Three Counties Collect Division Championships at 55 & Over 6.0/8.0 Sectionals

Nicole Hardenstine | May 05, 2021

Escambia, Hillsborough and Orange counties each claimed their first divisional championships of the 2021 season, at the USTA Florida Adult 55 & over 6.0/8.0 Sectional Championships, held May 1-3 at the USTA National Campus.


Hillsborough (Apollo Beach Racquet Fitness Club, Apollo Beach) and Escambia (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) made it through the women's 6.0 semifinals to meet on the court for the championship dual. Escambia's quest for the championship took an unfortunate turn of events though when the squad was only able to field two pairs, forcing them to forfeit line three. That gave Hillsborough the opportunity to sweep the finals, as Patty Trabue and Lisa McCarthy took line one and Sally Raque and Mary Flynn won court two.

Escambia wouldn't leave the event empty-handed though, as the men from the Roger Scott Tennis Center took on Brevard (Fee Avenue Courts, Melbourne) for the men's 8.0 crown. Despite a victory on court one, it wasn't enough to put Brevard over the top as Escambia's duos of Tim Falzone and Shane Russell on line two and Derrick Racine and John Wimberly on line three secured the division title.


After besting the semifinals with 2-1 final scores, Orange/Seminole/Lake (Lake Cane Tennis Center, Orlando) and Brevard (Kiwanis Island Park Recreation Center, Merritt Island) went head to head in the championship dual for the women's 8.0. Orange/Seminole/Lake claimed the top two matchups to earn the title, supported by the 6-4, 6-4 victory of Katherine Foulk and Penny Watzka on line one and Tami Florin and Emily Sakol's 6-1, 6-3 triumph on court two.

The competing teams represented various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, and finished at the top of their local leagues during the 2021 season to advance to the USTA Florida 55 & Over 6.0/8.0 Sectional Championships.


Final results:


55 & Over Women's 6.0


Final: Hillsborough County (Apollo Beach Racquet Fitness Club, Apollo Beach) d. Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) 3-0


Championship Match Results:

No. 1 Doubles: Patty Trabue/Lisa McCarthy (Hillsborough) d. Jean Cochran/Klara Szalai 6-4, 6-0
No. 2 Doubles: Sally Raque/Mary Flynn (Hillsborough) d. Liz Payne/Lori Orslene 4-6, 6-1, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Renee Hovden/Karen Montembeault (Hillsborough) 6-0, 6-0, Default


Hillsborough County Season Roster: Mary Flynn (Captain), Karen Montembeault, Renee Hovden, Patty Trabue, JoAnn Kazura, Lisa McCarthy, Shirley Payne, Sally Raque, Lynn Malarz


55 & Over Women's 8.0


Final: Orange/Seminole/Lake (Lake Cane Tennis Center, Orlando) d. Brevard County (Kiwanis Island Park Recreation Center, Merritt Island) 2-1


Championship Match Results:

No. 1 Doubles: Katherine Foulk/Penny Watzka (O/S/L) d. Sylvia Segura/Debbie Giorgio 6-4, 6-4
No. 2 Doubles: Tami Florin/Emily Sakol (O/S/L) d. Linda Madyda/Yvette Van Der Wiel 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 Doubles: Joni Smith/Susan Noble (Brevard) d. Barby Molnar/Lisa Peele 7-6, 2-6, 1-0


Orange County Season Roster: Angela Tuckerman (Captain), Terri Haddock, Tami Florin, Mary Ann Koula, Penny Watzka, Patricia Monserez, Lisa Peele, Emily Sakol, Barby Molnar, Jamie Roedig, Jennifer Widga-Kirby, Katherine Foulk


55 & Over Men's 8.0


Final: Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) d. Brevard County (Fee Avenue Courts, Melbourne) 2-1


Championship Match Results:

No. 1 Doubles: Michael Phelipa/Peter De Lang (Brevard) d. Russell Ball/Rick Cuny 6-2, 7-5
No. 2 Doubles: Tim Falzone/Shane Russell (Escambia) d. Tony Bender/Michael Bailey 6-1, 7-6
No. 3 Doubles: Derrick Racine/John Wimberly (Escambia) d. Chase Donaldson/Bryan Heirston 6-3, 6-3


Escambia County Season Roster: Calvin Moore (Captain), Tim Falzone, Harold Major, Russell Ball, John Wimberly, Terry Thrash, Rick Cuny, Shane Russell, Derrick Racine, Douglas Patton, Peter Nowak


The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2021 season (sstandings through May 4, recent winners in bold):


1. Pinellas County (3 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/W8.0/M8.0

2. Marion County (2) — 65&Over-W6.0/M7.0


3T. Escambia County (1) — 55&Over-M8.0
3T. Hillsborough County (1) — 55&Over-W6.0
3T. Orange/Seminole/Lake (1) — 55&Over-W8.0


Note: County determined by location of team’s home club. Season-ending ties to be broken by teams’ 1st-4th place results at USTA League Nationals.


Next Sectionals: May 15-17, 55 & Over 7.0/9.0 Sectional Championships, USTA National Campus, Orlando.


Established in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year to more than 904,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league. The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). USTA League is open to any USTA member 18 years of age or older.


For more information on USTA Florida Leagues go to www.USTAFlorida.com/leagues.

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