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Jason Love and Mike Rahaley Bests Record St. Louis Field
February 9, 2015
St. Louis, MO
I don’t know whether to say, “The times, they are a changing” or to say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Let’s begin with the former statement. Creve Coeur Racquet Club (CCRC), the APTA, the St. Louis men’s paddle league and two individuals came together to build two courts at CCRC. The result has led to explosive growth of the sport in St. Louis and allowed us to expand our NRT field to 36 teams, a record. The depth of this year’s field was the strongest ever as evidenced by five-time champion Bob Curtis, and his partner Roy Brammer, bowing out in the first round in a tough three setter against A.J. Ahlstedt and Grant Priddy. What a way to start off the Friday night matches!
Outside of the aforementioned match, the rest of the first round did not lend itself to close scores with the exception of two matches. Mark Jeffrey and Eric Schrumpf sent the tough Springfield, IL team of Enrique Pozo and Greg Piland into the consolations with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory. Ray Tarasi and Jeff Troutman took down paddle veteran John Drew and newbie Peter Hantack 7-5, 6-4.
The round of 16 saw a rise in the intensity as Frank Childress and Chris Cochrane had a hard fought 7-5, 6-4 win over Ahlstedt-Priddy. The St. Louis traveling team of Kyle Shoff and Paul Feder put an early scare into Andy Metzler and Patrick Smith before succumbing 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Kevin Kowalik and Jay Roberts bested Jeffrey-Schrumpf 6-3, 7-5.
Kansas City returned in full force with 7.5 teams making the trek across the state. We appreciate their attendance as they bring an additional level of competition to the field, both on and off the court. The Saturday night party, hosted by CCRC, got a kick start with a 9pm foot race across the width of eight tennis courts and back. The participants were Damien Janet, a former college pitcher, against the taller Travis Helgeson, a former college tennis player. Damien’s strategy of setting a slow pace for the first half seemed wise. However, Helgeson took off at the turn and crossed the finish line several strides ahead. At 10pm, Brammer-Curtis decided to play their semi-final consolation paddle match against John Kanaga and Ryan Metzler. According to reports, there were many whiffs. I can’t imagine why. With Kanaga-Metzler up a set and the score tied 3-3, the police arrived. Boys will be boys. Given a reprieve, Curtis-Brammer beat the challengers as the match resumed on Sunday.
“The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Mike Rahaley returned to play St. Louis after an 18-year absence and a championship in the 1997 tournament when he paired with Gene Kempner. This time around, Jason Love recruited Mike. The two had a great quarterfinal victory (6-3, 2-6, 7-5) over Jay Schwab and Michael Slutzky. Other quarterfinal results were Metzler-Smith over Childress Cochrane, Ian Hintz-Cary Hodges 6-4, 7-5 over Kowalik-Roberts and Brian Hagman-Zach Held over Rafa Abreu-Helgeson 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The semi-finals were early Sunday morning with Love-Rahaley knocking out Metzler-Smith and Hintz-Hodges outlasting Hagman-Held 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Love-Rahaley were too much for Hintz-Hodges in the finals as they claimed the 2015 title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. Results of all finals were:
2015 St. Louis Final Draw. (xls)