I’ll begin this article by throwing it back to Tuesday morning. I don’t know the exact time because we have had about 20,000 texts in our blogger group text since then and I am not going to scroll back because I have a life (barely). Two D3 tennis fanatics known as The Guru and D3AtlanticSouth came up with the cool idea of live blogging the Stag-Hen. I was “working at home” with the snowstorm meaning I had absolutely nothing to do other than drink seltzer so I was all for participating. We got a Google doc thrown up there, and basically typed on that thing for like ten hours on the first day and another five on the second. That’s fifteen hours of live coverage. At the end, we had 27 pages of text, lots of chat in the live chat (that, fun fact, you could get into if you logged into any Gmail account), and up to 37 of our favorite anonymous animals, including a jackalope, ifrit, chupacabra, and a quagga. Microsoft Word thinks none of the above animals are spelled correctly. My favorite part was when a big moment happened, three bloggers would rush to post a reaction, and it was basically a race to see whose live stream was less behind and to see who could write their timestamp the fastest. To be perfectly honest here, I think we were all blown away that anyone would spend time reading through a Google doc full of text, let alone 37 people! When we got up to 3 people during the first set of doubles, I was really excited, and the fact that we got into the 30s is pretty darn awesome. We also had some appearances from some of our favorite (?) players, including Brady Anderson (Coe), Shaw Speer (Colby), and Ian Paik (Oberlin), D3Tree annoying the heck out of us with Loras vs. Ripon updates, and Adam Van Zee (Wabash, Earlham, Division3tennis.com)
I thought it would be fun to comb back through the live blog and look for some of the best moments. I’ve split it into three wonderful individual sections. Also, if you joined, let us know in the comments what you thought! What could we have done better? Should we have been giving different information or blogging differently somehow? I would have loved to create a section somehow for anybody to comment on so we could have had a better back and forth, and that’s something I’m sure we would love to do next time. If you want to read the live blog in its entirety, you can do so here! Anyway, without further ado, here are some of our favorite moments from the past couple of days.
Central (12:05 PM): I am interested in the Whitman lineup. This is where they blew a chance to be strategic and sit a few guys in a match they likely won’t win. Rest some guys because two matches in the Cali sun can hurt you as we have seen in the past with cramping.
Guru (12:06 PM): This is probably the toughest day of tennis of the entire year fitness wise. So I echo Central’s thoughts. Teams are anxious and pumped for their first match, but its the second and third matches that make or break performance.
Addressing the one blog comment we received during the two days:
Guru (1:18 PM): I’ll take a shot at the comment. Yes Kenyon will win the NCAC. Denison and DePauw are good teams, but the Lords have been playing better competition so far this season. You have to remember they played good matches against Pomona and Trinity, both of which are 10-15 teams in my eyes. I think their match against Tyler tomorrow will be very telling as to the true strength of the team. I don’t expect them to sweep through their conference and crush everyone, but yes they will win it and they will make the Sweet 16.
During Wesleyan vs. CMS #1 doubles
West (2:18 PM): Roberts’ backhand return has gone ice cold over the past couple games. One thing, I think, that consistently separates DI from DIII is overheads. You put a lob up in DI doubles and the point is over. You put one up in DIII, and it’s often just getting started.
ASouth Predicting the Future during CMS vs. Wes
AS (3:05 PM): CMS depth is too nice. Macey at 6 is unfair. He was a stellar #4 last year. Wildman was a question mark going into the season but now it looks like he’s a force. Park has moved down to #5 and looking good. Also, Morkovine at 3. Amazing.
The New Guy Impressed by the Skid Kids
Reg AS (3:48 PM) Very impressed by the ‘Breds hanging tough with a very strong Wash U team. Hopefully they can secure a couple second sets to make things interesting.
D3West staying composed
NE (6:17 PM): I know CMS played well against CMU last weekend, I know they played good singles earlier today. I know they have home court advantage. BUT, considering every single blogger picked the Stags pre-tournament, are any of you rethinking or even worrying about that pick? Wash U sat three of their usual singles starters. They play great doubles, something CMS has really struggled in lately. Wesleyan was one point from sweeping the Stags in doubles earlier today, isn’t there any chance that Wash U and Coach Follmer pull off the stunner?
West (6:19 PM): No
The More You Know
Central (7:24 PM): Little known fact, Kroot (Wash U) and Wynne (Skidmore) played on the same high school team together and won 3 state championships.
