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Santa Monica Grand Slam Poised to be a Competitive West Tour Series Conclusion


West Coast players and ballers from across the country have traveled to compete in the 2018 Spikeball Roundnet Association West Tour Series. The five stop Tour Series will conclude this weekend as it returns to Southern California for the Santa Monica Grand Slam.

This event will feature a highly competitive seventeen-team Premier Division filled with many top level teams and mashups. There will also be nine teams in the Women's Division, thirty-five in Advanced, and twenty-five in Intermediate. The tournament will continue on Sunday with the Coed Division. Season partners and new teams alike will compete for a chance to get on the podiums.

Make your Santa Monica Grand Slam predictions in the Prediction Poll HERE!

Premier Division

The #1 ranked roundnet team, Cisek/Showalter (Tyler Cisek and Peter Jon Showalter) is the undisputed favorite to win it all, but are far from unopposed. It was #2 ranked Wabi Sabi (Jarratt Rouse and Preston Bies) who dominated the first four stops of the West Tour. They took first in all but San Francisco where they fell to #4 ranked Point Loma Spike in the final. With Bies not in attendance there are a few other teams up for the challenge.

Origin Vengeance (Chris Hornacek and Dylan Fogarty), Point Loma Spike (Kenny Ortega and Zach Wood), and The (717) (Caleb Heck and Joel Graham) are the other three top 10 teams in attendance. #3 Vengeance and #4 Point Loma Spike have yet to play each other in 2018 and a tight battle is expected. At the Chicago Tour Stop, Fogarty defeated Point Loma in the finals alongside Ryan Fitzgerald of Anchored LI. Both teams will be eager to take the win and have a shot at the #1 team. 

Kenny Ortega of Point Loma Spike dives at the San Diego Tour Stop.

The (717) challenged Cisek/Showalter last weekend in Charlotte, almost stealing Game 2 but losing 35-33. In 2018, The (717) has been eliminated by Cisek/Showalter at all three events they have attended and will be looking to meet some new foes out on the West. 

Another prominent team competing is SubPar Team (Jacob Martinez and Josh Fragiacomo) of Ventura, CA, who landed in 4th place at both Huntington Beach and San Francisco. Repeating this feat in Santa Monica will be much harder. Skyler Boles of the West is teaming again with George Rizk as Chico Rico. The pair placed third at the Chicago Tour Stop back in April.

As this is the most prestigious of the West Tour events, many top West roundnet players are coming out in mashup form. As Bies of Wabi Sabi is unable to attend, Rouse is teaming with Jacob Payer of BULKY, the #18 ranked team. Bryce Clifford of Handsome Beavers will be teaming with Corey Heck. Troy Mauk of 2 Guys is joining Erik Schlick for his first roundnet appearance of 2018.

The Power Ranked teams Origin Valor (Joey Connolly and Mike Zagone) and Valley 'Dogs (Ridge Bertuccio and Alex Gong) will also be in attendance. Valley Dogs placed top 8 at both Huntington and San Francisco.

Women’s Division

Last weekend, the Charlotte Tour Stop featured the most exciting Women’s Division of the year as all top 3 teams were in attendance. In the Winner’s Finals, the newly formed Razzmatazz (Jordi Vigna and Tori Farlow) upset Ogres Heroes (Becca Graham and Alli Kauffman), the #1 Women’s roundnet team. In Grand Finals, though, Ogres was able to double eliminate Vigna and Farlow to take home first place.

Jordi Vigna of Razzmatazz makes a diving set at the San Diego Tour Stop.

This weekend, Razzmatazz and Ogres Heroes should meet again, this time on sand. This may benefit Razzmatazz as Vigna is a West player and has competed in multiple sand tournaments this year.

The #3 team, Cougs, came close to upsetting Ogres Heroes in the Loser’s Finals last weekend. Ashley Gingerich of Cougs is competing with Jackie Yoo of Doctor’s Orders this weekend and the pair should be shooting for a podium finish. FURY (Joelle Nguyen and Ashley Ortlip), of Southern California, who took first at the Huntington Beach Women’s Division, is also attending.

Advanced Division

With a Premier Division present, the thirty-five teams in Advanced will be competing for two premier qualifications. There are many contenders for these spots.

Both Devin Matson of Strange Embrace and Buddy Hammon of Handsome Beavers are making their 2018 debut. Matson will be playing with Owen Carlson as BROwen And Some Noob and Hammon will pair up with Nico Sidorakis as Handsy Whiskey. The experience of Matson and Hammon could prove helpful in moving the teams along in their tournament days.

Andrew Leasau of Falcon Heavy serves at the San Diego Tour Stop.

Along with some top California players, Denver is sending two of their top teams: Altitude and Falcon Heavy. Blake Rock of #21 Rock Paper Singer is traveling from New York and teaming with Cory Eash to form a solid mashup. 

Coed Division

Nineteen teams will be returning to Santa Monica on Sunday to compete in one of the (if not the) best Coed Divisions to date. Peter Jon Showalter is teaming with Ashley Gingerich of Cougs. Showalter took first at the Dallas TASR Coed Tournament with Jordi Vigna. Tyler Cisek and Tori Farlow of Razzmatazz will be playing together for the first time in Santa Monica.Tyler placed first at the Huntington Beach Coed Tournament with Jordi Vigna.

Continuing with Coed Division winners, Dylan Fogarty of Origin Vengeance and Alli Kauffman of Ogres Heroes will be there. The pair won the Lancaster Tour Stop Coed Division. Another team in the projected top 4 is Riff Raff - Joel Graham and Becca Graham - who placed second behind Fogarty and Kauffman in Lancaster.

Fogarty has won all three Coed Divisions that he has competed in this season and did so with three different partners. Keeping his streak alive will be difficult given this strong field of teams. These four teams mentioned above are all expected to compete in Coed Nationals in November, so Santa Monica will provide a preview of what is to come.

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:

  1. Go here: https://www.facebook.com/spikeball/.
  2. Select the Follow/Following dropdown button.
  3. Select the little pencil next to Notifications (on mobile select Edit Notification Settings).
  4. 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 mwhitey17@gmail.com or @mwhitey17 on Twitter.

Follow the Spikeball™ Roundnet Association on Twitter and Instagram for updates!




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