Kastles Edge Explorers for 29th Win in a RowJuly 28, 2012 - World TeamTennis (WTT) Washington Kastles
But every test that the Kastles have faced since July 22, 2010, they've passed with flying red-and-blue.
Washington won its 29th consecutive match 22-17 over the Explorers to come within one victory of an improbable second consecutive perfect regular season.
Having earned its most lopsided victory in franchise history 25-8 over Kansas City (4-9) on Sunday, Washington (13-0) won pivotal points in the final three sets to break away from the Explorers on Friday.
World TeamTennis' No. 1-ranked men's singles player Bobby Reynolds gave the Kastles a 5-1 lead after one set before the Explorers rallied with a 5-2 victory in women's doubles by winning all four 3-all points in that set.
That's when the newest Kastles took control of the match, earning their colors with each passing set.
In the mixed doubles, Treat Huey and Raquel Kops-Jones saved four set points to prevent the Explorers from tying the score after three sets. Instead, the Kastles maintained a crucial two-game lead by winning the set on a deciding 4-4 point in the tiebreaker.
Edina Gallovits-Hall went on to increase Washington's lead to 17-13 by defeating top-ranked women's singles player Chanel Simmonds of Kansas City 5-3.
Reynolds' veteran leadership and Huey's fearlessness allowed Washington to close things out in men's doubles as the Kastles clinched the winner-take-all final point of a tiebreaker.
The Kastles' final regular season match is tonight at 8:05 pm against the Springfield Lasers (4-9).
Following a hiatus for The Olympic Games and US Open, Washington will meet the New York Sportimes in the Eastern Conference Championship match on September 15th in Charleston, S.C. New York (8-5) qualified for the WTT playoffs on Friday with a 22-16 win over Springfield.
MS - Reynolds (WAS) def. Qureshi (KCE) 5-1
In their first meeting this season, Washington won men's singles 5-0, prompting Explorers' coach Brent Haygarth to bench Nick Monroe in favor of World No. 12 doubles player Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.
But Qureshi was unable to mount any resistance against the in-form Kastles' closer. Reynolds' experience grinding away in long rallies proved more valuable than Qureshi's specialty of serving-and-volleying.
After Qureshi held in the first game of the set, Reynolds raced away with the next five, breaking Qureshi in each of his next two service games on 3-all deciding points.
Reynolds hit a screaming down-the-line backhand passing shot for 2-1, benefited from a Qureshi double fault for 4-1, and then served the set out with an ace.
A winner in 20 of 24 games over his last four singles sets, Reynolds is now immersed in a competition with teammate Leander Paes for the WTT Male MVP award.
Washington leads 5-1.
WD - Luzhanska/Simmonds (KCE) def. Gallovits-Hall/Kops-Jones (WAS) 5-2
After winning two 3-all points in men's singles, fortunes were reversed for the Kastles in women's doubles. The Explorers' Simmonds and Tetiana Luzhanska captured each of the first four games that they won on deciding points.
Luzhanska in particular shined throughout the set, giving her team a 3-1 lead with a down-the-line passing shot winner, and increasing it to 4-2 two games later with a volley winner.
By breaking Gallovits-Hall for a second time, the Explorers cut the Kastles' advantage to one.
Washington leads 8-7.
MXD - Huey/Kops-Jones (WAS) def. Qureshi/Luzhanska (KCE) 5-4(4)
The Kastles made the first mark in mixed doubles by breaking Luzhanska on a 3-all point for 2-1, following a sharply-angled volley by Kops-Jones with a drop volley winner by Huey.
Serves were held from that point until another 3-all deciding point to decide whether the Explorers could force a tiebreak or the Kastles could win the set outright.
With Kops-Jones serving at 4-3, 3-all, Luzhanska's stellar play continued as the new American citizen hit a hard return that forced a volley error by Kops-Jones.
Another powerful Luzhanska return, this time a winner off Huey's serve, gave Kansas City a 3-1 lead in the tiebreaker. The Explorers would win the next point to make it 4-1, giving them four consecutive set points.
But Washington saved them all, the last three on Kops-Jones' serve and the final two on unreturnable serves by the World No. 19 women's doubles player.
If the Explorers had won the tiebreaker, they would have tied the match score through three sets.
Washington leads 13-11.
WS - Gallovits-Hall (WAS) def. Simmonds (KCE) 5-3
Having let a 3-0 lead in the first game slip away on her serve, Gallovits-Hall got off to a nightmarish start against Simmonds, the No. 1-ranked women's singles player in the lead.
But steady play and strong forehands allowed Gallovits-Hall to break back immediately. While she protected her serve from there, the new Kastle patiently waited for another opportunity to break her left-handed opponent.
It finally came on a 3-all point with Gallovits-Hall leading 4-3. Had Simmonds won that point on her serve, and then a tiebreaker, Kansas City would have cut the score to 16-15.
But a deep forehand by Gallovits-Hall forced Simmonds into shanking a ball, giving Washington a crucial 5-3 win and a four-game lead in the match.
Washington leads 17-13.
MD - Huey/Reynolds (WAS) def. Monroe/Qureshi (KCE) 5-4(4)
All four players in men's doubles held serve to 2-2 before the Kastles began getting looks at breaking the Explorers.
After a big return from Reynolds, Qureshi won a 3-all point for 3-2 with an ace. Two games later, the Kastles opened up a 2-0 lead on Monroe's serve following a pair of winners by Reynolds. But Huey's attempt at an around-the-net shot hit the post after an extended exchange of angled volleys, and the Explorers rallied for another hold and a 4-3 lead.
