Wrapping up a day earlier than expected, five titles were decided on Saturday at the USTA Florida Combo 50 & Over Sectional Championships held at the USTA National Campus. Earning divisional titles were the Marion (Fort King Tennis Center – Ocala) 6.5 men, the Escambia (Roger Scott Tennis Center – Pensacola) 6.5 women, the Pinellas (Seminole Lake Family Tennis) 7.5 men, the Pinellas (McMullen Tennis Complex – Clearwater) 7.5 women, and the Broward (Parkland Tennis Center) 8.5 men.
Escambia (Roger Scott Tennis Center – Pensacola) and Alachua (Haile Plantation Country Club – Gainesville) continued their dominating ways in the women’s 6.5 division to set up a showdown in the championship match. Both went undefeated in flight play, with Escambia sweeping all nine courts and Alachua taking eight.
The title was fittingly decided by a match tiebreak at line three after the top two spots ended in straight sets. Alachua’s Marie Trabbic and Genne DeHenau McDonald cruised 6-3, 6-0 on court one; the pairing of Jacqueline Wallace and Jeannette Fabbro countered with a 6-1, 7-5 victory on court two for Escambia. At the all-important third position, the Alachua tandem of Tami Armstrong and Davette Wycoff battled to take an extended opening frame 7-5, but they would not be able to hold onto the lead, as Escambia’s Kelly Dempsey and Tanya Hughes stormed back for the 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 triumph.
Captained by Wallace, the full Escambia roster includes Fabbro, Terry Armstrong, Dempsey, Barbara French, Sue Nast, Selma Dudley Horne, Hughes, Mindy Lennon, Thuy Nguyen, and Karen Penn.
As anticipated, the men’s 7.5 title came down to the morning dual between Pinellas (Seminole Lake Family Tennis) and Broward (Midtown Athletic Club – Weston), the two undefeated teams entering the day. All three courts would end in straight sets, with Pinellas prevailing on two of them to gain the upper hand; they would close out a perfect 4-0 weekend emphatically with a sweep. In total, Pinellas won 11 of the 12 individual matchups their players competed in for the event.
Captain Gary Hutton’s Pinellas roster includes Mark Nasworthy, Joseph Starnes, Curt Ulliman, Jack Davis, Michael Rocke, Michael Fernandez, John Hockin, Dale Salmon, John Ramdeen, and Jonathan Mellen.
The class of the women’s 7.5 division from start to finish, Pinellas (McMullen Tennis Complex – Clearwater) capped off an impressive two days by sweeping aside Alachua (D B Racquet Club – Gainesville) to bring home the crown. Pinellas entered the championship dual with an unblemished 3-0 record while Alachua came in with two wins and one loss. All three first sets would be close, with Pinellas going ahead at the top two spots. Cheryl Pawlowski and Mary Jacobs raced to the finish line with a 7-5, 6-0 effort on court one while teammates Monica Sanchez and Deirdre West hung on for a 6-4, 6-3 victory at line two. Kelly Hansen and Rachel McCaskill closed out the sweep thanks to coming from behind to claim court three 6-7, 6-3, 1-0.
Led by Hansen, the complete Pinellas crew consists of Lucy Robertson, McCaskill, Pawlowski, Sanchez, Anne Pulley, Jacqueline Klein, West, Lori Heffner, Dori Hazama, and Jacobs.
Both the men’s 6.5 and men’s 8.5 divisions wrapped up a day early. In 6.5 action, Marion (Fort King Tennis Center – Ocala) bested Alachua (300 Club Inc. – Gainesville) twice to secure the title. The morning dual ended in a 3-0 sweep before Marion hung on to win by a 2-1 margin in the afternoon. Meanwhile, for the 8.5 division, Broward (Parkland Tennis Center) downed Orange/Seminole/Lake (Heathrow Racquet Club – Altamonte Springs) two courts to one in the morning session and came back in the afternoon to emphatically clinch the division via a 3-0 sweep.
Scott Kiefer serves as the captain of the 6.5 Marion team made up of Danny York, William Thomas, Scott Lovell, Robert Brombach, Christopher Clements, Joe Lagano, Rick Durham, Maynard Luetgert, Paul Steinberg, Ralf Barckhausen, Grady Grimes, and Luis Carrascosa.
The 8.5 Broward group is captained by Les Liese and features a roster of Kevin McCarthy, Robert McCartha, David Netburn, Patrick Cotter, Santiago Restrepo, Bruce Kurtz, Atif Raoof, Charles Johnson, James McLaughlin, David Williams, Daniel Halle, Giovanni Guido, Douglas Kerl, and Paul Newman.
50 & OVER MEN’S 6.5
Final: Marion County (Fort King Tennis Center) d. Alachua County (Alachua 300 Club Inc.) 7-6 6-2 | 4-6 7-6 1-0 | 6-4 6-3
Marion County Season Roster: Scott Kiefer (Captain), Danny York, William Thomas, Scott Lovell, Robert Brombach, Christopher Clements, Joe Lagano, Rick Durham, Maynard Luetgert, Paul Steinberg, Ralf Barckhausen, Grady Grimes, Luis Carrascosa
50 & OVER WOMEN’S 6.5
Final: Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center) d. Alachua County (Plantation Country Club) 6-3 6-0 | 6-1 7-5 | 5-7 6-2 1-0
Escambia Season Roster: Jacqueline Wallace (Captain), Jeannette Fabbro, Terry Armstrong, Kelly Dempsey, Barbara French, Sue Nast, Selma Dudley Horne, Tanya Hughes, Mindy Lennon, Thuy Nguyen, Karen Penn
50 & OVER MEN’S 7.5
Final: Pinellas County (Seminole Lake Family Tennis) d. Broward County (Midtown Athletic Club-Weston) 6-4 6-3 | 6-1 7-5 | 6-3 6-4
Pinealls County Season Roster: Gary Hutton (Captain), Mark Nasworthy, Joseph Starnes, Curt Ulliman, Jack Davis, Michael Rocke, Michael Fernandez, John Hockin, Dale Salmon, John Ramdeen, Jonathan Mellen
50 & OVER WOMEN’S 7.5
Final: Pinellas County (City of Clearwater) d. Alachua County (Don Blair Racquet Club) 7-5 6-0 | 6-4 6-3 | 6-7 6-3 1-0
Pinellas County Season Roster: Kelly Hansen (Captain), Kelly Hansen, Lucy Robertson, Rachel McCaskill, Cheryl Pawlowski, Monica Sanchez, Anne Pulley, Jacqueline Klein, Deirdre West, Lori Heffner, Dori Hazama, Mary Jacobs
50 & OVER MEN’S 8.5
Final: Broward County (Parkland Tennis Center) d. Orange/Seminole County (Heathrow Racquet Club) 6-3 6-2 | 6-2 6-1 | 6-2 4-6 1-0
Broward County Season Roster: Les Liese (Captain), Kevin McCarthy, Robert McCartha, David Netburn, Patrick Cotter, Santiago Restrepo, Bruce Kurtz, Atif Raoof, Charles Johnson, James McLaughlin, David Williams, Daniel Halle, Giovanni Guido, Douglas Kerl, Paul Newman
Established in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year to more than 904,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league. The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). USTA League is open to any USTA member 18 years of age or older.
For more information on USTA Florida Leagues go to www.USTAFlorida.com/leagues.