December 28th, 2015

Panhandle Tennis Blog: December Awards, Tournament and USTA League Wins

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Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year to everyone in our Florida tennis community and beyond!

Region 1 Earns Three Major USTA Florida Awards at 2015 Annual Meeting

front from left, Terry Thrash, Tara Dominguez, Bruce Caton. back from left, Tammy and Calvin Moore, Jackie Wallace, Donna Underdonk, Diana Waters, Rita Dotson

front from left, Terry Thrash, Tara Dominguez, Bruce Caton. back from left, Tammy and Calvin Moore, Jackie Wallace, Donna Underdonk, Diana Waters, Rita Dotson

Region 1 in the Florida Panhandle west of Tallahassee earned three of the top awards at this year’s 66th USTA Florida Annual Meeting held in Orlando on Nov. 21-22, 2015.

Pensacola’s Terry Thrash was awarded Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding work in many phases of tennis around Pensacola. Similarly, Tara Dominguez won the Junior Team Tennis Volunteer of the Year for pioneering work with independent junior team tennis programs in the Panhandle. USTA Florida thought so highly of Dominguez’ work that she now has a permanent paid position with the organization.

Finally, the Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola was awarded the Member Organization of the Year. Under the direction of Bruce Caton, his staff hosts every kind of tennis event imaginable from adult and junior sanctioned tourneys, to an ITF Wheelchair event and a $10,000 Men’s Futures Tournament, to both beginner and adult classes, to charity tournaments, to one-day adult events and various fun afternoon junior events to name a few.

Congratulations to these three and all those who volunteer and participate to make the area programs and tournaments better.

Muldowney and Weaver Win at November National Tournaments

Mary Esther’s Frank Muldowney and Pace’s Elena Weaver had terrific tournament results at USTA national tournaments over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Muldowney was seeded 4th at the Boys 14 USTA Open Regional held at the Newman Tennis Center in Augusta, Ga. He won three rounds in straight sets before losing in the semifinals 6-1, 6-2 to James Bratt (#5) of Middleburg, Fla. Muldowney then beat #8 seed Nikhil Charanjiva of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 6-1 for third place.

However, Muldowney wasn’t finished. He teamed Bratt as the #3 seeds in doubles and they destroyed the field, winning four matches while allowing no more than three games in a match including an 8-3 defeat of Zach Portnoy (New York, N.Y.) and Jame Qu (Greer, S.C.) in the final.

Weaver was unseeded at the Girls 16 USTA National Selection Tournament held at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center in Montgomery, Ala. She went 6-1 in the tournament losing only to top-seeded Madison Hwang (Frisco, Texas) 6-4, 6-3 in the round of 16.

Weaver finished 7th in the tournament defeating Indianapolis, Indiana’s Lauren Lemonds (#5) 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 in the consolation final. Weaver also beat #9 seed Lindsay Zimmerman (Hilton Head, S.C.) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, #7 seed Nicole Stephens (Marrieta, Ga.) 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 and #6 seed Somer Henry (Franklin, Tenn.) 6-1, 6-3.

Congratulations to these two fine representatives of Panhandle junior tennis.

32 Years of the Pensacola Clay Court City Championships

Elizabeth Nowak (left), Sakey, Emmy Dobbins

Elizabeth Nowak (left), Sakey, Emmy Dobbins

For 32 years Pensacola tennis professional Brian Sakey has held the Pensacola Clay Court City Championships. The tourney has been held at the various places around town that Sakey has been the head professional. However, for the past two years the event has been held at the Roger Scott Tennis Center (RSTC) even though Sakey is head pro at The Club II in Gulf Breeze. Players from both Santa Rosa and Escambia counties are welcome to play.

The reason for the venue change is really rather ingenious. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday event has been held concurrent with the final three days of the Pensacola Men’s Futures $10,000 professional tournament. The City Championships was easily run on six of RSTC’s 10 clay courts while the pros used the other four for the semifinals and finals of singles and the finals of doubles. In between players’ City Clay matches, they could watch the pros and eat from the food truck there for the pro tournament.

As with all Sakey tournaments, there was plenty of tennis (players guaranteed four matches), food, beverages and a cool “Down and Dirty” City Clay Courts t-shirt.

This year’s final results were as follows:
Men’s Club A singles — Bruce Savage.
Men’s Club B singles — Luis Delgado.
Men’s A doubles — Steve Campbell and Marty Foret.
Men’s B doubles — John Wimberly and Bobby Greenberg.
Ladies A doubles — Elizabeth Nowak and Emmy Dobbins.
Ladies B doubles — Kim Andrews and Jessica Schultheis.

Roger Scott Women’s 50 & Over 8.5 Combo Team Runner-up at USTA Florida League Sectionals

The Escambia/Roger Scott (RSTC) Women’s 50 & Over 8.5 Combo team was runner-up at the USTA Florida League Sectionals played Dec. 11-13, 2015 at the Florida Tennis in Daytona Beach. The local ladies lost 1-2 to Sarasota/Manatee in the finals.

The locals tied with St. Johns/Ponte Vedra 3-1 after pool play but made the finals with more matches won and less sets lost. The ladies defeated Hillsborough 2-1 and 3-0 and beat Duval 3-0 but lost to them as well 1-2 in round robin play.

The RSTC ladies team included captain Sharon Higdon, Patricia Addison, Mary Jane Evertz, Amanda Howard, Fran King, Denise Lebert, Tami Manning, Beth Ptacek, Angela Sherrill, and BJ Wolff.

Congratulations ladies, great job.

The Panhandle also had Combo 50 & Over Men’s 6.5 and 8.5 teams, as well as a 6.5 women’s team at the event.


Bomparola Wins Two Boys Junior Tournaments in a Row

Holihan (left) BomparolaDestin’s Matthew Bomparola won back-to-back junior tournament titles in December.

On Dec.12-14, 2015 at the Bluewater Bay Tennis Center in Niceville, the top-seeded Bomparola downed Destin’s Gibson Holahan (#2 seed) 6-1, 7-5 in the Boys 18 final of the Level 6 event.

One week later Bomparola played the Darling Tennis Center’s 10th Annual Santa Claus Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. Bomparola was unseeded in this Level 7 Boys 16 event and downed #1 seed Simran Shah of Las Vegas 6-0, 6-1 in the semifinals followed by a 6-2, 6-0 drubbing  of #2 seed Connor Mikkelson of Boulder City, Nev., in the final.

Nice play Matthew.