Tennis event info, previews, and recaps with photos when available.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
League Tennis Report Thru 11/21/2011
I'm going to try to do a League Tennis Report every two weeks or so, covering Women's and Men's leagues in the area. I'm hoping to include USTA Leagues as well the other leagues in the area. If you know of a league that should be covered, drop me a note. If you have pics that you want included, send me those as well. I'll start with (what I believe is) the "big kahuna" in town, theLee County Women's Tennis League (LCWTL). I haven't crunched any numbers, but I would be willing to bet a small fortume that The LCWTL produces the most court hours of any league in the area. In fact, they would probably rival all other leagues combined for the amount of matches played...but that's just speculation. One day I might actually crunch some numbers. For now, let's just say that lots of women play lots of tennis in the LCWTL. So how are things shaping up early in the season? Let's take a look.
Judy Schafft & Monica Robb of Gulf Harbour
Gulf Harbour is leading the 2.5 Division after three matches, four points ahead of the Landings. Given the huge gap between the top two and the rest of the division, it appears as though everyone else will be fighting for third place. Kudos to Gulf Harbour for their work thus far. Fielding a team was a major challenge for them, and now they are leading their division.
In the relatively small 3.0-Minus Division, Cross Creek Estates have opened up a nine-point lead on second place Landings, which is seven points ahead of third-place Heritage Palms. Only two matches have been played in this division, so it’s tough to get a handle on what’s likely to happen just yet. Winning seven of eight individual matches bodes well for Cross Creek though.
Frankie Ingram & Lois Piano of Gulf Harbour
After four matches, the Forest has pulled into the lead of the 3.0 Division by nine points over second-place Heritage Palms, but Gulf Harbour’s Double Trouble (3rd), Kelly Greens and Heron’s Glen TopSpinners (tied 4th) are nipping at their heels. This race is likely to heat up even more as the season progresses.
In the 3.5-Minus Division, the largest of the rated divisions with 17 teams, Kelly Greens has pulled ahead of the pack after four matches, losing just three of 16 individual matches, and posting a nine-point lead over second place Forest and Judd Park (tied 2nd). Right in the mix, however, are Gulf Harbour’s LoveLee Ladies (4th), Landings Gems (5th), and Paseo (6th), all within eight points of the second-place teams.
Sandi Hill & Lauri Watson of Gulf Harbour
With 16 teams, the 3.5 Division is one of the more competitive in the League. After four matches, Pelican Preserve has staked a solid claim on division dominance. Thus far, they’ve lost just two of the 16 individual matches played, but they have yet to play the teams in second-through-fourth place.
Members of 2010-2011 Winning LCWTL 3.5-Minus Team
Heritage Palms, Rutenberg, and Del Tura, respectively, hold those positions, but trail the division leader by a considerable margin.
In the 4.0-Minus Division, Park Meadow (1st) and Heritage Palms (2nd) have created some separation from the pack after five matches. Those two are separated by just one point, with the third-place team, Dunes Toni’s Tigers, 15 points from the top spot. The race for third is heated, though, with Gateway, Dunes Dynamic Dames, and Gulf Harbour within five points of third place. It will be interesting to see if a team can emerge from the pack to join the two at the top.
Michelle & Anna of Park Meadow
No division has fiercer competition and tighter standings than the 4.0 Division. After five matches, five of the 12 teams in the division are within six points of the lead, and two are tied for first by one point over the third-place team. Heritage Palms Poachers and Landings 4Love hold that slim lead, with Landings Legends one point behind, Park Meadow four points out of first, and Bonita Bay just six points away from the top spot. This one ought to be fun all the way to the wire!
In the final, and highest rated, division, the Dynamos, Paseo appears to be the clear-cut leader, ahead of second-place Gulf Harbour by nine points despite playing three matches to Gulf Harbour’s four. Just eight points behind Gulf Harbour, tied for third with only three matches under their belts, are two Park Meadow teams: Tennis Junkies, and GGs. It’s too early to call this division, but it appears that six of the seven teams in this division have a shot at being atop the standings at season’s end.
