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Adult league semifinal competition begins Saturday

Published June 14, 2006

The St. Petersburg-Clearwater Adult League winds down this month for 38 women's and 28 men's teams. Winners advance to regional competition next month in Daytona Beach with hopes of qualifying for the state tournament.

In the women's five-level division, Feather Sound Country Club claimed the 2.5 title and Royal Racquet Club won the 4.5 through league play. McMullen collected the 4.0 title in last weekend's round-robin playoff action.

Semifinal competition begins Saturday in the 3.0 with top seed Countryside Pratt, 3.0 Pelican winner, facing wild card St. Petersburg Country Club. Countryside Gross, 3.0 Herons winner, faces Countryside Walker, winner in 3.0 Egrets. Sunday, the winners play for the title.

There are two matches remaining in the 5.0 with McMullen sporting a 2-0 record. The winner in the 3.5 division will be determined when the season ends June 24.

Winners among the men are Countryside Country Club 3.0, McMullen 4.0 and Seminole Lake Tennis Center 4.5. Saturday is a one-match playoff for the 3.5 title between Shipwatch Tennis Club and McMullen.

"We're all just really excited about going to Daytona for regionals," said Feather Sound's 2.5 captain Cecelia Ford. "This has been a really good experience for all of us. We were surprised we were undefeated in the league and are, of course, nervous about going to Daytona.

"To get ready for Daytona, we're going to be working with some of the senior men players at Feather Sound who have the experience and have offered to hit with us and help us with strategy."

Rotating in singles for Feather Sound were Ford, Deborah Gould, Ivy Vincent and Arabela Stock. Rounding out the team are Nathalie Gordon, Cherra Wammock, Sarah Caffee, Pamela Suetholz and Deborah Turner.

A four-team round robin was played in the 4.0 division with the team earning the top record named the champion. With Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club and McMullen both defeating Royal Racquet Club and the Royal Challengers on Saturday, the decisive match was Sunday.

Anne Pulley in No. 1 singles and Ria Graham in No. 2 won for McMullen and TI's Turtle Marshall and Susan Hobbs in No. 1 and Lynn Ballinger and Sandy Martin in No. 2 scored wins to even the score at 2-all. In the determining match, Michele Pennie and Hank Skoczen collected a third-set tiebreak win in No. 3 for McMullen.

Last weekend's final match in the men's 4.0 division between McMullen and Seminole determined the league champion. Singles wins from Jeff Mahnke in No. 1 and Michael Juno in No. 2, along with doubles wins from Lance Cohen and Kevin Hayslett in No. 1 and Joe Burke and Todd Legault in No. 2, gave McMullen a 4-1 win over Seminole. Jon Bean and Geraldo Alvarado recorded Seminole's only point in No. 3 doubles.

"This is a great group of guys and they amazed me," non-playing captain Dave Heeder said. "It's a real strong 4.0 team and we've had a lot of fun. Saturday was an extraordinary day with some pretty intense play."

Rounding out the 14-player squad are Steve Rosenkranz, Ron Bedlack, Franz Henikl, Clark Higgs, Mike Carrigan, John Beda, Ken Emery and Reinaldo Valor.

Local league winners compete in the Central/East Regional Championships with teams from Lakeland, Tampa, Daytona Beach, Orlando and the Space Coast from July 14-16 at the Florida Tennis Center. Region winners continue to the USTA Adult League Sectionals from Aug. 11-13 with winners there representing Florida in the USTA Adult League National Championships.

MORE LEAGUE NEWS: League coordinators are planning the second annual USTA Captain's Appreciation Party from 2 to 6 p.m. June 24 at the Renaissance Vinoy.

The event is open to the first 50 men and women team captains who respond. A team tennis format with a short pro set, prizes and gifts are planned, along with an early supper and awards beginning at 5 p.m.

To reserve a seat, contact or

NET SHOTS: The Suncoast Tennis Foundation is seeking volunteers for its community tennis association activities and projects. Visit its Web site,, or contact executive director Judy Foster at

The STF is also seeking a Web master for Call 725-3681.

Robin Perry defended her top seeding to win the girls 10-and-under singles in last weekend's SPTC Junior Open at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center. Seminole's Carolina Barnett won the girls 12 round-robin competition. Reaching the final round were Julia Teytelbaum in the girls 14, top seed Alyssa Bellini 16, Dan Stefan (boys 12) and No. 2 seed Austin Kondor (14).

Headed to the Florida Open Championships, the summer's kickoff to national junior tournaments, are Alexandra Cercone, Lindsay Dvorak and Morgan Frank in the girls 18 singles; Nicholas Gallauer and Nicholas Berning in the boys 18 and Jorge Guerra (16).

On an alternate list for the girls 18 doubles competition are Dvorak and Frank. Fabio Pagani is on the boys 18 singles and doubles alternate list.

Competition is June 24-30 at the Landings Golf Yacht and Tennis Club in Fort Myers. Follow results on

COMING UP: The Summer Classic begins Saturday at the Seminole Lake Tennis Academy. Call 394-1733. A Junior Summer Classic begins June 24 at Clearwater's McMullen Tennis Complex.

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 14, 2006, 07:42:22]

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