I might have had better odds of owning a winning Powerball ticket, given the way the previous twelve months had unfolded. Faucetbasin Taps Swivel Spout Faucet Faucet 304 Stainless Steel Faucet Hot and Cold Universal redating Drawing Process FaucetXPYFaucet Faucet Tap Taps Copper antique black gold hot and cold single washbasin But somehow there I was in mid-July, stepping up to the baseline to serve at 9-9 in the decisive supertiebreaker, two points from a berth in the finals of the New England 40-and-over 7.0 competition. Lurking tantalizingly beyond that was the chance to reach a USTA national team tournament for the first time since 2006 (I also made it to Nationals in the Tri-Level competition, which features a single doubles position, in 2014).
Even conceding that nothing worthwhile comes without a struggle, it had been unusually difficult for me to get to that point. I battled plantar fasciitis throughout the summer of 2017 and eventually chose to take two and a half months off from tennis (a very small percentage of the resulting frustrations are detailed in earlier posts). I returned to the game that December and spent two mostly pain-free months slowly recapturing my form and fitness. Then one cold night in February I somehow forgot to pack both my sweat pants, which I warm up in on all but the hottest days, and my compression leggings, Water Tap Tools Taps Black Ancient Basin Faucet Retro Waterfall Above Counter Basin Faucet Bathroom Wash Basin Hot and Cold Water FaucetJIAHENGY Sink Mixer Faucet tap Creative modern trend fashion simple Retro Antique Solid Brass Two Holes Double Handles Wall Mounted with Swivel Spout,oil Rubbed Bronze Finish Toilet Kitchen bathrooma residue of two knee operations which I now wear whenever I play. It was amazing that I remembered my racquet, but I might have been better off forgetting that, too, because about five games into the match my Achilles tendon went “pop” and I was back on the disabled list. Long days and nights teaching and coaching, coupled with insufficient attention to my injuries, meant that by the time my Achilles healed, my foot was hurting once more, and it would continue to hurt all summer long.
I may not have been healthy or well-conditioned or playing the way I wanted to be playing, but I did choose my teams wisely, and those teams carried my 200-plus pounds of competitive deadweight into postseason play on many different fronts. While I wasn’t able to play any qualifying matches for the Keene 8.0 mixed team which had made such a great run to Sectionals in 2017, I did the bare minimum (generally two matches at low lineup positions) to become postseason-eligible for Keene’s 7.0 teams at both the 18-and-over and 40-and-over levels, as well as the Algonquin 4.0 teams in the same age categories. Oudan Bathroom Sink Basin Tap Brass Mixer Tap Washroom Mixer Faucet Antique kitchen faucet hot and cold dish washing basin taps stretch the sink faucet black drDesign Toscano KY47130 Blessed Mother of The Heavens Immaculate Conception Mary Statue, One Size, Antique StoneAll four teams were deep and talented enough to finish in the top two in their respective local leagues, and though I played no significant role in those triumphs, I was more than willing to be a part of their postseason runs come summer.
The 18-and-over mixed playoffs came first, but since most of our nucleus of players was over 40, our captain, Chet Porowski, viewed this as a dry run for the older age category and used it mainly to try out different combinations and get everyone some playing time. The result was what we expected, though we hoped for better: we lost all three matches and won just one individual court. I had one winnable match that slipped away in a supertiebreaker and one unwinnable match in which the opponents somehow passed off a recently-graduated Division II college player as a 3.5. Her serve was better than mine, which in men’s competition isn’t saying much but should by itself disqualify a woman from carrying a 3.5 rating. One of our women blew off our finale on Sunday, leaving us shorthanded and requiring Chet to put his considerable diplomatic skills to use when the opposing husband/wife team who were left without a match to play protested vehemently (word to the not-so-wise: just take the free point and shut up, already!). The only other memorable moment came when I mistook the coffee dispenser on the table at IHOP for a syrup dispenser and slathered my pancakes with it. Yep, it was a successful weekend all the way around.
