Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Jenny Clark-King, Dot Osborne, Dorrie Hill, &
 Helen Robinson- LCWTL 2013 Officers
With 1870 women playing on 201 teams in 14 divisions, the LCWTL season was another success in a perennial string of successful seasons. The change to a match-tiebreak for all matches for the first time didn't appear to detract from match-play and led to some exciting finishes. 

Below is a recap of how the various divisions culminated, including the teams claiming the top three positions in each division as well as which team(s) won the Sportsmanship Award. Photos are included where possible (thanks to those who sent me pics).

2.5 Division
Gulf Harbour Golf & Country Club’s (GH) 2.5 ladies, captained by Karen Brady and Pia Davidson, proved to be the cream of the Division, posting sweeps (winning all four courts) in half of the 16 matches they played, and winning three of four courts in four of the other eight matches. 

The ladies of Legends Country Club, led by Jackie Devita and Judy Burget, were GH's only stiff competition, beating them one time, and splitting courts (winning two of four) two other times. GH did shutout Legends the second time they played and posted more points (15-11) the third time they played, so the 29-point lead that GH held at season’s end was well earned.

The Landings, with Corinne Howey and Connie Sanville at the helm, finished third in the standings. 

3.0-Minus Division
Landings 3.0-Minus Champions
The 3.0-Minus ladies of The Landings Yacht, Golf &Tennis Club, captained by Bonnie Mohlman and Kathy Knight, outdistanced their competition as well, finishing the season 55 points ahead of second place Cape Coral Yacht Club (CCYC) and going 15-3 against the competition. Similar to our 2.5 Division winner, The Landings suffered a shutout against CCYC in Week 13, but their consistency earned them the Division title.

Second-place finisher CCYC, Led by Lisa McKee and Lisa Fritz, finished 20 points ahead of third-place finisher Heritage Palms, led by Colleen Praeger and Judith Otto. As CCYC showed against The Landings, they could play with anyone in the Division, and if they can get over the consistency hump they should challenge for the title next season.

3.0 Division
Breckenridge 3.0 Team with Tennis Director
Armor Persons & T. A. Niles in background
 The 3.0 Division, the largest of the LCWTL’s rated divisions, featured the closest race among the rated divisions. Showing that the Yacht Club has some depth, CCYC, led by Terry Swenson and Katy Irlbeck, edged second-place Breckenridge, captained by Susan Weir and Carol Hauff, by six points for top honors. Six Points! That’s just one more win on Court 3.

Fran Negin & Terri Turner of Hideaway 3.0 Team
Fiddlesticks, with Annalisa Smith and Jolly McKenna at the helm, was right in the hunt as well, finishing a mere two points behind Breckenridge to claim third. Heritage Palms and Pelican Preserve, fourth and fifth-place finishers respectively, were in it until the end as well. In fact, a total of 23 points separated the winners from the fifth-place team.

Hideaway 3.0 Team
The final five matches of the season really told the story, as CCYC finished very strong, winning 18 of the 20 individual courts during those five matches, including a sweep of Fiddlesticks in Week 17, a match in which they lost just five games on four courts. Wow!

Unfortunately, my ladies of Breckenridge chose that same week to stumble as well, losing three of four courts to Gulf Harbour’s Double Trouble. Two of those three losses were close matches that ended in match-tiebreaks, so Breckenridge went down scratching and biting, but down they went nonetheless.

3.5-Minus Division
Gay Gillespie & Gale Caron of FMRC
3.5-Minus Champions
Ginger Rasmussen and Connie Fennessey's Fort Myers Racquet Club (FMRC) edged CCYC by 22 points for the top spot in the 3.5-Minus Division. FMRC was a dominant force in the Division, posting seven sweeps and winning three courts on five occasions in their 15 matches played.

The 3.5- Minus ladies of CCYC, captained by Pat Kemp and Venita Winslett, were no slouches either, posting fewer points than their opponents just twice all season. They lost three courts to FMRC in Week 3, and lost Courts 1 and 2 against Paseo in Week 8. The losses against Paseo, a team that was in the hunt until a late-season swoon, were both in match-tiebreaks.

Legends, led by Cindy West and Kathy Wertley, rounded out the top-three teams in this hard-fought division. Again, it was an extremely strong finish by FMRC that sewed things up. They swept four of the last five matches and went 19-1 on individual courts in those five matches.

3.5 Division
Judd Park- 3.5 Champions
Judd Park’s ladies, led by Paula Scheff and Gail Blakeslee, claimed the 3.5 crown, finishing a relatively comfortable 32 points ahead of Lexington Country Club, captained by Judy Cushing and Mary Kellam. Only twice in 17 matches (Week 3 versus Heritage Palms and Week 8 against Cypress Lake) did Judd finish with fewer points than an opponent. Although they started strong with two sweeps and were consistent throughout the season, finishing 20-4 on individual courts over the last six matches was the key to Judd's victory.

