Monday, October 21, 2013


Wouldn’t it be great if people collaborated before planning events? Wishful thinking indeed. Well, what that lack of collaboration gives us is plenty of tennis variety on any given weekend in our little corner of Southwest Florida.
The weekend of the 25th will be about as hectic as the weekend of the 11th was.It will be another big weekend for college tennis as FGCU hosts its annual Invitational, and South Seas Island Resort on Captiva will also be hosting a women’s wild card tournament.

The wildcard tournament will present the winner with a wildcard entry into the $50k Women’s Pro Classic also hosted by South Seas. The Women’s Pro Classic will be the last opportunity in the US for WTA hopefuls to earn ranking points, and three local charities will benefit from event proceeds. 
They include the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Madisen’s Match, and Partners for Breast Cancer Care, Inc.
There aren’t many locals entered in the Wild Card 
event, but Nikki Kallenberg of Naples, who had an outstanding showing in last year’s Florida Open is entered. Nikki will have stiff competition from players coming from as far away as Maine and Iowa. We don’t know how Nikki will do, but we do know that we will have world class tennis in town over the next couple of weekends.
Melanie Oudin
Photo courtesy of John Roleke
The main Draw of the Pro Classic will have some names you may recognize. Melanie Oudin, who created quite a stir in 2009 when she reached the Round of 16 at Wimbledon and the Quarterfinals at the US Open, will be in the draw. Another American, 21-year-old Coco Vandeweghe, who has been as highly ranked as No.69 in the world, will also be among the competitors.

FGCU Men’s Fall Invitational
FGCU Junior Jordi Vives
Also beginning on the 25th and running through the 27th is FGCU’s Fall Invitational, and there’s little doubt that the competition will be fierce. Jordi Vives, FGCU’s No.1 player captured the main draw of the Invitational last season, and seems poised to defend his crown. 
Photo by Linwood Ferguson
Competing at the recent ITA Southeast Regional Championship, Jordi reached the quarterfinals after downing Miami’s Wilfredo Gonzalez in three tough sets. Jordi lost in the quarters to eventual Tournament Winner Nathan Pasha of University of Georgia, in two close sets. In fact, Jordi won more games (8) than Pasha’s subsequent opponents in the semis and final (6) combined.

One other Eagle has had good results on the 
FGCU Senior Gabe Echeverry
scoreboard in the early fall season, and that Is Gabe Echeverry. Like Jordi, Gabe has posted a 5-2 record thus far, including four consecutive wins. Amongst those wins were four consecutive triumphs en route to his tournament win at the Georgia Southern Championships (GSC).

Defending Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun) Champion, University of North Florida (UNF), was among the schools participating in the GSC, with two players in the White Singles Draw.Gabe dispatched UNF’s Pablo Tellez in the semifinals in straight sets, before doing the same to Ignacio Hernandez of Armstrong Atlantic, the Finalist in the Division II National Championship.

The other Eagles are working to find their form, which 
FGCU Junior Tianyu Bao
they will need for dual match play beginning in January, and which is absolutely vital for Conference play, which begins in early March. The Fall Invitational will be an excellent measuring stick and an opportunity to fine tune for the spring season.

The Combatants

Barry University 2012-13
Division II National Champs
Photo courtesy of Barry website
Four of the six competitors in the 2013-14 Invitational are returnees from last year’s Invitational. University of Miami (UM), Barry University (BU), Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and University of Central Florida (UCF) were among the teams FGCU bested to capture the Invitational last fall. It will take some doing to repeat the success the Eagles experienced last fall, but I know Coach C. J. Weber and his guys believes they are up to the task. 

Boston College
Matt Wagner of BC
Photo courtesy of BC website
One of the newcomers, Boston College, did struggle mightily at the close of last season, and may prove to be the least dangerous of FGCU’s foes. However, the other first-timer, University of Arkansas (UA), will present stiff challenges to the competition. All of the above bring recent successes into the Invitational and will be looking to build confidence for dual matches in the spring. 

University of Miami
Omar Aly of Miami
Photo courtesy of UM website
In-state rival University of Miami, which reached as high as the top 50, and finished No.55 in the 2012-13 ITA rankings, will be on hand again for the Invitational. The Hurricanes left empty-handed at least season’s Invitational, but took it to the Eagles to the tune of 6-1 in their dual match later in the season. 
Wilfredo Gonzalez of Miami
Photo courtesy of UM Website
The Hurricanes are likely to be a tough matchup again for our Eagles if recent action can point the way. Already mentioned above was Jordi’s tough win over Miami’s Gonzalez at the ITA Regional. 

