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Sarah Shore and Kathleen Parker take Women's A , Pittsburgh duo Hersh/Noland win Men's A
February 13, 2018
(as told by new paddle beat writers Cady Sheldon and Kent Lemon)
Women’s A Main Draw
Kathleen Parker and Sarah Shore steamrolled through the largest A Main Draw the AIPTT has ever seen, with the dream team barely giving up games along the way. The two then finally faced long-time friends Wendy Bermingham and Anne Lehigh in the finals during terribly snowy and wet weather on Saturday morning. A wet ball and slippery surfaces didn’t slow them down, and they ended up taking first place, 6-3, 7-6.
On Friday night, Anne Koo and Cyn Rentz donned their matching blue vests to take on Gwen Pontikes and Sandy Wang from Chicago for third place. They fought hard and went to three sets with the entire Rentz/Marston families looking on. It was a valiant fight with lots of onlookers from the paddle hut, but Pontikes and Wang won, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. These two teams will possibly see each other again at Nationals in Chicago in March.
Women’s A Consolation
Annie Stooksbury and Rosie Wiedenmeyer vs. Kathy Givan and Elizabeth Norton played in the Thunderdome (the nickname given to Court 1) Friday night with a large crowd watching from the hut. Givan and Norton had some wicked returns and took the match, 6-2, 6-2. As Elizabeth Norton said when asked about the game of paddle, “It sure beats work.”
Women’s A Quarter Reprieve (Fifth Place)
Amanda Howell and Winslow Waxter put up a good fight for three sets, but in the end gave fifth place to Chicagoans Shannon Moore and Amanda Southwell, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.
Women’s A Consolation Reprieve (Last Chance)
The team of Lisa Duke and Amy List played Sue Davis and Shelly Williams in three flip-flop sets with Davis and Williams coming out on top in the end as the winners, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.
Women’s B Main Draw
There were a few teams that had quite the tournament this year. One of these duos was Suzanne MacKenzie and Maggie Hays. They had a very long day, playing two back to back matches, both of which went to three sets. 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 was the score against Ramey Caulkins and Kristin Baker. Another long three set match vs. Bobbie Brandon and Silvinia Sansot ended Brandon and Sansot winning, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. Suzanne Mackenzie described their tournament experience as a day of “unprecedented epic battles”. Someone give those ladies a gift certificate to the Foot Bar already!
In the end, Ellie Morris and Kristi Emerson played Annie Humphrey and Leslie Schott in the finals. Craig Emerson was quoted as saying to his dear wife, “Don’t come home unless you win.” Geez, pressure was on for Kristi! Humphrey and Schott came away with the win 6-1, 6-4. Wonder if Craig let Kristi come home that night or if she had to move into the paddle hut for the night?
Women’s B Consolation
This match featured a group of ladies who were having too much fun out there! Chriss Bond and Caroline Rippey played Whitney Groth and Ashley Hashimoto, with Groth and Hashimoto coming away with the win, 7-5, 6-1. As Groth said, “Played great friends in the finals…nothing better.”
Women’s B Quarter Reprieve (Fifth Place)
Leslie Cavness and Sandy Macartney took fifth place, beating out Ramey Caulkins and Kristin Baker 6-3, 6-4.
Women’s B Reprieve
A Vermont team, Sarah Marston and Julie Denison, took on Lizzie Rockmore and Mary Francis Hummel at ATC for a long three set match to determine the reprieve winner. Marston and Denison took the win home, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.
Women’s B Consolation Reprieve (Last Chance)
The duo of Cindy Rutgers and Sarah Soane took on Elsie Humes and Laurie MacDowell Friday evening. Rutgers and Soane won 6-3, 6-1.
Men's A and B
A whopping 46 men’s teams from all points on the compass descended on Arapahoe Tennis Club for the Arapahoe Invitational Platform Tennis Tournament the weekend of Feb. 9-11. The matches started on Friday evening with every court in Denver being used. Saturday dawned gray and cold with matches commencing at 8AM again all over the city. Snow began falling at around 10AM rendering a local unheated court unusable, and by 11, it was really coming down hard. That rendered yet another local court with some heater issues unplayable.
What could have been a scheduling mess was deftly handled by tournament director, ATC pro, and participant, Cary Hodges, and matches proceeded with circus-like juggling. A terrific party for all teams was held at The Denver Country Club Saturday night, and all involved kept a respectable lid on the festivities. Very few lampshades were worn as the next day’s matches would be hard-fought.
Sunday dawned with our usual brilliant Colorado sun, and an amazingly beautiful snow covered wonderland. The courts were dry, the temperatures cold and the top teams were decided.
In the B draw semifinal, the Fort Collins law firm of Morris and Morris Esq. (Nick and Will) took on the wily silverback team of Edward Hays and Randolph Swenson, then Boulderites Andy Creath and Zach Newman took on up-and-comers from Denver Country Club, Bruno Darre and Matt Domich. The lawyers outfoxed the silver foxes 7-5 6-4, and the Boulderites edged the boys from DCC, 6-0 6-3. The B final saw Morris and Morris Esq., take plaintiffs Creath and Newman to court (ha!) for the “B” trial of the century. After many strenuous objections from both sides, Morris and Morris Esq. prevailed without a hung jury 6-3 6-3.
In the A semis, DCC paddle pro Ian Hintz and swashbucklingly boisterous partner Jay Schwab battled Bostonian Carl Gregor and Tim Kofol, with the local guys taking it, 6-4 7-5. And in the second match, epic pizza entrepreneur and raconteur Matt Kranich and his local racquets pro partner Andrew Green took on Pittsburghers Dan Hersh and Tyler Noland in a battle of the drives. The Steeltown lads left a few more red welts on the locals and punched their ticket to the ATC Super Bowl.
With the A finalists decided, between 140 and 78,000 (estimates vary) rowdy fans settled in to the fabulous new ATC paddle hut stadium with beer in hand to watch what would be an unusual 3 setter. The first set was another exhibition of big drives and masterful volleys with an amazing amount of quickness from both teams. The Steeltown team, however, had a bit more of both and took it 6-4. The second set was one for the books. The Mile High team started fast and just kept their feet on the gas, unexpectedly going 6-0 in set 2. The score belied a much closer match, as most games went to multiple deuces, but the score was a surprise to all. The final set looked like the Mile High Boys were going to cruise to the win going up 2-1 and on serve. The Pittsburghers were having different ideas. They won three in a row in some of the best points ever seen here with patient lobs punctuated by bullet drives defended by brilliant volleys. Many points lasted dozens of hits with some truly dazzling “gets” from right off the deck by both teams. In the end, the City Of Champions garnered yet another when Hersh and Noland came back from the early deficit and won it all 6-3 in the third. The rowdy partisan Colorado crowd cheered the champs and the infamous Porch Club Awards Ceremony™ presented all winners their prizes for both their play and their…er…other antics.
A special thanks to DCC for the use of their courts and hosting the AIPTT hootenanny, ATC pro Cary Hodges for handling the weather/court issues smoothly, ATC manager LJ Strife for keeping everything non-paddle running smoothly, Dan Washburne and Mile High Catering for all the tournament victuals, our great sponsors Merrill Lynch, Paddle Pro, Boldi, Pathways Travel, Periodic Brewing, Total Platform Tennis and Jim Hillary for graciously allowing us all to use his private court for the tournament. Hope to see an even bigger turnout next year.
To see all brackets in their entirety, click on this link: https://platformtennisonline.org/TournamentHome.aspx?eid=193