2013 Chicago Co-Ed – OPENING ROUND & FINAL4 PLAYOFFS: Vball & Hoops (Aug.

Updated: August 8, 2013

On Monday Night we went from 10 to 8, from 8 to 4, and then finally 4 to 2 Teams.  It was a crazy night that featured highs and lows for many teams.  Before we get into the week that was and preview the Championship Game — here is a LINK to the Weekly Video Highlights. Also, a gigantic congratulations goes out to the first ever Chicago Co-Ed All @AllSportsSeries Team and League MVP: MVP Andrew Kaplan**, Jamie Rotter, & Jeremy Gould – Team Bartlett (Sparkt), Adam Pellar & Jody Shimanek – Team Mazurek (Benjamin & Shapiro Law), & Rachel Gellar – Team Lewis (Rory and Co. Gluten Free)!

This is how this week’s Wrap-Up will work.. We’re going to go game by game in chronological order from the Opening Round and Elite8 Volleyball Matches Games through the Final 4 Hoops Games to see who is left standing.  Let’s get to see who will be playing in the Championship Game!

Opening Round Volleyball (10 Teams Remain)

7. Team Bartlett (Sparkt) v. 10. Team Graham (Loree’s Closet) – Team Bartlett wins 2-0

As will be repeated time and time again throughout this Wrap-Up — Matchups are everything in All Sports Series and especially in the Playoffs.  Team Bartlett, for those who have forgotten or just choose not to acknowledge it, are the reigning, defending, undisputed, (and undefeated in ’12) 2012 Champions of the Co-Ed World.  To say that Team Graham had a rough pull when the Brackets came out I think would be an understatement considering Volleyball has been a strength of Team Bartlett since their very first weeks in All Sports Series.  Team Bartlett won 2-0 and will advance to the Elite 8 to meet #2 Seed Team Kirshner later in the evening.  The story here is Team Graham.. Captain Judson’s clan had a rough go of it in terms of win/loss record this Summer but I can honestly tell you, you’d never know that by their demeanor.  They always seemed to be having a good time.  I want to share a bit of a All Sports Series history before I say good bye to Team Graham for 2013 — There have been plenty of Teams throughout the Years that were near or at the bottom (some who did not even qualify for the Playoffs) who turned it around and made runs to the Final 4 the very next year.  These guys will have a better of idea of what they need to succeed coming into 2014 and I think they will.

8. Team Bemoras (Cy Fredris) v. Team Leibow (RazorReef.com) – Team Leibow wins 2-0

This was a Matchup of familiar foes.  Captain Michael “Vice Prior ’08” Bemoras’ crew and Captain Harry “Vice Prior ’09” Leibow’s squad know each other like the back of their own hands.  Or something like that.  The story on Monday Night was this — one team came ready to destroy and the other well they looked like they went to a music shindig this weekend that was held in Chicago.  Team Leibow was all business Monday Night — which is no surprise with Captain Harry running around with an iron fist.  They took the match 2-0 (21-18 in both games) and set up a date with Team Lewis later in the evening.  For Team Bemoras their journey ends in a bit of disappointment.  I will say this however, I think they have the ability to one day hoist the All Sports Series crown — with a few more breaks this team could have been seeded much higher and avoided this Rivalry matchup which would have greatly benefitted their playoff chances.  I predict a stronger 2014 showing out of this group for sure.

Elite8 Volleyball

3. Team Pivar (Janice Goldblatt) v. 6. Team Mazurek (Benjamin and Shapiro Law) – Team Mazurek wins 2-0

Team Pivar came into the Playoffs on quite a roll but again back to the matchups thing — Team Mazurek is and was a strong Vball Team this Summer and it showed on Monday Night.   Team Mazurek won two straight to become the first Team locked into the Final4.  As for Team Pivar I think they should be incredibly proud of their 2013 campaign. They actually almost pulled out Game 2 of this match before dropping it 23-21.. Who knows what could have happened had they forced a 3rd and final game.. Coming in as Rookies and grabbing the #3 seed out of 10 teams is no joke.  They had several wins this Summer and plenty of building blocks for the Summer of ’14.  As for Team Mazurek — they too are a Rookie squad and into the Final4 — they await the Winner of #2 Team Kirshner and #7 Team Bartlett…

2. Team Kirshner (Sofia Live Lovely) v. 7. Team Bartlett (Sparkt) – Team Bartlett wins 2-1

This was the most entertaining  Match of the night.  I’m not talking just Volleyball. I’m not talking just Co-Ed League.  This was the most entertaining thing that happened at Windy City on Monday Night — hands down.  Team Kirshner who was taking part in their first Playoff game going against Team Bartlett who just so happens to be Undefeated in All Sports Series Playoffs..  Team Kirshner came out of the gate quick and grabbed a well-played Game 1 – 21-18.  Team Bartlett then found themselves nearing extinction for the first time since their incredible 8-run comeback in last season’s Final4 Softball game, dug deep and dominated Game 2 by the score of 21-9.  So it all came down to Game 3… One game to 21, the winner advances to the Final4 and the Loser goes home to train for next June… You can’t even call this game a nail biter because that wouldn’t do it justice..  Both teams traded 1 or 2 point leads throughout the duration of the Game. Team Kirshner led 20-18 but Team Bartlett rattled off the next 2 points to tie at 20.  Remember these games are played to 21 but you must win by 2 and there is a cap at 25 points. Literally nothing could separate these two teams.  There were heart-pounding rallies on literally every play down the stretch.  Amazingly, we found ourselves tied at 24.. So the final point of the game would decide who moved on and who went home..  The Defending Champs, kept the ball alive long enough to send it back over to Team Kirshner who returned it to Team Bartlett who sent the ball over the net and INto the floor for the Final Point.  The Defening Champs Team Bartlett advanced 25-24 in seriously one of the best games of the Summer.  For Team Kirshner — what can you say?  There are probably 100 things that could have gone differently for them, and they would have been suiting up for Final4 Hoops.  All I can say is that sometimes you need a bit of heart break to really get over the hump.  Without seeing Rosters or anything like that for 2014 — I think you could be looking at the Front Runner right here for next Season.