FGCU Senior Dean Tsamas
In two other Eagle-Hurricane battles in the ITA Regional first round, the Hurricanes came out on top: Diego Soto downed Tianyu Bao in straight sets, and William Albanese topped Dean Tsamas, one of our grittiest Eagles, in three tough sets. With Coach Weber’s historical ties to Miami, this in-state rivalry will remain intense.

Barry University

Renato Lombardi of Barry University
Photo courtesy of Barry website
Barry University opens the 2013-14 season as the No.1 Division II program in the country, having gone 29-0 last season, and winning the NCAA Division II National Championship. In the past six years, Barry has finished as the National Champions twice and as the Finalist three times. Obviously, this team knows how to win! 
FGCUs' Lance Lvovsky & Tianyu Bao
Despite its Division II status, at last year’s Invitational, Barry scored multiple wins against the Eagles. However, when Jordi met Barry’s Renato Lombardi in the semis, en route to winning the title, he defeated the Barry player 6-2, 6-2. In addition, when Lance Lvovsky and Tianyu Bao faced Barry’s Leo Vivas and Eduardo Alfonso, in the Doubles Final, they downed the Barry team 8-4.

Florida Atlantic University

Will Neuner of FAU
Photo courtesy of FAU website
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) playing in the Sun Belt Conference (SBC), struggled to a posted a 13-9 season under former interim coach Ricardo Gonzalez. Gonzalez is now the head coach, and will be leading the Owls in their first season in Conference USA (C-USA). 

The team might prove dangerous if individual wins against teams like Stetson and Florida State at the Bedford Cup last month are any indication of where they are headed. The Owls performed well at the Southeastern Intercollegiate Tournament at the University of Georgia last month as well, so confidence should be high for the Owls coming into the Invitational.

University of Central Florida
Photo courtesy of UCF website
Playing in the newly formed American Athletic Conference (AAC), formerly the Big East Conference, the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Knights will be no pushover at the Invitational. The Knights handed the FGCU Eagles a tough 4-3 loss in dual match play last season. In that contest, the Knights of UCF took four of six singles matches. However, that match was at UCF, and the Eagles defended their turf quite well at last season’s Invitational. 

Both FGCU and UCF played the Bedford Cup last month at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee. Jordi’s first match was against Arjun Watane, one of a quintet of UCF freshmen that will bolster the Knights this season. Jordi prevailed in straight sets, but in another FGCU-UCF contest at the Bedford Cup, new Eagle, Lucas Vaz, fell to another of UCF’s freshmen, Reece Acree, in three sets. Another of those freshmen, Inaki Espindola, won two rounds before bowing out to the eventual tournament winner from FSU.

University of Arkansas

Photo courtesy of Arkansas website
The University of Arkansas Razorbacks, who come in representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC) will present some issues for the Eagles in both singles and doubles play, as they bring a strong squad that competed quite well in the ITA’s Central Region Championship this month. Razorbacks senior Mike Nott, who was seeded 9th at that championship, promises to be viable opposition for the other top players in the draw. 
Tianyu Bao & Coach Weber
Coach Weber will need a strong performance from the best combination he can find to challenge Nott and his doubles partner Manfred Jeske. Nott and Jeske made it to the Round of 16 at last season’s NCAA Division I Championship before falling in three to the event’s No.3 Seed. Arkansas finished as the ITA’s No.59-ranked team last season.

Boston College

Photo courtesy of BC website
The Boston College Eagles (BC Eagles) come into the Invitational seeking solid ground from which to springboard their 2013-14 season. The BC Eagles finished with 11 consecutive dual match losses last season, winning just four (4) of 77 individual matches during that stretch. Yet, the BC Eagles appear ready for a turn around, as they won more individual matches in the recent West Point Shootout than they did during the entire 11-match stretch to end last season. 

