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Treasure Island ekes out league title

It was neck-and-neck for Feather Sound Country Club and Treasure Island Recreation in the South Pinellas Ladies Doubles League.

Treasure Island finished first in the nine-team league, but not without a challenge. Treasure Island ended the nine-week spring session with 14 points. Feather Sound had 13 and St. Petersburg Tennis Center 10.

"It was a close session, and yet very enjoyable," said Gay Womack, captain of a Treasure Island squad of 11. "We've won several times before, but it's always nice."

Womack was joined by newcomers Sue Best, Karen Richnak, Robin Cain and Linn Riffe and returnees Margaret Tseng, Charlene Garner, Gillian McDonnell, Barb Murray, Louise Strong and Jean Simmons.

"We have a lot of the same players we had when the league first started," Womack said. "We mix around who gets to be captain, as well as who plays each week."

Sam Vuille started the league about five years ago. St. Petersburg Country Club's tennis director has offered fall, spring and summer sessions annually since 1996.

"I had hoped to make the league an easy one to play in," Vuille said. "Not to have too many league rules, to have fewer doubles positions per team to help the smaller clubs and require less driving time to matches were some of what I wanted to offer. I think we've done that."

Carol Stowasser, Feather Sound's captain, thinks the league is an inviting one to play.

With just the four required players, Feather Sound held its own weekly with the doubles play of Stowasser and Karen Augustine and Onnie Hastings and Pat Mosteller.

"It's always fun to play in this league," Stowasser said.

The popular end-of-season round robin for all the teams is scheduled for April 4 at the St. Petersburg Country Club.INTERSECTIONAL DOUBLES: Local players leave this week for the USTA Intersectional Team Doubles Tournament in Wild Dunes, S.C. Men's, women's and mixed doubles in age divisions from 30-and-over to the 80s will compete.

Janet Newberry and Jeff Winkler will represent Florida in the 40s class, and Ralph Howe is paired in the men's 60 doubles. The tournament, Thursday-Sunday, includes teams from the 17 sections comprising the USTA.

MIXED DOUBLES: Sunday's final match in the 7.5 senior division between the Racquet Club and Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club was won 3-0 by the Racquet Club, forcing a playoff for the championship.

In three three-set matches against Bardmoor, Janet Shafer and Tony Damouny won 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in No. 1, Suzanne Earle and Jack Weldon won 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 and Rosemary and Steve Uebel were first in No. 3 with a score of 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

Following last weekend's match, both squads earned six wins, forcing the tie for first place. The deciding match is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Racquet Club.

WOMEN'S SINGLES: The Suncoast Singles concluded this month with Safety Harbor Spa II clinching the league championship over Royal Racquet Club, East Lake Woodlands, Bardmoor, Safety Harbor Spa I and the Renaissance Vinoy. In the final week of matches, Royal beat Spa II 4-2, Bardmoor tied Spa I at 3 and East Lake defeated the Vinoy 5-1.

SINGLES, ANYONE?: Suncoast Singles will begin a pilot league for women next month. Each participating club may enter either a Team A of four players with NTRP ratings from 4.0-5.0 or a Team B of four players rated from 2.5-3.5, or both, or several of each. For more information, call Trish Mainard, 784-8439.

NEW LEAGUE IN TOWN: A league offering singles and doubles for men and women is scheduled to begin a six-week session next month. Players from the 2.5 NTRP level and higher are encouraged to register to play at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays or 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at St. Petersburg Country Club. For more details, call Mary Pat Howley, 867-9105.

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