Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Jeff Wilson
We’ve crossed the halfway mark of the 2015-16 season, and tennis continues to thrive at The Hideaway Country Club. Things look good for the future of tennis at The Hideaway, as new General Manager/COO Jeff Wilson, a PGA Professional, seems to be very supportive of Hideaway Tennis.

Head Golf Professional Sean Balliet
While it isn’t yet time to break ground for the new clubhouse, tree clearing has begun and there’s a new, open look to the area that’s growing on me. Before diving into our tennis activities, I’d like to say, “Thank you” to golf staff members Sean Balliet, Dave Bartoe, John Kuchaes and Justin Lookhart for all they do to help us keep tennis rolling smoothly along.

Rick Walker & Bill Holzheuer
Since almost all of the women who love the game are playing multiple times per week on Hideaway women’s teams, there hasn’t been a women’s round robin this season. However, the Men’s Round Robin has started to roll, filling two, sometimes three, courts on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Jerry Dohring & Jim Body
A few of our former stalwarts, Bill Dey and Norm Acheson have not been able to participate (condolences to Norm on his loss), but we have some newcomers filling their ample shoes.

Yves Paquette
Among the perennial attendees at the men’s round robin are Tennis Association/Committee President Bill Holzheuer, Yves Paquette, Jim Body, Richard Walker, Jerry Dohring, Tom Schwalbach, Bob Ostrom, Bill Cross, and Bob Summers.

Our 3.0-Minus team, Co-Captained by Jane Hill and Terri Turner, has had a tough go of it during the first half of the season, and sits in 10th-place in a division of 11 teams. However, like our other teams, our 3.0-
Minus ladies have had a modicum of success in recent matches. Prior to their match on January 15, the team hadn’t won more than two individual matches in any of their previous nine team matches.

Vivian Landis & Paula Barry- over 170 years of experience
The team had its moment to shine three matches ago, as they took all four courts for the first and only time this season. Again like our other teams, match tiebreaks have been our downfall. We’ve lost eight of the twelve match tiebreaks we’ve played, but we have won two of the last three. Do you believe in silver linings? Well I do, and I suspect our record in match tiebreaks will even out over the final eight matches of the season.

Terri Turner & Lawanna Hulfeld
Lawanna Hulfeld leads the way for our 3.0-Minus team with a 5-3 record, and iron woman Terri Turner has posted a 6-5 record, playing on Courts 1 and 2. Together the two have notched a 4-2 record, making them our most successful 3.0-Minus duo. 

Captain Jane Hill & Pat Ben-Dov
Here's an example of the moxie Terri and Lawanna show. With all the rain and makeup matches, our 3.0-Minus and Bronze team members (almost 100% overlap) had to play four matches in five days last week. Lawanna and Terri
Angela Middleton & Lynne Price in foreground
Vivian & Paula in background
lost a first-set tiebreak and were down 0-1 in the second set when the rain came in their makeup match on Saturday. They came out to finish the match today (Tuesday), won the second set 7-5, and took the match tiebreak. Way to go ladies!

Ann Stevens in foreground, Zdenka Fiala in background
Ann Stevens may not show a winning record as Terri and Lawanna do, but what she does show is a winning attitude. Ann has played in all 12 team matches, each on Courts 1 or 2, despite carrying just a 2.5 rating. This is in addition to the eight matches she has played on the Bronze team. I haven’t heard her complain once!

Lee Cross in foreground, Ann in background
To give you an idea of Ann’s character, in our most recent Bronze match, Ann teamed with Lee Cross (a long-time Hideaway resident) on Court 2. They won a close first set, and jumped out to a 4-1 lead before the other team caught up and took the lead. 

Sheri Marks about to serve with Maria Mosco ready
Ann and Lee fought to get the match to a tiebreak, and they were playing their first match point, when Ann went for a ball, tweaked her trick knee, and fell. She hobbled to her feet, and on the next point, crushed a forehand winner down the line to clinch the match. They don’t come any grittier than Ann!

