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2005-06 Cook League
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Registered League Players (Men's Singles) (Upd. 2/22/06)
Players with a question mark have not confirmed a registration. Players marked with (Bubble) after their names are in danger of being knocked down a division. If two out of three players from a lower division defeat them, then they are knocked down a level. Due to time constraints the knock down may be postponed to next league.

If the knocked down player can place (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in the higher division tournament, then the bubble knockdown will be cancelled.

Legend: Pending match. Won Bubble Match. Lost bubble match. Match N/A. Bubble Win (Underdog)

A Division
Count. Player Notes
1. Abe Pollak Reg. '04-'05. 3rd in A's
2. Bill S. Reg. '04-'05. 2nd in A's.
3. Dave Pollak Reg.
4. Felix Revis (B Bubble Defeat) Reg. First League.
5. Joseph Delgado (B Bub' Def.) Reg. '04-'05. Qtr's in A's.
6. Joel Greengarten Reg. '04-'05 4th in A's.
B Division
Count Player Notes
1. Ignacio Esteban Reg. First League.
2. Nick Holerca Reg. '04-'05 1st in B's.
3. Silas Clark Reg. '04-'05. Qtr's in B's.
4. Alex Rtishchev Reg. 2nd B's '04-'05.
5. Josh Lavender (C Bubble)
6. Roger Nussbaum Reg. First League.
7. T-Jay Hu (C Bubble) Reg. '04-'05 4th in C's.
8. Andres Quiroz Reg. 2nd League.
9. Chris Jacquet Reg. 3rd League. Registered A's?
10. George Weickert (L) Reg. B-Bubble Defeat. .
C Division
Count Player Notes
1. Marv Schuldiner Reg.
2. Don Tietjen Reg. 3rd C's 2003-2004.
3. Bob Zeiss Reg. First League.

--/--/--- Follow the Tournament Action!
Draw sheets Final A Division, Final B Division as PDF, or view the Player Matrix. A's Updated 1/15/07.

Final C Player Robin (2 games to 15 pts.) Updated 12/27/06.
60 pts. Bob Zeiss
37 pts. Marv Schuldiner
00 pts. Don Tietjen (By forfeit.)

01/15/07 The End! Finally the End!
Abe Pollak took 3rd in the A's against Dave Pollak 11 and 6.

12/27/06 Joel Greengarten takes 1st in A's Final!
Last week, Joel and Bill S. played their final A match. After a ninety minute, three game match, Joel walked away with the win. Of course, I wasn't present to take a picture or present the trophy, but still nice to make progress in this league and hopefully implement some safe guards to prevent such delays from happening again. Congratulations Joel.

Outstanding matches/results A's for 3rd. C's Round Robin...well I killed it. I defaulted Don for failure to play his matches vs. Bob and Marv. After numerous extensions and warnings, I just had no choice.

10/27/06 Bill S. advances to another A Final!
A couple of days ago, we finally had Abe Pollak and Bill S. face off for their semi-final match. I didn't see it and didn't get any commentary from the players, but Bill S. advanced 12 and 8 to face Joel Greengarten. This is Joel's first A Final and it should be quiet the shootout.

10/05/06 One Trophy Delivered!
Saw the B's Champ, Nick Holerca, last Friday and handed him his back-to-back first place trophy in B's. I didn't have my camera to take any pictures, but still got eight more trophies to go.

I heard from Don and he plans to play again and finish his remaining matches against Bob and Marv..if they are still interested to finish. Also tonight, I heard some of the A crowd is coming by to play tonight. I doubt Bill S. is going to be there since I heard from Tom Baldinger that they got softball playoff this weekend. So things are moving painfuly slow, but at least they are moving.

09/06/06 Member Area Linked Up
For a while it was a secret handshake URL, well I'm sure a search engine or something else found it. My host has a shared SSL (encrypted connections) that I'm using to help protect logins. It's still the same old stuff and it was offline during the migration they did.

There's still some disconnect from the old and new pages, but you can login from the main page or here.

07/24/06 The League that Never Ends
I'll say we had a great B Division this League with a record 14 players. For the B Tournament we had nine players going for the trophy. That's about all the good news I have for the league. The other divisions with less players are still limping on. I blame myself really, I need a real method for enforcing reschedules and other problems that's actually documented. Email is a pretty weak form of communication since it's easy to get left out of the loop or have an email get lost in the shuffle.

A's with six players has been stuck at the semi-finals stage for a long time. Basically there's a conflict between my limited schedule and one of the matches. So it sits and sits. I'll ask for some help from our community of players to see if anyone is willing to get these guys in and playing.

C's with three players has been limping for a long time waiting for Don to get out on the courts. I have not received any word that's ever going to happen in my lifetime. So I'm awarding Bob Zeiss first in C's, Marv Second, and Don third.  I'm going to have a minimum number of players set for a division before I offer it. To have three just doesn't work.

06/08/06 B Division Completed.
Not used to getting so many match results in a short period of time, but we finished the B's. In the bottom half of the draw, Alex Rtishchev went three games against newcomer Ignacio Esteban and advanced (11), 3, and 6.