In the second largest of all the LCWTL divisions, the Bronze, the ladies of Heron’s Glen are flexing their tennis muscles, sweeping three of their first five matches, and posting an 18-2 individual match record after five matches. Holding onto second by six points, with two sweeps of their own, are the ladies from Pelican Landing. Heritage Palms and Breckenridge Overheads are the only teams currently within shouting distance, in third and fourth places respectively.
In the largest LCWTL Division, the Silver, division-leading Gulf Harbour Silver Strings came out of the blocks sprinting. The Silver Strings posted two sweeps to begin the season, and have a 20-4 individual match record after six matches. The Landings Lucky Ladies trail Silver Strings by 13 points, with Breckenridge, CCYC, and Lexington just a few points behind the second place team. With so many teams playing, it will be some time before we know what’s likely to happen in this tough division.
Inge Lorenz & Monde Breton of Gulf Harbour
In the very competitive Gold Division, The Dunes (1st), FMRC Tennis Sisters (2nd), and Pelican Preserve (3rd) have established a little separation from the rest of the pack after five matches, but not much. There is a group of seven teams within striking distance should the leaders falter. There’s a good chance that the Division Champion will come from among the teams currently sitting in the top ten, but it will take a few more matches to have an idea which of those ten have a realistic shot.
Kathy Lanzalotta & Janet Craycraft of Gulf Harbour
In the highest rated senior division, Platinum, Pelican Landing has opened a 10-point lead after four matches. Vasari (2nd) and Park Meadow Serves Aces (3rd) are just two points apart, with a nine-point gap between third place and the fourth-place Landings Buttshots. With only seven teams in the division, and having lost just three individual matches in the 16 played, Pelican Landing looks like a strong candidate for Division Champion honors. We will know more after they play the second and third-place teams.
In the most courageous (in my opinion) of all divisions, the 60-Plus, another two-team race is shaping up early. Heritage Palms (89 pts) and CCRHC (84 pts) have pulled away from the pack, with Heritage Palms losing just two of their 16 individual matches played, and CCRHC losing just three of their 16. No other team is within 20 points of the top two, and unless reinforcements are on the way for the other teams, or injuries come into play, it looks like the current top two will be battling for the title at the end.
One of the area's small but vibrant leagues is the Suncoast "A" Tennis League (AKA SCAT League). Many probably don't know that this league has been around for nearly three decades, providing a competitive home for many of the women who play in the more advanced divisions of the LCWTL and USTA leagues.
SCAT was created in 1984, initially because there was no place for advanced women to play. Currently SCAT is home to six teams which field three doubles teams per match. Each match one counts for one point. Current Standings are as follows:
Park Meadow- Diane= 8
Naples Bay Resort= 7
Heritage Bay= 7
Plantation Country Club= 5
Fort Myers Racquet Club= 5
Park Meadow- Regina= 4
As you can see, the race to the title is a close one. For more info on SCAT click here.
I promised to bring you a bit more info on the BonEro Tennis league, so here I am. The league is home to 12 teams of women age 50 and over, with ratings between 3-5 and 4.0. Teams field three courts per match, and they play on Tuesday afternoons at 2pm. The teams hail from Bonita and Estero, but I suspect teams from Fort Myers and perhaps further afield might be welcome.
The League offers a non-competitive season in the fall and a competitive season from January through March, and all matches are played on "soft-surface" courts. With twelve teams, BonEro sounds like an up-and-coming league that should generate some interest. I look forward to covering their progress in the spring. Click here for more on BonEro
We can't leave the men out, can we? Unfortunately, teams in the Lee County Men’s 50-Plus League have played just one match, and the Men’s 70-Plus League has yet to begin play. Keep an eye out for updates on these leagues once they have played a few matches. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! Game, set, match... T A