Monday, November 9, 2015


Vivian Landis & Paula Barry:
Hideaway Residents on Bronze & 3.0-Minus teams
Hello all and welcome to the first report of the 2015-16 season. This season we have 34 non-resident tennis members, 31 of them are ladies on our four Lee County Women’s Tennis League teams. We also have two men and one woman who don’t play on teams, but who have been looking forward to the men’s doubles and mixed doubles round robins. They may be happy to note that we had the first mixed doubles outing this past Saturday (11/7), and I hope we’ll have the men going soon.

Captain "Calamity Jane" Hill and Sheri Marks
playing on our 3.0-Minus team
Rick Walker showed for the men’s round robin this past Friday (11/6) but he was the only one to make an appearance. I know that Jim Larva, Bill Dey and Bob Ostrom are around, so hopefully they will come out to join David Ullum and Zdenek Fiala in the near future.  As for the ladies, I think they are pretty much getting all the tennis they can handle with team matches and mixed doubles round robin.

3.0-Minus Co-captain Terri Turner and Ann Stevens
who play on both Bronze & 3.0-Minus teams
Our tennis activity currently revolves around ladies’ team play, and although it’s a bit early to be too concerned with where we are in the standings, two of our ladies teams are off to a good start while the other two have had it rough in the early going. I’m afraid I’m going to have to take some of the responsibility for the rough start, because even though our teams have been competitive in many of the early losses, we haven’t had the tiebreaks go our way. The coach has to take some responsibility for that, no?

Tina Willard and 3.5-minus Captain Debbie Vollrath
fight for the W...and get it
Before going any further, I’d like to send out a sincere note of thanks to our team captains: Linda Sisco, Donna McVety, and Gutte Carr (Silver); Pat BenDov and Rennie Bassett (Bronze); Jane Hill and Terri Turner (3.0-Minus); and Debbie Vollrath and Jami McCormick (3.5-Minus). These ladies have a tough and often thankless job, so I just want to make sure they know that I am grateful for their efforts!

Angela Middleton & Lynne Price in foreground
Vivian & Paula in background
That acknowledged, of the four Hideaway teams in action, our Bronze team is off to the best start as far as wins and losses go. Our Bronze ladies have won one and tied the other in the two team matches played thus far. They have won six of the eight individual matches played, including a sweep of all four individual matches in their most recent match against Legends on 11/4/15.

Our Bronze players have played two tiebreaks (one set tiebreak, the other a match tiebreak) and have lost them both. Those tiebreak losses resulted in one of the two individual match losses the team has recorded. , However, Hideaway Bronze currently sits in a tie for 3rd-place, and the next home match is Wednesday December 2 at 9:30am.

Hideaway resident Michelle Paquette teams
with Betsy Barnwell to claim victory
in 3.5-Minus match
Our 3.5-Minus team is also off to a good start, sitting in 6th-place after two team matches, and winning four of the eight individual matches played. Of the four matches we have lost, we have played three tiebreaks (two seven-pointers, one 10-pointer) and have lost them all. If you are counting, that adds up to five tiebreaks played and five tiebreaks lost! Betsy Barnwell and Tina Willard have led the way thus far for the 3.5-Minus team with two wins each. Our 3.5-Minus team plays at home next on Wednesday, November 18, at 9:30am.

Barb Saling & Gwen Burdzy in 3.5-Minus match
Our 3.0-Minus team has come up a bit short in three of our first four matches, but things are looking up as we took two of the four individual matches in our most recent match (11/5/15) against Cape Coral Yacht Club on hard courts, definitely not our favorite surface. As with our 3.5-Minus team, we have been competitive in many of the matches we have lost, but have lost five of the seven tiebreaks played (that’s a total of 10 losses in 12 tiebreaks!). 

Co-captain Terri Turner claimed one match tiebreak win with Lawanna Hulfeld against CCYC, and Lynne Price and Maria Mosco closed out a win against Lexington with a second-set-tiebreak win. Our next 3.0-Minus home match takes place this coming Thursday, November 12, at 10:30am.

3.5-Minus team member and Tommy Carlisle watch first
3.5-Minus home match
The going has been rough for our shorthanded Silver team in the early going, losing our first three matches and having won just two of the 12 individual matches played. Playing two top-ten teams hasn’t helped our cause either, especially playing the No.2 team on their home hard courts. Despite the difficult start, our Silver ladies still approach each match with enthusiasm and give it all they have…

Kathy O'Rourke & Laurie Stanley support
their 3.5-Minus teammates
Oh, and they have a .500 record in tiebreaks, having won one and lost one. Martha Carlisle and Agi Keleman posted a match-tiebreak win against Rutenberg Aces on their hard courts in the second match of the season.  We should have a good shot at doing well in our next match, although it too is on hard courts and we won’t field a full team as a result. Our next Silver home match is Friday, December 11, at 10:30am. In support of their efforts, I can only ask that they keep the faith and continue to enjoy playing the game regardless of outcomes.

