Scott Spruill (Shrek) and James Tallmadge (Donkey) from Mid-Atlantic
© Andrew Ong
This past August, one of captain Nancy Yarbrough’s teammates, Caity Jones, parked her car in front of Yarbrough’s house, so they could carpool from their hometown of Nampa, Idaho to Salt Lake City for the USTA Intermountain Section Championships.
Two days later, as the team was getting ready to go out for dinner, Caity found Nancy in her room.
"Her eyes were as big as silver dollars," explained Yarbrough. "Her family got a call from the police in Nampa telling them that her car was going to be towed away."
Dumbfounded, Yarbrough, just happened to be on the phone with her husband and asked him, "Honey, do you know why Caity's car is going to be towed from the front of our house?"
Matt Yarbrough replied, "Oh, that's Caity's car? I called the police and asked them to remove it because it had been there for two days. Sorry, I will call them right now and make sure they don't remove the car."
After a huge sigh of relief, the ladies laughed hysterically and went on to a great dinner and a big win the next day for the section title.
Matt Yarbrough is here in Tucson, so there’s no word on where Caity’s car is this weekend.
Shrek and Donkey
Scott Spruill and James Tallmadge from Mid-Atlantic make quite the doubles team. Spruill is 6-9, while Tallmadge is a mere 5-4.
The pair from Virginia Beach plays it up though, calling each other Shrek and Donkey. They have even gone as far as to wear mask of their lookalikes.
Glad to be Back
It’s been ten years since a 4.5 men’s team has reached the National Championships from St. Louis. For Brent Gruno and Matt Saabye, it has been a long time coming.
Both were on that 2000 team and are excited to have been fortunate to return.
"It came down to my match at Secitonals," said Gruno. "I was really hoping my buddy (Dave Fuhrig) was going to clinch it. He lost and I won it in a third set tiebreak."
Glad to have you guys back.
Just Like Old Times
In 1997, John Hoffman, Rob Fried and Junji Miyake were part of the USTA Eastern men’s 4.5 team that won the National Championship. Those three teammates returned this fall for another shot at glory.
En route to the ’97 title, Hoffman and gang had to get past USTA Middle States in the semifinals.
This year in pool play, who should they face, but USTA Middle States, with several of the players from their 1997 team.
Randy Swadlow and Daryl Ormont both played on the USTA Middle States squad that reached the semifinals before falling to the guys from Eastern.
"We know them well," says Hoffman. "Several of the newer guys on the team are from that area and have played with them or against them for years."
Friday, once again Eastern got the better of Middle States, but as usual, they walked away as friends.