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Feather Sound rallies for crown


© St. Petersburg Times, published December 6, 2000

Feather Sound Country Club broke its tie with Treasure Island Rec in the last match, capturing another South Pinellas Ladies Doubles League title.

Feather Sound won both doubles positions, but not until after a hard-fought effort from Treasure Island Rec.

"It was gruelling," said Carol Stowasser, Feather Sound captain. "It took three sets in both positions, but we made a comeback to win."

Stowasser and Karen Augustine played No. 1 against Jill McDowell and Charlene Garner from TI Rec.

"Karen and I have been partners since we got involved in the league," Stowasser said.

"We've been undefeated as a doubles team the last two years, and we're especially proud of that," Stowasser said.

They played aggressively against McDonnell and Garner, overcoming a 5-0 deficit in the third set to win the match in a tie-breaker.

"Sometimes, I think, because we are good friends we know what the other is going to do on the court," Stowasser said.

"Karen is like a backboard on the court, and I like to play aggressively at the net."

Ann Thompson and Onnie Hastings have been partners all year and lost only twice in the No. 2 position.

In the match with Margaret Tseng and Louise Strong from Treasure Island Rec, Thompson and Hastings survived a three-setter.

"They were really tough," said Gay Womack, TI Rec squad captain.

"We don't have set partners but rotate players in and around," Womack said. "We think it's fun to get a variety of play."

Thompson and Hastings finished their third set as Stowasser and Augustine were just beginning theirs.

"Knowing they had finished and won helped us," Stowasser said. "We knew the worse we could do was tie them if we lost our match. That helped us relax and play even better."

In a playoff for third place in the league, Vinoy faced St. Petersburg Tennis Center.

After competing eight weeks, SPTC had earned a one-point lead over Vinoy. Winning just one position would give SPTC third place.

St. Petersburg Tennis Center got it.

"We've played together all the time in the league," SPTC captain Hedy Hunyady said of partner Jerrie McCollough.

Hunyady and McCoullough defeated Sandy Wells and Sandy Ernst. Vinoy's Sharon Keegan and Linda Hirsch beat SPTC's Dee Haupt and Jean Cox.

In all, the South Pinellas Ladies Doubles League had seven teams of two doubles positions each. To register for the next session, which begins Jan. 17, call Sam Vuille, 867-9105.

JUNIORS SUPER SERIES: Michael Kopelman won two matches with a 6-0, 6-0 score to reach the 10-and-under final in the Pre-Holiday Super Series in Clearwater.

In the championship, the Treasure Island junior won 6-1, 6-2.

Other players reaching finals were Sonny Kennedy and Marc Sawyer.

Kennedy finished second in the division for 12-year-olds after a straight-set loss.Sawyer was second in the class for 16-year-olds.

Kennedy won three matches to advance to the final with fourth-seeded Oliver Andrzejczuk of Germany.

Top-seeded Sawyer won three matches to reach the championship, but the Largo junior was defeated by Matt Rubenstein of Wesley Chapel, 6-2, 6-1.

SUPER SENIOR SIGN-UPS: Register with Josie Doucette, (813) 862-1656, for the women's division of the USTA Florida Section Super Senior Doubles League. Men's players are to contact Al Heller, 397-2825.

New this year is a rule that requires players to be at least 61 years of age before the end of 2001 to be eligible to participate.

Team rosters are due Dec. 15. League action is scheduled to begin the first week of January.

USA LEAGUE: A mandatory captains meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Feather Sound Country Club.

New this year will be electronic online registration for players and teams.

Jacqui Brunton, director of adult programs for the USTA Florida Section, will attend the meeting and answer questions.

NET NOTES: Bob Meyerdierks won the men's 70-and-over singles title in last weekend's Sundial Super Senior Tournament in Sanibel Island. Bud Steckman finished second in singles for 75-year-olds and teamed with Sam Dixon to win the doubles championship. ... Kelly McCain, Alexandria Liles and Sukhwa Young begin competition Thursday in the Orange Bowl International Junior Championships in Miami. ... A demo day and open house are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 16 at the St. Petersburg Country Club. Sam Vuille, director at the club, and Rhett Rollyson of Babolat USA will lead the activities. There's no admission. COMING UP: Safety Harbor Spa is the site for the Dec. 15-17 Holiday Classic that will feature men's and women's singles and doubles. To register, call tournament director Phil Green, 724-7729.

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