The year couldn’t have started better for Mike Marino and Dane Schmidgall. Playing in their first season together, the Chicago team drove down to Cincinatti and beat whoever crossed their path. In the final match they defeated Scott Estes and Brian Uihlein by 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
The 2012 champions only lost an impressive five games in their first three matches. In their quarter final match, fellow Chicagoans Engel-Martin were able to take the first set and stay close in the second. In the third and last set they fell apart and Marino-Schmidgall bageled them. The final score was 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
The bottom semifinals match featured Marino-Schmidgall versus Engelsberg-McMaster, a team that has been playing some of the best paddle of their career. The top half was all talent with the 2011 Charities Champions and #1 seed Alex Bancila and Juan Arraya playing against Scott Estes and Brian Uihlein, two former National Champions.
The first semifinal was a short match. Although Engelsberg-McMacter were red hot coming in to Cinci, including titles at Shadow Lake and the Cleveland Masters, they only won one game in the semis. Easy victory for Marino-Schmidgall by 6-0, 6-1. In the second semis Estes-Uihlein played their best match of the tournament. On his Twitter account Alex Bancila (@PaddlePlayerAB) said that “it could have easily been 0 & 0.” The 6-0, 6-4 score put the #4 seeded team in the final.
Besides the victory that puts the new Midwestern Champions as one of the teams to beat when they play in Boston in two weeks, some interesting things happened in Cincinnati:
- Goodspeed-Mansager lost in the round of 16s. They lost to Baxter-heat by 6-2, 7-6.
- English-Heil did not play together. Will Denny English play with Nathan LeFevre in Short Hills and Nationals?
- Who will Scott Estes pick as his partner for Nationals? Brian Uihlein, Michael Cochrane or Nathan LeFevre?
- Will Mike Marino (and Dane Schmidgall) win Nationals this year? Although the best three teams in the country did not play in Cincinnati, their trip to Boston will tell them where they stand in relationship to them.
To check all the results click here.