Team Tennis Semis

Let me start this post by saying good job to Shawn Dolgin and the volunteers who worked tirelessly to get today’s NCS Team Tennis semifinal matches played at James Logan High School.

That said, a blog mention is in order for Miramonte mom Patty Fleming, who spotted me today. In what can only be considered a coincidence, Fleming’s daughter Kristin pulled out a tough 7-5, 6-2 win over Melissa Arthur today for Miramonte and she played really well in doing it.

But the real story of the day, aside from Monte Vista and Foothill advancing to the final, was the band convention that took place directly behind the courts. It was insane. Xylophones, gongs, bongo drums, you name it – they had it. What it did make for was a great scene when Miramonte’s Shawdee Rouhafza and Foothill’s Kerri Kummer faced each other in the last match of the day. The sun was setting, bands were blaring, and there was good tennis on display. I admit though, I halfway expected "Ride of the Valkyries" to come into play.

I also want to acknowledge the great seasons had by San Ramon Valley and Miramonte. The Wolves played today without singles players Katie Mulloy and Brittany Solomon which was a huge setback. The Matadors, on the heels of a 5-2 win over Carondelet, took Foothill to the limit. Both teams played well and should be proud of themselves.

The final features two old foes in the Mustangs and Falcons. In the regular season, the Falcons won both times the two squared off, but according to Monte Vista coach Patty Gross, the Mustangs played better the second time around. So, the final will be Monday at Foothill HS at 2 p.m., weather permitting. If there is inclement weather, ClubSport Pleasanton may come into play but if that happens, check here on the blog and I’ll let you know.


Team Tennis Championship

So, no blog mention for a lucky reader because nobody found me at the Monte Vista v. Berkeley match on Tuesday. Anyone who reads this knows that I’ll be at the Team Tennis finals tomorrow at James Logan, so no incentive there.

What I wanted to wax poetic on this morning is the utter domination that the EBAL has shown in the tournament so far. Foothill and Monte Vista, ok, we knew they were that good. But San Ramon Valley has defaulted at No. 1 singles in both playoff matches and still won. That’s the mark of a good team, and they’ll put up a fight tomorrow in Union City.

That said, would it be any better than Monte Vista against Foothill for the crown? It seems like that’s the way it should be. Kerri Kummer vs. Mia Giovanetti, either Arthur sister vs. Elena Cadet, the matchups go on and on. We’ll see what happens.

The NCS at-large meeting for Tuesday’s singles tournament was last night, with Miramonte’s Shawdee Rouhafza and Carondelet’s Chloe Dobbert each securing a berth.  Ask any of the premier players who will be in the tournament, and you’ll get the same answer when asking who this year’s favorite is. It’s Hayward High’s Aeriel Ellis, and players like Kummer, Noelle Eades, and Lauren Curry will be tested. Here’s my question for the selection committee: I think Rouhafza deserved to be in the tournament, but where is Ellie Faulkner of Campolindo? She beat Rouhafza in straight sets at the DFAL tournament but didn’t make the tournament. While everyone is busy questioning football seedings and omissions next week, keep in mind that the NCS might have warmed up with this one.


What a comeback!

I made some nice headway last week and I’m now just one point back of both Chace and Ben. Now it’s just a matter of keeping the momentum going.

(6) Foothill over Amador Valley: The Dons are in a must-win spot if they want to make the playoffs, and there’s a possibility of a letdown for the Falcons after last week’s big win over SRV. I don’t either thing happening.

(5) Las Lomas over Concord: I’ve been burned by the Minutemen before, but no more. Even though Concord needs a win to get into the playoffs, I still say Las Lomas plays its best when it matters the most.

(4) Freedom over Liberty: I have a sneaky suspicion this game will be a lot closer than people expect. Liberty’s a better team than its record indicates, but Freedom is just too good this year.

(3) Monte Vista over San Ramon Valley: A lot of people have said that the Mustangs may not make the playoffs if they lose this one. I think they get in regardless. But they’ll have less to worry about after beating the Wolves. 

(2) Campolindo over Miramonte: The first of the upset specials, baby. I know Campo’s record against the Mats hasn’t been too good in recent years. But the Cougars are playing pretty good football, better than people expected, anyway.

(1) Livermore over Mt. Eden: People are sky-high in Cowboy-land these days. Close out the season on a good note, boys.