It was another repeat final between the two power houses of B's. Alex and Nick had a one and half hour match. Anyway Nick summaries it below:

I won the final with Alex, (13), 12 and 7, I served first. It was a very tough match, lasted a little over 1.5 hrs, and I can't tell that I know what gave me the edge. I was drained by end of game one, somehow won game two and had a good run of serves in game 3, all the while maxing out my timeouts. Alex changed his routine and managed to surprise me by being very aggressive, while still playing the ball all over the court. Great game, and I was lucky to be the winner.

Well as promised, these guys had another trophy finish. So we'll try to get them into B+. Not sure how B+ is going to work, but there's some distance between B's and A's. Since Andres went back to Columbia, Ignacio automatically gets third place.

06/08/06 Joel Greengarten advances to his first A Final.
Last League, Joel squared off against Tom Baldinger in the semi-finals and lost 5 and 14. This league Joel earned second seed and advanced over Dave Pollak 11 and 6. In the 2003-2004 League, Dave closed out third against Pat Douglas in three games.

Last time Abe and Bill faced each other in a semi-final it went three games with Abe almost winning in straight games. (11), 14, and 7. So it'll be interesting to see who advances this time around. Good luck everyone.

06/03/06 Semi-Finals Ready.
Things are kind of still broken around here, but we had Andres Quiroz and Nick Holerca duke it out. Nick advanced to his second back to back final with 8 and 11. Andres will most likely be going back to Columbia and will be back in August.

06/03/06 Dave Evans Passed Away.
Dave Evans 2003-04 EQP League A Division I heard about his unexpected death on Thursday night. He was a great competitor and racquetball player. Basically dominating the Cook Intramurals for years with his doubles partner George Carman.

I'll keep his records. After eight consecutive wins he broke into the top 10 in the ELO rankings. It was always a motivation to get better to beat him and I was disappointed that he retired from intramurals last year. So I'm pretty sad that he passed away. Rest in peace Dave.


 

05/17/06 Semi-Finals Ready.
I gotta finish this later, but all the draw sheets are up to date. Congrats on making the semi-finals.

05/14/06 Got a few minutes, Ignacio advanced to Semi.
This weekend was Jason's birthday and Karen's first Mother's day, so it's been an extreme few days and no racquetball. Which makes things worse still. Anyway after a couple of retries I finally got results in the B's from Ignacio Esteban and Silas Clark. Ignacio advances to his first semi-final vs. the #2 player last league Alex Rtishchev. Too bad we'll need to wait until June for this one. Still haven't heard results from Andres Quiroz and Chris Jacquet.

05/04/06 Dave Pollak Advances to A's Semi-Finals.
Things are going great for Dave. He's running a seven strong winning streak and has broken again into the top five in the ELO rankings. In the semi's he has to face Joel Greengarten who's kept him in single digits the last four games. Can the streak continue? Felix and I will be in the B+ Division, if he chooses to play again.

Still waiting to hear from the quarter-finals in the B's. Cook also closes this week for May and goes to Summer Hours. So we're in trouble.

05/04/06 Abe Pollak Advances to A's Semi-Finals.
It's hard to write about a match that I played in and focus on my opponent. The natural tendency is to write about my perspective and feelings. That'll kind of cheat Abe, so I'll avoid that. Abe arrived a little late, having to stop to buy a pair of shorts. First game he started a bit cold and chipped away at my lead. Game two I was hitting some solid shots and hitting some solid kills. Abe tried to counter with higher and more angled shots. I still managed to hit low and hard. Game three I was a bit tired and wasn't making the same shots in game two. Abe advanced 8, (12), and 2.

We've been playing three games lately with a low scoring tie-breaker. So either I'm no longer focused, tired, or just quitting. Last night, it was about 9:00 when I noticed the cell phone hasn't rung once. Let's see my wife starts calling at 7:30 normally and even though yesterday was a late night for me. It should still have been ringing. I should have called her phone and made sure things were ok before the tie-breaker. I was still pretty tired, but my focus was not totally on the game and I wasn't moving well.

It's a good end to A's. I rushed myself up too early to A's, probably out of fear to avoid real competition, but most likely out of not taking the trophy from another guy. It's my league, I feel I should not win. Well that's old thinking, I have a strong desire to get better and I know playing A's for a couple of leagues has only made me a stronger player.

05/02/06 Nick Holerca Advances to B's Semi-Finals.
The B's #1 seed and returning B's Champ advanced over T-Jay Hu with 2 and 5 tonight. For Nick it comes down to Chris Jacquet or Andres Quiroz, both guys are dangerous. Nick admitted that Chris can get everything. Andres has been putting the time in at Busch for practice. So it's going to be a battle for that semi-final spot.

For Alex, it's Ignacio Esteban and Silas Clark. This is Ignacio's first league and he defeated Alex in League play, so have all the wounds healed? Silas has been away from the sport for a while, but he did prove himself at Hillsborough with a 2nd place finish in B+ and a first place finish in C's at Fairfield. So I think both Alex and Nick need to be on guard and play some serious racquetball to have a repeat of last league. Looking forward to the games guys.