This one could go under both informative and hilarious
West (3:36 PM): CMS setting the difficulty level on God mode for themselves right here. Wolfe has a double break in the second set, and is on the verge of putting Bowdoin up 4-0, but CMS is in the lead or tied in all the remaining matches. In other West region action, decent first update for Whitman, and we have another freshman in at #6 singles with a last name that might actually be an obscure tropical disease.
West complementing NE for the first time ever
West (3:37 PM): Wesleyan putting the finishing touches on a pretty comprehensive beatdown here. Statement victory in every sense of the word ahead of Friday’s big match with Redlands, who all of the sudden is playing like a top 10 team. Side note: NE’s X-Factor for Whitman, Zach Hewlin, is 0-5 on the tournament, and NE said that he needed to go 5-1 for Whitman to have a successful weekend, which is probably going to turn out to be accurate.
NE (4:30 PM): ROCKABYE SWEET BABY JIANG. That’s a big set. Not sure I’ve ever seen Jerry that pumped up. Love it. Bowdoin leads 4-3 with 3rd sets just starting at 4&5. Actually Roddy already up 2-0 in the 3rd at #5. Quick work.
To close out the tournament
Reg AS (5:16 PM): Coach Settles is one of the best coaches in D3 tennis and CMS has some ridiculous talent. I’m making a way too early prediction for NCAAs and going with CMS to take the crown. You heard it here first ladies and gents. Settles will have the doubles in line by the time NCAAs comes around and their singles might be the best in D3.
Guru (5:15 PM): Just when I think things can’t get anymore unexpected and epic, it happens. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two more incredible comebacks in back to back matches. I’ll go through the archives, but beating two top teams in a row after being swept in doubles is indescribable. CMS went 8-0 in 3-set matches over the course of their last two matches.
West (2:12 PM): An anonymous Ifrit has joined. Here’s what google has to say about that: An ifrit is an enormous winged creature of smoke, either male or female, who lives underground and frequents ruins. I’m learning so much today
West (2:15 PM): An anonymous one of these things has joined https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/8d/d0/81/8dd081ec2d7fa96fde89d9ccc3917f20.jpg
Guru (1:26 PM): There’s an anonymous Kraken viewing as well and that’s pretty incredible.
West (1:27 PM): The fact that a mythological creature would take time out of its imaginary day to tune in really means a lot.
West (1:40 PM): Brooms for Bowdoin. :(. Now googling Quagga…..
“The quagga is an extinct subspecies of plains zebra that lived in South Africa until the 19th century. “ TMYK
West (1:43 PM): If anyone was wondering what an Aurochs was: “The aurochs, also urus, ure, is an extinct type of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle” Welcome to the party
West (2:11 PM): Match game yet again. Anonymous Elephant trying to chime in here. I don’t think it’s allowed. Would love to hear your thoughts, and why you’re so intent on hiding your big grey identity. Sitting there with your little cursor right here is an exercise in futility, but i actually would love to hear what you have to say, assuming you’re not LoveD3Tennis
This interaction could also go under informative or hilarious but anytime AS brings up NE’s Wesleyan obsession, I find it pretty hilarious
NE (1:33 PM): Guru, you’re going to make me stress vomit.
AS (1:34 PM): ^^lol. NE you’re already going to vomit from all the Kool Aid that you drank over 4 years.
West (1:34 PM): AS is about to say something stupid. I just wanted to drop the “national championship contender” bomb for NE and see how he feels about it. If Wesleyan really can sweep the Stags today, we have to start considering them a legitimate threat to win the whole thing. Long way to go, but still.
West just invented Favorites in Google Docs
West (1:38 PM): Freudian slip right there. My fiancé just told me, “You’re live blogging?” “So, like. Tweeting, but bigger.”
Reg (1:39 PM): It’s like tweeting, but only 10 people see it instead of like 600 (West: favorite)
West always makes movie references that I don’t get
West (2:02 PM): Match game for the sweep at #1 doubles with Mork serving (cue the bad guy from Ratatouille saying “HIGHLY SUSPECT”)
NE (2:34 PM): Not to make this all about me or anything, but take a look at that Wesleyan singles lineup. Look familiar?
AS (2:35 PM): NE, good job doing your job.
West (3:28 PM): Skidmore is actually mounting some strong resistance in the early parts of these second sets. Do you believe in miracles?
AS (3:28 PM): No.
West (3:29 PM): Do you believe in unlikelihoods?
AS (3:29 PM): Okay, yes.
RegAS drinking and thinking WashU will beat CMS
Reg AS (9:15 PM): I think Wash U takes this match, Midwest disagrees. Let’s see what happens! PSA: I have also probably had more wine than Midwest, so take that for what it’s worth. Tree agrees with me. Tree has not had wine.
