Marin Seniors: A Category II National
The Marin Seniors was held in June in Mill Valley California. The weather was perfect for this well attended tournament. The tournament directors, Susan McShannock and Melissa Kurtz, and referee Chrissie Costamagna organize an excellently run event, hold 2 parties and award prize money for all events.
The 35s draw was small as usual, but the quality made up for the lack of quantity. Manola Coulter from NM played her for the 2nd year in a row, and again played Carolyn Wei of Oakland in the final. Last year the two played 3 sets and did so again in 2006. This time though, Wei rallied from 2-4 down in the third, using her excellent on the rise flat groundstrokes both as finishing shots and to set her up for finishing volleys. Wei won 64 in the third.
Erika Smith/Kristin Clevenger beat Wei/Mai Ichikawa in the 35s final.
The 40s was won by Redding’s Kim Snow, who was leading by 43 in the final against Chrissie Costamagna when Costamagna had to retire with an Achilles injury.
The 45s division was particularly strong and featured the return to tournament play of Carrie Zarraonandia. She played Tracy Houk in the semis and, aided by a 3 game penalty (Tracy thought her match was at 12:30…it was at 9:30 and she didn’t discover that in time to avoid arriving late.). Houk edged Carrie 76 in the first set and won the 2nd 63. Carrie attacked at every opportunity, but Tracy is a superb counterpuncher and passed and lobbed well. Kim Lackey received a default from Mary Johnson in the other semi. Tracy beat Kim 62 63 in the final. Kim had to hit 2 or 3 winners to earn a point in most cases.
Lackey and Johnson won the 45 doubles over Linda Roland/Pam Cooke, rallying from 1-4 down in the third to take it 64.
The 50s was won by Carolyn Nichols over Bonnie Tetrick, a tall, athletic and rapidly improving player. Nichols combined with Lois Woodard of Montana to win the doubles.
Wilma Lee used her craftiness and experience to beat Kathy Barnes in the 55s final. Lee repeatedly hit dropshots to Barnes followed by accurate lobs or a passing shot and never let Kathy get a rhythm. Lee won 63 64.
Barnes and Leslie Vallejo won the 55 doubles over Ann Meigs/Charleen Hillebrand.
Hillebrand won the 60s over Ann Russ. Linda Bucklin/Woodard beat last year’s winners, McShannock/Russ 63 75 to win the doubles.