By Jay Bardwaj
Wednesday Oct. 26
Results from men's 8.0 Super Senior Nationals:
Finals: Middle States def. Midwest 2-1
Winner Middle States Men 8.0
|Men's 8.0 Champions|
The men from Manheim, PA representing the Middle States Tennis Association section played excellent tennis throughout the 3-day event, battling windy conditions and high court temperatures to win the Super Senior 8.0 National Championships in Palm Springs, CA. Led by the team of Bill Loercher and Ron Bortner, the guys from Pennsylvania jumped out to an early 1-0 match lead with a convincing 6-0, 6-2 defeat of Midwest's Phil Dlouhy and Bob Zumph. The victory was sealed when the team of Creighton Frampton and Laird Warnar of Middle States defeated Midwest's tandem of Frank Nosek and Rick Sommers. The teams split sets then Middle States was able to pull away and win the decisive third set 10 point match tie-breaker 10-1. The match ended with a 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (1) victory and a much deserved National Championship title for the Middle States men. Congratulations to the team from Manheim, PA!
Finalist Midwest Chicago River Trails Tennis
|8.0 Men's Finalists|
Semifinals: Middle States def. Southern 2-1
Midwest def. Mid-Atlantic 2-1
Flight IV winner Southern 3 wins 0 losses
Flight V winner Midwest CHI River Trails Tennis Center 3 wins 0 losses
Flight VI winner Middle States 2 wins 1 loss
Flight VII Mid-Atlantic Richmond, VA 3 wins 0 losses
Results from Womens 8.0 Super Senior Nationals:
Finals Results: Northern California, Rinconada Hills def. Texas, Dallas Canyon 2-1
Winner: Northern California Rinconada Hills
|8.0 Women's Champions|
In a scintillating finals, the women from Northern California, Rinconda Hills pulled out two tough 3rd set match deciding tie-breakers to win the women's 8.0 Super Senior National Championship. The team of Ann Bardrick and Gay Finch defeated Texas' Molly Hamilton and Ann Herlitz 6-3, 6-7, 1-0. Northern Cal's Nancy Garcia and Sally McElravey defeated Fran Zartler and Ellen Euting 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 to capture the second of three matches and earn the title for the team from Rinconada Hills.
Finalist: Texas, Dallas Canyon
|8.0 Women's Finalists|
Texas- Dallas Canyon def. Southern 2-1
Northern California- Rinconada Hills def. Florida- Pelican tennis 3-0
Flight I winner Texas- Dallas Canyon 3 wins 1 loss
Flight II winner Northern California- Rinconada Hills 4 wins 0 losses
Flight III winner Florida- Pelican tennis 3 wins 1 loss
Tuesday October 25
USA League Tennis Super Senior National 9.0 Men's Final Results
Northern California, Berkeley, CA def. Pacific Northwest, Tacoma, WA 4 match wins to 3 match wins
Champion: Northern California Section
|9.0 Men's Champions|
The Men's 9.0 Super Senior Nationals had five teams from: Southern section, Southern California section, Pacific Northwest section, Northern section and the Northern California section.
Play was round robin format over two days with the winner of the championships going to the team with the most wins. The team from Berkeley tennis center exemplified a tremendous display of tennis from all positions. Nor. Cal went through the draw losing only two matches out of 12 total matches. Congratulations to the Berkeley tennis club on becoming the 2005 men's 9.0 Super Senior National champions!
Finalist from Tacoma, WA
|9.0 Men's Finalists|
USA League Tennis Super Senior National 9.0 Women's Final Results
Champion: Southern Californa Section Balboa Tennis Club San Diego, CA
|9.0 Women's Champions|
Finalist: Pacific Northwest Section Seattle, WA
|9.0 Women's Finalists|
Womens 9.0 Final
Balboa Tennis Club San Diego, CA def. Pacific Northwest Seattle, WA 2-1.
|9.0 Womens Champs Celebrating|
After losing 2-1 in the first match Monday morning, Balboa tennis club team captain,Robin Rodger, re-arranged her lineup to win their second match 2-1 Monday afternoon against the strong Pacific Northwest team from Seattle. This forced a winner take all final match today morning, which resulted in a decisive 2-1 vicory for the Southern California team. Led by Roz King, a former gold ball and silver ball national hardcourts champion, the Balboa club was joyous in victory. Penny Thomas and Elaine Hawkins won their 2nd doubles match 6-0, 6-3 against Pat Little and Gail Behar. Marion Hinchy and Val Gwin the 1st doubles team from San Diego lost their match to JoJo Jangard and Shellie Reade 6-4, 6-4. This led to the decisive victory of the strong third doubles team of Anne Russ and Roz King of Balboa defeating Marilou Rolfe and Marie Willsey 6-3, 6-4. Congratulations Southern California Balboa tennis center on becoming the 2005 Women's 9.0 Super Senior national champions!