The bottom line is that there will be some serious scrapping going on on tennis courts this coming weekend at FGCU and South Seas, and that's even before the ladies fighting for a spot on the WTA Tour come to town beginning Sunday November 3rd, again at South Seas. Enjoy the tennis! Game, set, match...T. A.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


T' A's gear & outfit courtesy of Tennis R Us
No I did not get the license plate of the truck. Yes I am really in awe of Mike Stern who plays several hours of tennis daily. No my body didn’t feel like this after 5 ½ hour rounds of golf on four consecutive days. Yes, I still love the game of tennis…it just doesn’t love me back! In case you couldn’t tell, that was some vintage whine without the accompanying carefully aged cheese…

Small College National Championships

Lyn Bruner, Tournament Director with volunteers
Anna Straub, Barb & Dave Peirson 
Whining notwithstanding, it was a terrific weekend of tennis! It actually began for me with the USTA/ITA Small College National Championships at the Barbara Manzo Tennis Center at Three Oaks Park on Friday the 12th, where the vibrancy of youth, the sharpness of eye, the speed of 
foot, and sureness of hand and racquet made me, both, wistful and joyous. The visceral grunts, the screech of tennis shoes, and the sun beating down stimulated sensations of yesteryear, and made me glad that I live in this mecca of tennis.

I went down to Three Oaks on Saturday morning for 

Deni Zmak of Embry Riddle
Men's Super Bowl Champion
the finals as well, and watched some determined young players vie for their opportunity to play in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, to be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY from November 7-10. 

Valentine Confalonieri of Lynn Univ
Women's Super Bowl Champion
There isn’t much that I can tell you about the event itself that wasn’t covered by the fine work done by Stephanie Neppl, the ITA's Director of Communications. You can click here for the Final Day Recap, and if you are a Facebook aficionado, you can click here to see the good things the ITA is doing with college tennis.

USPTA Grand Prix at Landings
Paul D'Amico- Director of Tennis at
The Landings
Saturday also meant a return to the court as a competitor for me, and for a number of other locals as well, in the Fast Dry & 10S Tennis Supply USPTA Grand Prix at The Landings Yacht, Golf, & Tennis Club. Coming in, I had had a vigorous almost two weeks of preparation, and had expectations to match that preparation: uh, very low.

I was entered in the Men’s 50 Singles, Open Mixed 

Doubles with Erica Cossairt, and the Second Annual Pink and Blue 40 & Over Division with Steph. Piece of cake for a guy who worked on his golf game all summer, right :)? When it was all said and done, despite the aches, it was a blast!

I played much better on Saturday than I expected in 

Patricio Madariaga
beating Patricio Madariaga of Miami in straight sets (6-2, 6-3). I struggled to earn a win against Patricio in a deciding set tiebreak earlier this year in Delray Beach. I played pretty well, all things considered, in the final on Sunday as well, but my opponent, Carlos Triana, Director of Tennis at Williams Island, played even better.

Carlos was not at all troubled by my taking the first set 6-2, and he just stuck to his game plan, getting two breaks in the second set to take it 6-4. 
I went up 4-2 in the deciding set tiebreak, but Carlos battled back again, 
Carlos Triana savors win over T. A.
and we were at 7-7 when I made the mistake that sent the tennis gods over to Carlos’ side of the court: I went for an ill-advised, and poorly executed dropshot. Carlos served it out from there. It was an enjoyable match, and almost makes me think I'll be able to play decent tennis again...just almost though!

Mike Barnes
My showing wasn't too bad, but there were a couple of other locals who really did our community proud. In fact, my inability to play two full matches in two days, is really embarrassing when one considers what Mike Barnes of the Landings accomplished this past weekend.

Larry Gagnon & Mike Barnes
On Sunday, Mike played the Pro-Am at 8am, played his Men’s 60 Singles Semifinal at 11am, his Singles Final at 2pm, his Men’s 60 Doubles Final at 4pm, and his Men’s 50 Doubles Final around 6pm...and he's got me by a decade! Mike's a beast!

En route to his double victory in the Men’s 60 Singles 

Steve Shortridge & Gewan Maharaj
and Doubles, Mike downed Gewan Maharaj, last year’s 60 Singles Champ and the top Grand Prix point earner in that division for several years, in both Finals. In singles, Mike posted a 6-1, 6-3 victory, and in Doubles Mike and Larry Gagnon (formerly of Plantation, now at the Y at Punta Gorda Club) dispatched Gewan and local favorite Steve Shortridge of Colonial, who were seeded No.1, 6-0, 6-3.

