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Mixed doubles enjoy competition


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2001

It didn't matter that these mixed doubles teams were competing in a league together for the first time.

What was important for the players was their love of tennis and the games' friendly yet competitive nature.

The Pasco County Parks and Recreation Department hosted its winter session at the Holiday Recreation Complex with eight mixed doubles teams participating. Finishing first was Cheryl Pandora and David Wisotsky, followed by Sandra Lamy and George Oullis in second place and Linda Burke and Dominic Crescenti in third.

"We actually won all of our matches and lost just one set during the league," Pandora said. "Even though it was our first time to play together, we played well and helped the other pick up their game when the other's was down."

Pandora, who moved from Maine to New Port Richey a little more than a year ago, met her partner-to-be Wisotsky at the Hunter Ridge Tennis Club. Happy to become involved in league play, Pandora began taking lessons from teaching pro Richard Webb to develop consistency in her game.

"I'm pretty strong at the net and quick around the court and I hit a fairly powerful stroke," Pandora said. "But I knew I needed more consistency in my game."

Wisotsky, who plays in various area leagues, was impressed by Pandora's ability to hit the inside-out ball.

"Cheryl is left-handed and I think the way she hits the ball threw off some of our opponents," Wisotsky said. "Even though it was our first time to play, we did well together."

Wisotsky currently belongs to both Hunter Ridge and Royal Racquet Club in Clearwater and just completed play with the Westin Innisbrook Resort's senior men's 3.5 doubles team.

Lamy and Oullis had played in the same group at Hunter Ridge, but never as regular partners.

"Sandy is a real solid player and likes to come to the net," Oullis said. "I try to get up to the net and take control, although it depends, of course, on your approach shot. I'm really more of a baseliner."

Oullis participates in weekly drill sessions with Webb. In a mixed doubles league last year, Oullis finished first.

"I started playing tennis in 1972 when I was in South America," Oullis said. "Then I was playing golf. Golf went broke and I started tennis. I haven't ever gone back to golf."

Burke, who is from Ohio and living temporarily with her family in New Port Richey, became involved with the county's mixed doubles league after learning about it at pickup games at the Holiday courts.

"I substituted in the mixed doubles league last year and played this year since I am here longer," said Burke, who plays in USTA leagues in Ohio. "Dominic did especially well, and together we did okay. In fact, we were giving David and Cheryl a pretty good game."

In fact, it was Burke and Crescenti that gave Pandora and Wisotsky their only set loss.

IT'S OFFICIAL: Terry Logan, chair of the District Officials Committee in the Pasco-Pinellas area, encourages anyone interested in becoming a certified U.S. Tennis Association official to contact her at (727) 864-3188.

NET NOTES: Michael Dezik of New Port Richey competed in the 2001 Tampa Open in the Quad B singles and doubles wheelchair competitions. Dezik and partner Matthew Sims of Cape Coral finished first in doubles. ... Competing this week in the 34th annual USTA Super National Spring Championship Easter Bowl in Palm Springs, Calif., are area players Timothy Neilly, Marc Spicijaric, George Navas and Evan Dufaux in the boys 14-and-under division; Sukhwa Young will compete in the 16s, Goran Dragicevic the boys 18s, Bugsy Bauer in the boys 16s and Kelly Nelson and Alexandria Liles in the girls 18s. Young is his division's top seed. Neilly is No. 5 and Liles is No. 11.

WOMEN'S PLAY: Westin Innisbrook Resort's women's teams are in first place in both the USA League Tennis 3.5 Blue Division and the Super Senior Doubles League.

Saturday's match with Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club resulted in a 5-0 win for Innisbrook's adult team and raised its record to 5-0 among 10 teams. Saturday, Innisbrook plays Countryside Country Club.

In the super senior league, Innisbrook avenged an earlier 2-1 loss to East Lake Woodlands with a 2-1 win last week and was 4-1 overall.

Monday, Innisbrook was to play Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club.

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