Second place Lexington ladies, captained by Judy Cushing and Mary Kellam, were consistent over the course of the season as well, posting fewer points than their opponents just three times. However, they went 15-9 over the same six-match stretch to end the season, splitting the four courts on two occasions. 

FMRC 3.5 Team (3rd place)
Third place FMRC, led by Michelle Hamilton and Joy Dickey, made the strongest charge at season’s end, posting the highest point total over the final six matches (129 to Judd’s 126 and Lexington’s 97). However, they had too much ground to make up from a slow start (winning just one of their first nine matches), and the charge fell short.  

4.0-Minus Division
Due to an uneven number of matches played, the 4.0-Minus Division Winner was determined by calculating the percentage of available points won. For example, division-winning Cape Coral Racquet Club (CCRC), led by Vera Hahn and Barbara Maillet, won 75.4 percent of the 468 points available in the 18 matches they played. CCRC posted fewer points than an opponent in only two of the 18 matches played, one against Fiddlesticks in match No.9 and another against Legends in match No.5.

Second-place Gulf Harbour (GH), captained by Lili Canfield and Pam Lemon, improved on their third-place finish of last season, winning 67.8 percent of the 442 points available in the 17 matches they played. GH and third-place Colonial, led by Robin Garner and Mari Gulde, were neck and neck down to the final match of the season, with GH edging Colonial by a fraction of a percentage point (67.8 to 67.4 respectively).

4.0 Division
Jumping up from last season’s third-place finish, BonitaBay’s (BB) 14-2 start on individual courts in their first four team matches helped pave the way for their 4.0 team, captained by Joan Ceas, to outpace Carol Downing and Terry Perretts’ Landings Legends (LL) by 21 points to claim first place. Despite losing three courts to seventh-place Park Meadow in their last match, BB’s body of work over the season (including sweeping a third of their matches), particularly the first half, carried the day.

LL posted more points than the other two teams in the top three over the latter half of the season, but couldn’t overcome the 31-point lead they spotted BB over the first half. Landings 4Love (L4L) led by Joyce Krivenko and Heidi Rupprich tried hard to keep pace with the top two, and finished with two sweeps, but posting fewer points than their opponents in three of their final six matches relegated L4L to third.

Dynamo Division
Michelle Rygiel & Angie Guillette of
PM Passing Shots
Park Meadow Passing Shots (PMPS), captained by Michelle Rygiel and Holly McIntosh, fielded a powerhouse squad and was the most dominant team of any in the rated divisions. The PMPS ladies swept 33% of their matches, finished 69 points ahead of second-place finisher Plantation (last season’s Division Winner), and more than 100 points ahead of third-place Park Meadow GGs (PMGG), the second-place team last year.

Plantation, led by Wendy Hechler and Karen Fiorillo, was far and away the second 
Spectators at PM vs Cypress at Hideaway
best team in the top-rated division, handing PMPS their only loss of the season (taking three courts in PMPS’ second match of the season), and splitting the four courts near season’s end. Plantation finished 50 points ahead of PMGG, which was captained by Dottie Nurrenbern.

Bronze Division
Lexington Net Worthy- Bronze Champions 
In another show of dominance, Lexington Net Worthy’s ladies, captained by Barbara Dailey and Helen Robinson, shutout almost half of their 19 opponents (9 sweeps) this season, at one point posting four consecutive sweeps, including four of their last six matches. They finished 27 points ahead of Bev Arbizzani and Donna Nixon’s second-place Herons Glen (HG), last season’s Division Winner.

Breckenridge Bronze Team- Sportsmanship
Award Winners
After a relatively slow start (a sweep via the racquets of HG in their first match), third-place Pelican Preserve, led by Dorothy Walsh and Linda Garner, made a valiant run toward the end of the season, winning at least three courts in each of their final nine matches of the season. It wasn’t enough to overcome the slow start, and they finished 15 points behind HG.

Copper Division
Forest Copper Team (2nd Place) with
Tennis Director Fred Kangwa
The inaugural Copper season featured 24 teams (the most in the LCWTL) in the division, and Heritage Palms Hotshots (HPH), captained by Colleen Roberson and Denise Vannelli, took the historical first Division Championship despite losing all four courts in the opening match of the season to their sister team, Heritage Palms Ball Blasters.

Del Tura Copper Team- Sportsmanship Award Winners
Interestingly enough, second-place Forest, led by Jeri Carley and Anita Russell, also started the season losing all four courts in their opening match against Judd Park, captained by Sharon Benner and Harriet Bohannon. The ladies of Forest were in the hunt right up to the final match, but they lost three of four courts to ninth-place finisher Seven Lakes, while HPH swept their final match against Colonial.  

Lexington, with Judy Bucaria and Sue Deters at the helm, edged Judd Park by four points to claim the third spot, despite losing to Judd in the penultimate match of the season. Lexington won three of four courts to finish the season, holding off Judd, which won all four courts in their final match.

Judy Begin & Fia Pfeiffer
Kudos to Fia Coroner Pfeiffer (President) of Breckenridge, Judy Begin (Vice President) of Herons Glen, and Carol Knowles (Secretary/Treasurer) of Breckenridge for successfully administrating the historical first Copper season.