Erica Cossairt
Mike wasn’t the only local who successfully defended home turf and recorded a double-event win. Erica Cossairt, most recently of Cape Coral Racquet Club, and now teaching independently, played the Women’s 45 Singles, and the Open Mixed Doubles events. Being the top seed in the singles, she didn’t play her first match against Karen Rembert of Boca Raton until Sunday morning. She outlasted Karen, 6-2, 3-6, 10-8.
Carolyn Franca
Erica then went out and faced the ever-gritty, No.2 Seed, Carolyn Franca of Tampa. Last year the two battled in the Final with Erica coming away with the 6-4, 6-4 victory. This time around it was a bit more difficult for Erica, going 6-3, 2-6, 10-6…and she still had her Open Mixed Doubles Final to play. 

I had the honor of partnering Erica in the Mixed Doubles, and thanks to the aid of Advil, I was able to give her a bit of help in claiming her second title of the day. 

Brian Twente & Jordan Vaughan
We faced Jordan Vaughan and Brian Twente of Naples in the Final, and since Erica so loves the deciding tiebreak, we figured we’d spot them the first set and then make the dramatic comeback.

Not! The truth of it was that they beat us that first set 4-6, and we had to make some adjustments to get back in the match. We did make the adjustments to deal with Brian’s troublesome serve and Jordan’s blistering crosscourt forehand, and we took the second set 6-2, and then the tiebreak 10-5. I had to apologize to Brian for some boorish behavior, but other than that, it was a fun match.


Pro Am participants

Milos Vasovic, Karen Humphreys
 & Alex Hermeto, USPTA District 

14 President
One of the more enjoyable elements for the members of the Grand Prix host facilities is the Pro-Am tourney, where the members get to play with the pros who are participating in the Grand Prix. After seven rounds were played, and the scores were tallied, Karen Humphreys and Milos Vasovic were the Pro-Am Champions. 

2nd Annual Pink & Blue
Terry & Jan Carlson, Paul D'Amico,
Pat Monahan & Lori Emmons
The Landings was the site of more than the Grand Prix this past weekend. Tennis Director Paul D’Amico and his staff also hosted the Second Annual Pink & Blue Charity event, which sought to raise funds for chemotherapy chairs at Lee Memorial Regional Cancer Center. 

The Pink & Blue was a fun mixed doubles, round robin competition that was more about the fun than the least for Steph and me, and I’m pretty sure for Jeff and Debbie Coleman as well. 

Jeff & Deb Coleman
Eight teams played in the event and at the end of the three rounds, Lori Emmons and Pat Monahan emerged as the top team, and Jan and Terry Carlson claimed second.

I’m not sure how Steph and I did on the scoreboard but we did manage to win two out of three contests, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing together for the first time in competition. 

Pat Monahan & Lori Emmons
It was certainly a motivating experience because the next day Steph wanted to get out to work on her serve. We’ll be ready for em next year in the Pink & Blue!

Angie Guillette of Three Oaks Tennis
& Stephanie Neppl of ITA
As always, when I have a great weekend of tennis, I am grateful and I am obliged to express my gratitude to those who made it happen. 
Pat Glaunert of Three Oaks Tennis
I appreciate the work of Pat Glaunert, Angie Guillette, Lyn Bruner and the volunteers who contributed to the Small College Championship experience.

I am grateful to Paul D'Amico and his staff, as well as the participants in the Pink & Blue for the good time Steph and I had at the Landings.
Virgil Graves & Tim McClary- Hideaway
 members & event supporters
Thanks to the local tennis lovers who came out to support the events; thanks to Armor, Marius, and Jeff for getting me as ready as I could be for the weekend. Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank the numerous sponsors of the various events; nothing happens without the sponsors. 

Coming Up
On tap this weekend, as I mentioned in a previous post, is the LCCTA's Fall Festival L7 (Local) junior tournament at the Barbara Manzo Tennis Center, at Three Oaks Park, from October 19 through 21. Events will include Boys and Girls 16s through 12s, and Boys and Girls 10 and Under, with orange balls on a 60-foot court. Players can register for the event now by clicking here. The entry deadline is Thursday, October 17, at midnight.

Stay tuned for a preseason look at Florida Gulf Coast University's Men's and Women's Tennis teams. That's up next! Until then, Game, set, match...T. A.

Note: Thanks to Steph, Virgil Graves, Mike Baldwin, Paul D'Amico and his staff for the photo contributions.