Comaraderie and consistency is the key to the nationals. The group from Richmond, VA of the Mid-Atlantic section of the 8.0 men's super seniors brings exactly this combination. Captain P.J. Mahoney has 9 years of nationals experience with one national title to his credit. John Robertson has 10 years of nationals competition experience with 2 titles under his belt. Peter Martin has been to the nationals 6 times, while teammates Gary Giffel and Scott Hollis have been battle tested through 4 years of national competition. Chuck Snow and Charlie Knight have been to 2 nationals and John Koch makes his debut at this national event. The common theme amongst these guys is that they have played together weekly for years. "All of us play adult, adult mixed, senior, senior mixed and super seniors on the same team" said Mahoney. Gary Giffel and P.J. Mahoney are two-time Richmond city champs. Chuck Snow and Charlie Knight won last year's city title over their teammates Giffel and Mahoney in a tight 3 set match. John Robertson and John Koch won this year's city championship. Whether it be city title matches with and against each other, this tight-knit group from Richmond know each other's games very well. Mahoney explains "we are so familiar with each other that we are very comfortable switching partners when the need arises." But most importantly, the squad brings experience and the ability to win big-time matches to the table. Solid team chemistry, experience and a strong, competitive attitude makes this team a formidable threat for the championship crown.
|8.0 Midwest Men celebrating a great point.|
The fellas from Rivertrails Tennis Center come in to the Super Senior 8.0 nationals with great expectations. Bill Lange, a strong 4.5 level player anchors the team with his solid net play and aggressive serve-volley game. Bill has once again hit his stride with his hardcourt game after suffering setbacks in 2002 and 2004 because of hip replacement surgery, right shoulder cartilage damage and left knee surgery. "We joked with the Houston team today saying that we were going to lead the way with a win, just like the ChiSox are going to do to their Astros later on." Bill has been playing tennis with his partner Rick Sommer for 15 years and at one point the tandem were ranked as high as #9 in the country. Rick Sommer's story is one of a kind. Six months ago, Mr. Summer was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had surgery and was limited in his abilities on the court. Rick fell in a match and ruptured his right rotator cuff. His tennis future for the year was uncertain. To make matters worse, Rick had a re-occurrence of the cancer and underwent a new form of radiation therapy for 48 days. "This treatment has a computer that maps the area of the cancer and goes through the area for 48 straight days. The treatment turned out to be quite successful. "I am greatful to be a part of this unique experience" said an enthused Sommer.
Captain Bob Zumph spearheads this talented bunch from Arlington Heights Rivertrails Tennis Center. Bob played in the nationals in Kansas City last year and then decided to form his own team. "I couldn't be more proud of our guys and our team. We had a hard time getting here because we only had 4 players for sectionals and went all the way winning each match 2-1." This is Bob's fifteenth national tournament, in which he is credited with two second place finishes.
Frank Nosek a PhD in Psychology is entering his first year of league play and more notably his first year as a USTA member. "I never quite realized that it's not always that one makes nationals in his first year of play." Perhaps, the feel good story of the tournament was the situation that Mr. Frank Nosek suffered only two weeks ago. Frank had a central retinal vein occlusion and lost 90% of his vision in his right eye. "One day I woke up and I couldn't see out of my eye." Not being able to track the ball efficiently, Frank has imposed his strong will to compete for his team. The team had only five players and would not have been able to compete in nationals if Frank did not play. "If Frank didn't gut it out and make this trip, we would not be here" said teammate Rick Sommer. Despite his visual impairment, Frank and the midwest team have gotten off to a fast start and look to advance to the last day of play tomorrow. Frank's son came down from Burbank to see his father play. "I get to see my son once a year so I am so happy that he could make it down here. I am going to savor this experience with this group."
The boys from Chi-town come into the event with confidence and a positive attitude. They are hopeful to continue with their winning ways just like their compadres from the south side.
Monday October 24
The 2005 USA League Tennis National Super Senior 8.0 and 9.0 Invitational Championships kicked off with a bang at the Riviera Resort & Racquet Club in Palm Springs, CA. A tremendous turnout in the 8.0 men's event featured 16 teams and the women's 8.0 event featured 15 teams. "The turnout was so large that we had to expand to two other sites: Smoke Tree Ranch and Charlie Moore Academy" said USTA national staff representative Gail Marx. The festivities began Sunday evening with the USTA generously sponsoring an exhilirating cocktail party, in which team members mingled and danced the night away. Play began early Monday morning and the action was fierce, yet fun for all.
