March 1st, 2016

Panhandle Tennis Blog: Area USTA League, School, Tournament Results and More

Courtside Adult Tennis News Youth Tennis News

The Club II Women’s 18 & Over Tri-Level Team Finishes 2nd at Sectionals

Tri Level left to right, Bonnie Witkin, Renee Baggett, Angela Stewart, Susan Nitterauer, Lori Gonzalez, Captain Lauren Haack and Lisa Bew.

Tri Level left to right, Bonnie Witkin, Renee Baggett, Angela Stewart, Susan Nitterauer, Lori Gonzalez, Captain Lauren Haack and Lisa Bew.

The Women’s 18 & Over Tri-Level team from The Club II finished second at the USTA Florida Tri-Level Sectional Championships held Feb. 6-8, 2016 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. The locals started out slow with an 0-3 loss to eventual tournament winner Volusia and a 1-2 loss to Orange-Seminole.

However, they roared back with three straight 3-0 wins over Brevard-Rockledge, North Palm Beach and Collier to gain the runner-up position.

The weather conditions weren’t ideal as evidenced from the fashionable tennis wear in the picture. Great job ladies.

Weaver Wins Girls’ 16 USTA Florida Level 5 Junior Tournament in Altamonte Springs

Weaver in 2015

Weaver in 2015

Pace’s Elena Weaver, seeded 6th, defeated No. 2 seed Daniela Bellini of Tierra Verde 6-2, 6-1 to win the USTA Florida Girls 16 Level 5 junior tournament at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs on Feb. 6-8, 2016.

Weaver also downed No. 3 seed Slade Cotzee of Miami Beach 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 in the quarterfinals and No. 7 seed Cassie McLay of Delray Beach 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals.

After winning the Level 3 Winter Sectional in January, Weaver is now 12-0 for 2016 in the Girls’ 16s. That’s a pretty good start to the year.

Tops’l Wins Its Own Men’s Open Team Tennis Event

One of the best Men’s Open Team Tennis events is held each February at the Tops’l Beach & Racquet Club in Miramar Beach near Destin. Each year 5-8 teams of open men players field three doubles teams apiece and play non-elimination matches for three days.

Players enjoy food, drink and great tennis.

This year’s event featured two teams for Tops’l and one each from Thomasville, Georgia, Paducah, Kentucky and Nashville, Tenn.

Catholic Tops Niceville in Big Early-Season H.S. Match

Two of the better area high school tennis teams battled at Roger Scott Tennis Center on Feb. 10, 2016 when the Pensacola Catholic Crusaders and Niceville Eagles boys and girls squared off.

Catholic won the boys 5-4 and the girls 7-2 but the matches were very, very close.

In the boys’ nine matches, six were decide by third-set tiebreakers, including five of the six singles and one of the doubles matches. The girls battled to three third-set tiebreakers and had three other matches that included a tiebreaker set.

The two teams play again in March at the Eagle/Ram Tennis Center in Niceville.

UWF Men’s and Women’s Teams Undefeated in the Season’s Early Going

As of Feb. 29, both the men’s ad women’s teams at the University of West Florida (UWF) are ranked in the Top 10 in NCAA DII.

The men, 8-0, are currently No. 4 and have defeated No. 6 Lynn and No. 13 Columbus State. He women, 7-1, are No. 7 and have defeated No. 8 Columbus State but lost to No. 5 Lynn.

For more on Argo tennis go to UWF Tennis.

Youth Tennis Foundation Makes Two Generous Donations to Pensacola-Area Programs

The Blue Angel Southern Invitational (BASI) High School Team Tennis Tournament and the Tennis-4-Everyone Pensacola Inner City after-school homework and tennis program both received $1,000 grants from The Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida (YTF), currently headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla. Local YTF Board member Scott Harrison identified the two programs as worthy of YTF backing.

(left) Harrison and Watts

(left) Harrison and Geoff Watts

The Blue Angel Southern Invitational is in its fourth year of operation. The tournament is hosted by Pensacola Catholic (coached by Geoff Watts) and Pensacola Washington (coached by Mark McGuigan).  Michael Edge, the former Washington High coach and original BASI co-founder with Watts, will take some time off from his duties with the Florida State tennis team to run the Roger Scott site. Matches will also be played at Washington High and Bayview Park.

In addition to Pensacola Catholic and Washington, Vestavia Hills High School (AL), The Bolles School of Jacksonville (FL), Chiles High School and Leon High School of Tallahassee (FL), Winter Park High School (FL), Blessed Trinity High School (GA), Brookwood (GA), Starr’s Mill (GA), Baton Rouge Catholic (LA), New Orleans St. Mary’s Dominican (LA) and Oxford High School (MS) will participate in the March 4th and 5th event.

Tennis-4-Everyone, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by Pensacola tennis professional Rita

(left) Harrison and Rita Dotson

(left) Harrison and Rita Dotson

Dotson, and provides year-round tennis instruction and academic tutoring throughout the school year to youth in the Pensacola area.

Children attending summer camps at community centers in the Pensacola area such as Cobb Center, Fricker Center, and Gull Point receive free tennis instruction. Tennis-4-Everyone coaches and volunteers utilize the United States Tennis Association’s 10 and Under Tennis format, the latest method of teaching young beginners.

Adult volunteers and University of West Florida volunteers assist students with their homework before the tennis activities take place.