August 17th, 2015

Panhandle Tennis Blog: Edge to FSU, Bollettieri Visit, More


Weaver Wins Girls 14s at North Florida Junior Level 5 Championship in Tallahassee

Pace, Florida’s Elena Weaver defeated Bradenton’s Emily Oliveira 6-1, 6-3 to win the Girls 14 Championship at the USTA North Florida Junior Level 5 tournament in Tallahassee on July 20, 2015. Weaver didn’t lose a set in her five matches and only lost a maximum of four games in any one match.

Elena Weaver in Tallahassee

Elena Weaver in Tallahassee

Twelve other Region 1 West juniors participated in the Tallahassee tournament as well. Gulf Breeze’s Caraline Scheufler won three matches at the tourney while Pensacola’s Jacob Baehr and Annalisa Smith and Panama City’s Isabell Ceydeli each won a match.

Other’s in the tournament included Panama City’s Danny Lozier, Mary Esther’s Frank Muldowney, Pensacola’s Cara and Klye Kizilbash, Patrick Ling and Justin Lyons and Miramar Beach’s Mackenzie Petty.

Pensacola’s Ephron and Pace’s Weaver Win Matches at National Tournaments

Chris Ephron

Chris Ephron

Pensacola’s Chris Ephron and Pace’s Elena Weaver participated in USTA National Championsips in early August.

Ephron got into the prestigious USTA Boys 18-16 National Championships held in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Aug. 1-9. Ephron lost his opening match 6-1, 6-2 to David Goulak of Oak Park, Calif. He then defeated Jesse Levitin (Manhassett, NY) 6-2, 6-0 before dropping a 4-6, 6-1, 1-0(1) to Colin Markes of Austin, Texas.

Weaver played at the USTA National Girls 14 Hard Courts in Peachtree City, Ga., on Aug. 1-8. Weaver lost her opening match to 17-32 seed, Gianna Pielet of El Paso, Texas 7-6(2), 6-2. Weaver followed up by winning two matches over Yashna Yellayi (Buffalo, NY) 7-6(3), 6-4 and Sofia Rojas (Bradenton) 6-1, 6-1 before falling to Briana Crowley (Battleground, Ind.) 6-1, 7-6(4).

Great effort by both local players in having a good enough year to get into the National tournaments and in winning matches.

Pensacola Washington Coach Edge Headed to FSU While McGuigan Takes Over at Washington

Michael Edge

Michael Edge

Pensacola Washington High School tennis coach Michael Edge has taken a position with the Florida State University men’s tennis program.

Edge had been the head of one of the top prep tennis programs in the area for six years. Edge will be marketing in the FSU men’s tennis program as well as a development coach with the Seminole high performance efforts. Edge’s Washington teams garnered two state runner-up trophies, three regional championships and 11 district championships.

2-8-2015  Mark McGuiganComing home to replace Edge at Washington is former Pensacolian, Mark McGuigan. McGuigan played both high school and college tennis in Pensacola. After graduating from the University of West Florida in 2008, McGuigan was an assistant coach there.

He was the women’s tennis head coach for three years at the University of Montevallo in Alabama before becoming an assistant coach at the University of Central Florida in 2013.

Good luck to both coaches Edge and McGuigan in their new endeavors.

Pensacola’s First-Ever Level 9 Junior Event Well Received

Pensacola’s first-ever Level 9 Junior Tennis Event was held on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola. While not large in numbers (14 attended), the enthusiasm was terrific. The kids played singles and doubles in a timed round robin format using age-appropriate balls and rackets.

Pensacola Level 9 Participants

Pensacola Level 9 Participants

Players received t-shirts, lunch and had plenty of water and Gatorade. Since it was nearly impossible to get the kids off the court on a 105 heat index day, organizers were very happy with the event.

Rita Dotson, local area tennis professional, organized the event and was assisted on the court by Josh Koivu, a Roger Scott teaching professional.

left, Rita Dotson, G12 runner-up Sofie Sarazin, Josh Koivu

left, Rita Dotson, G12 runner-up Sofie Sarazin, Josh Koivu

Singles results for the Pensacola Level 9 were as follows:

B10: winner – Nikolas Paravalos, runner-up – Pierce Hopson.
B12: winner – Ethan Koivu, runner-up – Evan Rudman.
B14: winner – Matthew McCurdy, runner-up – Jon Smith.
G12: winner – Hannah Patterson, runner-up – Sophie Sarazin.

