Washington Kastles at Springfield Lasers Preview
Kastles Seek Second Straight Perfect Regular Season
Washington Kastles (13-0) at Springfield Lasers (4-9)
Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm
Live Scoring: WashingtonKastles.com
Real-Time Analysis: Facebook, Twitter
All-Time: Kastles lead Lasers 5-1
Last Meeting: Kastles def. Lasers 20-18 on July 11, 2012 (Away)
Before 2011, only one team in World TeamTennis history had completed an undefeated regular season.
Tonight, the Washington Kastles have a chance to clinch a perfect regular season twice in as many years.
The Kastles have not lost a match since July 22, 2010, sweeping 29 straight and surpassing the longest winning streaks in MLB, NFL, NHL, MLS and WNBA history along the way.
After posting a perfect 14-0 mark in the 2011 regular season, the Kastles could do the same in 2012 with a road victory against the Springfield Lasers tonight.
Springfield has already jeopardized Washington's winning streak on more than one occasion. The last two matches between the Kastles and Lasers have been tied after four sets, including Washington's 20-18 victory in Springfield 17 days ago.
With a win this evening, the 2012 Kastles would join the 2011 Kastles and 1994 Newport Beach Dukes as the only teams in the 37-history of WTT to finish a regular season undefeated.
Follow live scoring of tonight's match at 8:05 pm DC time on WashingtonKastles.com as the Kastles play for their 30th consecutive victory.
MS: Bobby Reynolds (WAS) vs. Amir Weintraub (SPR)
WS: Edina Gallovits-Hall (WAS) vs. Maria Sanchez (SPR)
MD: Reynolds/Treat Conrad Huey (WAS) vs. Weintraub/Devin Britton (SPR)
WD: Gallovits-Hall/Raquel Kops-Jones (WAS) vs. Sanchez/Liga Dekmeijere (SPR)
MXD: Huey/Kops-Jones (WAS) vs. Britton/Sanchez (SPR)
Treat Huey's speed around the court has keyed the Kastles since Tuesday.
(Photo by Vithaya Phongsavan)
SET BY SET
With a strong result tonight, Bobby Reynolds could cap the regular season as WTT's top-ranked men's singles player. If he does, the Kastles' closer will receive a $7,500 bonus check from the league, a nice reward for a man who has contested every Kastles' point in men's singles and doubles the last three seasons. Reynolds won his first meeting with Springfield's Amir Weintraub 5-3, but should still beware. Last Sunday, Weintraub defeated World No. 57 Sam Querrey of Sacramento 5-4.
Edina Gallovits-Hall of the Kastles and Maria Sanchez of the Lasers have taken over at singles for their respective teams after Washington Olympian Anastasia Rodionova and Springfield Olympian Timea Babos left for London. While Gallovits-Hall has sparked the Kastles to wins over Philadelphia and Kansas City, Sanchez is 0-4 in singles this season. In their only meeting on tour, Gallovits-Hall defeated Sanchez 6-0, 6-3 at a USTA Pro Circuit event in April.
Reynolds and Leander Paes went 9-1 this season before the Indian flew to London on Monday for The Olympic Games. Their one defeat was a shocker as the Kastles were broken three times in a 5-3 loss to Weintraub and Devin Britton. Without Paes, Reynolds will play for revenge alongside DC native Treat Huey. Despite their win over Washington on July 11th, Weintraub and Britton are ranked in the bottom-half of the WTT's men's doubles league leaders.
Filling in for Babos in women's doubles is Liga Dekmeijere of Latvia. She and Sanchez are 2-2 together. The Kastles will counter with Gallovits-Hall and Raquel Kops-Jones, neither of whom played when Springfield beat Washington 5-2 in women's doubles on July 11th. If the Kastles claim the set this time around, they will be in great shape for their 30th consecutive victory.
While Huey and Kops-Jones have filled the shoes of Paes and Anastasia Rodionova well in mixed doubles, Sanchez and Britton have struggled for Springfield. The former college stars are just 1-of-14 on 3-all deciding points this season. More often than not, those pivotal points are the difference between winning and losing a match. Who knows where the 4-9 Lasers would be had they converted a few more?
Devin Britton & Amir Weintraub upset Bobby Reynolds & Leander Paes July 11th.
(Photo by Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA)
KEY FOR THE KASTLES - REFUSE TO LOSE
Faced with the prospect of a perfect season in 2011, the Kastles swept all five sets against the Philadelphia Freedoms for a 25-11 victory that improved their record to 14-0.
But that was a home match and playing on the road is difficult no matter how many victories you've already posted in a season.
Throughout their 29-match winning streak, the Kastles have been anything but a team of circumstance. They've won near and far, easy and hard, with substitutes, Supertiebreakers and scintillating finishes all along the way.
What started as a slogan on a sign has turned into the Kastles' calling on court: "Refuse to Lose."
It's hard to envision Washington accepting defeat tonight.