Louise Russ and Louise Owen reprised their rivalry at BallenIsles…they played for three hours in the final before Russ finally prevailed, 57 63 64. Russ won on guts, and running down Owen’s frequent and deadly dropshots at critical junctures. It was great to see Louise Owen back, a few years after she suffered a bad fall that left her friends wondering if she’d play again…she’s back and playing well. Russ limped off the court, battle weary in victory. Diane Hoffman and Rita Price won the doubles with ease after a tough first round tussle with Russ/Doris Stephens.
Carol Wood played for hours against Ria Graham in the 70s semis….Inge Weber had finished dispatching Pease in the other semi before Carol and Ria had finished the first set! Wood gave up a 52 lead in the first set but eventually prevailed after holding off a set point in the tiebreaker, but Ria won the next two sets and faced Weber in the final. Weber’s deep groundstrokes kept Ria on the run most of the match, which Weber won 75 63. Wood beat Spease in three sets to place third. Wood/Graham edged Boots Van Nostrand/Libby Keenan in 3 sets in the final…Wood got the most time on court award in the 70s for sure (have another brownie Carol).
Carol Clay played great all tournament in the 60s. She ran Betty Wachob into the ground with her deep groundstrokes in the semis, prevailing 62 in the third. She startled top seeded and world #3 Brenda Carter in the final, winning the first 5 games, with a combination of deep groundstrokes and some improved touch shots and net play. Brenda, an excellent competitor, rallied to win 2 games and fought hard for the next one before Clay finally won the set. The next 2 sets were hard fought with both players moving well, hitting deep, hitting and retrieving dropshots and in general playing a world class match. One spectator asked me what age division it was and when I said 60s, was amazed. Brenda finally won the three hour match 63 in the third on a net cord winner….the match of the tournament in that division. Wachob beat Pat Keleman to place third; Carter/Wachob beat Janet Harpold (welcome back Harpie) and Sharon Greene in the final 76 62 and Clay/Ellen Goodman took third.
Angela Simon dominated the three person round robin in the 30s, beating Greta Anderson and Trish Riddell then combined with Trish to win the doubles. Trish played a good tactical match in the final, but Angela was too fast and hit really hard and deep. Trish and Angela had a tough first set, winning it 76 in the doubles final against hard hitting Tara Pressley/Margaret Lumia, then won the 2nd set 61.
Renata Marcinkowska won the 40s again, over Sue Kaleel for the 2nd straight year, 63 64. Mary Dailey/Vicenza Massaro won the doubles over Kristin Hartley/Jeanne Hulsen…Hartley/Hulsen, unseeded, won the first set but Dailey/Massaro played flawlessly from that juncture, winning the final sets without the loss of a game. Susie Brown took third in singles and Colonna/Kaleel took third in doubles.
Diane Fishburne played flawlessly and moved even better in winning the 50s. The doubles was very evenly balanced…except for Margie Cooper/Kerry Young who never dropped more than 3 games a match in winning the tournament. They beat 4th seeded Frances O’Sullivan/Sally Smith in the final. Smith/O’Sullivan edged Mary Morgan/Nancy Szen in the semis…Morgan/Szen took out 2nd seeded Peltz-Petow/Neuthaler in the quarters in a 3 hour match that ended Thursday night at 7:30 pm…
The tournament was really nice as always, many thanks to Trish Faulkner, Barbara Angelini and the members and staff at the BallenIsles Country Club.