In 2016, Seattle hosted the third stop of the West Tour Series. Last season the Tour Series did not return to Seattle and instead had an event in Denver. This year it is back.
Seventy-four teams are making their way to Seattle to compete this Memorial Day weekend. Thirty-six teams will be in the Advanced Division and 38 will be in Intermediate.
Often when there is no Premier Division at an event, the top 8 is filled with Premier teams. In Seattle, though, there will be only 3 full-Premier and 5 half-Premier teams, meaning that at least 5 Premier qualifications are up for grabs in the Advanced Division.
One of these full-Premier teams is #2 Wabi Sabi (Jarratt Rouse and Preston Bies) of Santa Barbara. After taking first at the Huntington Beach and San Diego Tour Stops, Wabi Sabi placed second at the San Francisco and Lancaster Tour Stops. In San Francisco, the pair was eliminated by West team and #4 ranked Point Loma Spike and without them (or any Power Ranked teams) in attendance, a win is likely. Their biggest competition comes in the form of a mash-up.
Neither Point Loma nor #3 Origin Vengeance will be competing, but Zach Wood and Chris Hornacek are teaming up as Slept On. This season Wabi Sabi has defeated Hornacek in all three meetings and Wood in two of their three meetings, but Wood and Hornacek may be able to put something together to challenge Rouse and Bies.
Chris Hornacek of Slept On plays body defense on a hit by Preston Bies of Wabi Sabi at the Lancaster Tour Stop.
The third Premier team is another mash-up. Jacob Martinez of #14 SubPar Team and Jacob Payer of #19 BULKY are combining as The Mangoons. BULKY jumped onto the Power Rankings with a strong showing in San Francisco and SubPar has two fourth place finishes so far in the West Tour. The Mangoons are slated for a top 4 finish if the two players' skills combine properly.
Behind these three are five half-Premier teams that are looking to compete. Last weekend, Skyler Boles took first place at the Dallas Tour Stop with Peter Jon Showalter. This weekend he is teaming with Seattle local Alex O'Brien as P.E. Legends. O'Brien is a roundnet player without much tour series experience, but Boles can put his teammates in positions to succeed, as seen in San Francisco where Boles and Avery Wolfe finished as the Breakout Ballers in ninth place.
In a similar situation to P.E. Legends is Blind Date (Skylar Shibayama and Tanner Willows). Shibayama is an active player and placed at t-5th in Dallas last weekend. Willows is a formerly Power Ranked player who did not attend any tour events in 2017. Despite his tour series inactivity, Willows has continued to play in Seattle, where Blind Date has won some small tournaments.
The three other half-Premier teams to watch out for are Church of St. Anthony (Taylor Church and Anthony Oliver), Platypuses (Taylen Peterson and Zack Duffy), and SJ Invictus (Jason Kim and Chris Barros). Taylor Church placed third in San Diego Advanced with McKay Hooker and may lead another player to a Premier qualification. Peterson of Platypuses took first place in Dallas Advanced last weekend and will be joined by Duffy of University of Oregon. SJ Invictus contains half of the West team Reckless Pacific.
The top two teams from the Northwest College Sectional Championship (Foxy Men 2.0 and Mazungoos) will also be in attendance and we will see how they stack up to the region's non-college roundnet teams.
We asked the community to vote on which teams they think will place in the top 4 and top 8. Here are the results:
|Wabi Sabi :) - Preston Bies and Jarratt Rouse||33||4||1||0||146|
|Slept On - Christopher Hornacek and Zach Wood||3||27||5||1||104|
|The Mangoons - Jacob Payer and Jacob Martinez||0||2||16||7||45|
|P.E. Legends - Skyler Boles and Alex O'Brien||0||3||12||8||41|
|Blind Date - Skylar Shibayama and Tanner Willows||0||2||2||10||20|
|Mike White Official Fan Club - Ryan Baillargeon and Kai Pham||2||0||0||2||10|
|Platypuses - Taylen Peterson and Zack Duffy||0||0||1||2||4|
|Church of St. Anthony - Anthony Oliver and Taylor Church||0||0||0||2||2|
|Tenda-nitus - Carter Clem and Ryan Brennan||0||0||0||2||2|
|Ubiquitous - Austin Rawlings and Chris Bradley||0||0||0||2||2|
|Wonder Twins - James Guhlke and Alex Guhlke||0||0||0||2||2|
|Yeggerchits - Spencer Schmidt and Connor Winters||0||0||1||0||2|
|Wabi Sabi :) - Preston Bies and Jarratt Rouse||38|
|Blind Date - Skylar Shibayama and Tanner Willows||37|
|P.E. Legends - Skyler Boles and Alex O'Brien||36|
|Slept On - Christopher Hornacek and Zach Wood||36|
|The Mangoons - Jacob Payer and Jacob Martinez||32|
|Platypuses - Taylen Peterson and Zack Duffy||20|
|Church of St. Anthony - Anthony Oliver and Taylor Church||17|
|Mike White Official Fan Club - Ryan Baillargeon and Kai Pham||16|
|Tenda-nitus - Carter Clem and Ryan Brennan||15|
|Ubiquitous - Austin Rawlings and Chris Bradley||13|
|Royale With Cheese - Nate Evensen and Kasey Shibayama||10|
|Wonder Twins - James Guhlke and Alex Guhlke||10|
|Bed Bath & BeyoncÈ - Andrew Bauman and Austin Townend||6|
With only three women's teams registered, Diamante (Alex Perry and Kayla Swayze) and Doctor's Orders (Tory White and Jackie Yoo) will be competing in the Advanded Division while May Contain Alcohol (Icy Renfroe and Sam Lockett) will play in Intermediate.
After competing in their respective divisions, these three will compete for the Women's Division glassware. In San Francisco, Doctor's Orders and Kayla Swayze (then playing with Joelle Nyugen) had a long, three series battle for first place. Switching out Nguyen for Perry and moving to grass this weekend should make for an interesting match-up.
We asked the community to vote on what they think the Women's Division's top 3 will be. Here are the results:
|DiamantÈ - Alexandra Perry and Kayla Swayze||20||17||1||133|
|Doctor's Orders - Tory White and Jackie Yoo||18||18||2||130|
|May Contain Alcohol - Ivy Renfroe and Sam Lockett||0||3||35||79|
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.