Seminole Lake men's team captures another regional title

Published July 27, 2005

Seminole Lake Tennis Center recorded its third consecutive USA League Tennis Adult West Regional championship in the men's 4.0 division.

In spite of Seminole winning all four of its matches, collecting the crown wasn't an easy task.

The squad first faced Fort Myers. With the score knotted at 2 on doubles wins by Jon Bean and Eric Alvarado and Chris Rivera and Jason Lewis, Steve Crivello and Kevin Hayslett squeaked out a 12-10 third-set tie-break win for the team's 3-2 victory.

"That first match was critical for us," said non-playing captain Red McGarry. "We lost both singles, then all three doubles came through."

Seminole Lake was to play Tampa the same day, but rain postponed the match to Saturday. Again tied at 2 with Tampa on wins from Bean and Alvarado and Brian Cooper and Mark Curran, Jeff Mars pulled out a third-set tiebreak in singles to collect a 3-2 team win. It raised Seminole's record to 2-0.

"The competition was nip and tuck all the way," Mars said. "Having last year's experience of being at the regional, state and national levels under my belt has helped me a lot."

Mars, Hayslett, Cooper and McGarry were on a squad last season that advanced to the USA League Adult National Championships. Two years ago, Bean, Rivera, Alvarado and McGarry reached the nationals.

Seminole's third regional match was against unbeaten Naples. After Rivera posted a No. 1 singles victory and Bean and Alvarado won at No. 2 doubles, rain postponed the completion of the competition.

When action resumed, Curran and Cooper at No. 1 and Jason Lewis and Mike Shapiro at No. 3 posted third-set tie-break wins for a 4-1 team victory. It beat Naples 4-1 and re-grouped for the squad's last match, Sunday. "I did the math and saw that with our 3-0 record and 10 individual wins, we only needed to win one match against Sarasota to finish first," McGarry said.

Seminole collected four victories against Sarasota to claim its title. Straight-set wins were produced by Rivera in No. 1 singles, Cooper and Curran at No. 1 doubles and Alvarado and Bean in No. 2. Doug Haskitt claimed a third-set tie-break victory at No. 2 singles.

"I don't see why we can't keep the winning streak alive," Mars said. "We have a solid crew with a lot of flexibility in our doubles." The state tournament is scheduled for Aug. 11-14 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. Winners receive a national berth.

MORE LEAGUE NEWS: Feather Sound Country Club women's and men's 3.5 and St. Petersburg Country Club women's 2.5 teams finished third in their respective divisions of the west regional competition.

The Feather Sound women started the tournament with a 4-1 win over Tampa on the play of Grace Winter, Elaine Diloreto, Kathy Wilson, Robyn Williams, Kari Kiewatt and Carol Stowasser. A 3-2 loss to Fort Myers evened Feather Sound's record to 1-1, with the team scheduled to face unbeaten Lakewood Ranch. Despite Stowasser and Winter's victory in No. 1 doubles and Lori Clarke and Wilson's third-set tie-break win at No. 2, Feather Sound lost 3-2.

SPCC dropped its first three matches in the double round-robin format 2-1 but concluded the tourney with a 2-1 win over Punta Gorda on the play of Lynne Steiner, Ada Bussey and Marlene Guerrier. Collecting the position win against Marco Island was Guerrier and Karen O'Connell. Against Punta Gorda, it was Deborah Masi and Claudia Roberts, and against Marco Island it was Laurin Fronduto-Weir and Peg Clough. Blane Sherk was 3-0 in singles for the Feather Sound men, but 4-1 team losses to Brandon and Fort Myers offset the 3-2 win over Naples. Also posting victories against Naples were Pat Augustine and Tom Schultz and Roger Rogers and Dan Diloreto. Treasure Bay won its third consecutive match in the Combo Men's 7.5 South League with a 3-0 decision over the Renaissance Vinoy. Scoring straight-set victories were John Beda and Steve Dohring, Don Selenis and Wendall Walker and John Green and Alberto Lense. In the North division, Shipwatch swept Largo Tennis Center with a three-set win by Mike Carrigan and Alan Smith and straight-set victories from John Hanbery and Eddie Earls and Tony Henrion and John Gelestor. In the 6.5 league, the Vinoy recorded its first win with a 2-1 score against Countryside I. Jim Matson and Russell Bond produced a three-set win, and Gregg Baran and Sean McCall got a point by default. Largo improved to 3-0 in 6.5 after beating Countryside I 2-1 on the play of Joe Campbell and Joshua Moore and Dean Bartles and Larry Ruby. NET SHOTS: Julia Jones, Emily Dvorak, Molly Smith, Amy Lowther, Ed Corty, Robert Dvorak and Anthony Barrancotto are among the players representing Florida this week in the USTA Zone Team Championships for 12-and-under competitors. The tourney in Nashville, Tenn., includes boys and girls singles and doubles and mixed doubles for squads from the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southern sections.

Lindsay Dvorak is in Winston-Salem, N.C., competing on Florida's team of 16-and-unders in the USTA Zone Championships against the Southern, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic sections.

Collecting singles victories in last weekend's North Florida Designated in Tallahassee were Alexis Dorr (girls 18-and-under division) and Joel Samaha (boys 16). Among the third-place finishers were Rianna Valdes (girls 10), Rebecca Bodine (14) and Anthony Barrancotto (boys 12). Alexandra Kitchen was a girls 10 consolation finalist in the 400-plus player competition.

Tyler Berning finished first in the boys 10 round robin of last weekend's Summer Classic Too at Phil Green Tennis Academy in Safety Harbor. Finalists included Jayla Smith (girls 10), Jade Smith (12), Gabriela Ospina (16), Fernanda Ospina (18), Matthew Smith (boys 14) and Garrett Betsarakis (16). Gabby Houck won the girls 16 consolation draw.

COMING UP: The Tampa Bay Junior Championships begin Saturday at Tampa Tennis Complex for singles players 18-and-under. For information, call (813) 259-1663.