Houston Friday: Hollman, Nichols, Carter, Matthiessen and Hall Win Singles Titles; Tracy Viebrock Wins First Gold Ball!!!!!

Mariana Hollman and Shelly Works battled for over four hours today in warm, humid, breezy conditions before Hollman prevailed 57 63 63. The two counterpunchers had grueling rallies that pushed both back to the fences, then up for short angles. Vesna McKenna won the bronze by default over Anna Zimmerman. Hollman then combined with Jarilyn Joseph to win the doubles easily over Kim Cashman/McKenna, 62 61. Erika Smith/Mary Dailey took the bronze.

In the 55s, I beat Leslie Murveit 61 62, we also had plenty of long rallies…but our match lasted under two hours. To make up for that relatively short match, (and for Sherri’s 3/4 playoff, which lasted a mere 2 games before Janet Mosely retired against her),  Tracy Viebrock and I played Murveit and Sherri Bronson for 3 hours, finally winning 60 16 75 (after being down 5-3 in the third). For Tracy, it was her first gold ball…she may not even need a plane to take her back to Fort Lauderdale, she can just float back. Last year Leslie won her first gold ball here, with Sherri, beating us in the final. There were a lot of long rallies and Tracy hit a ton of overheads, and finished the match with a backhand volley winner. It was a fitting end to the match.

In the 65s, Brenda Carter pulled a rabbit out of her hat of tennis tricks to beat her doubles partner, Betty Wachob, in a long, tough final. She overcame 2 match points and a 3-5 deficit in the third set to win 36 76 75. Heide Orth beat Cathie Anderson 62 61 for third. In the doubles final, Suella Steel and Orth beat Carter/Wachob 61 76. Judy Louie/Leslie Pixley placed third with a 61 61 drubbing of Anderson/Anne Russ.

The 75s, to no surprise, was won by Dorothy Matthiessen, though the first set of the final as very close..Carol Wood hit a number of drop shots that Matthiessen was unable to reach. I think Dori deVries won the 3/4 playoff…she had the bronze ball when I saw her standing next to Burnett Herrick and photos were being taken. However, tennislink had a different winner…

Cathie Hall beat Rita Price to win the 85s in a tight two set match. It was good quality tennis as both women move well. Both hit their fair share of volley winners too. The RR doubles event will conclude tomorrow, with the defacto final of Hall/Elaine Mason vs Hallowell/Price. Mason beat Hallowell to win the singles bronze.

In the 35s, Michelle King and Mary Dailey won the doubles easily over surprise finalists Varady/Zercoe; Calvet-Saiz/Siewrattan, who nearly took out King/Dailey yesterday, won the bronze.

I’m heading out tomorrow…it was another terrific tournament. Many thanks to Sue Bramlette (she loves to be the center of adulation…), Bob Bramlette, Cathy Lassiter, Harriett the ref, Mary Ann Gralka and the members and staff of the Houston RC and the sponsors who put together a fantastic tournament every year. See y’all next year. Brenda Carter, Betty Wachob, Suella Steel, Heide Orth Carolyn and Leslie Sherri, Leslie Carolyn, Tracy