Successful Start in Homewood; Chicago Air Woes Delay Players’ Arrival

Whatever you do, don’t follow Kathy Vick’s travel itinerary…ever! Kathy lives in Lubbock, Texas with her husband and dogs. She is the #3 seed here in the 55s and is playing with her college teammate (Trinity), Kim Steinmetz. They had a nice reunion today with Mary Lou Piatek Daniels who also played for Trinity. Mary Lou, Kathy and Kim shown below.

    Mary Lou Piatek, Kathy Vick, Kim Steinmetz  

That’s the good news (that plus Kim and Kathy won their opening doubles match today handily). However, it’s really amazing that Kathy made it here. Lubbock isn’t exactly an airport hub; Kathy said Southwest, Frontier and commuter airlines were the only options when it comes to flying from Lubbock. She flew Southwest which went via Branson, Missouri to Chicago…except when they got to Branson that was it, the flight to Chicago was cancelled due to an air traffic control issue (an overheating fan caused smoke and a three plus hour closure of the air traffic control system in Chicago on Tuesday). There were no rental cars available. The next flight wasn’t for a day or two. So how did Kathy get to Chicago? Two women were driving to Chicago and offered to take Kathy; she said a prayer and went with them; her doubles partner, Shelly Works picked her up late at night in Chicago. Most flights were delayed about 3-4 hours, so everyone made it but arrived much later than anticipated.

Meanwhile, back in California, the fires rage in San Diego County, but so far not in my neighborhood. And unlike Chicago, it’s really hot there.

Susan and I warmed up before lunch for an hour and won our first round match against Hattie and Veronica from Chicago. They both had very nice hands and both were lefties. Veronica has a great wide serve to the ad side (I was very glad I wasn’t playing the ad side) which put Susan into the next court several times…it was a good serve and very consistent. She also aced me wide to the deuce once. We lost the first two games but then won 63 60. We play Donna Drosner/Debbie Burgess next. They were three set winners over Sheila Chiricosta/Mary Firek.

I play Chiricosta in singles tomorrow. She won a three set match over Drosner, 60 in the third though. They are both from the Midwest and have similar styles. It will be a good challenge to play her tomorrow. Susan plays Anne Lowry from NorCal tomorrow. Mary plays Kim Zebot and Kim Lackey plays Kathy.

The 35 and 45 doubles started today too; both draws along with 35 singles are round robins. No seeds played in the 45s.

Interestingly, the tournament is using extra duty (outdoor hard) balls here instead of regular duty (Indoor/clay) Wilson Us Open balls. They fluff up and slow down, so it’s find with me. 🙂

tennis balls

Courts 2 and 4 have big fans over them; they are actually called “Big Ass Fans”.  Today they were still since it’s really cold outside (and wet, and generally miserable for May; it feels like January and I’m glad I packed a down jacket). the consensus is that the courts are pretty dark.

Big Ass FanDark Courts

Below: Mary & Debbie; Susan, me, Kathy Shelly, Mary; Kim and Susan

Mary Firek Debbie BurgessWright, Nichols, Vick, Works, FirekKim Lackey, Susan Wright

Click here to see photos from the tournament.

Click here to see draws.


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