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Jim Coudal's Match Preview

Volleywood

Jason Santa Maria and Derek Powazek have both played in previous Layer Tennis matches and given the results we couldn’t resist matching them against each other. Let’s take a look at each of them through the lens of a single volley.

Jason Santa Maria played one of our favorite volleys from last season during his Halloween Match versus Brian Taylor. It was an almost perfect advancement of the visual story and a complete change in tone and format, all in one fifteen minute lob over the net.

While there are virtually no rules in Layer Tennis, most people would agree that the ideal volley is one like that. A play that takes what came before and reconstitutes it into something else entirely all the while sticking to the spirit of the "story."

Way back when, Layer Tennis was called "Photoshop Tennis." While the archives from those early seasons are lost in the digital fog, a few memories and luckily a few images remain. Derek Powazek played in a match against Heather Champ, who is now his wife. Which, if nothing else, proves that spirited competition does not necessarily breed contempt. Anyway, the match was going along well when Heather played this for volley six and then all of the sudden Derek dissappeared from the backstage chat-room.

In a beautifully creative move, Derek printed out volley six, crumbled it up, took it outside, stapled it to a telephone poll, took a picture of it, formatted that picture and posted it as his volley seven. So cool.

For those seeking more clarity in the rules of the game we say fuggetaboddit. The whole idea is that this Friday craziness is one big improvisation, and not just because we're interested in seeing what the players come up with under the glare of the audience and the relentlessly ticking clock, but also because as both of these players have shown, sometimes zigging is the only way to go when everyone expects you to zag.

We're looking forward to the match today. We have no idea where it will go and that's just how we like it. Derek has won the coin-flip and will go first and play the odd numbered turns. Jason will play the evens and have the last word. If you haven't yet, sign up for your free season tickets so you can be a part of whatever happens and chime in via Twitter on the Crowd Page.

A quick note. This match was originally scheduled for last month but had to be postponed for technical reasons. Now, normally players have a week or two to prepare but it will be interesting to see what happens in a match where two experienced contestants have had thirty days to think and/or worry about it.


Play by play commentary for this match is provided, as it happens, by Jim Coudal.

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