Venus struggles as Kastles boil Lobsters, 20-11


Venus struggles as Kastles boil Lobsters, 20-11

Prior to the start of the Kastles match versus the Lobsters Monday night, GM Kevin Wynne, said Venus was feeling the pressure of the streak. The Kastles were going for their 22nd consecutive win.If Venus was nervous, it didn't showThat is, of course, until it was time for Williams to play singles.Despite Williams's lapse, the Kastles would go on to boil the Lobsters 20-11, giving them their 5th consecutive win on season and preserving their streak.
Mixed Doubles: Venus Williams Leander Paes vs. Eric Butorac Carly Gullickson-EagleVenus coupled with Paes would prove to be unstoppable.With Venus on serve, Williams and Paes found themselves off to a 3-0 lead. Williams served out the game without dropping a point. The game punctuated by an ace on the last point, which left Gullickson-Eagle dazed.The Kastles would drop the next game (perhaps they were trying to keep things interesting) but cruised to a 5-1 one defeat of Butorac Gullickson-Eagle.Kastles lead Lobsters 5-1.
Women's Doubles: Venus Williams Anastasia Rodionova vs. Irina Falconi Carly Gullickson-EagleCrisp volleys, solid backhands, crushing overheads and signature massive serves.Williams stole the show in women's doubles. It was as though it was just Venus versus both Falconi and Gullickson-Eagle.Up 4-0, Anastasia began to feel a more comfortable with her superstar partner hitting a down the line winner, but it wasn't enough as the Kastles dropped that game.With Rodionova shaking off the nerves and Venus coming out aggressive, the Kastles quickly bounced back closing out the match 5-1.Kastles lead Lobsters 9-2.
Men's Doubles: Bobby Reynolds Leander Paes vs. Eric Butorac Jan-Michael GambillIf Paes and Williams looked solid; Paes paired with Reynolds looks like granite.With Butorac on serve, Reynolds placed a sharp volley between the Lobsters that skidded the baseline. The shot would give the Kastles the 4-0 lead.Reynolds was on serve to finish the event. A stunning volley from Paes, naturally promoted the in-house DJ to bump Taio Cruz's 'Break your Heart' chorus.Reynolds would drop just one point on serve en route to a 5-0 victory.Kastles lead Lobsters 14-2.
Women's Singles: Venus Williams vs. Irina FalconiVenus would be tested by Falconi.Falconi was able to break Venus in the first game and would use the momentum to gain a 2-0 lead.Back on serve to chants of 'Come on, Venus,' Williams came out more focused, aggressive. Her grunts more audible. However, after a double fault Williams unable to regain her composure and dumped a forehand into the net giving Falconi a 3-0 lead.With Falconi on serve, the two would battle it out point by point, but Irina still had the edge and thus the 4-0 lead.Venus on serve. After a long rally in which Venus vocalized her efforts, Falconi sent a backhand past her for the 3-1 lead. Venus, exhausted, watched Falconi's return and the event slip away from her completely.Kastles lead Lobsters 15-7.
Men's Singles: Bobby Reynolds vs. Jan-Michael GambillBobby 'The Closer' Reynolds would also have difficulty with his singles match.Up 3-2 Reynolds won a long fought baseline rally, but Gambill would respond with an ace. An error from Reynolds would tie the game score at 3.Reynolds now on serve, he'd cruise to a 4-3 lead, but Gambill would respond once again on serve tying the games at 4 all. The Kastles fans were about to watch the first tiebreak of the evening.Reynolds who prides himself in the role as the Kastles closer rose to the occasion dismantling Gambill with ease, 5-1.Kastles beat Lobsters 20-11.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Roster competition, Brown vs. Pryor

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 23, 33 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins  and NBC Sports Washington.

Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense—NFL coaches and others like to tell you that competition determines who wins roster spots in the league. And that may be true to an extent. But many roster spots are predetermined by a player’s contract situation and/or draft status. It is unlikely that an undrafted player like Fish Smithson will win a roster spot over Troy Apke even if the former outperforms the latter in every way during training camp. Apke was a fourth-round pick and they aren’t going to give up on him in favor of an undrafted player. It would cost $3.2 million in dead cap to cut Stacy McGee and only $150,000 to move on from Ziggy Hood so McGee will win a “competition” that is even remotely close. (Offensive projection here)

Redskins will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor at training camp—While this is something that could add a little spice to the Jets’ visit to Richmond, don’t look for much of anything to happen. Zach Brown might give a little extra shove to Pryor here and there but he’s not going to do anything that will draw blood or even cause a deep bruise. If nothing else, a big hit on Pryor would invite retaliation by the Jets on Josh Doctson or Paul Richardson. And that might lead to more retaliation and you end up with a brawl like the Redskins and Texans had a couple of years ago.

Trent Williams very much of approves of Smith and Guice—Williams is going into his ninth NFL season and he has yet to be on the winning side of a playoff game. He thinks that Alex Smith and Derrius Guice can help change that. 

The curious case of Alex Smith and the NFL Top 100 list—I normally greet this list with a big yawn and this year was no exception. But I do find the omission of Smith, who led the NFL in passer rating and was third in adjusted net yards per attempt, odd. In an update to this post, the NFL released the names of the top 10 players and Smith is not on it. He shouldn’t be, but he should be somewhere on the 100, perhaps in the middle of the pack. The only Redskins player to appear on the list was Trent Williams at No. 57.

The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger—It’s likely that nine players who are 25 or younger will line up as starters for the Redskins this year. I don’t have a rundown of how that compares to the rest of the league but it’s notable that in the last two years six of them have replaced players who were either approaching age 30 or over it. I’ll engage in some speculation here and say that five of the young players—Daron Payne, Derrius Guice, Preston Smith, Jonathan Allen, and Montae Nicholson—are good enough to potentially make a Pro Bowl at some point in their careers. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former Redskins defensive tackle Dave Butz was born on this date in 1950. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 33
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 47
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 70

The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 78 days. 

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GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson


GM Brian MacLellan: Capitals are close to re-signing John Carlson

DALLAS—The Caps are “really close” to signing star defenseman John Carlson to a long-term extension, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday night.

“We’re getting closer,” MacLellan said following the first round of the NHL Draft. “Hopefully we can get it done here over the next few days. We’re really close.”

Earlier in the day, the Caps cleared significant space under the salary cap ceiling by trading Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round draft pick (47th overall). 

That space will now be used to lock up Carlson, who could become the best defenseman on the open market if he were to reach it.

MacLellan met with Carlson’s agent, Rick Curran, here on Thursday night.

MacLellan did not divulge any figures, but it’s expected that Carlson’s new contract could come in at eight years and $8 million per—or perhaps a bit more. 

He earned $4 million last season.

Carlson had a career year in 2017-18 and was critical during the Caps' run to the Stanley Cup. He led all defensemen in the regular season with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The 28-year-old also skated a career-high 24:47 per game.

MacLellan has long said that re-signing Carlson was the Caps’ top priority this offseason. And now it looks like that could happen within days, assuming the talks do not hit any snags.

“We’re going to do our best to sign John,” MacLellan said. “We’ve said it all along. We waited until the end of the year. We’ve had discussions. We’re close and hopefully we can close the deal here over the next 24 hours.”