Other team members who display tremendous heart and show up day in and day out to battle women often 30 years younger (in some cases 50+ years younger! We have at least three octogenarians and one nonagenarian on the roster) include Angela Middleton, Lynne Price, Maria Mosco, Pat Ben-Dov, Paula Barry (Hideaway resident) Sheri Marks, Vivian Landis (Hideaway resident) and Zdenka Fiala. 

Two long time Hideaway residents:
Paula Barry & Vivian Landis
Unfortunately, we’ve lost Zdenka’s valuable skills due to injury for at least a few more matches, and Vivian is hanging up her racquets as she turns 90 next month. I’m sad that I won’t be boasting that we have nonagenarian who is the second fastest player on the team. Our 3.0-Minus team plays its next home match on Thursday, February 11 at 10:30am.

Our Bronze ladies (led by Captain Pat Ben-Dov and Co-Captain Rennie Bassett) have won nine of 16 individual matches in their four most recent team matches, after having lost nine of 12 individual matches in their previous three team matches.  Lee Cross (a Hideaway resident) and Ann Stevens have proven to be a dynamic duo, winning all four of their matches in that stretch and losing only once in the five total matches they have played together.

Lee Cross & Ann Stevens
Lee and Ann alternate playing first and second positions with Terri Turner and Lawanna Hulfeld, another tough twosome who have also been a force to be reckoned with the first half of the season. Terri and Lawanna have posted a 4-2 record in first and second positions, and are riding a two-match win-streak. 

Lawanna & Terri
Our top performers in terms of wins posted thus far this season are Ann Stevens and Lawanna Hulfield, both having posted 6-2 individual-match records. Lee Cross has won four of the five matches she has played since her 
return from the north. Captain Pat Ben-Dov (3-2) and Terri Turner (4-3) have also posted winning records this season. Terri has amassed her winning record while playing in first position five of the seven times she has played.

Co-Captain Rennie Bassett with Jane Hill
Other team members who have made valuable contributions to the team include Vivian Landis and Paula Barry (both Hideaway residents), along with Co-Captain Rennie Bassett, Lynne Price, Sheri Marks, Jane Hill, Jo Thornton, and Maria Mosco.

Jo Thornton & Sheri Marks
Match tiebreaks have been the theme of our season, and our Bronze ladies have played 14 match tiebreaks in their 10 team matches thus far, winning four of the 14. Three of those four wins have come in our last three matches, so there is hope for us yet. 

Bronze Captain Pat Ben-Dov
The team has five matches yet to play, so there’s plenty of time to improve upon our 7th-place (of 16 teams) position. Our next Bronze home match is tomorrow, Wednesday Feb. 10 at 9:30am.

Agi Kelemen, Laurie Stanley, Co-Captain Jami McCormick,
Betsy Barnwell, Gale Caron, Amy Russo, T. A., Gwen Burdzy
Martha Carlisle, Christine Paraboschi, Tonya Sammons
Not pictured is Captain Debbie Vollrath, Barb Saling,
Kathy O'Rourke, Michelle Henke, Tina Willard
Our 3.5-Minus ladies have won 11 of their past 12 individual matches, and taken 70 of the possible 78 points in sweeping two of the three most recent team matches played. The two teams our 3.5-Minus ladies swept were among the top ten teams in the Division when we played them.

Amy Russo & Co-Captain Jami McCormick
supporting their teammates
In their most recent match, our ladies took all four courts from Renaissance (5th at match time, 6th after our win), a team that had only lost two previous matches, both to teams in the top five of the Division. Renaissance had only been swept one time in their prior eight matches.

Jami & Agi Kelemen
Our 3.5-Minus ladies have played 13 match tiebreaks in their 10 matches, and have won just five of those deciding tiebreaks. But things appear to be looking up for us, because four of those five tiebreak-wins have come in the last three matches played, after having lost the previous seven tiebreaks! Co-Captain Jami McCormick has been involved in three of those five tiebreak victories, teaming with Amy Russo in two of them and with Tina Willard in the other.