05/01/06 Alex Rtishchev Advances to B's Semi-Finals.
It was the battle of the Head Megablast 185 racquets. It was interesting to see the same racquet perform differently for Alex and Roger. This is Alex's third time in the top four so I would say experience was on his side tonight. He played his standard attrition game and Roger was inconsistently going for offensive shots or leaving the ball up, where Alex hammered the ball. I was later joined by the current B Champion, Nick Holerca. We talked about the game and how he thinks his side of the draw will play out. It'll be interesting who advances between Andres Quiroz and Chris Jacquet.

Roger had some interesting shots of his own. I saw him do an in-between the legs shot ala Nick Holerca. In-between games two and the tie-breaker, he thanked Nick for the advice of not playing Alex's game. Things looked good Roger in the third game, but he wasn't making many points. Eventually Alex advanced with 10, (10), and 3. Good game guys, glad I was able to watch parts of it.

04/25/06 T-Jay Hu Advances to the Quarter-Finals.
It's understandable that Josh's schedule got a little to hectic between work, little league, and other obligations. I feel responsible that I could not speed things up to be finished by now. Anyway T-Jay takes the only qualifier spot in the Quarters. So we can move forward with B's. Good Luck everyone.

04/16/06 Draw sheets Posted.
Have the A and B Divisions posted as PDF. I spent most of the weekend blocked. I just couldn't move forward on anything. Pretty much I wanted to get the draws out. I reworked them using Excel. A lot lower tech than the Visio/PDF, but a lot more flexible. Also if the format is good enough for the US Open, then it's good enough for me.

04/11/06 Esteban takes 2nd seed in B's?
I need to go through things one more time to make sure, but seems pretty good to me that he has second seed in B's. He took second seed over Alex with a three game win over Jacquet with 7, (11), and 9.

04/09/06 Excel is Out. Time to start seeding the league.
I know the deadline is Wednesday, but I still like to get a head start and looking through things. We had about four players leave B's, leaving us with eight, so no complicated draws this time. I waited a long time for Silas to come around and pay his league fee or email, but he's been just non-responsive. So he's out. George Weickert hurt his back and he needs to play some serious paddleball tournaments in a few months, so he needs to get ready and is out.

04/09/06 League Mod': B+ Division to be added.
I've fought this for a while since it's not a real division per se, but as Bob Zeiss said on Friday there seems to be a massive gap between A and B. Some people don't want to go to A's since they play pretty seriously and may not have the skill set to survive. It also makes us more Hillsborough friendly, since they have a B+ Division.

03/18/06 League Mod': Inter-Division Play Stays.
I believe everyone enjoyed the inter-division play we had this league. It gives players a chance to see how they'll do in the next level. It's been said to me time and time again the only way to get better is to play people that are better. Lastly, it gives me the chance to see how the divisions are balanced.

03/18/06 League Mod': Earlier Bubble Matches.
Next League, I think we'll have all the bubbles scheduled at the beginning of the League, so if a knockdown occurs there's enough time to schedule the player in the lower division for seeding. Since Felix and I were knocked down late, we don't have a proper seeding for B's. George was knocked down early enough and was aggressive in getting his matches played out.

03/16/06 Delgado loses last bubble to Weickert (Lefty).
George said he's expecting a long post about the match. I'm not going to disappoint him. I made a mistake of accepting a bubble match tonight vs. George Weickert. I was not hitting good shots in my cut-throat and doubles game before then. Then George showed up to pay some money he owes me and dropped the challenge. There's no rule that prevents a person who lost his bubbles to challenge another bubble player. Kind of like the movies where someone pulls down another person as they are falling. He's told me countless times that we're not A's and even though I lost and have to deal with the embarrassment of losing my bubbles, I can accept it.

It was an easy first game with George refusing to warm-up and played a cold first game. So I capitalized and walked with 15-1 win. George started to wake up and planted himself in front of the short line waiting to cut off ceiling returns or drop shots into the corners. Most hard passes he was able to reach behind him and get a racquet on. Lost the second game 6-15. Tie-breaker was more of the same and he played a smarter game. Also told me outside that he was patient with his shots and waiting for me to commit or lean before taking them. It worked. George got it, (1), 6, and 3.

I think , I mentioned some where below that I thought I was hiding in the A's to avoid having to really prove myself in B's again. When I won the trophy back in 2003-04, I had a pretty easy draw. Claudio Ortiz hurt himself and David Fugate did not want to play into Vishal. Clark lost to Vishal. Charette lost to me, so suddenly I'm in the final vs. Vishal. It was a long battle with two ref's, but I won in three games. Other leagues I've been toward the bottom of the draw. I think once I moved to the next round because Tom Baldinger couldn't make it.

Anyway sucks that an off night, dropped me down to B's. Must always be prepared to do your best. Tonight unfortunately was not. When George learned that I was knocked to B's he felt bad. I said, don't feel bad man. It was an honorable defeat. Not sure, but I think I'll finish out A's along with Felix this time and start B's next league. Just for time constraints.

03/12/06 Good to do my Job.
Well only had two matches go off on Friday, but at least they counted for division play. First was my long awaited match with Joel Greengarten. We just did not line up this league with availability, so on his day off we played, thanks Joel for making the exception.

