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District winners set for regional tourney

Published June 24, 2004

The list of local teams for the USA Tennis Florida Adult League Tennis West Regional Tournament next month in Naples is complete.

Either through playoffs or end-of-the-season results, district winners in six women's levels and four men's have been named. Women's champions include St. Petersburg Country Club's 2.5 squad, Countryside Country Club 3.0, Renaissance Vinoy 3.5, Royal Racquet Club 4.0, Treasure Bay 4.5 and McMullen 5.0. McMullen 3.0, Racquet Club 3.5, Seminole Lake Tennis Center 4.0 and Treasure Bay 4.5 are the men's champs. Royal Racquet entered the women's 4.0 playoff with a 10-0 record and added two more wins to capture the district title. In the final with the Vinoy, Judi Morris (No. 1 singles) and Donna Coddington (No. 2) scored straight-set victories. Linda Thomson and Donna Roberts produced the team-winning third point in No. 3 doubles.

"I never dreamed we would do this well," Royal captain Mechy Wright said. "We beat some tough teams to win the district, and we hope to represent the district well." Thirteen members of the 16-player squad plan to compete in the regional. Wright has relied on Coddington, Morris, Courtney Rogers, Darla Guthrie, Theresa Lawrence and Andrea Bolender for singles and used a variety of combinations for the three doubles positions. Filling out the doubles were Roberts, Thomson, Lawrence, Debbie McCleery, Carol Cotney, Carol Glenn, Wright, Linda Cope, Sylvia Bell, Nilda Martinez and Barbara Brutus.

"I've been doing some research on the other district winners we'll face at the regional, and it seems that Naples is going to be the team to beat," Wright said. "All the teams going are undefeated in their district competition."

This is the third consecutive district win for McMullen's 3.0 men. Unbeaten among seven teams, captain Dan Grimmer used Mike Lockwood, Sandy Whetherholt, Bob Barry and Ray Howell to defend the two singles positions. Michael Read, Joel Dean, Pedro DeJesus, Ted Barrett, John Westbrook, Art Griffith, John Francy, Mark Evans and Bruce Insana were in doubles.

"We finished second both years at regional, and this year we have as much depth and consistency in both singles and doubles - if not more," Grimmer said. Seminole Lake Tennis Center won its 24th straight match to top men's 4.0. Captain Red McGarry utilized Gary Lucke, Ken Mcwilliams, Todd Legault, Lou Scaglione, Kevin Hayslett, Mike Hooper, Jeffrey Mars, Don Kirby, Brian Cooper, Scott Chambers and Dave Heeder.

Treasure Bay edged Royal Racquet Club to capture the men's 4.5 crown and another regional berth. "We're strong in singles and deep in doubles," captain Steve Talner said. "We lost at state by one point last year, so we're looking forward to this year."

Jim Cohen, Bob Ironsmith, Chris Skinner and Juan Segovia shared singles, and Talner scheduled himself, Ken Cherven, Michael Erbe, Ron Wiser, Jim Dundee, Mark Taylor, Chuck Cashman, Paul and Steve Reilly, Jay Lavina and Robin Kippenberger for doubles.

Treasure Bay played host to the winning women's 4.5 squad. Captain Angie Lucke, Maria Drew and Margaret Roset were in singles. Jane Eschenroeder, B.J. Stewart, Jackie Keller, Carole Dellapina, Cari Reagin, Robin Meinrod, Kristee Garrity, Judith Sly, Jane Robinson and Karen Foubister filled doubles.

The regional is July 16-18. Winners advance to the state tournament in August.

Four sets of mixed doubles teams led McMullen to a 6-0 record in 9.0 and an October trip to state. Captain John Noeske paired with Roberts, Eschenroeder teammed with Cherven, Robinson with Mark Curran and Jennifer Faust with Brian Siracusa.

"We're basically the same team as last year when we played in the 8.5 division," Noeske said. "We added Ken, who played with Janet, and the team had a good season. We're looking forward to state."

It's been a while since Royal Racquet Club advanced. The 8.0 mixed doubles team joins its 4.0 women in the winner's circle. "It took us a while to finally come around, but we came up with the right combinations," Royal captain Coddington said. "Royal hasn't had a team in a playoff since we came here in 1988, so to have two advance is great." Coddington, Thomson and McCleery played on both Royal teams and were joined in mixed by Kyle Lloyd, Kiki Jacobsen, Susan Samuels, Morris, Guthrie, Scott Kroeger, Jonathan Bloom, John McConnell, Bob Feder, Josh Magidson, Jim Liles and Tim Szazynski. Feather Sound Country Club won the 7.0 mixed division. The state tourney for mixed doubles is in October.

COMBO LEAGUE: Fifteen women's teams and 11 men's are participating in the inaugural league. Matches are scheduled through July in the men's and women's three-position doubles competition. East Lake Woodlands has a narrow lead in the women's 7.5 division, and a Royal Racquet squad is first in 8.5. Among the men, Countryside Country Club leads 6.5, and Feather Sound and the Racquet Club are among the top in 7.5.

NET SHOTS: Second-seeded Joel Samaha scored a straight-set victory in the boys 14-and-under final to capture the USA Tennis Florida state championship.

Mary Jane Evertz and Kevin Manning played past three challengers to win the 45-and-over mixed doubles title in the Florida State Closed Championships. Other winners were the sister-brother team of Lauren and Lou Scaglione (open mixed), Sue and Mark Michelman (55 mixed) and Gail McMurtrey and Mark Taylor (35 mixed).

Jerica Coley survived a three-set final to win the girls 10-and-under singles division in last weekend's SPTC Junior Open. Austin Kondor defended his top seed in boys 12, second-seeded Nicholas Gallauer upset the top seed in the 16 final, and Daichi Murata won the 18. Consolation winners included Amy Lowther (10), Morgan Basil (18), Philip Russo (boys 10) and Greg LeCompte (16).

Capturing straight-set singles crowns in the Seminole Summer Classic were Tara Vafadari (girls 16-and-under), Julia Claire Jones (14) and Emily Dvorak (12). Finishing second were Melissa Smith (14), Amanda Yogus (18) and Jackson Kettell (12). Macey Cook took the girls 12 consolation.

Sean Westacott was a finalist in the Hunter's Green Country Club Rookie event.

Among the juniors preparing for this weekend's Florida Bush Open in Fort Myers, the summer's national kickoff event, are Amanda Yogus, Monica Sly, Christina and Alexandria Liles (girls 18), Stephen Segura and George Navas (boys 18) and Nicholas Smith and Nicholas Berning (16). COMING UP: Junior singles players should register today for this weekend's Clearwater Summer Classic at McMullen Tennis Center. Call (727) 669-1919. ... The Temple Terrace Tennis Center plays host to the Junior Summer Bash on July 3-5. Call (813) 989-7178 by the June 30 deadline.

- News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 796-5559; e-mailed to or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include phone number.

[Last modified June 24, 2004, 01:00:37]

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