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Innisbrook, PGTA take area titles

Area winners have been named in USA League Tennis' 3.5 super senior women's competition and the 3.5 senior men's division.

Both will represent the Pinellas-Pasco area in state tournament action.

In women's competition, Westin Innisbrook Resort's 60-plus squad is unbeaten among five teams. Even with one match remaining in the schedule, a 7-0 record is more than enough for Innisbrook to claim the championship.

This week's match with McMullen in Clearwater was a 2-1 win for Innisbrook. Shirl Ahrens and Nancy Kraemer lost but one game in the No. 1 slot, and Jean McKenzie and Diane Galemmo won in straight sets in No. 3.

"We haven't been told officially that we're the winners," Innisbrook captain Phyllis Gary said, "but with just one match left and the next-best team Bardmoor with a 3-3 record, it seems pretty certain it's official.

"We've had a good season and really only lost four sets total. We're pretty strong and have won most of our matches in two sets."

Rounding out the 11-member squad is Reme Johnson, Joan Holland, Kay Fitzpatrick, Sue Luidens, Bonny Boosales and Maureen Sternberg.

Innisbrook's final match is Monday morning when the team hosts East Lake (3-4).

Super Senior state competition is May 31-June 2 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

For the Phil Green Tennis Academy's 3.5 senior men's squad, it took perseverance over inclement weather, scheduling confusion and local league rule discrepancies to capture its title.

After claiming the 3.5 North division, the PGTA squad of 11 entered a round-robin playoff with the South and Central winners and a wild-card team.

PGTA won its first playoff match 2-1 over Central division winner McMullen and South division champion Racquet Club of St. Petersburg defeated Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club 3-0.

In its second match, PGTA won in No. 2 against the Racquet Club on the play of Dave Parris and Bill Schieman but lost the No. 1 position. Deadlocked at 1, Carlo Mugavero and Dick Lashley battled in No. 3 to a second-set tiebreaker only to be halted by rain. The next day, Mugavero and Lashley won the tiebreaker 7-3 to give PGTA a second straight 2-1 win.

In the final playoff match last weekend with wild-card team Bardmoor, PGTA scored a 3-0 victory. Straight-set winners were Ed McGinley and David Wisotsky in No. 1, Parris and Schieman No. 2 and Mugavero and Lashley No. 3.

"We were a little bit lucky and are happy to be able to go back to the state tournament," PGTA captain Joe Gari said. "We've got a good group of guys and we'll do our best."

Rounding out the PGTA team are Ken Hogle, Glenn Merrer, Richard Hough and Ron Lynn.

Senior state action is May 2-4 in Daytona Beach.

Innisbrook's 3.5 women's squad, which captured its local title earlier, will join the PGTA's men's team at the state event.

ADULT LEAGUE: USA League Tennis adult competition began this month for 40 women's squads and 36 men's.

Among the women are eight in the 3.0 division, 15 in 3.5 divided in two divisions, 14 in 4.0 and three in 4.5.

Four teams are in the men's 3.0, 17 in the 3.5 divided in three divisions, 10 in 4.0 divided in two divisions and five in the 4.5.

Adult league matches include two singles positions and three doubles for each team match. Local competition continues through June with area winners advancing to regional play with hopes of qualifying to state competition.

MIXED LEAGUE UPDATE: USA League Tennis mixed doubles action is closing its season this month. In senior competition, Innisbrook won the 6.5, Bardmoor the 7.5 and PGTA the 8.5.

In adult play, East Lake won the 8.5 division. With two matches left in the 7.5, Bardmoor has a narrow lead over PGTA and a second Bardmoor team.

Mixed doubles state competition is next month in Daytona Beach.

COMING UP: The George Pero Memorial Family Classic begins Saturday at Cheval Country Club. Call Allegra Campos, (813) 948-2282. Rookie singles players should enter this weekend's Suncoast Tennis Foundation Seminole Lakes Rookie Circuit. Call Krishnan Anandan, (727) 394-1733. Sarmiento's Annual Championships for junior players is March 22-24. Call Al Sarmiento, (727) 823-2225, by Monday's deadline.