Things started off weird with Ajay doing a flat out terrible job flipping the coin. I think he was trying to influence the call or something. I was a little nervous, I didn't have the same IPS (Ideal Performance State) that I had on Monday at Busch. Maybe too fired up. I guess this match actually meant something. I hope to have a few more to get my head straight before State Singles or I'm in trouble.

I just noticed a funny thing it was exactly a year ago that I played Joel for a league match. Back then I had 6 and 3. This time I did better. I was more aware of my shot selection and the consequences of those shots. One shot during the rally I had Joel in front of me and off to the right a little. I was behind him toward the left corner. I held up on my swing because he was right in my cross-court shot. I wasn't about to go DTL and have him crush it. Yes, it would have been a penalty hinder, but without a ref' it's a replay. Another shot came off the back wall and I focused on the ball took a shot that nailed Joel in the back while he was standing in center court. Another hinder? Not sure if I saw him the way a lot, but that's two points right there.

Basically if Joel gets a shot in the front court he's going to rip a kill shot just about every time. So I needed to hit shots that got him moving and got him deep. I'm pretty sure during the second game I took away two points just by being absent minded. Joel was cool about that. I had a lot of fun. Joel asked me if I get a lot of screen calls. I answered no. Joel won 6 and 9.

On the other court, we had Bob Zeiss and Marv. Schuldiner play their league match. I didn't get to see much since we started at the same time, but Zeiss walked away with the win 3 and 7. It's been a while since Marv. played. Afterward, he came over and we played some Quake 2 on the PC. Yeah I know an old school game, but fun.

03/01/06 Missing Matches via Email.
I've missed enough matches sent over email to become concerned. If you do not see your match results posted within a few days and have not received a confirmation from me. Assume I never got your email.

My web hosting company, Applied Innovations, has setup an SSL (Secure Connection) to encrypt all data received and sent on my page. So I feel a lot more confident about people logging in and doing more online. I'll have more details on that later.

02/24/06 Super Friday? Delgado keeps bubble.
For a long time it's always been Super Tuesday, but tonight we had a good deal of players at least ten, which is pretty good for our group. We mixed pretty good over the three courts and I was able to play a bubble match. It was supposed to be with Alex, but he started talking to some girl and Andres was ready to go. So off we went. Plus Alex didn't seem 100% and I didn't want that.

One Lee earlier in the day told me he had played Andres like seven or eight times and was looking for weaknesses. He told me what he learned and I agreed and make a game plan around it. Every time that I went against the game plan Andres punished me for it. Andres is a great touch player that I've known since I've been playing racquetball. He also played my first league in A/B. He's always been fast and had good control. So I had to bring out a power game to have a chance.

First game, I served and ran a couple of easy points with pinches. Then we battled and Andres kept most of his shots in play and controlled the third shot of any rally I hit up front. I squeaked a 15-13 win. Second game I trailed 10-1 and was able to fight back to lose 14-15. The Tie-breaker was also pretty close, but Andres hit some shots that were out of the book and made some errors. I was also making errors and losing my lead. Ajay was watching the game and thought he was making me nervous and started to leave. I banged on the door and motioned him to come back. I wanted the pressure. Anyway we had a great game and a couple of solid cross court passes helped put the game away. 13, (14), and 8. Great match.

02/22/06 Some missing matches.
Heard from Andres who submitted three matches that he had sent earlier and I never got them. First is a three game nail-biter between him and Chris Jacquet. Chris won 14, (6), and 8. Then Andres takes back against Ignacio with a win 4 and 7, and lastly pops Felix Revis' remaining bubble 11, (13), and 7*. Not sure if this was a "league" game since it was three games to 15. I'm waiting to hear back from Felix before counting it.

02/21/06 Back in Black! Well at least I know how deep...
Kind of funny that when I was younger I had a better control over my money. I relearned some of my old habits and poured over bank statements and called our banks everyday. Eventually, I managed to get things reconciled. Need about two paychecks to come in before things can start leveling out. Anyway I can see the ground rushing up, but the engines are starting to kick in again.

I checked the schedule and again we're behind thirty games! People are just not meeting their dates. Guess we'll start dropping inter-division matches as they are missed. I wish my online system was ready that would help.

Before Nick drops out of the league he took a bubble from Felix Revis. T-Jay Hu goes three games against George Weickert (L) before giving up a donut. A's have been dishing out decisive victories over the B's.

02/15/06 Rtischev and Zeiss Return!
Heard from both of these guys recently and they are dying to play some racquetball and get back into the league. Safe to admit they have a lot of work to do. Welcome back guys you've been missed.

02/15/06 Behind on my Finances, real life called...
With a baby and everything else it's easy to make excuses and fall behind on paying bills and keeping things a float. Past couple of days have been forced to play catch up and get everything rolling properly again.

Anyway think I have my checkbook in working order again. It hasn't been reconciled in a very long time, so to crunch some numbers and see it in balance again is a good thing. I owe some other websites some stuff so I'll work on that tomorrow.

