Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Center of Gravity Games part 2

Part 2

The draw for the Center of Gravity Games was a little smaller than the Corona as there were only 24 teams competing in the big dance. The qualification tournament was held on Friday and those guys were only competing for 4 spots. There some good games and a few teams who were going to cause some issues for teams directly in the main draw! It was great to see there was so much competition to get into the even as 2010 marked the deepest year I have ever seen in Vancouver.

We got our draw at the player’s meeting Friday at Flashback’s club. Usually the meeting turns into a party after but I wanted to focus on going 3-0 the following day so I left immediately.

Here is how our draw turned out.

Bye first round and then we faced Holt/Laidlaw. It was a fun game against them but when two full time beach athletes cross against a brewery manager and a pilsner rep it has a fairly predictable outcome! They played hard but we were able to win fairly handily,

Next up were our road trip partners Schachter/Wheelan. Two younger guys from Toronto who came out west for a piece of the cash and this match was going to be solid. We wound up losing in 2 in a pretty close game but we just weren’t on. We struggle to make points, rip serves and most importantly connect on sideout. We lost early and had to deal with going the long way in the contenders bracket.

Next up was the team of Saxton/Marshall who had just lost a heavy match to Josh and Matt in 3 sets. This was a pretty difficult match up considering how early it was in the tournament and these guys could have pushed for a top 3 finish for sure. They were tired from their 3 setter and Chaim and I clicked the way we hadn’t in the previous match. We served tough and made excellent points while holding our sideout. We had a convincing win and were able to really push the pace of the match to tire them out. It was a great match by us and we battle any attempt they had to take the W.

To end the day we played King/Muse. Both supremely talented athletes who were boss indoors players. King is a big boy and Muse has the ball control of a season beach player. We were losing in the first set and wound up coming back to win and the second set we took the lead early and maintained. This was our 4th match of the day and we were tired enough to no execute if we didn’t pay full attention. Motivated to get into the quarter finals the next day we did what we had to do and closed it out in 2.

The following morning we faced Whiskar/Lebourdais in a pretty classic matchup. We had met them the weekend prior in the finals of the Vancouver Cliver and came out on top. I have had success blocking vs this team and the final morning of the COG was no different. Chaim and I took care of business and won in 2 with one of our top sideout games. We were able to diffuse any pressure they put on us and also make frequent points. This win was convincing and we knew we would be able to draw confidence and strength from it during out semi final game.

The semis were a rematch from earlier in the tournament. We faced Schachter/Wheelan again but this time we weren’t going to let them make points so easily. I can’t remember if it was the first or second set but I know it went to 30-28. In front of a packed beach crowd and with the sound system and announcing blaring we took it in 2. The overtime set was highly entertaining and both teams pushed hard and battled to the death. We had something to prove and took care of business like we hadn’t the morning before. With that win we moved onto the finals.

This was a repeat of our two qualifying games on the FIVB overseas and from the semi-final in the Vancouver open two weeks prior. As I am sure you guessed we matched up against Binstock/Zbyzweski!

Minutes before the finals a massive wind storm came off lake Okanagan and blew the beach HARD! It was pretty dramatic but the show went on regardless. The wind truly changed things considering both our teams are offense driven and like to hit the ball. Wind forces a more finesse oriented game so both sides did their best to adapt to the unique circumstance. It turns out my serving was on and I was making large aces from the bad side! Teams were making 5-2 runs on the good side facing the wind and the swing wound up in their favor both times deep in the match. There were plenty of opportunities to make points but they wound up winning 22-20, 21-19 in a solid match.

We earned a little bit of cash and were able to party it up a bit in the VIP section of Steve Aoki as he threw down a MASSIVE set in front of what felt like 4000 people! We had a blast and I really enjoyed the diversity of the event as it attracted a variety of sporting and lifestyle interests.

All in all it was a great time! Definitely check out the COG next summer cause it was a blast.

No comments:

Post a Comment