear pecking order.  But some other flights were very tight and a court won here and there was the difference in breaking ties.

The 3.0 men had three teams tie at 2-1 and Idaho beat out Nevada and Utah going 9-6 on courts vs the other two at 8-7.  And Idaho played Nevada in the last match winning 4-1 to get that courts advantage with three of the courts going to a match tie-break.  If just one goes Nevada's way, they still lose the team match, but would be headed to Nationals.

The 3.5 women had an even larger log jam, with a whopping five (5!) teams tied at 3-2 in the standings.  Utah got the nod going 16-9 on courts to Montana's 14-11.

And even in the 3.0 women's flight where there were symmetrical records, Wyoming won the flight but their win over second place Idaho was a 3-2 win where one of the courts won was in a match tie-break.  If that goes the other way, Idaho is going to Nationals.

So every court and set can count!