The Little Engines that Could
|Not even a hurricane could stop these ladies.|
The women's 8.0 team from Naples, representing the Florida section, faced major obstacles from Hurrincane Wilma to get to the nationals. "It's a miracle that we were even able to get here" said Sylvia Prewitt of the Naples team. "We are not sure what we're going to be going back to" said team captain Nancy Gottschalk. When the team from Naples left South Florida on Saturday, Hurricane Wilma was a category IV storm ravaging through the Yucatan Penninsula of Mexico and headed toward the southwestern coast of Florida. Naples, a beautiful tiny Gulf Coast city, faced winds of up to 120 mph and was directly caught in Wilma's path of destruction. "Our homes appear to be okay with no major water or structural damage, but the thought of being a part of it sure is scary" said Shirley Gallimore. The challenges posed by Wilma has the seven teammates from Florida feeling stronger and more determined to win.
Not only has the persevering team from Naples faced inclemental weather conditions to get here, but also tough encounters on the tennis court as well. Marcha Moore and Bev Trucks have been playing doubles together for four years. They qualified through sectionals the last two years, but both missed going to nationals because of major orthopedic surgeries. Bev has had four knee surgeries within the last five years and Marcha had major wrist surgery two years ago, which left her unable to hold a tennis racquet for nearly three months. "It got so bad to not be able to play that I started trying to learn to play left-handed."
Nevertheless, the diligent duo qualified through sectionals in not one, but two 3 set tie-breaker matches. They enter today's play undefeated and ready for battle!
Vim, Vigor and Vitality
|These brothers are lifelong tennis players and fans.|
Jay Sadkowski, the 76 year old captain of the Eastern 8.0 Men's team from Buffalo, NY, is certainly no stranger to the game of tennis. After first being introduced to the game by his eldest brother Edwin (Dusty) after a tour of duty in World War II, tennis has forever been a staple in Jay's life. "Everything I did is through tennis. I have met so many wonderful people and have built lifelong relationships through this game."
Jay's vibrance is not only demonstrated on the court, but is finely exemplified in the way he lives life. Mr. Sadkowski's healthy lifestyle of eating a well-balanced diet, taking vitamins and playing tennis keeps him motivated and fit for competition. Jay and his brother Dusty continue to operate and manage their own businesses at the ripe ages of 76 and 80 years old. Jay is a manufacturer's rep of corosion products, in which he manufactures and sells non-corosive fiberglass products. "I do everything on my own from orders to sales to you name it. I have a computer, fax machine and telephone and handle mostly everything at the house."
Dusty, who is here for moral support for his brother and the team from Buffalo, owns a machine and fabricated equipment shop. In fact, one may see Dusty on his new Cingular Razr phone taking pictures or talking business. These two brothers have surely taken a sip from the fountain of youth. Their passion for the game of tennis and their exuberance for life is undeniable. "No matter what level of tennis you play, it will improve your quality of life" said Captain Jay after his second match of the day at the torrid Palm Springs event.
Jay has won a Buffalo city title in 3 different decades. He even spent a year and a half teaching tennis, in order to make some extra cash during tough times. 6 years ago he drove from Buffalo to Tuscon for his first national experience as the team's captain. 4 years ago he won the mixed doubles 8.0 Senior Nationals at Yale University and last year he represented the Eastern section at the 8.0 Super Senior Nationals in Kansas City. If this does not give true meaning to the phrase "the game of a lifetime", I don't know what does.
The Wise Women
|Long term friendship and hardwork pay off as these ladies make their first National Championships.|
Always a hit at this event is none other than the ever so gregarious women from Hawaii. Lua hine or "wise women" as they liked to be called have come together for this 8.0 women's national event. "Our whole team is from the island of O'ahu except Ann, who is from Maui" said Esther Tanaka. Ann Nagamatsu may be from another island, but these ladies have known each other for over fifteen years and have been playing tennis for over 30 years. Having played the same team five times to get to the nationals, Lua hine won their last match 3-0 to earn their first trip together to Palm Springs. "This is our first year playing together and I certainly hope it's not our last" said Maureen Chang. The team is led by captain Betty Clark, whose athletic prowess is also gracefully displayed on the soccer field. Betty continues to play league soccer and most recently competed in the Veteran's Cup in North Carolina for ages 55 and up. Sue Ashford and Lurline Fujii are no strangers to competition as they have competed in the 4.5 Senior league and Ann Nagamatsu has competed in numerous 7.0 Super Senior events. Ms. Nova-Jean McKenzie, whose remarkable story is featured in a USTA player spotlight (Oct. 12, 2005) brings tremendous fortitude to the team as her story to overcome several difficult bouts with cancer is well documented. Faye Kim and Violet Subiaga provide great balance and energy to round out the rest of the spirited squad from Hawaii.