Tonya Sammons & Christine Paraboschi
Regardless of wins and losses, thrillers or heartbreakers, our 3.5-Minus team shares a level of camaraderie I haven’t often seen among teams with players vying for playing time. With 16 players on the roster, all wanting to be in on the action every week, it is pretty amazing how well our ladies function together.

Tina Willard is leading the team with wins, going 5-3 thus far, with Jami (4-3) and Gale Caron (3-2) also posting winning records.  Betsy Barnwell has been a team workhorse, playing primarily on first (6 times) and second courts and still posting a 4-4 record. Amy Russo shares the burden on Courts 1 and 2 with Betsy and Jami, posting a 3-3 record on those tough courts.

Barb Saling & Gwen Burzdzy
Other team members that have made valuable contributions in multiple matches include Christine Paraboschi, Gwen Burdzy, Laurie Stanley, Agi Kelemen, Tonya Sammons, Barb Saling, Kathy O’Rourke, Martha Carlisle, and Michelle Paquette. 

Tina Willard & Captain Debbie Vollrath
Unfortunately, Captain Debbie Vollrath and Michelle Henke have not been able to participate much this season, and we have lost the considerable talents of Michelle Paquette, so the team will have to climb the division ladder without their valuable contributions.

Laurie Stanley & Gwen Burdzy 
The 3.5-Minus team, currently 10th (of 17 teams) in the standings, faces three matches in a row against teams currently ranked in the top five, before closing out the season with three matches against teams in the lower echelon of the Division. Their next home match will be played against Lexington Country Club (currently 5th) on Wednesday February 24th at 9:30am.

The ladies of our Silver team have to be commended for their perseverance in the face of tall odds.  We began with a small roster and it gets smaller as the season progresses. Most of our Silver ladies have put themselves on the line every week, but a few have been traveling, and suffering from injuries, illness, or… In any event, our Silver ladies have been on the receiving end of numerous tiebreak heartbreaks.

Captain Linda Sisco & Martha Carlisle
Captain Linda Sisco, a Hideaway resident, has had six of her twelve matches end in match tiebreaks, and has emerged victorious in two of those thrillers. Sue Kreikamp, who plays on Court 1 each week, has played in seven matches this season, and four of those matches have ended in match tiebreaks. 

Sue Kreikamp & Michelle Paquette
Sue has a 2-2 record in those clinchers. Martha Carlisle and Michelle Paquette hold the distinction of being our only Silver players to post winning records in match tiebreaks, with the former going 3-2 and the latter sitting at 2-1.

Barb Saling & Elfgard Stolzenberg
Although our Silver team has won just five of the 13 match tiebreaks played, there is some good news to be had. In our last five matches we’ve won four of seven match tiebreaks played, while in our previous seven matches, we had posted a match-tiebreak record of 1-5. Things seem to be looking up a bit, even though we are still in 15th place of 17 teams.

Kathy O'Rourke & Agi Kelemen
Martha Carlisle has posted the most individual match wins with five and Michelle Paquette, another Hideaway resident, has the next highest win total with four.  Kudos must go to Agi Kelemen, Linda Sisco, and Martha Carlisle for playing all 12 matches, and to others like Co-Captain Donna McVety, Barb Saling, Elfgard Stolzenberg, and Kathy O’Rourke for playing while less than 100% so that we wouldn’t have to forfeit more matches than we already have (Thanks for stepping in Jami, Terri!).

Tonya Sammons & Barb Saling
Regardless of our record and the tough circumstances, our Silver ladies give all they have every match and have a good time doing it. Our next Silver home match is this coming Friday February 12, at 10:30am against Fort Myers Racquet Club, a team ranked 4th in the Division.

Well, that’s about it for our mid-season update. Despite the quirky weather, we will continue to enjoy tennis in our southwest Florida paradise at The Hideaway Golf and Country Club. Until next…game, set, match.