Lynn House and Julie Kennedy Enjoy Victory at Oden Cox Memorial

Ann Harvey
November 4, 2013
Westerly, Rhode Island

Shelter Harbor served up its first paddle tournament of the 2013-2014 season on a beautiful New England Saturday with ten great teams. The women traveled from Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, as well as Rhode Island — all good signs for the growth of paddle in our southeastern region. The annual Oden Cox Memorial, established in memory of the nationally-ranked paddle player, proved true to its purpose in honoring the love of the game. For some teams, it was their first venture into tournament play. The prizes this year were glass blown earrings from local artist Jeffrey P’an, who recently started playing the game, as well as gift certificates to the incomparable Shelter Harbor Inn and some good wine.

The main draw final looked like it was going to top seed Hilary Meyers and Tracy Welling after their first set victory at 6-0. New to this tournament, Lynn House and Julie Kennedy came back to entertain us all with patient lobs, drop shots, and great points to claim their victory, at 0-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Thank you to Heather Mahan for getting Jane Shanley back on the court, playing like a 23 year old. They played to determine third and fourth place against Joan O’Connor and Kathy Kulig, beating them in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The consolation round was won by Kate Morneau and Kelly Hellstein, 7-6, 6-3. They played Asa Nilsson and Trish Griggs finishing up at 7:37 PM—a full day of paddle.

The last chance match was amazing because it went to three sets against new paddle players, Ruth Saunders and Deb Pruitt, who had never met. Interestingly, the winners, Kate Welch and Sue Geer (6-1, 5-7, 6-3) also had never met before this tournament. In what other sport do women who have never met, who have never even played a tournament, willingly travel great distances to come together to compete? How fun is this game!

New public courts are popping up in nearby Stonington, CT, ensuring larger draws for this tournament. Thanks to all of the ladies who played.

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