01/29/06 All good things must come to an end...
Well Nick will go down in League History for consecutive wins and so will Bill S. for bringing the winning machine to a decisive halt with 5 and 0. I thought I had raised the bar pretty high with a max of twenty wins. So I might need to go back to the drawing board.

In inter-division play we had the Pollak brothers in the A's take on some of the B's. Abe Pollak shutdown Andres 5 and 4. Dave Pollak played a close match with 11 and 12. Anyway I'm going to refocus the schedule another time so we can wrap up division play

01/25/06 Delgado stays focused vs. Revis
Since I updated my blog, I've been actively reinforcing my focus, game plan, and even some visualization during my games. I'm starting to nod in agreement when I go through things in my head. I must look pretty weird, but oh well. So far it works.

I had a match vs. Felix Revis tonight at Cook. Normally I can't stay past 7:30, but I had the match in advance and I'll burn Friday. So it worked out. Anyway I played since 5:00 and I played a mix of doubles, singles, and cut-throat. I wanted to simulate a tournament, I wanted to play hard every game and see if I can keep things mentally under control for my pretend final with Felix.

Felix showed up we kind of forgot what we looked like. He got changed and started to warm-up. His warm-up was a little quick, so that opened a new branch in my game plan. I won the coin toss and opted to receive. The idea was to get the serve back quickly and start attacking. If I can mount up the points and take game one, then I can attack game two as well, while putting a lot of pressure on my opponent to win 100% of the remaining games. The plan worked I won 4 and 12.

We split two more games after the match, since we were the only one's playing and I would hate to see Felix spend $3 for just two games. Now properly warm-up he was hitting better shots. I relaxed a bit, I didn't have any open goals, but eventually got back on track to take the second game. I setup some new goals, "Ok you won the match, big deal, one game he was cold. Can you do it now that he's hot? What do you need to do Joe? What is he serving? Where is he relocating? What serves are giving him trouble? He's expecting a cross court ceiling return to his backhand, hit a DTL pass! Get him moving..." I'll tell you compared to the instinctive method this works a lot better.

I think you need both, they each serve a different role. During a rally the analysis side tells your instinctive side what to do. Instinct cannot break down a game and Analysis cannot help you get your feet set for a kill shot. I've been relying solely on instinct for a long time. I've been playing half the game.

If you read the blog, my objective was to keep control, stay in the game, and consider each of my shots. My goal was to win point by point. I still caught myself falling into instinctive-mode, but I got out of it most of the time.

We had some spectators...well passersby, I think I heard one of them say, "Yeah the guy who's hitting the ball hard..." Not to brag, but I think they were talking about me. :-) I hope they had a good show. I'm also starting to find the mechanics where I get more bang for my buck. Less effort and a lot more control and power.

01/24/06 I need to watch some damn matches!
Over a month with no league news, nothing about a single match. Man what am I doing. I missed a nail biter between Chris Jacquet and Dave Pollak where Dave barely scrapped by with 14 and 13.

I added some code to send out email automatically to missed matches. Probably need some tweaking.

12/22/05 A's Heating Up
After a long wait, we're starting to get some matches from the A Division underway. So far the battle for first seed is most likely going to be between Bill S. and Joel Greengarten. Both players so far are dominating with Joel trailing a bit behind with a three game win over Abe Pollak.

12/20/05 Pollak Brothers Double Team.
I came dressed in my Sunday Best, my Head Gear, in the desperate hopes it would push me to play harder. After spending most of Sunday cleaning up some stuff and replacing some light fixtures. I knew I going to be pretty hard pressed to win. Anyway I showed up an hour late, about five minutes before my start time. I hit around a few with my warm-up suit and squared off with Dave. Got dispatched pretty quick 7 and 3., but it got the blood flowing.

Dave received a call from Abe saying he's going to be late. I didn't mind, so I played the newcomer Felix. I won 15-11, after I stopped giving him setups as Dave quickly noted. We were able to play a cut-throat that I believe I also won, so I was ready to play Abe or so I thought. Oh before I write about my second match. I felt something pretty weird during the cut-throat. I took a swing in about mid-court with both Dave and Felix behind me. On my follow-through I felt the racquet encounter some resistance. I look back and see Dave ducking out of the way. I didn't hit him, but I felt the disturbance. Felix laughed and said the "Wind tunnel effect." Hmmm, maybe. Interesting that I would feel that, it's something so subtle.

First game was pretty much even, at a time out Dave asked the score and I said 11-11. Well that perked Dave's interest. Well the first game was pretty close 15-13. There was one shot that I was proud of and I think it happened in game one. During a rally, I was a little behind Abe and in center court. I actually thought about my shot. If he's so far left, he's going to anticipate right...When the shot came, I blasted it DTL to his backhand (left). Since he leaned right, he basically just tapped the racquet on the floor and couldn't shift his weight back left. I love it when a plan comes together.

Second game, I lost my focus, and lost 15-4. I naturally wanted more from my 100th and 101st matches, but it wasn't meant to be. I keep gathering overwhelming evidence that I need to train and train hard. Thanks for the games and for coming on Sunday to play.