West (12:42 PM): I’ve been saying that for a while too, so I guess this is probably the appropriate time to finally do the good ol’ identity reveal. I am, in fact, Coach Settles. It was really hard coaching while doing this all day yesterday, but that’s just how good I am.
AS (12:44 PM): You weren’t supposed to reveal that until the end of the year.
NE (12:45 PM): That’s good to know. Can you answer me something? Is it just one visor? Do you wash it daily? Or do you have an entire room in one of the sheds at Bisantz that is full to the brim with visors?
West (12:47 PM): Getting to the visors first: obviously you haven’t been paying attention. I always match my visor to the team unis. I have them in 50 shades of red, 50 shades of yellow, 50 shades of black, 50 shades of grey, and 50 shades of white for optimal coordination.
I need more examples for “The Dumb” but this one is too funny to not put here
West (1:59): Not that sorry, it turns out. Bowdoin with a sweep. *Cue ESPN 30-for-30 music* “What if I told you, CMS would win one doubles match in the entire Stag-Hen… and still win the tournament. ESPN Films presents… ‘Doubles Troubles: The Story of How CMS Won The Stag-Hen Despite Getting Swept In Doubles Twice;”
Talking about the important things
Reg (11:44 AM): What should I make for lunch on this snowy day?
AS (11:44 AM): I’m personally eating PB & J since I’m completely tanking right now. Oh, and Case isn’t finishing in 8th. I’d probably bet money on it.
NE (11:45 AM): Crunchy or creamy PB? These are the important things to come out of today.
Reg (11:46 AM): It better be crunchy or else all my respect for AS went out the window.
AS (11:47 AM): It’s crunchy, what do you think this is, amateur hour?
RegAS (11:50 AM): Definitely smooth and creamy
Reg (11:51 AM): WOW.
More of the AS/NE Love
AS (10:58 AM): Don’t worry fans, I’m here to save you from Northeast’s ramblings. Actually, I don’t have any teams playing so I can’t really do anything here but shoot the shit.
NE (11:00 AM): What do you ever do besides “shoot the shit?” That’s just your thing. Also, is it really 11 o’clock at night where you are? Must be tough keeping up with all this tennis from Kazakhstan.
AS (11:01 AM): Just changed time zones and we’re back.
NE (11:02 AM): Quick flight? Charge you for peanuts? Watch any good movies?
AS (11:02 AM): Movies, I’d suggest watching Get Out and Logan ASAP, just saying.
I wanted to close out this long article with a nice recap that D3West gave to finish out the live blog:
West (5:48 PM): For all your folks sticking around/leaving the tab open and doing other things on the internet: thanks for tuning in. This was a truly great tournament! Only time will tell, but I feel the field in this tournament was likely stronger than that of indoors, and it gave us some of the matches of the year. Matches of the tournament:
- CMS def. Bowdoin 5-4: CMS comes back from down 0-4 and wins four consecutive three-set matches to dethrone the defending champs. It doesn’t get much more epic than that. http://www.cmsathletics.org/sports/mten/2016-17/files/CMS-BOW.xtg
- CMS def. Wash U 6-3: Stags come back from a doubles sweep to win four consecutive three-set matches and win a big match against a key UAA competitor/perennial Final Four participant. Sound familiar? http://www.cmsathletics.org/sports/mten/2016-17/files/WU-CMS.xtg
- Case def. Whitman 5-4: The Spartans put their signature toughness on display. The match followed a script with Case taking two doubles matches and winning three first sets, but they needed Dong to hold off a furious charge from Foster (8-6 in the third set tiebreaker) to finally clinch the walk off tiebreaker. http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mten/2016-17/files/cwr-wc.htm
- Wash U def. Pomona-Pitzer 5-4: We don’t have the details on this one yet, but this much we know. Wash U’s #1 doubles team recovered from a late break to give them a 2-1 lead after dubs. Sean Berman then delivered the clinching point, coming back from a set down at #5 singles to win 6-3 in the 3rd.
- Pomona-Pitzer def. Case Western 5-4: The Sagehens beat the Spartans once again with senior Joshua Kim getting of the singles schneid to deliver the clinching point over red-hot freshman Sam Concannon 6-2, 7-5. This match didn’t have the 3-set madness the other close ones did, and it took a Siddarth 10-pointer to provide the final margin, but the win puts Case in very, very precarious Pool C territory. http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mten/2016-17/files/pp-cwr.htm