Superstorm Sandy hit Fairfield County hard last week and many towns, homes and clubs were without power for the week, wreaking havoc on the FCPTL paddle schedule. But paddle players are known for resiliency and a fair number of matches still managed to get played.

It’s a bit tricky to get a sense of the divisional races at this point given the scheduled disruptions, but some of the completed matches this past week are highlighted below. As always, each division’s featured match of the week is provided. Hopefully the snowstorm that just hit Connecticut won’t put a damper on this week’s matches.

Division 1
After a slow start, Wee Burn is rounding into form and swept Milbrook this past week behind a thrilling 3-set win at the 1 spot by Sebastian Bredberg/Boie Bogardus over Guga Gonclaves and Tim Muldoon. Wee Burn now sits atop the division with Wilton Y who could only manage a split with Greenwich Field Club. Despite taking the 3 and 4 spot easily, Wilton Y lost 2 tough 3-setters at the 1 and 2 spot.

Featured Match of the Week
Rowayton 1.1 vs Rowayton 1.2. Always a testy intra-divisional match, the Rowayton 1.1 vs Rowayton 1.2 match could be playing for even higher stakes than in-town pride this year. With Rowayton 1.1 off to an uncharacteristically slow start, a decisive win by either team could put either team in the danger zone for relegation. A split could leave both teams having to fight it out to the end to avoid the league basement, so expect to see an all-out battle in this one.

Division 2
Tokeneke Club continues to look like a team on a mission. With their 4-0 sweep of Stanwich, Tokeneke has taken the early quarter-pole lead in Division 2. On the other hand, Stanwich at 1-11 looks like they are on the path to Division 3 unless they can get reinforcements to show for the matches. Roxbury Club’s hope for promotion hit a speed bump with a surprising 4-0 loss to Darien Town, who needed the sweep to get back to .500 and gain some cushion from the basement.

Featured Match of the Week
Tokeneke Club vs Wilton Y 2.1. Tokeneke should face a sterner test this week against Wilton Y 2.1. Tokeneke will look to continue to maintain its momentum and stay atop the division standings; however, they will definitely need to get their players out as Wilton Y has plenty of depth and is still in the mix for the division title. This match should give a good indication of Tokeneke’s chances of moving up this year.

Division 3
Rowayton 3.1 remains perfect for the season with a 3-0 win over Wilton Y 3.1 (one match still to be played). Helped by an influx of former college tennis players getting the paddle bug, Rowayton 3.1 stands at 11-0 and could run away with the division with another win this week (see Featured Match of the Week). Wee Burn 3.1 took little pity on their sister team Wee Burn 3.2, taking all 4 points in their match. While the win helps Wee Burn 3.1 stay in the race for the division title, the loss puts Wee Burn 3.2 at the bottom of the division standings. Guess all’s fair in paddle!

Featured Match of the Week
Rowayton 3.1 vs Burning Tree CC. Anytime it’s first place versus second, you can almost be assured that it will be the featured match of the week. Burning Tree has a fair number of experienced players and has also been helped by the rule change allowing their pro, Jack Waite, to play in Division 3. It will be interesting to see if the former college tennis players like Jeff Dawkins and George Rzepecki can continue their strong play for Rowayton. Conventional wisdom usually gives the edge to the experienced paddle players but the game is changing fast.

Division 4
Stamford Yacht Club dropped its first point of the season when Roxbury’s 1 team of Rich Goldman and Alex Weil took down SYC’s team of Ed Stone and Bryan Mattimore. However, SYC took the other 3 points and with a record of 11-1, firmly stand at the top of Division 4. With the aid of two 3-set victories, Middlesex swept New Canaan Field Club to pull into second place as Patterson Club could only tie Lake Club. As a result, Patterson Club is now tied for third with Milbrook, who swept Wilton Y 4.2 by winning the last 3 matches in 3 sets.

Featured Match of the Week
Patterson Club vs Milbrook Club. With identical 8-4 records, Patterson and Milbrook are tied for 3rd place, only 1 point from second and a promotion to Division 3. As D4 represents the 2nd highest teams for both clubs, the difference might be which team can pull from the non-frozen players of their respective Division 1 teams. A win for either team will help keep the drive for promotion alive, while a loss could toss the season down the drain.

Division 5
Ho hum, another week and another sweep by Aspetuck Valley Country Club. This time, AVCC took down New Canaan CC 3-0 (with one match to be rescheduled) and is a perfect 11-0. Their victory runs their three-year record to a remarkable 95 wins/4 losses. The biggest challenge to AVCC, Darien Town, fell another point behind AVCC by only taking 3 of the 4 matches against Middlesex and is now two back in the loss column.

Featured Match of the Week
Darien Town vs Wee Burn. 2nd place faces 3rd place in this match-up. When the two teams played last year, the match was a 2-2 tie, so it looks like a pick ‘em match at this point. For Darien Town, though, they might need a sweep to have any chance to keeping pace with AVCC. On the other hand, it’s possible that the two teams are only playing for 2nd place but still 2nd place gets you a promotion to Division 4 making this a crucial contest.

Division 6
Division leading Darien Country Club could only manage a 2-2 split with Milbrook. Consequently, by taking the 3 and 4 matches in 3 sets, Weston Field Club was able to sweep Roxbury 4-0 and move into a tie with Darien CC. In the only other match reported this week, Stamford Yacht and Stanwich played to a very close 2-2 tie, highlighted by Stamford’s 2 team of Barn/Mason taking a tight 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over Stanwich’s Hartong/Arsenault team.

Featured Match of the Week
Weston Field Club vs Stanwich. Weston Field Club is neck and neck with Darien CC for the division title. Stanwich has been competitive in its matches and sports a deceiving .500 record. Stanwich will look to play spoiler and with a strong win could even think about contending for the title. Weston will need to be stay sharp if they hope to remain atop the division.

Division 7
Aspetuck Valley’s D7 team looks like it wants to follow in the footsteps of its D5 team. AVCC swept Middlesex this past week to take their record to 7-1, a virtual tie with Stamford Italian Center who could only manage a 2-2 split with Patterson, bringing their record to 10-2. Roxbury and Silver Spring CC fought to a 2-2 tie as well with all the matches tightly contested and 2 going to the ultimate 3rd set.

Featured Match of the Week
Patterson Club vs Wee Burn. Both teams sport the same 8-4 record. If either team is going to make a run at the division title and surpass Aspetuck or Stamford Italian Center, they need to start with a win here. Patterson has the home court advantage and given travel and weather, that may be enough to swing the match.

Yes, they are the BEST!
Philly D1 - Week 5 Review

David Lee