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Lower seeds lift Feather Sound to title

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 11, 2001

Feather Sound Country Club edged Westin Innisbrook Resort to capture the club's first Satellite Ladies Doubles League championship.

Consistent play among the eight doubles positions and solid play from the lower half of the team keyed the club's success.

"I've been involved at Feather Sound for 10 years, and I don't recall our ever winning Satellite," team captain Jan Cox said. "We have some new players, especially on the bottom half."

Feather Sound held a one-point lead over four-time league champion Innisbrook at the midway point and stretched it to four points before last week's final match. Innisbrook closed the gap to three, but Feather Sound earned the title.

"We were down to counting points to the very end," said Karen Augustine, the team's co-captain for the past four years.

Sue Bedore and Jane Gordon defended the No. 5 position while Augustine and Marilyn Quackenbush played No. 6. Maggie Smith and Robyn Williams were in No. 7, and Pearl Schultz and Terri Hennington No. 8.

"The bottom half carried us. That's for sure," Augustine said. "That made a big difference for us. In Satellite, a team gets a point for every set that's won and, every week, the lower half was getting their two points."

Smith and Williams collected their two points every week, going undefeated.

"This was our first time to play together, and we just clicked," Williams said. "Maggie played last year and was looking for a partner for this season. She's so consistent, and together we just played well."

The duo tried to play the net as much as possible and capitalized on Williams' strong forehand, Smith said. "Robyn and I try to be consistent. We talk to each other and play hard," Smith said. "Along with Robyn's ripping forehand, I try to run down every ball. And we never gave up during a match."

Many of the doubles teams could have played at higher levels given the opportunity. According to Satellite rules, teams that lose consecutive matches switch positions with the team directly beneath them, if they are winning. For Feather Sound this season, most of the doubles positions were winning each week.

Holding the top position for Feather Sound was Donna Dilonardo and Martha Wells, followed by Cox and Terry Connors at No. 2, DeDe Natalie and Terry Hubner No. 3 and Susan Powers and Debbie Komarnicki at No. 4.

After tying Innisbrook 9-9 in the first match of the season, Feather Sound won 17 matches with one-point losses to Countryside Racquets and East Lake Woodlands.

In all, Feather Sound earned 262 points, Innisbrook 259 and the Racquet Club and East Lake were tied for third with 243 points. Also competing were Countryside Strings (207), Countryside Racquets (195), Vinoy Victors (171), Bardmoor (133), Vinoy Aces (127), Treasure Island (114) and Lakewood (56).

Feather Sound will receive individual trophies at the annual luncheon April 24. The first three places will be recognized as well as the announcement of the winner of the sportsmanship trophy.

EASTER BOWL CHALLENGERS: Several area players are competing this week in the 34th annual USTA Super National Spring Championship Easter Bowl in Palm Springs, Calif. They are: Timothy Neilly, Marc Spicijaric, George Navas and Evan Dufaux in the boys 14-and-under; Sukhwa Young, the 16s; Goran Dragicevic, the boys 18s; Bugsy Bauer, the 16s; Kelly Nelson and Alexandria Liles, the 18s. Young is his division's top-seed; Neilly No. 5; Liles No. 11.

This year's singles draws have been expanded from 64 to 128 and doubles from 32 to 64 teams. In all, 82 Floridians are entered.

TOURNAMENT 2001: Tournament 2001 at the Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club last weekend featured 12 women's doubles teams in the 3.5-plus NTRP division.

Divided into three groups of four teams each, the players competed in eight-game pro sets with each team in their division. The top team in each division, along with a wild-card team, advanced to the semifinals. Isla members Pat Arnette and Joyce Rosner defeated Isla's Judy Mullen and guest Deb Tuthill for the championship.

TAMPA OPEN: Thierry Chatalier and David Towns were finalists in the men's A doubles wheelchair division in the Tampa Open.

To reach the final in the seven-team draw, Chatalier and Towns eliminated Bill Oefinger and Charles Irizarry. The men's A 14-player singles division consisted of Towns, Irizarry and Townes. Ken Horgen played in the men's C singles and B doubles.

COMING UP: National Tennis Rating Program evaluation clinics can be arranged by calling Sam Vuille at 867-9105 or Peter Laker at 799-2559. There is a $10 cost per player. ... The Racquet Club of St. Petersburg hosts this month's Suncoast Tennis Singles on April 22. For details, call 527-0777 or (813) 926-6370. ... The Fun n' Sun Easter Classic is this weekend at the Seminole Lake Tennis Center. Singles competition in the 18-and-under, 16s, 14s, 12s and 10s are planned. Call Krishnan Anandan at 394-1733.

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