Friday, October 11, 2013


I don't like doing a post without pics, but I want you to have the opportunity to read this and make plans for a big day tomorrow. The USPTA Fast Dry & 10S Tennis Supply Grand Prix begins at The Landings and the National Small College Championships will conclude at Three Oaks Park tomorrow.
The Singles Draws are out for the Grand Prix, and they are small, but should be entertaining nonetheless. You can click here for tourney info.

If you came out for the action last year, you will see some familiar, talented faces in the Men’s Open (big hitters). Paulo Barros, the points leader in the Grand Prix Open Division will be there; so will Defending Champion Tye Myers, and Finalist Franco Mata. Jarrod Goare and Pro Leaguer Matt Maloney are among the other locals entered in the Open.

Cape Coral’s Erica Coissart is seeded No.1 in the Women’s 45 Division, the only women’s draw of the event. Erica will defend the title she won last year when she downed Carolyn Franca, then the top seed, in the final in straight sets. Carolyn is seeded two this time, so a rematch would be interesting if both won their semifinal matches. Erica will take the court at 11am on Sunday.

The Men’s 35 draw is also a small one with four players entered, and Pro League favorite, Luke Andreae will take on second-seeded Tony Schubert of Punta Gorda at noon. Also appearing at the noon hour will be Defending Champion and top seed Milos Vasovic, who will take on Mike Baldwin, the new Director of Tennis at Mediterra in Naples.

John Ramsey, Director of Tennis at Kelly Greens, is the most well-known of our locals playing in the Men’s 45s, and he will be facing stiff competition in his first match from Jeff Solomon of Cape Coral, who trounced me in a practice match last week. Big John plays at noon tomorrow as well.

Johan Saurbier of Naples is returning to fend off challengers to the crown he earned last year in a mega-scrape with Jack Steyn of Bradenton (11-9 in deciding set tiebreak). Steyn was seeded No.2 last year when he lost to Saurbier, and this year he is seeded No.1, with Johann seeded No.2.

Hmmm, it would be interesting to see the outcome if they met again. I’m not putting my money on that meeting though. With Solomon and an unknown (to me anyways) John Willits in the draw, getting to the final isn’t guaranteed to either of last year’s finalists.

My division, the Men’s 50s is also small, and I guess the seeding committee hasn’t seen me play lately, because I am seeded No.1. John Jerome of Naples and Wildcat Run, who barely broke a sweat in dispatching me in straight sets early this summer, and who reached the Round of 32 at the USTA 50 Nationals in Sarasota last week, is seeded No. 2.

John is scheduled to throw it up at noon against Carlos Triana of Bay Harbor Islands. My first match is at 2pm against Patricio Madariaga of Miami Beach, a player with whom I had a tough semifinal match in February, barely escaping 10-8 in the deciding set tiebreak.

The Men’s 60s Draw is loaded with locals. Steve Shortridge of Colonial is the No.2 seed behind Defending Champion Gewan Maharaj of Tampa, and he will take on Pelican Preserve’s Bob Green in his first match.

Charles “Van” Van Middleswort of Gateway will take on Clifford Vines of Nokomis, Florida and Mike Barnes of The Landings will face Stephen Hayden of Beavercreek, Ohio in his first match. I’ll keep my predictions to myself on this one, but I have a hunch…

That’s pretty much the whole shoot’n match folks until we get to doubles, which will probably begin on Sunday. If I emerge from the singles injury free, Erica and I plan to team up for some mixed.

Second Annual Pink & Blue
The real fun will be on Sunday, when Steph and I will have our mixed doubles debut in the Second Annual Pink & Blue charity event. We expect only to have a good time and to feel good about contributing to the chemotherapy chair drive for Lee Memorial’s Regional Cancer Center.

USTA/ITA Small College Championship
I’m not sure I want to mention this, because if you watch these players, then come to The Landings, the comparison will be like watching old films of McEnroe and Borg, then watching Rafa and Novak…ah, but what the heck…

Before you come out to the Landings, if you want to watch some smoking tennis, Three Oaks Tennis is still hosting the National Small College Championships. Tomorrow at 9:45am, eight (8) matches will go on to decide the Women’s and Men’s National Champions of four Intercollegiate Tennis Association divisions.

It should be interesting to observe the differences among Division II, III, NAIA, and JUCO (Junior Community College) levels of play. I went down to check out some of the doubles finals this afternoon, and I will be heading back in the morning, because those youngsters can flat out play tennis! If you want to know more about the ITA,
click here. You can take a look at the draws by clicking here.

