The longest running roundnet tournament is back for its sixth iteration. SummerSpike, the tournament traditionally held on the beaches of Coney Island in New York, will be held on the turf field at MCU Park, a minor league baseball stadium just up the road. Like the Lancaster Tour Stop in May, this event will be recorded and broadcasted on ESPN2. Be sure to tune in at 3pm EDT on July 4th!
SummerSpike tends to attract top teams each year and this year is no exception. Twenty-eight Premier-level teams are coming to compete in the Premier Division, making it the largest Premier Division ever at a Tour Stop or Grand Slam. Similarly, eighteen teams are competing in the Women’s Division, making it the largest Women’s Division in 2018. Even more teams are headed out, including 47 teams in the Advanced Division, 64 in the Intermediate Division, and 24 in the Beginner Division.
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As expected, the SummerSpike Premier Division is full of top teams; over half of the top 25 Power Ranked teams will be attending, including 8 out of the top 10. Leading the pack is Cisek/Showalter (Tyler Cisek and Peter Jon Showalter), who got first place at the Santa Monica Grand Slam this past weekend. They also took home first place at SummerSpike in both 2015 and 2017. Their win at SummerSpike 2015 came after an unprecedented upset over Chico Spikes, who won SummerSpike in 2013, 2014, and 2016. A win for Cisek/Showalter will tie them up with Chico Spikes with three SummerSpike wins each.
Chico Spikes will not be competing, but Boles of Chico Spikes will be joining the fray with Jarratt Rouse of the #2 Wabi Sabi as Boles/Rouse. Last weekend, Rouse placed fourth at the Santa Monica Grand Slam with Jacob Payer of the #18 ranked team BULKY. The potential for Boles and Rouse as a team is high.
Skyler Boles of Boles/Rouse hits a ball at the Santa Monica Grand Slam.
Rouse’s partner on Wabi Sabi, Preston Bies, is also making the trip to New York. He is teaming with Harding Brumby of #12 ranked L.E.D. Bies has placed third at the past two SummerSpike tournaments and a third could be possible with the right chemistry between Brumby and himself.
The #3 team, Origin Vengeance (Chris Hornacek and Dylan Fogarty), was knocked out of the Santa Monica Grand Slam a bit earlier than expected, but they can bounce back with a podium finish this weekend. The pair had not missed a podium in 2018 and they will be looking to come back on top at SummerSpike.
Many eyes will be on #5 Hilltop Spikes (Max Model and Cole Model) at SummerSpike. The Model brothers fell to Origin Vengeance at both of their Tour Stop appearances so far in 2018, but many have noticed their improved play. The pair recently scored a win over Tyler Cisek and Joel Graham at the Dash for Cash tournament.
All ranked teams from sixth through tenth are coming to SummerSpike. The #6 ranked Anchored LI (Anthony Alvino and Ryan Fitzgerald) fell out of the top 5 due to #8 The (717) (Caleb Heck and Joel Graham) upsetting them in Lancaster, their only 2018 appearance so far. The (717) has been consistent so far in 2018, placing in the top 4 at all but one event.
The #7 team Easily Dug (Andrew Card and Travis Core) fell to Hilltop Spikes back in Atlanta but have since become College National Champions. It was a close battle with Hilltop Spikes and a rematch would certainly be TV worthy. #9 Tetelestai (Jesse Throw and Logan Cornelius) is another consistent team who has notched two third place finish. Rounding out the top 10 is Schweppes (Micah Zimmerman and Jesse Showalter), who has been eliminated by Cisek/Showalter at their last two tournaments and is hoping for a new opponent this weekend. Any match between these five teams would be a good one.
Josh Fragiacomo of SubPar Team sets a ball at the Santa Monica Grand Slam.
Although they are currently outside of the top 10, the team most will be interested in watching this weekend is SubPar Team (Jacob Martinez and Josh Fragiacomo). SubPar shocked many with a second place finish at the Santa Monica Grand Slam, upsetting both Origin Vengeance and #4 Point Loma Spike in the process. Can Martinez and Fragiacomo find similar magic this weekend?
Four more Power Ranked teams will be there: #13 Joey and Joey, #17 Sonic Boom, #19 MAXIMUM EFFORT, and #21 Rock Paper Singer. Two last teams of note are the threatening mashup RizSpect (George Rizk and Brandon Spector) and the 2016 top contender Origin Ignition (Patrick Drucker and Michael Zagone).
Last weekend in Santa Monica, Women’s roundnet history was made as Ogres Heroes (Becca Graham and Alli Kauffman) failed to win a women's tournament for the first time in over two years. This weekend, the Santa Monica winners will not be competing, but half will. Tori Farlow of Razzmatazz will be teaming with Ashley Gingerich of the #3 ranked Cougs. Ogres Heroes should be the favorites heading into SummerSpike but Gingerich and Farlow will be good competition.
Alli Kauffman of Ogres Heroes sets a ball at the Santa Monica Grand Slam.
The #5 team MOXIE (Jenna Coleman and Julie Haselton) will be making their way to Coney Island as well. Haselton and Coleman were able to win two series over Ogres Heroes during the 2017 season.
A few other teams to look out for are MillerWhite (Lauren Miller and Leah White), Metro North (Molly McCauley and Christina Coppola) of the East, and Cornfed (Elizabeth Hearn and Alex Perry) of the Midwest.
Like last SummerSpike, the 47 team Advanced Division should be action-packed. There are top contenders for the podium traveling from all over the country to compete in this division, including 10 Premier-level players.
Kekambas (Anthony Lavarice and Chris Barros) are coming from the West and Bomb Squad (Freddie Silva and Gustavo Tejada) are coming from the Southeast. Multiple teams are heading over from the Midwest, including Origin Legacy (Jack Matthews and Avery Frain) and Dragon Thunder (Joshua Tuggle and Ethan Datwyler) are coming from the Midwest. Driving down from above the Canadian border is Never The Bros (Simor Brisebois and Peter Laramee). There are also numerous high-level East teams that will be playing.
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