2014 Doubles Select Tournament
Surprisingly, we did not set a record for registration numbers in this year’s Doubles Select event. We are getting more doubles players, and particularly for this tournament where you sign up as an individual, I expected an increase. We were only 2 players short in the end, so it was still acceptable.
Only two players in the club have managed to win this event twice – Shail Arora and Bob Garvey. One of those times was when they were paired up together in 2011. This year Shail was paired up with Steve Murphy and was bounced out in the first round 3-0 against Mike Petix and Bruce Shaw. Bob had a little more success as he and his partner – Tom MacEachern – won their first 2 rounds before losing 3-2 in the quarters versus George Kordas and Jon Dengel. As luck of the draw would have it, both Shail and Bob’s teams lost to the two finalists.
Before we get to that, let’s take a gander at other results. The closest match of the tournament goes to Mike Counsman and Adam Pabarcus (it was Adam’s first ever time on a doubles court!) who somehow managed to crawl over the line 15-12 in the 5th against Alan Howard and Joey Gaylord. Adam held his own pretty well considering his zero experience – which was more than made up by Mike’s – and the pair once again survived another 5-setter in the next round over Andrew Spohn and Joe Schaden to reach the semi final.
The forth match that went the full distance belonged to Ted Morris and David Devine who outlasted Dane Fossee and Jon Walton. Ted and Dave were a strong combination (one lefty), and had the potential to go further in the bracket. Unfortunately for them, they were cut down in 4 games in the following round against 2012 Doubles Select winner Frank Willard and his 2014 partner Terry Lang. Frank and Terry turned into my ‘secret’ pick to take the title based on the amount of experience both players possessed.
As usual, as soon as I make a choice on who I think will win, it turns into the ‘kiss of death’. Frank and Terry were no match it appeared for George Kordas and Jon Dengel as they went down in 3 straight games. George and Jon were into the final.
The second semi final also turned into the ‘kiss of death’ since I was leaning towards the Counsman / Pabarcus pair to take care of business against Petix / Shaw. Mike P. and Bruce hadn’t even dropped a game up to this point, but it didn’t take long for that to change. Mike C and Adam started strongly to take the first set before their opponents found their stride and rolled off the next 3 to win 3-1 and move onto the title match.
It wasn’t the closest final we’ve experienced, but it wasn’t a white-wash either. George is clearly the dominating player in his team, so tactic would have it for their opponents to pummel Jon as much as possible. But Jon was standing firm and managed to keep the ball in play until George could assert his authority. They took the first game 15-13.
|Mike Petix, Bruce Shaw, Jon Dengel, George Kordas|
The second game didn’t work out nearly as well. Mike and Bruce are more evenly matched. Mike is a scrambler and covers the court well, and Bruce is a lefty and can be dangerous on the left wall. Petix / Shaw were too steady in the second game and the momentum swung into their direction as they walked off with the 15-9 win.
But squash is a funny game. Just because a tactic worked for one game, it doesn’t mean you can keep it up for the rest of the match. Mike and Bruce couldn’t execute as cleanly as they started the third game and slowly the ascendancy of George and Jon took over. They kept on top of the task for the remainder of the match and swept up the third game 15-8 and then the fourth 15-7. Congratulations to the 1014 Doubles Select Champions: Jon Dengel and George Kordas!