We were convinced things would be different in the 40-and-over division, though, and not without reason. We had essentially the same group of Keene-based players and me as the 18-and-overs, but fewer teams competed in the older age category, and that allowed Chet to skim off some of the female talent from other nearby clubs. He also brought two of his tennis friends onto the team as self-rated 3.0s: one, Tom, was closer to a 4.0 in ability but hadn’t played in organized competition since high school, and the other, Scott, lacked even that background but had the athleticism and power to play like a solid 3.5. Putting them with strong or even mid-range 4.0 women gave us two near-certain points in New Hampshire and two super-competitive courts even at the highest levels of New England tennis. Chet’s longtime partner, Kristen, had been bumped up to 4.0 in November 2017, or we would have had three super-competitive courts, but we still got by most of the time with a patchwork of combinations on the third court, and I was part of that patchwork. I was the only 4.0 man and had two qualified 3.0 partners. Anne was closer to a strong 3.5 but insisted on taking all her own shots- and in mixed doubles, as I have lamented many times previously, almost every ball is hit to the woman unless she is rated a full point higher than her male partner. Factor that in and I may have been better off with my other partner, Jackie, who also happened to be Joe Waldvogel’s daughter. Jackie inherited Joe’s pleasant off-court personality and competitive nature but is much more generous with line calls than her father. Although she excelled in many other sports growing up, Jackie only had about a year of tennis-playing experience, so her game was still closer to a 2.5 than a 3.5, but she was willing to be coached during matches and unafraid of hard-hit balls, and by Sectionals (there are no Districts for 40-and-over since the number of competing teams is smaller) she had also developed an extremely consistent serve. AXWT The New Ancient Europe All Bronze Waterfall Flaky Export Water-tap Home Hotel Faucet Creative European Style Antique Washbasin Taps (color Black)Chrome Kitchen Sink Tapbrass Sink Faucets Luxury Single Handle Hot and Cold Water Mixer High Tap for Bathroom & Kitchen
Sectionals were held in mid-July at a handful of clubs in the Boston area, and we first needed to win our round-robin four-team flight. Anne and I played number three against Vermont on Friday, and the match unfolded the way many 7.0 matches do: the opposing woman lobbed with exceptional consistency and called all the close balls “out”, and her male partner blanketed the net and mixed some spectacular smashes with other balls that hit the back curtain on the fly. We made just enough shots and they missed just enough for us to win by a break in each set in a back-and-forth match. The other two matches were also close, but we won both and so went into Saturday with lots of momentum. We built on that momentum with an easy win against a team from the town I was born in (Torrington, CT) and a much more difficult one against Longfellow, a club located in one of Boston’s wealthy western suburbs that had been considered the favorite in our flight. The consensus proved accurate and Longfellow also entered the final match undefeated, but Chet and his partner Sorrell came through in an exciting supertiebreaker, and that sent our team to the knockout rounds with a 2-1 win. Silver B xgflt XGF® Copper Basin Hot And Cold Water Tap Single Hole FaucetLrsny Shower, bathroom pressurized, black gold paint, all copper hot and cold water faucet,Black gold three gear
Eight teams now remained in contention and the elimination rounds were all scheduled for Sunday, meaning we would have to win three matches in about a twelve-hour span to get to Nationals. But all the rotation players on our team were available except Anne, who had gone on vacation after our Friday match, so Chet felt we had as good a chance as anyone. Our quarterfinal matchup would quickly let us know the truth of that, for we were matched up against Cedardale, a giant all-sports club from north of Boston that traditionally fields top-notch mixed teams at all levels. Chet’s plan was to put his strongest lineup out against Cedardale, a slightly weaker one which included Jackie and me in the semifinal, and then the best and healthiest