All In The Family 2014

June 3, 2014
Pittsburgh, PA

This year at the Nationals, out of 384 players, over 10% were related to someone else in the draw. Here are a few quotes that reveal what family is all about.

CARRIE RABUSE & MICHAEL MONTALBANO - Mother and Son

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Carrie: It is soooo special playing together. It has created a unique bond for our family. We were roommates in Pittsburgh and it was a blast!

Monte: Although we didn't get to see each other play, we had so much fun hanging out at Pittsburgh. I'm known as "Carrie’s son" to Mom’s friends and Mom is "Monte’s mom" to my friends. Hanging out together we really get to socialize with all of the paddle crowd and got to watch some great paddle. Hopefully, one of us will be playing on Sunday soon!

SARA LANTHIER & SUZANNE LANTHIER - Sisters

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Sara
: I love the Live Scoring, to be able to follow Suzanne through the day and see how she's doing. This year, we played the same team in different rounds so I was able to message her to find out strategy. We don't have a rivalry. I know Suzanne is a stronger player and invests so much more time in playing so that I am her biggest cheerleader at Nationals, although I often find it too difficult to watch her play because I want her to win so badly. I know her so well that I can tell by her facial expressions and body language how the match is going. I like to watch another court and have the beer ready for her after.

Suzanne: Sara and I struggle to make people understand that there are actually two of us. She wins the party every year. And to echo her comments, we don't have a rivalry and use text and Live Scoring to wish each other luck, get scores, and decide on when we are meeting at the keg!


HARDY MANGES & TED MANGES - Brothers

Hardy: We had never played in Nationals together. I had never played in a Nationals.

Ted: I’ve played in about seven Nationals, with two greats, Dave Ohlmuller and Greg Stipa, among others.

Hardy: I think we communicated pretty well; we haven’t played together in a while.

Ted: Only thing we had to talk about before the match was who plays backhand and who serves first. And Hardy took care of both. Hardy: It’s all about me. We saw Ted hitting winners like it was 1981. He wore a 1962 authentic Pittsburgh Penguins jersey. We looked like the Hanson brothers out there, from the Paul Newman movie Slapshot. It was hot, so I chose to wear all black. It didn’t really work out for me.

WAYNE DOLLARD and LISA DOLLARD and BILL DOLLARD
Husband and Wife, and Brothers

Wayne: This year, I played in Sewickley but drove over to Fox Chapel three times between matches to watch my wife play. I had a great time playing in the Nationals and was equally inspired watching my wife (with Agata Cirocho) win the 32s reprieve. Bill and I have played The West Penn Open and Short Hills together but didn’t play this one together.

LAURIE HISSEY, DAVID HISSEY, ALI TROSS, & SCOTT BONDURANT
Mother and Son, Soon to Be Marrieds, and a Cousin

Laurie: Ali and David were engaged a week before Nationals. Ali and I played on President’s Cup together, which was great, and our team placed second. (Laurie is also Tim McAvoy’s sister; Tim did not play this year, but was in attendance for the Hall of Fame dinner.)

Scott: Our families get to be together; it’s a neat thing.

BEN ZINK & LAUREN ZINK – Nephew and Aunt

Ben: I used to live with Lauren and George, and he coached me in tennis. After watching George and Lauren play paddle, I started playing three years ago. Unfortunately, we actually didn’t get to see each other much at all; we were playing at different sites so I only got to see her a little Friday morning. We did text each other here, to check in.

DENISE & KEITH STUDNICK,  DAPHNE & GEREMY CONNORS
Husband and Wife Teams

Daphne: Denise and I met playing tennis and started playing paddle about five years ago. Geremy and Keith met through us. Now we all vacation together. At Nationals, I did get to see him play one day.

Geremy: We were playing at different places so we didn’t get to watch the girls at all. It’s all about having fun. We focused on the party much more than on our game. We have four young kids; this was the first time we’ve been away together in three years.

Daphne: We focused on getting our opponents to drink more than we did.
[Unfortunately, or fortunately, Denise and Keith were at the bar while this conversation was recorded.]

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Denise & Keith, Daphne & Geremy


SHAHEEN BHANJI & FAYAZ BHANJI – Brother and Sister

Shaheen: Traveling this year with my brother for paddle has been a wonderful experience in many ways. Seeing him play and cheering him on at Nationals was the highlight of my season. From a social aspect, hanging out with him at the parties or on the road trips has been super fun and I look forward to it the most. He has been great with coaching me through this crazy sport and he is my number one cheerleader as I am his!

Fayaz: Shaheen is too nice. I have enjoyed seeing Shaheen finally get into paddle. I have been trying to get her into the game for the past two years, and now I can't get her off the court. We do have our singles "drill" sessions where she gets very frustrated (with me) when I make her look as silly as possible off the wires. At tournaments, I enjoy watching her games and then hanging out after our matches...when it's time to watch the real paddle players play. I look forward to watching her develop over the next few years. She has way more talent than I will ever have. At the end of the day, we just love the paddle community and this awesome game.

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