Before I close, let me remind you that you can reserve court time at and can access Hideaway information such as team rosters and match schedules, meeting minutes, Tennis Handbook etc. with the following link (  If you don’t have or know your login information for please let me know and I’ll do what I can to assist. Until next, welcome to the 2015-16 Hideaway Tennis season, and I’ll see you around the courts.  

Monday, March 23, 2015


Note: I'm Hoping to get some photos from the champs, so check back in a couple days if interested.
Larry Blohm, Nile Evans, Steve Romaine, Captain Ed
Marcelo, Masa Kumamoto, Tim McClary, Richard Fell,
& Bob Bachula
Winning a national championship is no easy feat. I’ve only contended for one once, and I was not successful. There are so many USTA leagues, divisions and teams across the country, that if you can get past your local league, win at the sectional level, and then conquer the contenders from the 15 USTA sections around the 50 states, you’ve really accomplished something.

Well, that is precisely what Captain Ed Marcelo and his USTA Florida 65 and Over 7.0 Sectional Champion teammates have done! The team, which represented the Hideaway Country Club, Lee and Charlotte Counties when they won the Sectional Championships in Daytona last April, gave Southwest Florida something to be proud at the national event this past weekend (March 20 - 22) in Surprise, Arizona.

The team started strong in flight play on Friday, sweeping the Mid-Atlantic Section 3-0 without dropping a set. Captain Ed Marcelo teamed with one of my most improved students, Masa Kumamoto, on Court 1; Nile Evans and Larry Blohm cruised on Court 2; and Steve Romaine and Richard Fell cleaned up on Court 3.

In the second match of flight play on Friday against Missouri Valley, Masa teamed with Steve on Court 1 to down their opponents in straight sets. Nile and Larry took care of business on Court 2 in straight sets as well, but the team suffered its only match loss of the competition, as Tim McClary (another outstanding student of mine) and Bob Bachula lost to 5-7 sets. In all fairness, Tim wasn't in the best of health when he took the court.

Although our guys swept Intermountain in the first match on Saturday, they had a spot of difficulty on Court 3, as Eddie and Masa had to go to the match tiebreak after delivering a fresh bagel to their opponents in the first set. Masa and Eddie got the job done though, and so did their teammates. Nile and Larry took their court-1 match in straights, and Steve and Richard did the same on Court 2.

That last match must have been enough of a scare for the soon-to-be National Champs, because they didn’t lose more than three games in any of the six sets they won in the final match of flight-play. Nile and Larry combined for a commanding win on Court 1, Tim and Steve handled their responsibility on Court 2 (serving up a hot bagel in the first set), and Masa and Bob dropped just four games in their win on Court 3.

Today (Sunday March 22), the team went 6-0, sweeping all the three matches in, both, the Semi-Final and Championship matches. In the semis, they topped the men from Southern Section without dropping a set. Nile and Larry teamed on Court 1 again, Masa and Eddie manned Court 2, and Tim and Steve anchored the squad on Court 3. Again, no court lost more than three games.

Against the Southwest Section in the final, Captain Ed shuffled his lineup yet again, putting Tim and Richard on Court 1, Nile and Larry in Court 2, Masa and Steve on Court 3. It was a strategic lineup that proved to be a National Championship lineup. Courts 2 and three finished their matches early to secure the win, while Tim and Richard’s match was conceded by the opposition.

I’m not sure when Lee County produced its last National Champion (if ever- Susie Bessire couldn't think if one and she's been around a while), but we’re awfully proud of Ed Marcelo, Steve Romaine, Bob Bachula, Richard Fell, Masa Kumamoto, Tim McClary, Nile Evans, Larry Blohm, and Tom Martin (who didn’t play at Sectionals or in AZ), for capturing the USTA League 65 and Over- Men’s 7.0 National Championship. Way to go guys, wish we could stage you a parade. 

Speaking of Susie Bessire, the smiling face that is synonymous with USTA league tennis in our area, she is undergoing her second round of chemo this week, and if you can, let her know you are pulling for her. Anyone who knows Susie knows that we couldn't have a better Local League Coordinator. We got your back Susie! Make sure those MDs got your front :). Game, set, match, National Championship! T. A.