Monday, October 29, 2012

2012- 2013 USPTA Pro League Season Debuts at Palmira

Palmira Golf & Country Club proved to be a terrific venue for the Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League to open the 2012 - 2013 Season. Host Kenny Gibson (Tennis Director) and his staff greeted the hundreds of enthusiastic fans who descended upon the well-manicured grounds. The fans generated more than enough buzz and excitement to make me wish I had been in the lineup.

Scott Harrignton & Jim Katterfield pose with
Paul Pignone of Boston Retirement Advisors
and event host Kenny Gibson
For those who haven’t yet been informed, there’s a new format this season, with six teams, instead of four, vying for Pro League honors. Team competition will include three men’s doubles (No.1 through No.3 doubles) and one mixed doubles match. Click here for Team Rosters, League Standings, and Match Schedule.  A tiebreak set (first to 10 points, AKA super-tiebreak) is used if there are split sets in a match.

The scoring works as follows: One point is gained for every set won. Teams using substitutes only get half a point for each set won. So for example, if Joe and Jim beat Bob and Bill in straight sets, Joe and Jim get two points and Bob and Bill get zero. If Joe and Jim win in three sets, then they get two points and Bob and Bill get one. However, if Joe is playing with a sub, his team will only get half a point per set, so instead of two points, his team would only get one. A team cannot use two subs on the same court. I hope that brings you up to speed. Now on to last Friday’s action…

Team Babolat (7) versus Boston Retirement Advisors (3.5)
Erica Cossairt & Armor Persons of Babolat
Captain Jeff Diggs’ Team Babolat jumped out to a really nice start, taking three of the four matches against Scott Harrington’s Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA). Tyler Owens continued his winning ways at first doubles, teaming with Deny Rager to dispatch Scott and Jared Kalpin in straight sets. 

Jim Katterfield & Susie Gibson raffle goodies
At second doubles, Jeff and John Jerome took a close three-setter from League Commissioner Jim Katterfield and my ex-partner Joel Hampton.

Mike Barnes & Paul D'Amico of BRA
On Court 3, Paul D’Amico and Mike Barnes posted the only win for BRA, edging Mark Owens and Toni Halski in three. On the Mixed Doubles court, Armor Persons of Breckenridge and Erica Cossairt of Cape Coral Racquet Club squeaked by Bob Green of Pelican Preserve and Christie Pollen (subbing for Kim Jones of The Landings) in another third-set super-tiebreak.

Johnny Malloy’s (5) versus University Grill (2)
Mike Curran & Elliot Debolt of JM
The points in the matchup between Mike Curran’s (Gulf Harbour) Johnny Malloy’s (JM) and Mike Lawver’s (Heritage Palms) University Grill (UG) were a bit more even, but JM also took three of four courts. 

Larry Gagnon & Oliver Stenger of JM
Curran and Elliot Debolt (The Vines) bombed their way through Matt Maloney of Punta Gorda Club and Xander Woodford (sub) in straight sets on Court 1, and Larry Gagnon (Plantation) and Oliver Stenger (Park Meadow) did the same to Mark Drons and Terry See on Court 3. 

John Ramsey & Sandy Miller
JM took the mixed doubles match in straight sets as well, when John Ramsey (Kelly Greens) and Sandy Miller (sub) beat Tony Martin (Heritage Bay) and Carolyn Lawver (Heritage Palms). 

Mike Lawver & Patrick Kangwa of UG
Captain Lawver (Heritage Palms) teamed with Patrick Kangwa (Rapallo) to defeat Todd Wise (Legends) and Kevin Kearns in straight sets to salvage a win for UG.

Remax (5) versus Gateway Dental (2)
Frank Fourgeau & Corey Knapp of Remax
Winning three of four matches was the theme of the day, and Remax won three of the four matches against Gateway Dental (GD) as well. Remax Captain Frank Fourgeau (Gulf Harbour) and partner Corey Knapp started things off with a straight-set win over my partner Anthony Hatori (Vasari) and my sub Steve Shreiner (thanks for filling in Steve!) at second doubles. 

Dave Dooley & Tom Fisher of Remax
On Court 3, Dave Dooley (Shadow Wood) and Tom Fisher (sub) downed Alex Hermeto (Gateway) and Steve Shortridge (Colonial) in straight sets for another Remax victory.

Ryan Sherry & Shawn Hedrick of GD
GD captain Shawn Hedrick (The Strand) and Pro League newcomer Ryan Sherry ended Manuel Encalada’s (Cascades) undefeated streak, beating him and Luke Andreae (Punta Gorda Club) in straight sets on Court 1. 

Christie Bradley & Dan Moenning of Remax
Dan Moenning (Punta Gorda Club) and Christie Bradley (Sanctuary) rounded out the Remax wins with a straight-set victory over Jeff Timmer (Colonial) and Kerry Kendrick (Casa Ybel).

The action moves to Gulf Harbour this Friday, November 2, at 4pm. League leading Team Babolat takes on Gateway Dental, fourth-place BRA will face fifth-place UG, and JM and Remax, tied for second, will go head-to-head. The Gulf Harbour venue is always a rocking stop on the Pro League Tour, and I’ll be back in the lineup, so hope to see you there. Click here for additional pictures at Palmira.

 Pro League Standings

Jersey Color
Johnny Malloy’s
Lime Green
Carolina Blue
Boston Retirement Advisors
Tropical Blue
University Grill
Gateway Dental

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