FORECAST: Circling the wagons

Because of the speed in which I’ve needed to reel off my past few Forecasts, I haven’t had the time to provide viewers with the current standings. So after reviewing our past three weeks of picks, I’ve come up with our current standings — and it doesn’t get much closer than this. Thanks to Ben taking to his old ways and going just 3-for-3 last week, it’s a dead heat to the finish.

Here’s how it stands.
Ben 92
Chace 92
Curtis 91

So in this special Thursday edition of the Forecast, it’s all about keeping pace heading into the playoffs, as it appears all three of us our qualified for some postseason forecasting.

Now on to the games:

(6) Freedom over Liberty: A small part of me worries about this one, especially since the Lions are going to desparately cling to the Bell Game as a savior for what has been a horrendous season. But the Falcons just have way too much firepower. And there is no way that Freedom QB Diondre Borel wants to end his high school career on a three-game losing streak and having never won the Bell. SCORE: 31-13.

(5) Miramonte over Campolindo: Both teams are likely playoff bound, but one team is clearly superior to the other. The Matadors defense dominates this game. SCORE: 23-7.

(4) Las Lomas over Concord: As much as I’d like to see the Minutemen qualify for the playoffs, the Knights will have no sympathy for them. You can bet that at least eight or nine players will be in the box waiting to stop Billy Burmeister on all 35 of his carries. SCORE: 28-12

(3) Foothill over Amador Valley: If the Falcons defense can hold San Ramon Valley to just 14 points, there won’t be a lot of hope for the Dons tonight. SCORE: 20-10.

(2) Mt. Eden over Livermore: Apparently, I didn’t learn my lesson last week when I picked against the upstart Cowboys. Still, I have to think that the Monarchs are a little better than Granada. That said, I’d gladly accept a two-point penalty to see the Livermore program finish its year with such an upset. SCORE: 16-14

(1) Monte Vista over San Ramon Valley: The Wolves were very impressive against Foothill, and probably should have won that game. San Ramon Valley is certainly capable of beating this Monte Vista team, but the Mustangs need the one more. Also, I recorded and watched the MV-De La Salle game from last week and came away quite impressed with the Mustangs efforts. SCORE: 30-28


Rally Round the ‘Cast

So, last week was not my best week. I was so close too. That means I need a big effort this week to rebound and contend for the title. To the picks!

(6) Freedom over Liberty — I’m seeing a big day from Diondre Borel in this one. This has all the makings of a regional slugfest, but Freedom is looking to secure a playoff bid and they need this game.

(5) Foothill over Amador Valley — This may be the most points I’ve ever wagered on an EBAL game. Sweeney’s troops are playing darn good football and last week I picked against them. This week I’m hopping back on the bandwagon.

(4) Miramonte over Campolindo — Campo beat Concord last week which came as a surprise to some. Plus, they get the Mats at home in the ultimate Lamorinda bragging rights game. I say Miramonte gets the job done on the road.

(3) Mt. Eden over Livermore — Yes, Mt. Eden had trouble with Bishop O’Dowd last week. Yes, Livermore beat Granada. No, Livermore can’t duplicate the feat. Mt. Eden wins here but I’m not ruling out a surprise

(2) Las Lomas over Concord — Whoa, hold the phones! A Knights win? Yes, you heard it here first. The Minutemen are rumbling, bumbling, and stumbling after losing to Campo last week. Jordan Kerl is playing again, so I bet the Knights score just enough to win.

(1) Monte Vista over San Ramon Valley — Two of the best quarterbacks you’ll see this year show up in this game. Drew McAllister and Corbin Louks will take to the skies, fans will be there all night, and Ryan Whalen will have a big night. Mustangs win.

No super cool food spots from me this week, but don’t be discouraged. This is the last week of the regular season so get out and see some football.


EBAL Tennis

League championship week spilled into this week with the EBAL playing its singles championship today at ClubSport in San Ramon. That meant the familiar sight of Monte Vista’s Mia Giovanetti and Foothill’s Kerri Kummer playing each other had to wait until today. Those who were there can tell you that it was worth the wait.

