Dallas Major 2019 Preview

By Fredric Hinkle

If you enjoy this preview tune in to Twitch.tv/Burrows8 tonight, Friday 9/27, at 7pm CT for a tournament preview by Matthew Burrows of WySpike.

TASR Dallas Major Preview

Elysium is back for the 4th Texas Major of the year! Saturday they will attempt to defend their title as best Texas team. Elysium has won 2 of the 3 Texas Major (Having played on separate teams in the Austin Major). Cream and Curry II has won the other. The stage is set for a big upset with Cream and Curry II playing the next two Texas Majors they have a chance to win more Majors than Elysium. Can Elysium hold down the top spot going into the College Station Major (Affectionately known as Texas Nationals)?

The Clash at the Top

  • Elysium (Brian Childs & Logan Cornelius)

These two legendary longtime Texas players just narrowly missed out on the pro division. Despite missing pro, they have massive amounts of confidence in Texas. They are a different team playing in local tournaments. Even after numerous bad losses outside of Texas they are perfect within. Brian has emerged as the leader of this team with Logan struggling to make challenging serves and necessary sets late in the season. If they don’t regain their typical domestic tournament form they could lose badly to any of the leading teams. 

  • Cream and Curry II (Fredric Hinkle & Rahul Murthy)

They only narrowly beat Sets on the Beach in Austin. Rahul saved them with a miraculous comeback from 17-20 to win 23-21. He’s largely a different player and has some good premier experience as he got T-5 in Chicago. This team will have tons of breaks as they feature two powerhouse servers. Fredric has so frequently brought games back and had almost-comebacks while Rahul is a master at finishing comebacks. This might be their time.

The Fighters

  • Sets on the Beach (Colton Mowry & David Louis)

They nearly won in Austin only to fall to the late magic of Rahul. David has been working on a series of new serves to try and bring more firepower. David will have to limit his mistakes if he intends to give Elysium any trouble. Colton has been blasting a new push and is developing into a very good setter. David and Colton will have to work together! David struggles with setting sometimes but Colton excels at serve receives, both will have to keep a cool head. 

  • The Young Fun and Big Gun (Nick Rushing & Grant Laughlin)

There is no bigger gun than Grant. If Grant scared you at College Nationals he added the best backhand cut serve in roundnet to his game. If you saw that in Chicago and are still not impressed he added best slice serve in roundnet to his game. Grant is the best server in the world if he is confident. Grant almost carried a supportive Seth Pittman to a semis appearance in Austin. However, Seth cramped, ending their day. If Nick Rushing can stay vertical he has a chance to win the tournament! 

Playing for 5th

  • WySpike Wendy Wu Homecoming Warriors (Garrett Hornok & Jerm Porter)

Garrett made premier! Will that confidence boost make a difference in local Texas tournaments? Who knows! Jerm will have to hit well for them to have any success. They should be able to take plenty of defensive breaks if they put their serves on. Expect this team to play lots of defense! I’m hoping for a highlight video after the tourney!

  • The Debut (Dylan Keen & Rich Tarpey)

They can’t be Flow Bros anymore now that Dylan cut his flow. However, Dylan has found his cut serve and is consistently improving his game after finding a second-place finish in Austin. Rich is still dealing with arm troubles after injuring it in Milwaukee. They are some of the cleanest hitters in the event, but they struggle with serve receive. If they don’t get aced a ridiculous amount they could upset The Fighters. 

  • WySpike CrossBearers (Nick Noguez & Luke Mowry)

WySpike is restructuring and is trying out this strange team. Nick won’t challenge you with his serve and neither will Luke. They are both active on defense, but with no way to challenge receivers, smart hitters will be their nemesis. They are both consistent enough players to survive against weaker teams, but creating breaks will be extremely challenging for this team. 

  • Incompetence (Luke Marshall & Ethan McWhirter)

Ethan is vastly improved since the beginning of summer. He has played a significant amount with Luke over the summer and now even more with the club at the University of Texas. Luke is dealing with shoulder troubles and will likely be playing left-handed for a significant part of the day. This sounds awful, but he has developed a quality lefty serve having had previous arm injuries on the right arm. 

  • B&B Phenoms (Brayden Bickford & Brandon Lindvall)

Brandon is Brayden’s high school partner and they struggled in the Austin Major. They had marginal success in the Charleston Advanced division. Brayden has improved while playing with the club at the University of Texas. Brayden placed well in the Texas College tournament two weeks ago, but this is no college tournament. He will have to step up in a huge way for them to have any success in this field. 

  • California Name (Chase Meyer & Cole Riel)

Cole has been a Baylor player for a couple of years now and plays a consistent game with quality hitting. Chase has been playing in California all summer and has allegedly also improved. This is his first chance to show the rest of Texas the tricks he learned out West. 

  • Raythaniel (Ray Tarpey & Nathan Pearson)

This team doesn’t look amazing on paper and most would discount their legitimate skill. Ray is a quality player, though rough. Neither of these players are very consistent. They will have to hope for a weak serving draw against them. Nathan has acing capabilities with a wide cut serve and an improving push. If they can stay positive and encourage each other I can see them challenging any team in this portion of the preview. 

  • Freddy’s Prospects (Luke Moran & Ryan Canfield)

They are improving together. They’ve started to discover chemistry together as well. If they serve receive cleanly and set well they will kill the ball most every time. Learning to serve receive is the trick for these two. They can both challenge you on serve receive and put away their hits. I hope they have more opportunities to play others from around the state and gain confidence.