1. Team Lewis (Rory and Co. Gluten Free Goods) v. 9. Team Leibow (RazorReef.com) – Team Lewis wins 2-0

Team Lewis earned the right to be atop the Mountain at Regular Season’s end by going on a complete tear in the final 5 weeks of the Season.  They were in a word – awesome.  Their run would not end in Volleyball as they defeated Team Leibow 2-0 to move on to the Final 4.  Team Leibow’s journey ends a bit earlier than they’d hoped when the Season began but they have a few things to look back fondly on.  For one, Captain Harry Leibow cracked a smile after their Opening Round VBall win — something many thought would never happen.  Also, Michelle “awesome” Grodsky brought fantastic brownies on their final night of the Summer.  I think these guys should just focus on the positives this off-season and maybe train less.  Just too much pressure was put on them this Season.  I know they will be back and hungry for a Crown. Team Lewis will play the winner of #4 Team Lazarov and #5 Team Apuli..

4. Team Lazarov (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) v. #5 Team Apuli (Manny’s Deli) – Team Lazarov wins 2-0

Let me start by saying this — DID YOU GUYS SEE THE SWEET PLAYOFF COOKIES FROM MANNY’S? Wow.  Okay on to the match. Team Lazarov came into the Playoffs seeded #4 due to a couple of losses on the Softball Diamond.  While they have a #4 next to their name on the Bracket I think if you took a poll of teams in the League they’d come up as the team everyone would least like to see come Playoff time.  They are scary good in everything (but softball apparently — which isn’t in the Playoffs this Summer) and Monday Night they showcased their VBall skills wrapping this Match up rather quickly.  Team Apuli’s first run in the Co-Ed League ends in the Elite8 but they have plenty to be proud of from this Season. For much of the first part of the Summer they were at or near the Top of the Standings and the Power Rankings — and that was no accident. There is a ton of talent on Justin “double duty” Apuli’s squad.  I think this team will be back and if they can add an extra piece or two, will certainly go farther in the 2014 Playoffs.  Team Lazarov secured a spot in the Final 4 and a Hoops Game with #1 Seed Team Lewis.

Final 4 Hoops

1. Team Lewis (Rory and Co. Gluten Free Goods) v. Team Lazarov (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) – Team Lazarov wins 56-31

Let me say this — the Playoffs get everyone’s competitive juices flowing — especially when the field whittles down to just 4 Teams.   These were two of the Top Teams all Summer long and a big reason why is when they step on the field/court/diamond — they want to win.  On this night, Team Lazarov won in Hoops — a sport I don’t think they can really ever be matched in — and locked up their spot in the Championship Game.  I want to take a minute to talk about the #1 Seed Team Lewis.  They got the #1 Seed as a Rookie Team — which is literally unheard of in All Sports Series.   They played every week and every opponent tough — even in their final game fighting an uphill battle. Captain Shelly “have you seen her Twitter picture (avatar? I don’t know what people call it really) — but its sweet” Lewis and crew have no reason to hang their heads after this one.  I will harp on how important matchups are in the Playoffs — this one can be chalked up to unfortunate luck in terms of the Seeds.  It happens.  I hope to see these guys back next Season because I think with a different Playoff Schedule they can be the ones holding the Crown at Season’s End.  For Team Lazarov — This win was their 2nd Co-Ed Win of the Night as they had to win in Volleyball first to get into this Game. However, what some may not know — many of the guys are a part of the Defending Champions Team Hakimian in the Men’s League — they also won 2 Hoops games on Monday Night.. That’s right a clean sweep 4-0 (3-0 in Hoops and a Volleyball win as well).. I’m not sure how they did it to be honest. I’m not sure how they were walking to be honest.  But they found a way..  Now who would be their opponent in the Championship Flag Football Game??

6. Team Mazurek (Benjamin & Shapiro Law) v. 7. Team Bartlett (Sparkt) – Team Bartlett wins 38-32

@TeamBartlett123 is going back to the Championship game to defend their Crown!  Team Mazurek gave it all they had and it at times it seemed as if they would be the first team to defeat Team Bartlett in a Playoff game but in the end experience won out.  Team Mazurek had such a successful Season.  They proved they were one of the best Volleyball Teams in the League by getting through to the Final4 and they pushed Team Bartlett as far as they could.  Captain Allison “Reggie Bush” Mazurek’s crew has everything you need to win All Sports Series — size, speed, talent, and they really want it as well.. That is so key.  In 2014, I expect to see them at or near the Top of the Power Rankings week in and week out.  For Captain Ellie “I don’t think she is running the @TeamBartlett123 account” Bartlett and her group of Defending Champions — the road was not the same but the result sure was in 2013.  To get to back to back Championship Games is nearly impossible in All Sports Series.  To do so even after having to play in the Opening Round of the Playoffs (an extra game) is literally unheard of.  One more win now separates them from being the first team to ever Repeat as All Sports Series Champions.  Back in the first week of the Wrap-Up. I told everyone, of anyone’s chances to Repeat.. I like theirs’ the best… What I didn’t know then was how strong Team Lazarov would be and that they’d be waiting for them in the Championship.   It’s going to be a fun one as the Banter has already begun between both sides.

Thanks again to all of you for participating in All Sports Series this Summer (and reading). I hope you had a great time and I am looking forward to seeing you again next Summer!

– Holden