Kummer won in three sets, 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 to take her third straight EBAL singles title. Here are a few observations from ClubSport.
1. Both of these girls should be in the NCS singles draw. They won’t be, because Giovanetti should qualify in doubles later today, but they both deserve a shot at the crown because the brand of tennis they put forth today was top-notch.
2. Kudos to Giovanetti for playing so well while dealing with a cold. You could hear the sniffles all match.
3. At one point, Foothill coach Noel Madden asked Kummer if she wanted a cape so she could be Super Kerri. I guess we found out that she is, in fact, super.

So, a league title recap:
ACCAL: Jennifer Lau, Alameda
BSAL: Elena Pan, Albany
BVAL: Noelle Eades, Carondelet
DFAL: Lauren Curry, Northgate
EBAL: Kerri Kummer, Foothill

We’ll see these girls next at James Logan High School on Nov. 14-15. Of more immediate importance is the NCS Team Tournament, which starts tomorrow at various sites throughout the East Bay. Still available is a blog mention for whoever finds me tomorrow and mentions that they read the blog.


DFAL Tennis

This will have to be a quick one, with football Friday taking over my life here in a few minutes. Today’s stop on the tennis express found me at ClubSport Valley Vista for the DFAL Tournament. Undefeated Lauren Curry of Northgate took the singles title, beating Ellie Faulkner of Campolindo. Alexa Krakaris and Kristin Fleming won the doubles title for Miramonte. I think everyone was just happy to get the matches in, what with the full slate being washed out on Thursday due to rain. Anyway, next week we dive into North Coast Section team action. See you there.


Forecasting a storm

So, admittedly, my head has been focused on tennis this week and nowhere
near the gridiron. And I won’t even be covering a game tonight as I will
be focused on tennis throughout the day. That doesn’t mean I can’t put
together some picks though and I’ve got to defend my lead with some sage
wisdom. (Side note: Whoever tried to go to the Waffle Shop in Pinole last
week at my urging found that it was closed – sorry bout that).

(6) Pitt over San Leandro: Pirates baby. Doesn’t matter which Pirates.

(5) Granada over Livermore: I have no idea. Granada wins.

(4) McClymonds over Castlemont – I like the Knights, but I watched them in
their only loss to Deer Valley. Honestly, they haven’t played anyone of
note other than the Wolverines and that game wasn’t close. Mac is the
class of this league and Willie Griffin will combine with Andre Island to
remind Castlemont of that. Warriors win big and then head to Everett and
Jones BBQ for a postgame snack.

(3) Piedmont over St. Patrick-St. Vincent – I picked the Highlanders to win
the BSAL before the year and then they went out and stunk it up in
nonleague competition. Last week they torched a John Swett team that had
been dominant until then. Will Conn will have a good game. (*** After the
game, head to Fentons Creamery on Piedmont Avenue and try the Banana Split
– if you can finish it, pat yourself on the back ***)

(2) Deer Valley over Freedom – Taiwan runs wild and Borel can’t keep up.

(1) San Ramon Valley over Foothill – This is the tough one this week. Do I go
with Corbin Louks and the Wolves or the Foothill D? I’ve professed to be
clueless about the EBAL all year and it continues tonight. Wolves in a


Fast as Forecast can

Due to impending assignments, this is going to be fastest Forecast from me yet. Which is OK, because fast has been freindly to me this season. And after last week, I need a little friendliness.

Here goes.

(6) McClymonds d. Castlemont: I am so not buying that the Knights are for real. Mack isn’t much better, but they’ll beat Castlemont. SCORE: 27-10.

(5) St. Patrick/St. Vincent d. Piedmont: I know very little about these teams, but there is no way that the Highlanders can get as many breaks as they did in last week’s rout of John Swett. Then again, it’s the BSAL… SCORE: 38-24

(4) Granada d. Livermore: Of all the games, and we have some doozies this week, this was probably the toughest call for me. I think Livermore is improving, but they still aren’t scoring points. That’s a problem when you’re trying to win games. SCORE: 14-6.

(3) Pittsburg d. San Leandro: After seeing Pittsburg last week, I’m not sure any team is playing better right now. SCORE: 31-20

(2) Foothill d. San Ramon Valley: Defense wins championships. SCORE: 23-20.

(1) Freedom d. Deer Valley: I’m not wagering much, but I do think an upset is possible. The Wolverines are due for a let down, and it just might happen tonight. SCORE: 27-20