Friday, March 1, 2013

Legends Hosts Final Regular Season USPTA Pro League

Note: Click here for updated information regarding match times and standings. 
Lexington Crowd

Lexington Country ClubTennis Director Joe Rubin, and his staff were hosts to the Fort Myers Ritzman Tennis USPTA Pro League on Friday February 22.  In the premier match-up of the penultimate Pro 
Janice Beckett, Al Kinkle, and Joe Rubin
League stop of the 2012 – 2013 Season, Scott Harrington’s Boston Retirement Advisors (BRA) finally took the league lead that had been held by Frank Fourgeau’s Remax since the second week of the season.

BRA vs. Remax
Christie Bradley
Entering the Lexington engagement, Remax was clinging to a 1.5-point lead over BRA, the team that has ascended to dominance in the second half of the season. Without two of their key performers, Manuel Encalada at No.1 Doubles and Christie Bradley at Mixed, Remax was not able to slow down the surging BRA.

Corey Knapp slaps backhand
while Frank Fourgeau watches
On Court 1, BRA’s captain Scott Harrington and Jared Kalpin downed Luke Andreae and Jeremy Orme (sub) 6-1, 6-2. In one of the thrillers of the night, Frank and partner Corey Knapp eked out a win over BRA’s Jim Katterfield and Joel Hampton 3-6, 7-6, 10-7 on Court 2. 

Paul D'Amico serves with
Mike Barnes ready to pounce
At Third Doubles, Paul D’Amico and Mike Barnes posted another straight-set victory for BRA, toppling Jorge Magalhaes and Dave Dooley, 6-4, 7-5, and in Mixed, BRA’s Bob Green and Kim Jones took out Dan Moenning and Christie Pollin (sub), 6-4, 7-5,10-5. Team totals: BRA 7, Remax 2.5.

Babolat vs. University Grill (UG)
Crowd loving the action
In third place going into Lexington, Babolat became the second team to record a sweep of all four courts since the season began. All the matches were competitive, however, including two matches ending in match tiebreaks, and one ending in a 12-point tiebreak.

Denny Rager Reaches
while Tyler Owens watches
On Court 1, Denny Rager and Tyler Owens continued their unbeaten streak, downing Sergio Rebolledo and Patrick Kangwa, 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 in a thriller. Hardly less thrilling was Babolat captain Jeff Diggs and John Jerome’s skirmish with UG captain Mike Lawver and Matt Maloney. That one went 6-3, 4-6, 10-6.

Nice split step!
Armor Persons & Toni Halski
On Court 3, Armor Persons and Toni Halski of Babolat took a straight-setter from Terry See and Lexington pro Dave Wheeler (sub) 6-2, 7-5. It was Dave’s first Pro League action in some time, but he got right back on the horse and gave a good account of himself in front of the home crowd. Babolat’s John Gillette and Erica Cossairt had a second-set scare, winning 7-6 after having won the first 6-3. Team totals: Babolat 8, UG 2.

Johnny Malloy’s (JM) vs. Gateway Dental (GD)
The battle for fourth was a tight one coming in, with GD just .5 of a point ahead of JM. The race was loosened up quite a bit by the 7-2 drubbing JM dropped on GD. This was the most lopsided match-up of the day, with just one match going to a match-tiebreak.

Mike must have hit a good
shot or Elliot told him a joke
On Court 1, JM captain Mike Curran and Elliot Debolt downed Shawn Hedrick and Jim Harris (sub) 6-2, 6-3 without much fanfare. On Court 2, despite holding a 4-2 lead, Anthony Hatori and I couldn’t hold on to win the first set, going down in a tiebreak to Larry Gagnon and Mike Stevens (sub). Then, Anthony and I had an early dinner, which consisted of a very dry bagel. Playing poorly in front of one’s students is so disappointing!

Todd Wise makes good get
and Kevin Kearns is on the net
On Court 3, GD’s Steve Shortridge teamed with Mark Owens, who subbed for an injured Jeff Timmer and didn’t fare much better, as JM’s Todd Wise and Kevin Kearns toppled them, 6-2, 6-3. 
Alex Hermeto & Kerry Kendrick
As they have for some time now, Alex Hermeto and Kerry Kendrick carried the load for GD, picking up two points on the Mixed Court. Once again in a match-tiebreak (Mixed always seems to go to match-tiebreak), Alex and Kerry defeated John Ramsey and Christyn Lucas, 2-6, 6-3, 10-7. Team totals: JM 6.5, GD 2.

Regular Season Ends at Legends
Despite the close battle these two had the first time around (5 - 4.5 for BRA), league-leading BRA is also likely to hold on to the top position it claimed last time out, when it faces fifth-place GD on Friday. GD is unlikely to do enough damage against BRA to allow second place Remax to slip past BRA into first.

Remax has as good an opportunity as it could have to recapture first, as they face last-place UG in the season finale. Remax outpointed UG by 3 points the first time around, and there’s no reason to think they won’t do that again.

Fourth-place JM has the opportunity to retake the third spot when it faces Babolat in the final regular season date at Legend on Friday, March 8. The previous match-up between the two saw Babolat edging JM 5-4, so chances are Babolat will finish the season in third.

Don’t be surprised to see some creative lineups next Friday as the teams jockey for position in the Playoffs at Colonial on the 22nd. The projected format for the playoffs will be, in finishing order, 1 vs. 2, 3 vs. 4, and 5 vs. 6.

Ranae & Todd
Last season’s event at Legends Golf and Country Club (click here for directions) was a spectacular one, with General Manager Ranae Frazier on hand and Director Todd Wise overseeing the entire affair. An estimated 500, standing room only fans attended the final event of the season, and we anticipate another banner crowd this time around on the 8th. Probably a good idea to bring a chair to this one. See you there! Game, set, match...T. A.

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