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  • Writer's pictureMichael Augsberger

Tornadoes set for title clash as pennant races heat up

Winter Travel Team 2024 - Week 8 Recap

Standings (click to view):

Everyone is gearing up for the match of a lifetime that will, in all likelihood, decide the fate of the 10U Rookie division.

Tennis Tornadoes meet Team Plex A on March 10. Both teams are 6-1 with only two matches to play.

Oliver Ju-En Lin, Zoe Cana, and Gigi Rossi will need to be at the peak of their game. Team Plex crept past them 2-1 in their only previous meeting, which is the Twisters' only previous loss.

To get here the Tornadoes won again last week, over the Racquet Rascals, as Cana grabbed the second singles match 6-4, 6-3.

All three teams can still win the title?!

The Tennis Titans were a game away from the championship at third singles in their 12U Rookie clash with Hitting Hulks. But Krishna Fox held off Rhett Dove just long enough at 6-4, 1-5, while Yasmine Maalouf took first singles 6-2, 6-0 in order to defeat the top seed 2-1.

That means the Titans fall to 4-3 and within reach of the 3-4 Hulks with just two matches left in the season. A Titans win this weekend over Team Plex still gives them the trophy. Failing that, Hulks will face two scenarios on March 16: Drawing into a tie with Titans, or watching Plex do that, both cases relying on tiebreakers to determine the champion.

Another title stymie, for now

Grand Slam Gliders continued their chase of the Match Mavericks, who were idle this week, at 14U Adv. Their triumph at QO Bears means they can still conceivably catch the Mavs and delayed the parades at least a week. Lila Briskin-Watson overcame a tough opponent 6-4, 6-4 to seal it.

Indeed three Tennis Central teams lead the 14U Adv standings. Volley Vipers edged the third-spot Court Commanders 2-1, as Vaughn Touw clinched it 6-3, 6-4.

The Mavs can set off that victory parade this weekend against the same Vipers, or they could slide to the championship if the Commanders can beat the Gilders.

Otherwise, it would be a dream matchup in two weeks, putting the Mavs and the Gliders together to decide the champion. 

Topspin Titans and Fink gunning for 18U Int title

Topspin Titans at 18U Int kept pace with Team Fink to go 6-1 and remain tied for first place with two weeks left. Both Ashton Ejtemai and Ariana Ipakchi secured the win against Smash, the former battling to a pivotal 6-4, 7-5 victory that may well decide the title eventually. 

The Titans face QO Bears and the Slice Slingers in their final two ties. If they outperform Fink, who duel Grey and Ninjas, they'll win the championship. But they have the sternest test of all four ties, against fourth-place Slingers.

Two 12U Adv TC teams fighting Hot Shots

Smashinators lived up to their name against QO Bears 2, getting wins from Shiloh and Siena Auzoux--7-5, 4-3 for the latter at second singles for a vital result to keep them atop the table.

Deuce Destroyers aided both their case and the Smashinators' by upending the only other challenger for the title, Hot Shots, thanks to Ethan Massey's 7-5, 5-2 win. Now at 6-2, they face the Rally Raptors this weekend.

All three teams are still in contention in what may be the whole league's closest pennant race. The 6-1 Smashinators stare down QO Bears. They have the clearest path to the title, but it's not as simple as win-and-in. 

Now a sprint for second

Court Crushers took care of business in Week 8 but couldn't get the help they needed from Set Point Strikers. In defeating the Strikers, BTA All Stars won the 18U Adv title, with the stiffest resistance from the doubles pairing of Daphne Dunlap and Sloan Quint.

The race for second place is on after Crushers dispatched MN18U 3-0, as Arthur Rosenstein toppled his first-singles opponent 6-3, 6-1 in the closest match.

Crushers lead the Strikers by half a game but this week have to face the champions. Whatever motivation BTA lost after putting the crown on ice will be replaced by looking to cap an unbeaten 9-0 season.

BTA won their previous encounter, but it taxed them. They needed a tiebreak at doubles and two 6-4 singles second sets. So the Crushers are capable of the upset.

Strikers, then, if they are to claim the silver medal, require both a win against the Aces and a BTA win. 

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