12/08/05 Inter-Division Play Updated.
In an effort to get A's and C's more matches. I've added some B's to the mix just to make things interesting. These are optional matches, so if you do not wish to play a particular match let me know. For players in a higher division it's a good opportunity to pass on some of your game, get better stats, and break a losing streak. For players in a lower division, it's a chance to play someone with more experience, shot power, etc. Who knows maybe you can even walk away with a win or two.

12/07/05 Lost some posts. League Trophies again.
I must have opened my website directly and made a couple of changes and lost them when I worked on locally or something. Anyway here's the pictures of the trophies again.

Each has the traditional engraving, "EQP Racquetball (2005-06) A/B/C Division Singles. 1st/2nd/3rd place. I'll double check my connections so I don't do this again. Anyway good luck and thanks for playing.

12/07/05 League Adjustments.
It's necessary about once a league to go through all the games for each player and see if there's any serious problems. One problem is making sure everyone is getting enough games. I know some A players have been a little jealous of B's and I'm sure C's are definitely in need of more matches. So it might take a few days. Of course, B's will still have more matches as mix up the divisions. Not sure what else I can do. Also not sure how to handle bubble defeats, first time that actually happened.

12/05/05 League Woes.
I don't like being angry or upset. I especially don't like being angry over a $10 league fee that's missing from a couple of players. It's not like I'm asking a $100 or something--which I've heard some clubs do. Basically $10.00 can barely get you into a movie. I don't see what the big deal is.

11/11/05 Couldn't Stop Him. Nick at 18!
We had a couple of interesting matches before I discuss my first League match. Andres Quiroz won 0 and 4 over Devang Dave, which kind of puts him middle of the field along with Silas Clark who had a closer game winning 8 and 9 over Roger Nussbaum.

It was an interesting match against Nick. First game, was pretty close. There was definitely one bad call on his part. Where I was on the left side of the court and I hit a kill shot and instead of actually moving toward the ball Nick decides to barrel into me looking for a hinder. Even though the ball would have been on its third or even fourth bounce by the time it reached me. I laughed, but agreed with the replay.

I don't know if it was seeking a justice call for a block that I called earlier where he hit the ball between him and the sidewall and I couldn't go through him or swing without hitting him. Whatever the case.

End of the first game, I see Nick stretching his back and just moving around hurt. I even offer him a chance to forfeit, but he didn't accept. Anyway he kept stretching and during the second game played as if he was nailed ot the floor.

He was more like his old self in the third game and was able to win. 13, (3), 4. I was pretty angry with myself that I let my heart get in the way of a win or at least a better effort. So outside the court while hw was laying on his back. I loomed over him, pointed my racquet at him and said, "Next time I show you mercy, you'll be dead." Sorry for saying that Nick, but I was a little angry with myself for getting off my game plan. Anyway good game.

11/11/05 Nick's Streak Continues, 17 Wins!
It was supposed to be the match of the League, the top two players of the B's (Nick Holerca vs. Alex Rtishchev) facing off. Nick's "Unstoppable" streak at stake. Alex's #1 ELO Ranking on the line as well. Well it didn't live up to the hype. Alex lost in straight games with 4 and 0. Nick took all the goodies home with his 17th win and the #1 ELO Ranking.

So on Monday, Nick and I (Delgado) have to square off for a bubble match. I'm going to prepare for this match as if I was going to a tournament. I want to remain in A's and I cannot afford to lose any bubbles needlessly, so if it means ending Nick's streak at seventeen. Then it's something I'm going to be prepared to do. I'm not promising a victory or anything that's just plain arrogant and stupid, but I will prepare for my best effort. Action starts at 5:30 on Monday.

11/08/05 Nick "Unstoppable" Holerca Continues
The winning streak pretty much went unnoticed until last weekend. I double checked and it's the longest running streak by far. So the 16th win was over T-Jay Hu 1 and 3. I was there, but didn't get a chance to watch.

Other action, we had a far sweeping match between Chris Jacquet and Silas Clark. They must have stood around and took turns letting serves go by, but Chris had a narrow win in the tie-breaker 2, (1), and 10.

11/02/05 Wheat from the Chaff
I tell myself it happens every league. It's almost like a mantra. A couple of months into the league something eventually happens to someone. It's what I call the "Wheat from the Chaff" phase.

From A's, Tom Baldinger had to withdraw for personal reasons. In B's, Erik Lopez has to focus and study for a CPA exam. Art Ernst doesn't work in Edison anymore so making the trip North for a league isn't working. Miten Bhatt hurt his back.

Anyway to those who couldn't continue I want to thank you for playing and I hope to see you next league.

10/31/05 Trick or Treat for Bob Zeiss!
Happy Halloween everyone! Tonight T-Jay Hu faced off against Bob Zeiss for a bubble match. Well Bob came up to the door, knocked, said Trick or Treat and took one of T-Jay's bubbles 1 and 7. There's one more bubble left and it's decided between T-Jay and Don Tietjen.

10/27/05 Who had the thousandth game? Who knows!
Thought I would have more fan-fare surpassing the thousand games mark, but it kind of got lost in an update. Well there's always the two thousand game mark. Let's start planning for it now.