When you pull into Barbara Manzo Tennis Center at Three Oaks Park and see the hundreds of players, coaches, and spectators, you are likely to develop (if you don't already have it) a very high degree of respect for Lyn Bruner, Pat Glaunert, Angie Guillette and their staff, as well as the volunteers who helped make the event happen.

Lyn, Lee County Community Tennis Association Executive Director and Tournament Director has been impressing me for years, and Pat and Angie have been impressing me in the short time they have been here, but I was blown away by the quality of the VIP gathering Three Oaks hosted on Wednesday evening. A lot of hungry people were fed, and the speeches were short. Can’t beat that!

In any event, get on down there if you have the time. Supporting a major college event like this in our backyard will say something to the tennis world about our community, and it would reward the Three Oaks Staff and volunteers for their job well done! We’ll see you there in the a.m. Game, set, match…T. A.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


As we know USTA Florida provides myriad opportunities for
Susie Bessire-
Local League Coordinator

league competition throughout the year, and the fall season certainly is no exception. Like the Lee County Women's Tennis League, the sheer number of divisions require a dedicated post.

Besides, having about 900 participants in such a wide range of age and ability levels surely warrants its own post, don't you think? I think so! Susie Bessire, the Local League Coordinator for USTA Florida tells me that there are a few more teams still in the making at the higher levels, so I'll cover them during my first update down the road a piece. Until then, here's what we have (as of 10/6).

Adult 55 & Over
Greg Natale & Steve Alonzi
The 4.0 Men’s drew two teams to the competition, with Mike Stern heading a FMRC team and Greg Natale leading a team for Miromar Lakes. The teams have yet to begin play and matches run through early December.
3.5 Men’s with Hideaway (Ed Marcelo) Fort Myers (Wayne Jackiew) and Vivante (Jim Ulrich). Play began October 1st, with FMRC taking all three courts from Vivante. The action continues on Tuesday the 8th when Vivante travels to The Hideaway.

4.0 Women’s
Three teams enter the fray in the 4.0 Women’s/Day League. Jan Lutz captains a team from FMRC, Tammy Topp leads a team from Vivante, and Sharon McQueen heads a team from Seminole Lakes. Matches are scheduled to begin this week and run through the first week in December.

Adult 40 & Over Mixed
7.0 Mixed Doubles League features 10 teams, including two
Dan Campbell
each from
FMRC (captains Mike Stern and Virginia Nicodemi) and Park Meadow Tennis Center (captains Dan Campbell and Cindy Cheslosky). Both FMRC teams started strong this past weekend, with Nicodemi’s team sweeping all three courts from Cape Coral Racquet Club (captain Richard Boisvert), and Stern’s team sweeping all three from Seminole Lakes (captain Cheryl Wrightsman).

Joanne Hannah’s Cape Coral Yacht Club (CCYC) team is also off to a good start, downing Cheslosky’s Park Meadow team without dropping a set. Robert Madean’s Vivante team had a tougher time against Campbell’s Park Meadow team, losing Court 1 and winning Court 3 in deciding set tiebreaks, and clinching with a straight-set win on Court 2. Cypress Lake, led by Marc Geldon, and Heritage Palms, captained by John Welsh, have yet to report on their league-opening matchup. The season runs through December 7th.

Jan Wheeler's Park Meadow Team

The 8.0 Mixed Doubles League features a strong nine-team complement, with three clubs fielding multiple teams. Cypress Lake’s Sherry Newland and Martha Lyons-Holden each has fielded a team; Park Meadow has fielded teams led by Jan Wheeler and Robert Forget; and Vivante also brings two teams to the table, one captained by Janet Kitzmiller, the other by Donna Bouffard.
FMRC (Jan Lutz), Cypress Lake (Newland) and Park Meadow (Wheeler) are off to good starts, all winning their first matches, with Cypress and Park Meadow sweeping their three courts, and FMRC taking two of three. Vivante (Kitzmiller), Cynthia Dietz’s Cape Coral Yacht Club team, and Park Meadow (Forget) have yet to see action or post scores. Matches are through December 7th here as well.
Mike Stern
Fort Myers Racquet Club and Cape Coral Yacht Club are the only teams entered in 6.0 Mixed Doubles. Joy Stern leads the FMRC team and Tory Straitiff captains CCYC. The teams will play each other seven times during the season, which begins October 12th and ends November 23rd. I think it’s safe to say that these two teams will be more than ready to play someone else when season ends.

