After a very warm past few days, and a prediction of 90+ degree temperatures today….clouds came over around 9am, then thunder and lightning (followed by sun), then, just after noon…rain all afternoon. As several players commented, you can be wrong half the time and still keep your job if you are a baseball hitter or a weather person (ok, I added the part about the baseball hitter, but .300 is a pretty great hitter, with 70% failure rate)..
Manola and I warmed up just after 7am, and it was sunny…she played Becky Stapp and won 62 61, and just as they finished, and just as Sandy Garry and I started, it began to rain and the head referee, Betty, pulled us off the court because of thunder and lightning. Neither persisted but apparently it’s a USTA rule that we had to stay off the court for 30 minutes after lightning/thunder conditions. We got back on at 10:30 and finished an hour later. I played well and Sandy was off more than last year. Interestingly, though we’d been playing all week with regular duty balls, today we were given heavy duty Penn Marathons, which I like more, but which was surprising. I think only I noticed the change though, as we were the 6th match on and no one else had commented.
Our doubles was scheduled for 11:30, but we began at noon and again, the clouds looked ominous, cumulous nimbus. It began to sprinkle and at 1-1, rain and we were immediately sent indoors to play our match (Manola and I hung out on the court, hoping it would dry, but eventually realized that wasn’t to be…meanwhile Becky and Sharon, our opponents had been sent indoors). The indoor courts at West Hills are paneled in knotty pine or some sort of knotty wood anyway, not the most reflective of surfaces and the lights are direct, so it was hard to see. However, Becky had the worst of it, since she wears glasses, but she didn’t complain at all. We had a tough match, winning 75 64. I stayed near the baseline and lobbed a lot while Manola again roamed the net. Sharon has really good volleys, especially her backhand cross court volley and did a lot of damage at the net but in the end we made fewer errors, especially on big points and pulled out the win.
It was a fun tournament after a rocky start and many thanks to Diane, Holly and Joyce, the volunteers and referees Betty and Sheila for all their help making this a good event and they vow that next year will be better…they were gathering information every day and suggestions on how to improve the event. They certainly fed us well!