After competitive events in both Atlanta and Dallas, the Southeast Tour Series will continue this Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Forty-eight teams will be making it out to Turner Field to compete. On Saturday, the Advanced Division will consist of a few steady teams and many strong mash-ups. The Women’s Division will feature exciting matches between the top 3 teams: Ogres Heroes, Razzmatazz, and Cougs.
Last year, the Charlotte Tour Stop found an unexpected victor. Going into the event as the fourth highest ranked team in attendance, Bolivia (David Gonzales and Gustavo Gonzales) upset two teams en route to their first Tour Stop victory. A year later, the winner of this tournament may not be unexpected, but the rest of the podium finishers are anyone’s guess.
The expected winner is the #1 ranked Cisek/Showalter (Tyler Cisek and Peter Jon Showalter). The pair placed first at all four events they have attended in 2018. There are only four other Power Ranked teams in attendance and they will be joined by some top-level mashups.
Two other top 10 teams heading to Charlotte are #8 The (717) (Joel Graham and Caleb Heck) and #10 Schweppes (Jesse Showalter and Micah Zimmerman). The (717) landed placed fourth at both the Lancaster and Atlanta Tour Stops and were eliminated by Cisek/Showalter at both. In Lancaster, Heck and Graham upset Anchored LI and showed that they can handle the top-level teams. Eyes will be on them as their abilities are tested this weekend.
Schweppes fell to The (717) earlier this year, but have fared well in other tournaments. They have a win on Spicy Rubi (who was ranked 5 at the time of the win). Both The (717) and Schweppes have a good opportunity to find their first Tour Stop podium finishes of 2018.
There are multiple mashup teams heading to Charlotte that could compete with The (717) and Schweppes. One of those teams is Dunkin’ Go Nuts, consisting of Chris Hornacek of Origin Vengeance, the ranked #3 team, and Zac Vance of MAXIMUM EFFORT, ranked #19. Hornacek has not missed a Tour Stop top 4 yet this season. If Dunkin’ Go Nuts comes out with strong playing and good chemistry, Hornacek can keep his streak.
Zac Vance of Dunkin' Go Nuts dives for a ball at the San Diego Tour Stop.
Another mashup with high potential is Yibambe. This team is a mashup of Jesse Throw of the #9 Tetelestai and David Gonzales, the 2017 Charlotte Tour Stop winner. Tetelestai placed third in both Madison and Dallas. Finding defensive chemistry is key for these two, as Gonzales has a specific defensive style that requires certain play from his partner.
The other Gonzales brother and Karry Nusbam will also be competing as Recrem, the #15 ranked team. Recrem has fallen to The (717) and Easily Dug this year but competed well with both. #17 Sonic Boom (Ben Bunze and Connor Harte), who impressed many last month at the Lancaster Dash For Cash, is also coming to Charlotte.
Two more mashups to watch out for are Sticks and Stones (Harding Brumby and Matt Rucinski) and Brandon and Ezra (Ezra Dantowitz and Brandon Spector). This is also the first tournament since earning Premier for both Sola Fide Spike (Nick LoPrinzi and Kyle Ackermann) and Chocolate Milk (Clark Marshall and Tyler Montgomery).
The five women’s teams will start their days in the Advanced or Intermediate Division. After elimination (or victory) the five will be placed in a single-elimination bracket. This division will be one to watch.
This is the first tournament for #2 ranked Razzmatazz (Jordi Vigna and Tori Farlow). Vigna has muliple Women’s Division podium finishes in 2018 and Farlow should help add to her success. The #3 ranked Cougs (Ashley Gingerich and Michaela Hershberger) will also join the fray.
Becca Graham of Ogres Heroes plays body defense at the Lancaster Tour Stop.
Both teams will be looking to defeat the #1 ranked Ogres Heroes (Alli Kauffman and Becca Graham). In Lancaster, Vigna fell to Ogres Heroes in a three-game finals alongside Sarah Zook as EZ Pass. Farlow has lots of experience versus Ogres Heroes, as her 2017 team veinte hamburguesas faced off with them over five times and won once. Cougs has only played Ogres Heroes once before--in the 2017 Nationals Finals.
Olivia Jenkins and Ali Jenkins of the #7 Twinz will be mashing up with Allie Foster and Katie Pierson, respectfully.
Make your Charlotte Tour Stop predictions in the Prediction Poll HERE!
Catch some of the action LIVE on Facebook at Facebook.com/Spikeball!
How to watch
Bracket matches from this event will be live-streamed on Facebook Live with a scoreboard and commentary. Here is how you can make sure to be notified when each match starts:
- Go here: https://www.facebook.com/spikeball/.
- Select the Follow/Following dropdown button.
- Select the little pencil next to Notifications (on mobile select Edit Notification Settings).
- Select "All Live Posts" under the Live Videos section.
Got something related to roundnet that you want to know more about? Have any topics you want to be discussed on the podcast? Contact Mike White at firstname.lastname@example.org or @mwhitey17 on Twitter.