Club II Wins the Women’s 40&Over 3.5 USTA/FL Section Championship; Men Miss Championship by One Loss

The Women’s 40 and Over 3.5 USTA League team from the Escambia/Club II defeated Seminole/Waterford Lakes 3-2 to win the Florida Sectional Championships on July 19, 2015 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona . The women went 2-1 in the Flight 2 round robin play and qualified for the semifinals with less individual match losses.

In the semifinals, Club II defeated South Miami-Dade/Fascell 3-2 including two third-set tiebreaker wins.

Club II Women's 40 and Over 3.5 Sectional Champs

Club II Women’s 40 and Over 3.5 Sectional Champs

Team Captain Renee Baggett was undefeated for the weekend playing doubles with both Anna Kreis and Ingrid Hewette. Jeanie Ephron and Jureda Lambert were 4-1 for the weekend with their lone loss a third-set tiebreaker in the finals.

Team members that played in Daytona included Baggett, Ephron, Jennifer Gilroy, Cynthia Hart, Hewette, Kreis, Lambert, Dawn Marino and Ann Scott. Great job ladies. Good luck at Nationals.

On the same weekend, the Escambia/Roger Scott Tennis Center (RSTC) 40 and Over Men’s 3.5 team tied in their Flight 1 round robin 3-1 with Duval County/Boone Park. However, Boone Park made the final by losing one less individual match than the RSTC men. Just one lost tiebreaker along the line made the difference.

The RSTC players in Daytona included Captain John Wimberly, Dale Chavers, Michael Ghiorso, Bobby Greenberg, Kevin Groom, Bruce Hultgren, Carl Miller, Russ Parris and Gordon Paulus.


Nick Bollettieri Pays a Surprise Visit to Sandestin Beach Resort

left, Nick Bollettieri, Kevin Tucker

left, Nick Bollettieri, Kevin Tucker

World famous tennis guru and entrepreneur Nick Bollettieri paid a surprise visit to Sandestin Beach Resort in Miramar Beach near Destin. One of the Sandestin Tennis Pro Shop ladies went to a Bollettieri three-day camp while her husband was at a conference. One thing led to another and one of Nick’s good friends who flies Nick around lives in Sandestin.

Arrangements were made to fly Bollettieri down for the day (July 25th) for a two-hour clinic. Bollettieri and Sandestin pro Kevin Tucker worked the Flight 1 ladies league team and another court of Sandestin members and juniors.

Afterward, the principle parties headed to the Market Shops at Sandestin and the new restaurant DIG where they ate lunch and an early birthday cake provided by DIG for Bollettieri.

All in all it was a great time for friends and players at Sandestin.

Escambia PE Teachers USTA Kids’ Tennis Club Workshop Hosted by USTA Florida

On August 11, 2015, led by USTA Florida Region 1 Tennis Program Coordinator, George English, USTA Florida came to Pensacola in Escambia County to extol the USTA Kids’ Tennis Club program.

Accompanying English were Nancy Horowitz, president of USTA Florida; Susan Allshouse, USTA Florida Youth Council Chair; and Tara Dominguez, USTA Florida 10 & Under Coordinator.

Local tennis professional Rita Dotson, who is heavily involved with youth recreational tennis programs in Pensacola, also helped out.

from left, Susan Allshouse, George English, Tara Dominguez, Nancy Horowitz, Rita Dotson.

from left, Susan Allshouse, George English, Tara Dominguez, Nancy Horowitz, Rita Dotson.

A USTA Kids’ Tennis Club (KTC) allows kids to enjoy tennis through supervised play and interactive games and activities. No courts are required and no instruction is necessary. With the right sized equipment kids can quickly learn to rally and have fun right from the start! This is a great way to introduce kids to tennis and
develop sport as well as social skills in a safe, open-play setting.

More than 40 Escambia county PE teachers attended the workshop to learn how to facilitate a Kids’ Tennis Club program at their school. While the attendance was predominately elementary school teachers, there were several middle school teachers there as well.

Escambia County PE Teachers

Escambia County PE Teachers

Tara Dominguez posted on Facebook, “Great job to Susan and all the Escambia County teachers and administrators that welcomed USTA Florida and engaged in some quality youth tennis training that will benefit all PE programs!!!!!”

This is where our future players will start. For more information about Kids’ Tennis Club, click on the link below.