Silver Division
Janice Clayton’s Plantation battled Rosanne Ziegler’s Gateway for division supremacy for most of the season, before pulling away to capture the division with three strong finishes at season’s end. Plantation won 11 of 12 courts in those three matches, posting 73 of a possible 78 points, while Gateway could only take six of the twelve courts in their final three matches.

Third-place Verandah, captained by Patricia Berla and Kathy Whiting, could have bumped Gateway from the second spot had they finished strong, but after a promising sweep in the third-to-last match, they dropped five of eight courts in their final two matches.

Gold Division
The Gold Division, with 21 teams, represented one of the more highly populated divisions in the League. Only a slight blip mid-season blemished the stellar record of division-winning CCRC, captained by Patricia Howell and Barbara Maillet. 

CCRC finished with more points than their opponents in 17 of 20 matches, tied once, and lost three courts twice. FMRC, which finished in third and GH, which finished second, took three of four courts from the eventual champs in Weeks 9 and 11 respectively.

GH, captained by Carlotta Clark and Norma Schuyler, showed they were talented enough to have won the title, posting fewer points than their opponents just four times throughout the season, and beating three of the other four teams in the top five in head-to-head competition.

FMRC, led by Eileen Reynolds and Susan Coppin, were in a duel for third-place with Lexington through the final match of the season, but Lexington fell short by two points after losing three courts in the last match of the season.

Platinum Division
PM Co-Captains Jan Wheeler (background)
 & Dottie Nurrenbern
Proving that it plays home to some of the stronger women players in the League, like it did in the rated divisions, Park Meadow (PM) came out on top in the highest rated senior division as well.  Jan Wheeler and Dottie Nurrenbern’s Platinum ladies notched six sweeps and won three of four courts in all but one of their other eight matches.

Milly Back (foreground) &
Diane Geater of PM Platinum
Second-place finisher Paseo, captained by Joeleen Ralston and Debby Harrington, delivered the one blow absorbed by PM this past season, sweeping all four courts at home in PM’s third match of the season (second for Paseo). However, PM returned the favor, sweeping Paseo at home. Cypress Lake, led by Carla Murray and Rosie Gibbs, finished third, well behind the top two.

60- Plus Division
FMRC- 60-plus Champions
In what may be the most complex division, given that there are a variety of levels within the age group, FMRC, captained by Donna McVety and Karen Keeling, led the way. 

Cross Creek at The Hideaway
Debra Beattie’s Cross Creek at Hideaway,  finished second and CCRC, with Chris Dixon at the helm, finished third.

From my perspective, one of the more important awards distributed in any sporting league is the sportsmanship award, and I believe those who have been voted "good sports" should be recognized. As such, here is the list of sportsmanship award winners for all of the 2012-13 LCWTL divisions:

2.5: Lexington, captained by Monica Gdula and Sharon Johnson
3.0-Minus: Lexington, captained by Rona Rosenthal and Linda Semenek
3.0: Del Tura, captained by Peggy Thevenet and Sandy Clapsaddle
3.5-Minus: Gulf Harbour Slice Girls, captained by Jayme Lewis and April Burkholder
3.5: Herons Glen, captained by Jane Argo and Paula Klimas
4.0-Minus: Heritage Palms, captained by Jan Piazza and Nancy Solum
4.0: Heritage Palms Poachers, captained by Kathy Hazard and MJ Walsh
Bronze: Breckenridge, captained by Michelle Cassell and Lyn Dewolfe
Copper: Del Tura, Captained by Carole Morgan and Ann Reid
Silver: Colonial, captained by Maria Schmidt and Penney Cutler; & Gulf Harbour Silver Belles, captained by Monnie Kane and Marianne Crouch
60-Plus: Gulf Harbour Rac Pac, captained by Linda Riedl and Sue McNear; Gulf Harbour Terminetters, captained by Teresa Crocker and Jackie Jewell; Landings Rackettes, captained by Donna Schmidt and Maxine Beown; & Sabal Springs, captained by Paula Scheff and Gail Blakeslee.

You may have noticed that the top rated divisions in both the rated and senior categories have no sportsmanship awards. I'm not sure what that means, but you are welcome to speculate...

My first season at The Hideaway Country Club was the club's first LCWTL season and we fielded a 3.o and a Copper team. It was my pleasure to work with our captains, Bert Ann Haas, Pearle Warren and Lynne Price, and all the members of our teams! Both of our teams finished in the middle of the pack, and next season we plan to field three LCWTL teams (adding Bronze) and hope to finish higher in the standings. 

Ah, before I go, as seems to be the case every season, the biggest question seems to be how the ratings are determined. The LCWTL has published a document on its website to assist with the understanding of the rating system, and you can read that document by clicking here.

I hope you all had a good season and are looking forward to 2013-14. Congratulations to all those who participated, to the Sportsmanship Award Winners and the Division Winners.