Fredric’s Predictions

  1. Cream and Curry II

  2. Elysium

  3. The Young Fun and Big Gun

  4. Sets on the Beach

Editors Note: Garret Hornok, Colton Mowry, and Nick Noguez have the opportunity to receive an offer to sign with LoneStar with a top 3 finish in this tournament. Signing with LoneStar would come with a $100 signing bonus, and up to $100 in season incentives, along with the LoneStar Arm Band.

Austin Major 2019 Preview

by Fredric Hinkle

TASR Austin Major Preview

Texas is beginning to put itself on the map with more Premier Players. This event will feature nine Premier Players and will be nearly entirely Mash-Up teams. There are also a handful of overpowering servers scattered around the field, which will make for a crazy bracket and danger lurking in every round.

The Top Texas Team has been Elysium(Cornelius/Childs), narrowly edging out ArcAngel(Rizk/Hinkle) in Waco and then taking care of Kyle&Co(Hinkle/Marshall) in Wylie. This time, Logan Cornelius plays with graduating Baylor President Chris Guerra, an Advanced player, and Brian Childs plays with his father, a novice. It’s hard to see either of these teams finding the podium with nine of Texas’ twelve premier players in the field.

   The Favorites

Sets on the Beach(David Louis & Colton Mowry)

Cream and Curry II: The Two Servers(Fredric Hinkle & Rahul Murthy)

Funky Fresh(Luke Marshall & Ben Landes)

  • There is no denying the skill of advanced player Colton Mowry. His previous weakness of serving has been recently remedied with the addition of a new cut serve. David and Colton will be the best setting team in the tournament. If they serve return cleanly then they should have enough defensive breaks to do well. David is known for his clutch serves late in games, and has saved Grant many times in events with desperate closing aces.

  • Rahul Murthy, coming off of his first visit to premier, will be looking to win his first tournament ever. He made premier in Lancaster but lost in the finals and fell short with Fredric against Grant Laughlin in College Sectionals. A Major win will qualify him for LoneStar and cap an absolutely meteoric rise since his start only six months prior.

  • Ben Landes makes his Texas debut with Aggie President Luke Marshall. The only question will be whether Landes can serve receive some of the powerhouse servers in this field. Marshall has strong matchup knowledge against all other top players in the field, and will have to guide Landes through this maze of serve receive. If Landes receiving is clean enough, they’ll win lots of games by pure defensive ability. Both players are mainly known as defenders; they’ll look to play every point in search of defensive breaks.

The Dangerous

Big Boys(Grant Laughlin & Seth Pittman)

Free Ballin(Luke Mowry & Dylan Keen)

WySpike Big Yikes(Matthew Burrows & Jerm)

Rim Inspectors(Nick Rushing & Josh Weinbach)

  • The big fellas, Grant and Seth, are looking to outdo Grant and Hornacek as the most powerful team to play the game. They’ll hit the ball very hard and very far all day. If Grant heats up from 6 feet, look to see them in the middle of the podium.

  • Dylan and Luke could do anything. They both have strong defensive instincts, but have frequently lacked consistency. It will be a challenge for them to keep their confidence up, but If Dylan is landing his big lefty cut serve, this could be a long day for them.

  • Huge props to Matthew for making premier. He wasted no time as he got on stream and promptly began acing Zorio and Buckman in Advanced Finals at Dallas. Matthew has developed into a power serve and quality defensive support player on Synergy. However, Big Yikes(Matthew&Jerm) have historically struggled in Texas tournaments, never finishing better than T-5. Will this day be different?

  • Rushing’s legend is spreading in Texas. Nick Rushing(TAMU commit) is one of the top High School Prospects in America. He features a cannon for a serve and solid fundamentals as a foundation. Can he redeem himself after getting stunned in Houston at finals of High School Texas Nationals? Weinbach will have to dig deep to find valuable serve receives late in this bracket.

 The Prospects

The People’s EyeBrow(Jake Bumguardner & JT Thomas)

Church Bois(Matt Cole & AJ Hutchison)

B&B Phenoms(Brandon Lindvall & Brayden Bickford)

  • Jake had rough draws in previous events, but he and JT are both quality advanced players. It will be exciting to see if they can upset someone to make a big move up the Texas Top 100.

  • Matt and JT are back from Baylor and practicing more than ever. He and AJ have played together before and are excited to come out to show what they’ve been working on. This could be another big move up the Texas Top 100.  

  • The High Schoolers, B&B Phenoms, led Magnolia to 3rd at High School Texas Nationals, dropping narrowly to Nick Rushing. Bickford(UT commit) has gone home and worked tirelessly on his serve, while Brandon(SMU commit) has poured himself into defense. The two might be playing more than anyone else in Texas this summer. Fueled by an extreme competitive drive, they’ll look to push established Texas teams in the future.

Writer’s Predictions

Fredric and Rahul just won’t be broken enough and will win handily.

David and Colton should cruise into second, as they are complete players and should handle the serves of others.

Dylan and Luke have the firepower to upset some of the other premier teams, and I think they’ll put it all together this weekend.

Logan has a way of bringing out the best in everyone he plays with, and I don’t see him missing the semis.

Look for a post tournament review of semis and finals featuring stats.

Editors Note: Rahul Murthy & Matthew Burrows have the opportunity to receive an offer to sign with LoneStar with a top 3 finish in this tournament. Signing with LoneStar would come with a $100 signing bonus, and up to $100 in season incentives, along with the LoneStar Arm Band.


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