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Thursday, March 16, 2017

2017 ITF NPB 3/16 recap

55 species for OC this month birding the area during this event. Today afternoon spotted Reddish Egret at Bolsa Chica. Really BC is better than Upper Newport Beach Bay, period. Has more species, in more numbers.

Maybe I should buy a t shirt saying;

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

...bashing brainlessly? Lol.

I don't think I can attend EB after all. Just too tired. Already stayed 10 days at IW so sick of it lol. Also birded enough. And 2 weeks later it would be EVEN HOTTER, yikes.  Probability of absence increased from 60% to 80% lol. I'd rather spend that money for lodging etc. on buying a better scope.

Quarterfinal
Salma EWING (USA) [1] 6-1 6-0 Jessie Jiaxin GONG (CAN) [10]

Katie VOLYNETS (USA) [4] 6-2 6-3 Skyler Marie Grace GRISHUK (USA) [9]

Really Skyler does everything well. Moonballing is just one of the things she does well lol(not quite Taylor Townsend's NASA moonballs lol, but impressive enough!). Katie has no problem attacking those balls, she doesn't make much errors. Skyler was actually quite aggressive at times, but sometimes made errors trying to attack.

Jennifer GADALOV (USA) 6-3 6-0 Peyton STEARNS (USA) [5]

Marquee match so concentrated on this stadium match.
Peyton led 3-0 methinks, too powerful(really Peyton is now one of the elite hitters; not many can say that they can hit better than her. I'm including class of 2018 and 2019 here), and Jen's moonballs were landing on the service line begging to be whacked lol.

But I guess Jen was warming up. Later sent deep enough, and again moved so well, it was Peyton who finally succumbed to her 'Black Magic' ! 'Wozzed'??!! So lost 9 games in a row? Sank flat drives tons.

Will Jen's next victim, the victim of 'Gadalovism' lol, be a similar basher, Lauren Stein?  Against this kind of player, bashing won't do. You have to be prepared to engage in long rallies. Don't go all out: aggressive, but not too much. Controlled aggression. Point construction would be nice, like luring to the net and attacking the lines to stretch her wide. Sounds easy, but it isn't, and Jen just really moved well, probably anticipates well, too. For example Peyton's attempts on variety(drop volley, etc) got attacked.

Peyton today 'employed' that 'leg thru' more..naturally lol. Another elite product of the Mecca, Midwest. I wonder if she'll join the 'Midwest Exodus'. Her brother is wearing a UK(Kentucky) hood t though!

Lauren STEIN (USA) [12] 6-4 6-3 Charlotte CHAVATIPON (GUM) [13]

CC really is a good player. Same class of 2020 as Lauren? That was no easy match. Lauren not only hits aggressively, she really has fine variety, employed to good effect. Also her on the run shots were really good, managed to find the court, not sinking as many do.

Semifinal

Imani GRAHAM (USA) / Lauren STEIN (USA) [3] 3-6 6-4 [11-9] Salma EWING (USA) / Peyton STEARNS (USA) [1]

There was an elephant in the room!
Don't think the #1 seed played that bad. 1st set was them teaching a lesson in aggression lol, poaching tons after disrupting G/S's defense with great hitting. Passing shot attempts by Lauren were brutally punished, as well.

Was actually quite impressed with Imani today. Could return with pace, and was really sound overall. Rallying was generally no problem for her, and defense wasn't bad either. Also passed well.

And Lauren. Despite getting punished in the 1st, kept going at it, trying to pass and poach, attacking weak balls(including serve)..and it eventually paid off I guess. Her volleys were also really good. Against such a good team as E/S, you gotta have that extra something to keep it up; certainly Lauren's weapons made that possible, aside from Imani's great solid plays. Some of those low volleys at the later crucial moments reminded me of Maria Sanchez's at IW!

Peyton did sink some of her fh drives, and Salma also made errors, especially during the match tiebreak. But methinks it's more of G/S playing well, than E/S playing poorly. Overall, great match.

Georgia DRUMMY (IRL) / Mei Xu WU (CHN) [6] 6-3 7-5 Emilee DUONG (USA) / Rena LIN (USA)

Only could watch the last 3 games or so, when I arrived after the above match was finished: D/L were leading 5-4 in the 2nd. Mostly Duong's errors, but was pretty impressed with D/W. They just hit really solidly; did not falter at all. Thought the match was actually of high quality, both teams hitting and volleying really well.

Staggered match tomorrow, verra good. Looking forward to it. Only have to endure one more day of horrendous morning traffic lol, I won't attend the last day(singles final), as usual(will attend Carson Q, or will recuperate lol).

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