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USA Tennis squads set for sectional tourney

© St. Petersburg Times
published May 15, 2002

Local teams begin competition Friday in the USA Tennis Florida Senior Sectional Championships.

The tournament is played at Naples Bath and Tennis Club. Forty-six women's squads and 43 men's teams will battle for the right to represent Florida this fall in national championships for players at least 50 years old. Among the local squads are the Racquet Club of St. Petersburg (3.5 men) and Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club (4.0 and 4.5 women). "We reached the semifinal round last year and hope to advance further this year," Racquet Club captain Marshall Craig said.

"I emphasized from the beginning of the regular season that our main goal was to win and that if that meant some of us wouldn't play as much as others, that's the way it had to be in order to be successful.

"I'd say we've been practicing since the moment we walked off the court last year from having reached the semifinal," Craig said.

Nick Routh and David Laesser were added to last year's team -- Marshall, Don Campagna, Ray Cianci, Tony Damouny, Bob Steele, Steven Uebel and Paul Stewart.

"We're much the same team, so most of us have been to Naples before," Uebel said. "That means most of us are familiar with the setting, and that definitely helps." Also returning to the sectional is the Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club 4.0 squad. Captain Susan Hobbs, Ann Worthington and Pat Kelly were on a TI team last year that advanced to nationals.

Judy Grim also has competed at the national level. Rounding out the squad are Marlene Mokracek, Jane Lee Cobb, Gisela Leyva and Donna Dicus.

"I think they have a good chance at repeating to nationals," Treasure Island director Jackie Keller said.

"They've set high standards for themselves and, for those having been to nationals in the past, have that competitive edge," Keller said.

Keller is captain of the TI-based 4.5 team headed to the sectional. Surrounded by players from various clubs, Keller looks forward to a weekend of good competition.

"Watching the women's 4.0 team last year motivated me to form this year's team," Keller said.

Keller's teammates are Heather Nicoll, Clara Reynolds, Helga Robertson, B.J. Stewart, Connie Smith, Bonnie Resmondo, Nancy Boyce and Nancy Morgan.

Other local squads competing this weekend are Timber Pines Tennis Club (3.0), Westin Innisbrook Resort (3.5), Countryside Country Club (3.0), McMullen of Clearwater (4.0) and Phil Green Tennis Academy (4.5).

K-SWISS: The league's spring session concluded with playoffs at Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club. Pinellas players Jim Matson (3.0) and Grant Raetz (3.5) won the K-Swiss Regional Championships between Tampa Bay and Southwest Florida. Maria Drew outlasted area competition to win the women's 5.0 Tampa Bay title, as did Darla Guthrie in 4.5, Melissa Compton (4.0-minus), Ute Sportschuetz (3.5-minus) and Stephanie Van Eycken (3.0). Among the men winning the Tampa Bay division were Don Moffatt (4.0), Mark Mazo (5.0) and Terry O'Grady (5.5). Tampa Bay women's finalists were Pat Kelly (4.5), Margie Laird (3.5) and Wendy Mantell (2.5.) Among the men were Dana Dunham (5.0), Frank Theriault (4.5-minus), John Savage (4.0-minus), David King (3.5-minus) and Tom Diehl (2.5). Summer registration continues through May 22. Call 865-0615.

JUNIORS: Largo's Alexandria Liles, who trains at Saddlebrook, was chosen to compete on the Fed Cup Team. The three-player girls 16-and-under squad enters a qualifying round May 24-26 in Weston. The winning team will compete this fall in the finals in La Baule, France.

Wesley Chapel's Sukhwa Young is among seven boys nationwide selected to represent the U.S. in three International Tennis Federation tournaments in Europe. Action begins this month.

ADULTS: St. Petersburg's Bob Meyerdierks upset top-seeded Gene Nolan of Hobe Sound to capture the 75-and-over singles title in the Florida State Closed Tournament in Sarasota. Meyerdierks teamed with Sarasota's Dan Luxemburg to win the 75 doubles. St. Petersburg's Don Wray and Irving Converse of Fort Myers took the 80 doubles.

Maria and Don Drew, St. Petersburg, won the 35 mixed doubles division in last weekend's Clay Court Championships in Tampa. Maria was a finalist in the women's open singles. Nik Sukhasam (men's 40 open singles)and Gerry Barna (50) were finalists.

Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club mixed doubles winners included Bobbi Westmark and Tony Hall (3.5) and Margie Schiedt and Lesley Spang (4.0).

COMING UP: A mixed doubles tournament is scheduled for Saturday-Sunday at Isla Del Sol Golf and Country Club. There will be NTRP levels 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0, with a consolation draw for first-round losers. For information, call 906-ISLA. ... The 12th annual Morton Plant Mease Memorial Day Tournament is May 24-27 at East Lake Woodlands. Men's, women's and mixed doubles in 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and open divisions are offered. Call 785-2212. ... The Suncoast Singles League for women at 3.5-and-below is forming. Call 585-9221.

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