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Lagunitas Crowns Tori Eichleay/Jill Isenhart(Women's) and Paulo Gonzalez/Kevin Howard(Men's)
January 17-20, 2019
By Tori Eichleay
The 2019 Lagunitas Open was one of the driest (only in terms of weather!) on record. In didn't rain at all on either Friday or Saturday, making for some excellent play, fun viewing, and great camaraderie. It also attracted a huge number of out-of-town teams, some of whom are yearly staples, but many of whom were playing in the tournament for the first time.
Women's play got under way Thursday night with the start of the B draw and continued into the day on Friday. The seeds held until the semifinals when Germana Fabbri and Paige Lyon defeated top seeds Mary Hickey and Kim Tully-Sutton, 6-3, 6-4. On the top half of the draw, second seeds Kris Klein and Laura Lanphier won a tough three-set battle against Andrea Leavitt and Karen Van Brunt to advance to the finals. In the end, Klein and Lanphier proved too steady for Fabbri and Lyon, and took the finals 7-5, 6-3.
(B Finalists: Germana Fabbri and Paige Lyon next to B Champions: Laura Lanphier and Kris Klein)
The Women's A draw was a near perfect mix of local and out of town talent. In the semifinal on the top half of the draw, top seeds Tori Eichleay (local) and Jill Isenhart (from Boulder, Colorado) soundly defeated Sandy Wang and Dawn Shapiro of Chicago, 6-1, 6-1. On the other side of the draw, the local team of Chizzie Brown and Valerie Herzog, seeded second, also emerged victorious, recording a 6-0, 6-1 victory over the Chicago duo of Heather McWilliams and Tara Marsh.
The women's championship match began at 6PM beneath the lights and the beautiful redwoods, as the crowd gathered to enjoy the taco truck, several kegs donated by Todd Hedrick of Third Street Aleworks, and some lively paddle. Although Brown and Herzog put up a great fight, Isenhart and Eichleay earned the victory by combining Isenhart's finesse with Eichleay's power. Some of what made this night extra special was the inaugural awarding of the Anne Flemming Cup to the women’s champions. Anne Flemming, a local paddle legend and APTA Service Award Winner (2009), was able to be present at the match to witness the Flemming Cup awarded to Eichleay and Isenhart.
(Anne Flemming, center, awards the Flemming Cup to Champions Tori Eichleay (left of Anne) and Jill Isenhart (right of Anne). Finalists Chizzie Brown (far left) and Valerie Herzog (far right) join for the picture).
As the women's play began to wrap up on Friday night, the men's A tournament was just getting underway. Like the women's bracket, the men's draw was a great mix of local talent and out-of-town teams. The number of teams from outside our NorCal paddle community was extremely impressive. We had a total of 37 Men’s teams (21 in the NRT draw and 16 in the B Flight ). Of those 37 teams, there were 16 teams who traveled from out-of-state to enjoy our California hospitality. At the end of the day, Paulo Gonzalez and Kevin Howard won the tournament decisively by combining phenomenal shot-making ability with smart paddle. They defeated local favorites Tom Mayes and Will Lyon in the semis and then beat Colorado team of Brock Borman and Jay Schwab soundly in the finals. Former Lagunitas Open champions Jeff Jablonski and John Schloss fell to Borman and Schwab in the semis.
In the Men's B division, Pete Lardner and Rolf Welch fought hard to make their way through the top half of the draw by defeating Joe Gibson and Michael Short in three sets in the semis. On the bottom half of the draw, the second seeds, Jon Gruber and Brad Hedrick, had to battle the Chicago team of Chris Foster and Brain Schinderle to earn their spot in the finals. In an entertaining match with many momentum shifts, Lardner and Welch would claim the Ned Griffith Cup by topping Gruber and Hedrick, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
(Chizzie Brown awards the Ned Griffith Cup, in honor of her father's legacy, to Champions Rolf Welch (3rd from left), and Pete Lardner (far right). Brad Hedrick (far left) and Jon Gruber receive their finalist awards).
Additional photos appear below:
(Eric Fey and Robert Taylor (team in blue) lost a tough 3-setter in the finals of the Men's A Consolation to the father-son team of Ned and Edward Lanphier (team in white)).
The mother-daughter team of Mallory and Marjorie Surpless (pictured above) defeated the mother-daughter duo of Anne and Maddie Ordway (not pictured) to win the Consolation bracket in the Women's B division.
***The Lagunitas Club Paddle Committee would like to extend a special thank you to Harrow Sports for their generous contribution to the Saturday night raffle. Numerous attendees went home with some great Harrow gear and paddles!***
Main Draw: Tori Eichleay/Jill Isenhart def. Chizzie Brown/Valerie Herzog, 6-2, 6-3
3rd/4th Playoff: Tara Marsh/Heather McWilliams def. Dawn Shapiro/Sandy Wang, 6-2, 6-4
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Sara LardnerAnnie/Winship def. Meg Revord/Barb Sessions
Consolation: Anne Koo/Cynthia Rentz def. Pollie Robbins/Collin Shewey, 6-2, 6-0
Consolation Quarter Reprieve: Annie Stookesberry/Rosie Wiedenmayer def. Margaret Hays/Eileen Sheldon
Main Draw: Kristin Klein/Laura Lanphier def. Germana Fabbri/Paige Lyon, 7-5, 6-3
3rd/4th Playoff: Andrea Leavitt/Karen Van Brunt def. Mary Hickey/Kimberly Tully-Sutton, 6-4, 6-3
Consolation: Marjorie Surpless/Mallory Surpless def. Anne Ordway/Madeleine Ordway, 6-4, 6-1
Consolation Quarter Reprieve: Tallie Fishburne/Melissa Rohde def. Eliot Donohue/Ashley Marks, 6-3, 6-1
Consolation Reprieve: Lisa Kemp/Tucky Pogue def. Sarah Atwood/Betsy Lanphier, 6-1, 6-0
Main Draw: Paulo Gonzalez/Kevin Howard def. Brock Borman/Jay Schwab, 6-4, 6-2
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Stewart Barry/Robert Devens def. Adam Boyce/Noah Seidenberg, 6-1, 7-5
Consolation: Ned Lanphier/Edward Lanphier def. Eric Fey/Robert Taylor, 2-6, 6-1, (10-6)
Consolation Quarter Reprieve: Robert Cahill/KC Corkery def. Eduardo Soruco/Tony Soruco, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Consolation Reprieve: Peter Dineen/Patrick Vahey def. George Eichleay/Edward Hays, 6-3, 6-0
Main Draw: Peter Lardner/Rolf Welch def. Jon Gruber/Brad Hedrick, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Quarterfinal Reprieve: Devin Hedrick/Matt Shewey def. William Cahill/Billy Cahill, 6-4, 7-5
Consolation: Chris Kostanecki/Cristian Streeter def. Russ Lennon/Fran Santangelo, 6-4, 4-6, (10-2)
Consolation Reprieve: Matt Caldwell/Robin O’Connell def. Adrian Fadrhonc/Chuck Stevens, 6-2, 6-1