In the next game, it was Huey's turn to come through in the clutch, winning a 3-all point and forcing a tiebreaker with a kick second serve that drew a Monroe error.
As in mixed doubles, the men's doubles tiebreaker came down to the winner-take-all 4-4 point. Huey improved his set record with the Kastles to 5-1 by blasting a big serve that drew a short return from Qureshi, allowing Reynolds to put away an easy volley for a winner.
The final scoreboard showed that the Kastles won by five games. But three points in particular were the difference between Washington's 29th straight victory and a stunning loss. The 4-4 tiebreaker points in mixed and men's doubles, as well as a 3-all point in the final game of women's singles, all went Washington's way.
Had they not, the Kastles could have finished with three fewer games on the scoreboard and the Explorers would have had at least three more.
If the clutch Kastles can come away with a few more important points against Springfield tonight, they will conclude a second straight unbelievable, undefeated season.
Washington wins 22-17.
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 EST
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?
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.
London Olympics Underway: Venus, Paes Play Sunday!
More than 2,600 Washington Kastles fans packed into Kastles Stadium at The Wharf last weekend to wave goodbye to Venus Williams, Leander Paes and Anastasia Rodionova .
Beginning today, those same fans can support the three Kastles' stars from afar as they go for gold on the grass courts of Wimbledon during The Olympic Games.
Rodionova made her Olympic debut early this morning, representing Australia with Jarmila Gajdosova against No. 6 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia. In a match-up of French Open quarterfinalists, the Russians defeated Rodionova and Gajdosova 6-1, 6-4.
The six-time Olympian Paes and three-time gold medalist Williams will wait their turn to begin competition until Sunday.
Paes is set to play men's doubles with his 89th different partner and 11th different Indian countryman when he teams with Vishnu Vardhan against Jean-Julien Rojer and Robin Haase. The fourth-year Kastle will also be in the mixed doubles draw with Sania Mirza when it is released on Tuesday.
While Paes makes history as the first tennis player to compete in a sixth Olympics, Williams hopes to become the first tennis player to win a fourth gold medal. She will get two cracks at it as the five-time Wimbledon singles and doubles champion competes in both events at the London Olympics.
In her first-round singles match, Williams will meet French Open finalist and No. 9 seed Sara Errani, who had an interesting transition from clay to grass earlier this summer. The Italian lost all 24 first-set points against Yaroslava Shvedova in a third-round match at Wimbledon.
The doubles draw presented Williams with an overwhelming advantage. She and sister Serena Williams are 38-2 all-time in doubles at the All England Club and 10-0 lifetime at The Olympic Games. Their first-round doubles opponents Sorana Cirstea and Simona Halep of Romania have never played a match together.
Watch daily live coverage through Friday of tennis at The Olympic Games from 7 am to 3 pm DC time on Bravo. Gold medal matches of the five Olympic tennis events can be see as follows:
Gold Medal Match Date DC Time TV Channel
Women's Singles Sat. 8/4 09:00 am NBC
Men's Doubles Sat. 8/4 11:30 am NBC Sports Network
Mixed Doubles Sun. 8/5 07:00 am NBC Sports Network
Men's Singles Sun. 8/5 09:00 am NBC
Women's Doubles Sun. 8/5 12:15 pm NBC Sports Network
In addition, live online streaming of up to five courts will be available throughout the tournament on NBCOlympics.com. Live scoring can be found at ITFTennis.com.
Saving money with GEICO is as easy as Game, Set, Match.
GEICO is proud to be the official auto insurer and sponsor of the Washington Kastles again for the 2012 season.
When GEICO was founded as the Government Employees Insurance Company 76 years ago, our mission was simple: work efficiently to offer quality insurance, then pass the savings on to our customers.
Today, as the nation's third-largest auto insurer, that is still the way we do business. Not only does GEICO offer great insurance for more than 11 million policyholders, but we save them money every day. In fact, new GEICO customers report average annual savings over $500.
But GEICO is more than just auto insurance - we can help with motorcycle, RV, commercial, and even boat, homeowners, renters insurance and more through the GEICO Insurance Agency.
With great rates, and fast, fair claim handling, it's no wonder GEICO enjoys a 97% customer satisfaction, and is consistently rated "excellent" or better by independent experts. Can your insurance company say that?
Go to geico.com, call 1-800-947-AUTO (2886) or contact your local GEICO agent for a FREE, no-obligation quote. See how much you could save! GEICO. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. ©
Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Average savings amount based on national GEICO New Policyholder survey data through March 2012. Customer satisfaction based on an independent study conducted by Alan Newman Research, 2012. GEICO is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States according to the 2011 A.M. Best market share report, published April 2012. Motorcycle and ATV coverages are underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company. Homeowners, renters and boat coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto coverage is underwritten by Government Employees Insurance Company. In some cases commercial auto coverage is provided through GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc., either under an arrangement with National Indemnity Company (NICO), a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, or with non-affiliated insurers. Business operations and property coverages are written through non-affiliated insurers and are secured through GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2012 GEICO
World TeamTennis Stories from July 28, 2012
- Washington Kastles Make Sports History with Second Consecutive Undefeated Regular Season; up Win Str - NY Buzz
- The Capitals Invite You to Celebrate with Us - Sacramento Capitals
- Kastles Edge Explorers for 29th Win in a Row - Washington Kastles
- New York, Orange County and Sacramento clinch final WTT playoff spots; Washington ups win streak to - NY Buzz
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.