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Feather Sound going back to regional tourney

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 26, 2002

A different team of players yielded the same result for Feather Sound Country Club after last weekend's final playoff round in 3.5 women's USA League Tennis.

Entering the last of three weekends of competition, Feather Sound needed a win over Westin Innisbrook Resort to secure the club's second consecutive appearance in the West Regional Championships.

After last season, some of the players were moved up to the 4.0 level. Later, the other members joined the squad, forming a new 3.5 team.

"All of us had played 3.5 last year, and we just decided to put our best foot forward and enter again," captain Kari Kiewatt said. "We've worked on our games with lessons all season."

In last weekend's final playoff, Feather Sound beat Innisbrook 4-1 on the singles play of Grace Winter (No.1) and Kiewatt and doubles performances from Karen Augustine and Carol Stowasser (No.1) and Robyn Williams and Kathy Wilson. A third-set tie-break victory from Innisbrook prohibited a clean sweep.

"We knew we would have to play our best to beat Innisbrook," Kiewatt said. "All of our playoff matches were tough, though, so it was a good warmup for us for regionals."

Feather Sound completed the regular season with a 10-0 record, including 40 individual wins out of a possible 50. As a result, the squad was the top seed and had the home-court advantage for all three playoff matches.

Against McMullen of Clearwater in the first round, Kiewatt won in No.1 singles. Williams and Wilson were victorious at No.1 doubles. Augustine and Stowasser and Lori Clarke and Helen Friedman won to help produce a 4-1 victory.

Kiewatt won again in singles against Dunedin, as did Augustine and Stowasser in No.2 doubles. Dunedin won the match, though, 3-2.

"Grace and I played most of the singles all season," Kiewatt said, "and we actually prefer to play singles. We have a number of set doubles teams, but players with flexibility that could switch around. Everyone was supportive of the whole team, no matter who played."

Rounding out the Feather Sound team are Jan Cox, Maggie Smith, Ann Matherlee, Terry Hubener and Dede Natale.

The West Regional is July 19-21 in Longboat Key. Winners advance to the state championships for a shot at a national berth.

OTHER PLAYOFFS: Phil Green Tennis Academy won the women's 4.0 division to qualify for next month's West Regional. In the three-week playoff, PGTA defeated East Lake Woodlands 5-0, Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club 4-1 and Racquet Club 4-1.

JUNIOR STATE CLOSED: A rain-filled weekend of singles championship action resulted in fourth-seeded Christina Liles finishing second in the girls 14-and-under bracket, No.2 Goran Dragicevic third in boys 18, No.6 George Navas reaching the round of 16 in boys 16, No.3 Kyle Kunnen third in boys 10, and No.3 Morgan Basil making the girls 10 quarterfinal.

FLEX LEAGUE: Spring men's winners in the St.Petersburg league include Nik Sukhasam (A-1), Jeff Roess (A-2), Jim Ramage (B-1), David Bernhart (B-2), John Green (B-3), Joe Bonczek (B-4), John Trusler (B-5) and Frank Sirois (B-6). The women posting victories were Melissa Compton (A-1), Lisa Franson (A-2), Elisabeth Leitner (B-1), Vila Songbandith (B-2) and Gail Pugh (B-3). For league information, call 893-7755.

JUNIOR OPEN: Local players competing in this week's Bush Florida Open Championships in Fort Myers include No.6 Kelly Nelson and Yuri Kurashima (girls 18); No.12 Bugsy Bauer, Liles and Yumi Hasegawa (16); No.1 Dragicevic, Adel Naser, Dimitry Bubis, Patrick Gleason and Haley Dodson (boys 18); and Stephen Segura (16).

NET SHOTS: Brett Apter of Treasure Island captured the boys 14 singles title in the Royal Racquet Rookie Tournament. Jarrod Fox won the consolation draw. ... St.Petersburg's Basil and Seminole's Nicholas Berning defended their top seeds in the Summer Classic at Phil Green Tennis Academy in Safety Harbor. Basil won the girls 10 competition and Berning boys 14. Garrett Betsarakis finished second in boys 12.

CORRECTION In the men's 3.5 playoffs, the Renaissance Vinoy defeated Feather Sound 4-1 to earn a 2-1 postseason record. Logging singles victories for the Vinoy against Feather Sound were Rich Knipe and Terry Brett. Winning in doubles were G.W. Keller and Paul Haggar (No.1) and Dean Lampe and Jeff Szilage. The Vinoy finished behind champion Treasure Island Rec. Feather Sound (1-2) was third and followed by Phil Green Tennis Academy (0-3).

COMING UP: The Clearwater Summer Classic, for juniors, is scheduled for Saturday-July 1 at McMullen. For information, call Tomas Ollestad, (727) 669-1919. ... The Largo Tennis Center is offering a coed league at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Friday of each month. Call Linda Kettel, 403-8588.

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