Last week, we had what may be our first A Division match between Abe and Dave Pollak. Dave recently had me restring his racquet and I've received many compliments about my stringing, but I think this is the first time I've been credited for winning a match. Dave Pollak (and my strings) won in straight games 12 and 6. As I wrote Dave, nothing beats the feel and power of new strings.

T-Jay Hu who's been struggling in the B's made a great effort against Roger Nussbaum on Monday, but Roger was still able to close in straight games 12 and 10. So far, T-Jay survived his first bubble "" match against Marv Schuldiner winning 8 and 5. Still two more to go against Bob Zeiss and Don Tietjen.

Ignacio Esteban, B's, is starting to inch up on Alex and Nick on league wins and he's already been through some of the top contenders. It'll be interesting to see. Ignacio also burst "" George Weickert's (L) only remaining bubble in three games 4, (3), and 9. So George drops down as a lefty to B's. I'll need some time to figure it all out. I might have to put Ignacio on my bubble list.

10/24/05 Some additional player profiles
Had my camera with me so decided to take some head shots of some more league players. Well it actually came about when Erik said where's my blurb? So here goes. Being asked is harder than just doing, since no expectations are involved.

Erik Lopez, B Player
I've known Erik "Black Sox" Lopez for years, He was still a student at Rutgers when we first started. As a player he's fast, plays on the control side of the house, and hits his setups from up front. He wears black sox for luck. Highest finish 4th in B's. Think "Ready to Go" by Republica is on his iPod for warm-ups.


Roger Nussbaum, B Player
I played Roger and his partner last year in Intramural Doubles. What I remember was a lot of heart and some good shot power. Now that he's playing singles in my league, he's doing pretty well 4-2. He also took a bubble from George Weickert in the A's. So I expect to see him toward to the top of the draw.


10/22/05 Friday was good to see
A lot of people were playing racquetball at Cook on Friday and pretty much all of the courts were full. Even some people I haven't met before. It was good to see some people like Erik, T-Jay, and others. I was even able to watch a part of a bubble match between Marv Schuldiner and T-Jay Hu.

From game one I saw Marv setup some nice pinches in the front corners where T-Jay stay flat-footed. I also saw T-Jay start hitting his stride and hitting drive serves down the line and although they didn't bounce twice they were still effective. Marv also had good control of center court for a good part of the match. It was interesting and T-Jay Hu walked away with 8 and 5.

10/20/05 League Leaders
Wow four posts in one night. Well I'm trying to make up lost ground here. So far in B's Alex Rtishchev is holding the lead with six wins followed closely by the last tournament Champion Nick Holerca with five.

Would have to say, there's still a couple of bumps in the road for Nick and taking number one seed. The hard-hitting newcomer, Roger Nussbaum, is proving to be a solid contender. Along with Nick's nemesis Alex Rtishchev who played him in the finals last tournament. So things should heat up real soon.

So far it's been no contest for Don Tietjen in C's he already faced both of his round robin opponents in C's in league play. Think Bob Zeiss is definitely on his heels with great shot power. Marv Schuldiner also forced a third game from Don, so it could be anyone's robin. The guys still have to go through the draw and hit some bubble matches in B's. So we'll have to see how things play out.

10/20/05 Lost One Gained One in A's
Tom Baldinger had to withdraw from the league today, nothing serious he just has some additional demands on his time at home and at work. At least, I was able to give him his trophy from last time. Joel Greengarten got his schedule submitted, yes I know past the deadline, but we need players in A's. With my limited schedule, Bill's injured calf, A's isn't moving too fast anyway.

10/20/05 Where's Joe?
It's hard not being involved with every aspect of the league as I've done in the past. I miss watching some matches and writing some commentary afterward. I believe it gave the league life and made it closer to some of the coverage major sporting events get in newspapers, etc. I miss seeing everyone in the league and I know an occasional email isn't often enough, but I am glad we still have a good turn-out and I haven't heard any serious complaints. Thanks for playing and keeping our league alive.

10/20/05 League Stepping on Intramurals Turf?
I went to the courts on Wednesday to see a sign on court #1 that Intramural racquetball matches take precedent over all other matches. My first thought was oh man who caused a scene? No one puts up a sign unless someone causes a scene! So let's give the Intramurals some space and try to work with them.

10/02/05 Automatic Schedule Posted
It took a couple of days to assemble the ideas and a few more to write the code and a few agonizing hours to debug, but all except 29 matches were automatically scheduled by my program today. There's going to be some problems with guests, but I'll work it out.

Happy birthday Ma!

10/02/05 Pulled George out of B's
I had George Weickert all setup for B's and even though I fell for the lure of him playing left handed. I feel his experience, speed, and court coverage is just beyond most of the B's in the group. So we'll be on the bubble this league again, but still in A's. Stricter rules this time, have to win two out of three in order to stay put. I was also lured by George to drop by B's again and I almost took it since my B's win was based more on no-shows than anything else.

In other action had Andres Quiroz waiting around for Silas Clark until Roger Nussbaum showed up to practice. He agreed to play his match and had a great practice session with Andres. Roger walked away with the victory 8, (5), and 4. I told Roger I was pleasantly surprised.

