Monday, January 12, 2015


Farris Cup 2015

The DAC team hardly needed any motivation to perform well in the 11th Annual Farris Cup against the Birmingham Athletic Club. Just about all of us know how the previous four attempts have ended... very, very badly. It wasn’t only our representatives themselves that were quietly  hunting for blood, but our other members and supporters also anxious to spoon feed the BAC a truck load of their bitter medicine they have been drenching us in.

Home court advantage is very helpful. When one feels comfortable in the surroundings, inspired by friends and family, it can fire you up and help you push extra hard for the team. It was terrific to see a large contingent of members come down and support the players. It was a great atmosphere, and we thank you for that!

Josh Gershonowicz and Robert Moll
We started off the day superbly. I wasn’t sure who I was watching in the first match of the day, but it looked like Tom MacEachern. Typically, Tom is recognized more for his strong hitting than his finesse. But his controlled half-paced length set up perfectly his controlled, soft-paced drops and Derrick Glencer couldn’t figure out a way to counter it,  and the more he tried, the more stressed he looked, the more errors ensued. Tom ‘caressed’ his way to a 3-0 win. Next door, Josh Gershonowicz was giving Robert Moll the business. Rallies were long and both of them hustled well, but it was clear the work affected Robert a lot more. He simply couldn’t keep up the intensity and Josh also walked off the court with a 3-0 victory.

The DAC would only take one more 3-0 singles win for the day. Chris Van Tol won the first game against Jeff Gembis (who was representing the BAC on this day) and was leading 8-6 in the second when Jeff tweaked his hamstring and had to retire. No one likes to win that way, and we hope Jeff gets back to health quickly.

Jason Currie had his work cut out against the devious Marc Lakin. Marc is very experienced and can read the play well, pushing the ball corner to corner. Jason had to rely on some powerful strokes to make it difficult for Marc to control his shots and it was a tactic that paid off. Leading 2 games to 1 and 9-7 in the 4th, Jason hammered 2 consecutive serves into the side wall nick. There was nothing Marc could do but watch them roll.

Claude Mencotti and Brien Baker
I had warned Brien Baker about his opponent - Claude Mencotti. Another highly experienced player, Claude is as clever as they come. Last year, he pushed Derek Aguirre all the way before succumbing in 4 games. I told Brien to use his angles. He loves to boast, so I encouraged him to boast away. The first 2 games were over in a flash, and Brien even said afterwards, “I wouldn’t have wanted to play me either”. Meaning that he had the ball on a string and could not hit an error even if he tried. But Claude clawed (!?!) his way back and started to hit tighter and move up. He took the third and had Brien suddenly doubting himself. The fourth went point for point for the first half, until Brien found his stride once again and cleaned up the rest.

Comeback of the day went to Scott Langenburg. Scott won the 3.5 club championship final in 5 games after being 0-2 down and he would repeat that feat against John Kello on this day. Once again finding himself 2 games down, Scott changed his game plan going into the third and with improved length he started to take better advantage of the front corners. Suddenly, John found himself playing from behind and struggled to reach many of the short angles that were now coming his way. It was a great 3-2 win for the DAC!

The closest match of the day was between Sante Fratarcangeli and Mark Miller. Usually, Sante would be making headlines for his eye-opening threads, but today he was all business. Mark, however, steamrolled him in the first and it looked like it wasn’t to be Sante’s day. But with all the matches and hard work Sante has been putting in, he’s learned to mentally toughen up and when the second game had started, the battle was on! Watching the end of the 5th game, both players still looked fit. Solid hitting from both was only interrupted by the occasional unforced error - mainly from Mark’s racquet. At that stage of the match, such errors are hugely costly. Sante remained steady and earned the fifth 11-8.

Teams Captains: Tom Walbridge and Peter Logan
There were many results to rave as well: Jay Bonahoom; John Mann; Ryan Covell; Peter Logan - all of them consistent and disciplined enough to clinch 3-1 victories. With the 11 singles victories in the bag, the DAC team managed to do the improbable - win back the Farris Cup! A decisive triumph in every sense of the word, and one that the DAC should cherish and enjoy. We didn’t win all the matches, of course, and although we can be proud of our achievement, let’s not get too carried away. We do need to take our hats off to the BAC. They have had our number for 4 years straight and we can expect a closer outing in 2016.

Nevertheless, it is nice - if not a little wickedly satisfying - to rub some salt into the wound. The DAC also won 2 of the 3 doubles matches on the day, something that we haven’t done since 2004. John Dunwoody and Bob Burton avenged their 2014 loss with a well thought out 3-1 victory and Bill Oddo and Rich Stimson proved too strong for Nick and Tom Post. We almost pulled out all 3 of them, but Jon Uffelman is one tough nut to crack. Partnered with Kurt Streng, they beat Kirk Haggarty and Mike Eugenio 3-1 (15-14 in the 4th)... we would have liked to have seen a 5th!

The final score line of 13 matches to 4 is convincing. It could have been a lot closer, but it was excellent and encouraging to see (for a change) that our players were actually winning the very tough, tight matches. The BAC were very gracious and admirable in defeat. We look forward to their challenge in 2016 when they will host the event next January. Make plans to come out and support the DAC team that day so that they think we still have the home court advantage!

Search This Blog