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.
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.
Cream and Curry II
The Young Fun and Big Gun
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.