09/30/05 A slow start, but a start nonetheless.
Alex Rtischev and Andres Quiroz faced off around 8:30 last night. Alex reported the scores and commented that Andres plays a similar attrition game. So  Alex worked his way into the match after losing game 1 with 5 and took the next two games to win the match 11 and 9. Not a bad game for Andres and as the league progresses...it'll be interesting.

09/29/05 Slow Week One.
Alright, so I'm procrastinating with my one hundred match scheduling task, but the past couple of nights I've been working on a solution. Automatic scheduling! The program looks at two players on a particular day and finds a match time with considerations if they played the night before or have a match the following day.

I've addressed most of the problems except one. I need to track how many courts I can safely take up and make the most of them otherwise the program will schedule everyone in two weeks and I'll have some serious headaches. Sorry for the delay, I'm working on it.

09/27/05 Registration is Closed.
One shy of sixteen for the B's, damn, was really looking forward to a full draw, but I can get away with one bye for the top seed. Anyway thank you for registering. I have two last minute people Chris Jacquet and Devang Dave signed up. So will need to work them into the schedule.

09/07/05 Working for the Sixteen Players in B's.
Yep we have about fifteen players right now, so I would say two spots are left since I haven't heard from Chris Jacquet. It'll be awesome to have sixteen players in B's, maybe at the tournament we can have a consolation bracket so people that lose in the first round go into another draw. So everyone is guaranteed two rounds.

Another round of players synopses. I gotta go make bottles, so I can only do two today and getting the pictures ready takes some work.

Nick Holerca, Registered.
Last League he suffered through most of his final against Alex Rtishchev. I came back from dinner with my wife to catch the last few points. Nick sat on one of the benches holding his ankle. I asked my wife to come in. I thought it was over, but Nick brought out an ace bandage wrapped it tight and won the match.


Alex Rtishchev, Registered.
Alex has finished B's 2nd and 1st the last two leagues. He has a pretty good balance of stamina, speed, and power. He likes to wear out his opponents by making them run "attrition damage" and his strategy works, but I still think more traditional shot selection can only improve his game.


09/07/05 Synopsis of Players (Part 1)
This is something new related to the concept of story below. So here's a short recap before we do the league. I'll get more players out here, but I need to assemble some more headshots.


Tom Baldinger (Team Head) Registered.
Last Trophy Finishes. 2nd B's 2004-2005 State Singles. 1st A's 2004-05 EQP. Tom's a pretty solid player and I didn't have much doubt I would see him at the top of the draw last league. This league? Well he has some work to do since he's been out the Summer and is now court-less.


Bill S.
Last Trophy Finish: 2nd in A's 2004-05 EQP. Bill signed up for B's in my league. After watching him play for a few minutes I saw that was a mistake. Bill's also a paddleball player so that translates into some unorthodox power serves. No word on him. I guess he doesn't want another shot at Tom.


Dave Pollak, Registered.
Had to quit the last league with an injury and wanted to come back two divisions lower as a lefty, but I've talked with him recently and he's ready to play right handed. Got 3rd in A's a couple of leagues ago, so Dave's a pretty strong player.


Joe Charette
Joe's been in a lot of my leagues in B's and last league and definitely did some damage. He gave a 110% some matches and it was paying off. Haven't heard from him this time around. Joe can definitely generate some shot power and make some good gets.


Chris Jacquet
He took first place in C's a while back then took his lumps in B's, but when the eleven player draw came out and he faced #1 seed Vishal, he quit. So is he coming back to make another run for the hardware? I was pretty surprised and disappointed. I thought if anyone can cause an upset it'll be Chris.


Claudio Ortiz
Has decided to run the NY Marathon in November, so he's not going to risk an injury this time around. At Busch he took second place after a marathon match against Alex Rtishchev. Last time he suffered a leg injury that caused him to default in the semi's tiebreaker vs. Nick Holerca.


Marv Schuldiner, Registered
Has been a die hard playing just about every league that I've had. I've seen Marv play a solid game when he's on fire. I think if he spent more time on the court and trying to reproduce the sparks that bring him to the top of his game. He can do very well in C's.


Don Tietjen, Registered
Took 3rd a couple of leagues ago. I have seen Don generate some good power on some serves. I have also seen Don make some bad shot selections and try to tap a ball when ripping it would of had created a better opportunity.


Ajay Singh
I've watched Ajay climb the ranks steadily. Second in D's, then 1st in C's, now he has his sights set on B's. Think Ajay takes too many games way too seriously. Sometimes we can learn more from losing than from winning. He has a pretty good serve, but I think the real tests will be his match management and strategy.


Joseph Delgado (Team Head) Registered.
I've been finishing tournaments instead of just participating in them. Last league a couple of people doubted I could play A's, but managed to fall within the middle of the draw. I've been developing some new weapons like a two step drive serve, a lighter racquet, and a more core focused weight training program.


08/23/05 Players Back story
There was something on ESPN recently about why people watch sports. Mostly they said because it tells a good story. There's a goal then there's character, conflict, complication, causality, and resolution. I think racquetball needs some good stories to be told at all levels of the game. So why not here, why not now. Let's start with our cast of characters.


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