This Saturday the Midwest Tour Series action continues. Fifty-five teams are traveling to Madison, WI to compete in the Advanced, Intermediate, and Women's Divisions. Rain is in Saturday's forecast and this tournament should be a muddy affair.
Leading the Advanced Division pack is #1 team and Atlanta and Lancaster Tour Stop winner, Cisek/Showalter (Tyler Cisek and Peter Jon Showalter). This past weekend Cisek and Showalter defeated #2 Wabi Sabi to further solidify their place at #1. Although both have great all-around play, their serving is what often sets them apart. The rain may impact that ability and make the pair more vulnerable to a loss.
The team looking to take advantage is #3 Origin Vengeance (Chris Hornacek and Dylan Fogarty) who placed third last weekend in Lancaster. Cisek/Showalter defeated Hornacek and Fogarty in Atlanta, but that was the first event of 2018 for Vengeance. Hornacek and Fogarty are looking forward to having another shot at taking down the #1 team.
Four teams have a good chance to make their way into the top 4 with C/S and OV: #10 Schweppes (Micah Zimmerman and Jesse Showalter), #11 Tetelestai (Logan Cornelius and Jesse Throw), #13 Joey and Joey (Joey Hafertepe and Joey Pierron), and #15 4th Place (Sam Hynes and Kurt Dolson).
Schweppes moved into the top 10 after College Nationals, where they placed second and scored a win on Spicy Rubi. In Chicago, Tetelestai battled close with the winner, Hoodiez (Dylan Fogarty and Ryan Fitzgerald), in the quarterfinals. 4th Place has not yet competed in 2017, but Hynes placed fourth in Chicago with Hornacek. This team of Hynes and Hornacek eliminated Joey and Joey in the quarterfinals.
Each team will find success in a different way. Schweppes, known for their defense, needs to find and covert touches to excel. If Saturday is rainy, Schweppes may be able to take advantage of some less than perfect hitting that comes with a wet ball and ground.
Tetelestai needs consistent hitting and breaks from Throw’s serve. Similarly, Pierron’s serves can bring Joey and Joey to victories. 4th Place utilizes a mix of long defense and power shots. The former may be tougher to execute in the rain while the latter is encouraged.
Tetelestai and 4th Place played three times in 2017, but that is the only combination of these teams that have played. If any pair meets in the quarterfinals or semifinals the match could go any which way.
As is expected with Midwest events, multiple Origin Roundnet Club teams will be in attendance. Origin Flow (Mike Priller and Nick Daub) will be looking for a top 8 finish after placing t-9th twice last month. There are many other Midwest teams that can round out this top 8 in Madison.
Six teams will be competing in the Women's Division. The #3 ranked Cougs (Ashley Gingerich and Michaela Hershberger) are the favorites. This is Cougs’ first tournament since 2017 Nationals, where they placed second. The second place finisher from the Chicago Tour Stop, Radical Reaction (Elizabeth Hearn and Rachel Luczak), will also be attending.
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