January 26th, 2016

Panhandle Tennis Blog: USTA League and Tournament Winners, MLK Day Float


Weaver Wins Girls 16 USTA Florida Level 3 Junior Tournament in Lakeland

Pace's Elena Weaver

Pace’s Elena Weaver

Pace’s Elena Weaver, unseeded, defeated #4 seed Daniela Bellini (Tierra Verde) 6-1, 6-0 to win the Girls’ 16 Division of the USTA Florida Level 3 Junior Tournament on Jan. 18, 2016 at the Beerman Family Tennis Center in Lakeland.

Weaver’s remarkable run through the draw included a 6-0, 6-0 semifinal win over #15 seed Samantha DiMario (Winter Park) and a 6-1, 6-0 quarterfinal win over top seeded Andrea Amortegui (Weston).

Weaver lost only six games in six matches in the event.

Of the 448 players at the different sites for the Level 3 tournament, only three other juniors from west of Tallahassee were in the draws. Colin Scheufler (B16) and Caraline Scheufler (G16) of Gulf Breeze and Annalisa Smith (G14) of Pensacola played the event. To show the strength of the events, only Caraline Scheufler won a match in the tournament.

Our hats are off to Miss Weaver on her accomplishment. This writer has seen a lot of junior tennis since 1978 and can’t recall such a dominating performance by a Region 1 junior in such a big event.

Paul O. Austin Passes Away

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, Paul O. Austin passed away at his home after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Austin who was one of Pensacola’s finest orthodontists had also been a naval aviator in his younger days.

He loved his tennis and had been playing off and on with our group of Roger Scott “Old Guys” throughout the summer. Most of us had no idea he wasn’t doing well lately.

After the Remembrance Service on Friday, Jan. 15, the fellas got together for some tennis and a group picture for Paul. He was a great friend to all that he knew.

Panama City Racquet Gets Court Resurfacing

The Panama City Racquet Club owned by Thomas and Laura Dobbins got a facelift recently when their courts were resurfaced. Thomas said that it was time for the resurfacing. The courts were getting a little rough.

All clinics and other club activities are back in action.

Okaloosa/Walton/Bay Counties Wins Men’s 9.5 Combo 18 & Over USTA Florida Sectional

Men's 9.5 Combo Team, from left - Caleb Windhltz, Mike Matisons, Jason Mclemore, Marvin Colley, Chip Thomas, Nathan Malnati and Tyler Marengo.

Men’s 9.5 Combo Team, from left – Caleb Windhltz, Mike Matisons, Jason Mclemore, Marvin Colley, Chip Thomas, Nathan Malnati and Tyler Marengo.

The Okaloosa/Walton/Bay-Rosemary Beach Men’s 9.5 Combo 18 & Over team defeated all comers to go 4-0 and win the USTA Florida Combo Sectional Championship at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The title was not an easy road however as the Rosemary Beach men needed a third-set tiebreaker win to pull out 2-1 victories over both Pinellas-McMullen and Sarasota/Manatee.

Great job fellas in keeping the tradition of providing very tough 4.5 men’s tennis from Region 1!

Three other Region 1 Combo 18 & Over teams participated at Sanlando Park.

The  Women’s 5.5 team from Escambia/Shoreline went 2-1 in their round robin just missing the semifinals by a third-set tiebreaker. Team members included Atchara Barrows, Meriel Donahey, Jennifer Houston, Jennifer Mosley, Heather Reese, Jennifer Ros, Peggy Van Sleen and Rosalyn Wan.

Two men’s 7.5 teams from Region 1 participated as well. The Escambia-Miller team from Roger Scott went 3-0 in their round robin but came a cropper in the semifinals against Broward/Midtown. Great effort by William Baker, Chris Brown, Michael Ghiorso, Carl Miller, David Phuong Vu and Brett Worley.

The Okaloosa/Walton-Ft. Walton Beach also fielded a 7.5 team. John Griffin, Matthew Morgan, Victor Otero, Bill Pennington, Ben Seda and Dustin Stewart participated.

Pensacola’s Roger Scott Tennis Center Enters Float in Martin Luther King Parade

Pensacola tennis player and volunteer DJ Nystrom, who works at Corry Station and promotes tennis and Roger Scott Tennis Center (RSTC), came up with the idea of having an entry in the Martin Luther King Day parade in downtown Pensacola to become more visible to other communities.

So, RSTC staffers Susan Bonsignore and Jacquie Wallace along with RSTC tennis pros Linsley McMillion, Rita Dotson, Terry Thrash and Josh Koivu and other volunteers put together the entry for the parade. The complete entry would include a lead-off van with Roger Scott posters all around, a pick-up truck towing a lawn trailer with bales of hay, and participants in Rita Dotson’s Tennis-4-Everyone after-school homework and tennis program. In between these two vehicles, volunteers were going to tow an 18-foot 10 and Under net where the local pros and volunteers could rally a “red ball” back and forth. The net was a great idea but not towed on wheels. It was better to just have two folks carry the net.

At any rate, it was a beautiful day on MLK Day. Local tennis player and excellent photographer, Brad Davis, provided these terrific photos. The participants are already full of new ideas for next year.

Roger Scott’s Women’s 6.5 Combo 18 & Over Team Is Sectional Finalist

The Roger Scott Women’s 6.5 Combo 18 & Over team went 3-0 in round robin play defeating Leon-Sykes, Marion-Steinberg and Hillborough-Cotey all by 3-0 scores on Jan. 24, 2016 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. But the locals fell a little short in the finals where they were defeated 2-1 by Orange/Seminole-Red Bug.

Women's 6.5 Combo Finalists from left, Rachel Trahan, Jessica Schultheis, Kristy Miller, Jacquie Wallace, Kim Andrews, Anne Elidemir and kneeling Kenzier McIntyre.

Women’s 6.5 Combo Finalists from left, Rachel Trahan, Jessica Schultheis, Kristy Miller, Jacquie Wallace, Kim Andrews, Anne Elidemir and kneeling Kenzier McIntyre.

In the semifinals, Roger Scott downed Pinellas-East Lake Woodlands 2-1. As one can see from the bundled up ladies in the picture, Friday and Saturday were not warm picnics in the park. But, the ladies stayed enthusiastic and tough all the way.

Great weekend ladies!

Pensacola’s Roger Scott Tennis Center also had a Men’s 6.5 Combo 18 & Over team in Daytona. They didn’t fare quite as well as the ladies.

They missed out on the finals by one third-set tiebreaker against Alachua-Schafer in their very first match. They won their other two round robin matches. Alachua went on to win the championship.

The Men’s 6.5 Combo team included Ryan Duncan, Keith Ludwig, Joe Nunnari, Tom Paux, Brandon Scott and Ben Stevens. Great effort guys.

Panama City’s Betty Wachob Continues Her Winning Ways

from left, Wachob, Tournament Director Trish Falkner, Brenda Carter.

from left, Wachob, Tournament Director Trish Falkner, Brenda Carter.

Panama City’s Betty Wachob, who won the Golden Slam in 2015, that is the USTA National Clay, Hard, Grass and Indoor singles for the Women’s 70 division, started off 2016 very strong.

At the Les Grandes Dames USTA Category II at Ballenisles in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Wachob (#2 seed) was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by #1 seed Brenda Carter (Charleston, SC).

Then the top seeded duo of Carter and Wachob downed #2 seeded Lee Delfausse (Concord, NH) and Susam Kimball (Oak Bluffs, MA) 6-4, 6-4 to win the Women’s 70 doubles.