50 & Over Combo Leagues
We have two women’s and one men’s 50 & Over Combo Fall Leagues happening at the beginning of our 2013-14 season. The Women’s 7.5 League consists of a Marcia Simons-led team from FMRC, a team fielded by Cindy Gentleman of The Landings, a Paseo team captained by Kristy Brooks, and a Vivante team led by Donna Bouffard. Paseo and The Landings have started the season winning their first matches. Paseo swept FMRC, but The Landings needed a straight-set victory on Court 2 after splitting Courts 1 and 3 in deciding set tiebreaks. 

The Women’s 6.5 League consists of two FMRC teams and one Heritage Palms team. Kathy Aquilina leads the Heritage Palms team, Carol Green captains one of the FMRC teams and no one is listed as captain of the second FMRC. Matched run through December 12th.

Although 8.5 and 6.5 Leagues were offered as well, only the Men’s 7.5 League drew more than one team. Displaying its depth, FMRC has fielded three teams for this league, and Park Meadow has fielded one. Jim Marks heads the Park Meadow team, while Michael Stern, Wolf Tschaikowsky, and John Stamps lead the three FMRC teams.

Stern’s and Tschaikowsky’s teams have won their opening matches of the season, with Stern’s team downing Park Meadow 2-1, and Tzchaikowsky’s team doing the same against Stamps’ team, despite forfeiting Court 3. Matches run through December 6th.

Adult 18 & Over
Four of the five teams that comprise the 3.0 Women (night) League begin play this week. Cape Coral Racquet Club, with Karen Lookabaugh leading the way, will host Sheila Williams’ Paseo, and Jennifer Chambers’ Y @ Punta Gorda team will host Terri Brown’s FMRC team. Cypress Lake, led by Ann Biddison, will take to the courts for the first time on the 14th at FMRC.

3.5 Women (night) have kicked off their season with six teams competing for the right to advance to Daytona. The Y @ Punta Gorda (Karen Bridegam) has taken the early-season lead after earning a 4-1 win in the first match of the season against Vivante (Janet Kaplan). The Landings (Cindy Gentleman) and Paseo (Joan Lake) have also begun the season with wins, the former downing Cypress Lake (Terri Destoppelaire) 3-2, the latter defeating FMRC (Morgan Marinell) by the same score. Matches run through the second week in December.
Cypress Lake 6.5 Combo Team
Fort Myers Racquet Club continues to show its depth, fielding two of the five teams in the 4.0 Women’s League (night). Tricia Blakeslee leads one of the teams and Debra White heads the other. The Y @ Punta Gorda, under the new leadership of Larry Gagnon, has increased its presence, entering a team with Shannon Gorman at the helm. Tracy DiBiase and Rena Gezzar captain Cypress Lake and Paseo respectively. Matches were scheduled to begin last week but no scores have been posted. The league runs through mid-December.
Otis Delgado
The first match has been played in the 3.5 Men’s League and Dan Campbell’s FMRC squad is off to a good start with a shutout victory over Otis Delgado’s Cape Coral Racquet Club team. Dan Wadsworth’s Cape Coral Yacht Club will take to the courts for the first time at FMRC this week. Matches run through mid-December.

Six of the seven teams in the 4.0 Men’s League have tasted their first action of the season, with the three winning teams taking the matches by 3-2 scores. George John Newton took his Three Oaks Park team up to Jose Kuo’s Y @ Punta Gorda Club and took three of five courts. Ken Casola took his Cypress Lake team down to Ken’s Savage’s Three Oaks Park home court and walked away with the win. Too bad the savage family isn’t larger; four Savages (Ken & Frank, Phillip & Stewart) teamed to play two doubles matches and lost just one game each.

Brian Hammermeister’s FMRC squad hosted Mark Robert Lohr’s Heritage Palms team, taking two of the doubles and one of the singles matches to claim victory. John Terrell’s Cape Coral Racquet Club will toss em up for the first time this season against Cypress Lake this week.

Matches have been played since I began this post on Sunday, so I'm a match behind in some of the above divisions. Hopefully I'll be able to get the next update out before too many matches have been played. Until next, game, set, match...T. A.