teams left in the final. It didn’t look like that would matter, though, as Cedardale had ringers of their own: a man somehow rated 3.0 and his steady partner decisively beat our veteran duo of Sue and Bruce at number 3. We needed to win both the other matches, and both went to supertiebreakers, and we faced match points in at least one of them, but the teams of Tom and his partner Tina and Scott and his partner Sandy came up huge, and that sent us into the final four. Jackie and I were going to be playing on the big stage. Hlluya Professional Sink Mixer Tap Kitchen Faucet Copper, hot and cold, washing your face, single hole, gold, water taps, 5AJZGF Adult thick folding large expansion inflatable bathtub Bathtub
Things had gotten so chaotic by then that it took her a few minutes to sort out all that she had somehow not heard before. She ended up retroactively giving The Jerk a point penalty and Eric Morrow on the next court a warning for an explicit recounting of The Jerk’s behavior. When the match finally resumed under the judge’s watchful gaze, The Jerk stopped going nuts. He stopped winning, too. It wasn’t rocket science: when they were able to just play tennis, the better tennis player had the advantage, and Zack dominated the last few points. It had been a battle- almost a literal one, at that- but in the end we had achieved our dream. We were going to Nationals! To punch our ticket by finally breaking the Portland jinx made it all the sweeter, but it was plenty sweet regardless, and we celebrated accordingly. The rest of the day passed in a blur as we went from Williston-Northampton to the main tournament site at Mount Holyoke College for pictures, high fives, hugs and USTA-New England champion glasses. I loved the chemistry on our team and was thrilled to be a part of it, even though I hadn’t contributed as much on the court as I would have liked. Given the injuries I’ve dealt with over the past few years, the sad reality is that I’m clearly much closer to the end of my competitive career than I am to the beginning. It won’t be much of a surprise if October’s trip to Arlington, Texas represents my last experience at a USTA national tournament. But many avid players don’t get to make a trip like that even once, so there’s no doubt I’ve been blessed to be three times lucky.
- Winsome Wood 4-Tier A-Frame Shelf, Espresso
- IBalodys Classic European Style Antique All Bronze Faucet Household Basin Washbasin Hot and Cold Tap All Bronze Mixing Valve Single Handle Deck Mounted
- WEIUTY Full copper antique faucet retro European style basin faucet
- 360° redating Faucet Retro Faucet Basin Faucet Brass Bathroom Outdoor Laundry Faucet
- Commercial Single Lever Pull Down Kitchen Sink Faucet Brass Constructed Polished Basin Faucet European Modern Fashion Kitchen Bathroom Hot and Cold Faucet Triple-Type Polished Washbasin Sink Faucet
- Ayhuir Basin Faucet Basin Mixer Tap Waterfall Bathroom Mixer Sink Faucet Bath Water Mixer Wall Mounted Faucets Taps
- Gyps Faucet Basin Mixer Tap Waterfall Faucet Antique Bathroom Mixer Bar Mixer Shower Set Tap antique bathroom faucet Hot and cold water faucets full copper led black paint single handle single hole ki
- Charcoal - Wide mDesign Fabric 5-Drawer Dresser and Storage Organizer Unit for Bedroom Dorm Room - Linen
- Pink King 180200cm Cotton Mattress pad Cover,Breathable Hypoallergenic Quilted Fluffy Comfort Foldable Topper Sleeping pad Home-Pink King 180 200cm
- gold 45cm XJBD-Barstools Modern Barstools Chair with Backrest Footrest High Stool Fabric Seat Dining Chairs for Kitchen Pub Industrial Bar Stool Metal Legs Max Load 150kg gold (color gold, Size 45cm)
- MEIDUO Coat Racks Coat Rack Shelf, Coat Rack Wall-Mounted Bamboo with 4 Metal Hooks and Upper Shelf for Storage for Hallway Bathroom Living Room Bedroom (Size 2 Tier)
- Hot Knobs HK1010-KRA Canary Yellow Round Glass Cabinet Knob - Aluminum Post
- ETERNAL QUALITY Bathroom Sink Basin Tap Brass Mixer Tap Washroom Mixer Faucet All copper stainless steel pull hot and cold basin tap on the tub bathroom scale Kitchen Sin
- Honcx Copper Hot and Cold Kitchen Sink Taps Kitchen Faucet Long Mouth Copper Faucet Heightening Hot and Cold On The Stage Wash Basin Faucet
- Heavy Duty 22 x 36 Coco Mat Heritage, Monogrammed S
- Hlluya Professional Sink Mixer Tap Kitchen Faucet Single-tap mixing of hot and cold water basin mixer basin Bathroom Faucet