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ZTA tourney draws new, old members

More than 50 players participated in this month's Zephyrhills Tennis Association Membership Drive Tournament at Zephyr Park.

Tom Frain, president of the ZTA, directed the event that was spread over five days and included men's and women's open doubles, men's senior doubles and open mixed doubles.

"We did get some new members as well as some members paid up their dues," Frain said. "In fact, Joanne and Ed Vandenhoek signed on as new members and then went and won the mixed doubles."

The Vandenhoeks, winter residents from Canada, beat Jean and Jim Nichols 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

Ed Vandenhoek paired with Bill Kent and reached the men's open final, losing 6-4, 6-4 to Frain and Art Schultz.

"I would say we are a tenacious team, though not overpowering," Frain said. "We just keep hitting it back. We were down in both sets and came back. In the second set, we were down 4-1."

Warren Gray and Chuck Rodgers won four matches to earn the men's senior championship. In the final, they beat Wally Port and Tony Wondra.

"We're a good fit as a team, and both move pretty well," Gray said. "We're both capable of getting a lot of balls. I'm a lefty and play the backhand court even though that's not the conventional. It works for us, though."

Gray, a winter resident from New York, has been coming to Zephyrhills since 1990. He and his wife first lived in Dade City, but when it became apparent more tennis could be found in Zephyrhills, the couple moved.

"I've won this tournament before with different partners," Gray said. "Some years ago, I won the New York State doubles championship. Last year, Art Higby and I won the Empire State Games in the 65-and-older division."

In the women's doubles, Nichols teamed with Lani Prilliman to beat Sadako Johnson and Joanne Vandenhoek 6-1, 6-1.

The ZTA plays daily at the Zephyr Park courts. For details, call Frain at (813) 779-3329.

ACS RESULTS: More than 170 players participated in the 23rd annual American Cancer Society Tennis Classic at Clearwater's McMullen Tennis Complex.

Winners in the women's doubles competition included Kim Cashman and Gail Gibson (4.5), Kim Damico and Mary Snowden-Gordon (4.0), Jill Faw and Charlotte Tao (3.5) and Mary Dworkin and Joanna Pruitt (3.0). Posting wins among the men were Michael Erbe and Marvin Wilhite (4.5), Dave King and Scott Monette (4.0) and Ed Earls and Josh Moore (3.5).

Mixed winners were Kim Cashman and Kevin Hayslett (5.0), Janet Poort and Ken Cherven (4.5), Kim Cherry and Todd Whitington (4.0), Therese Gardner and Ed Ostiguy (3.5) and Debbie and Jerry Walker (3.0).

LEAGUE NEWS: Westin Innisbrook Resort improved to 3-1 in the senior women's 3.5 competition after a 2-1 win over East Lake Woodlands. Posting a 6-2, 6-3 victory was Jocie Doucette and Anne Hammond at No. 1. And Sue Luidens and Pam Collins pulled out a 7-5, 7-6 win at No. 2.

+ PGTA-Graham handed the Racquet Club its first loss in the senior men's 3.5 competition 2-1 on the play of Steve Brown and Don Bergner at No. 1 and Malcolm Slive and John Carlile at No. 2.

+ Innisbrook's super senior men's 7.0 team won its second match 2-1 over Southwest. Jerry McDowell and Slive won in three sets at No. 2, and Joe Robillard and Dick Willets won in two at No. 3.

THIS WEEK: The Sheriff Jim Coats Clearwater Women's Open, a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event for female pros, begins at the McMullen Tennis Complex. In addition to the tournament, community activities are planned. Family Tennis Day is from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday with an opportunity to win tickets to the Bausch and Lomb Tournament. USTA Member Appreciation Day is 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday with a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Nasdaq-100 Open. A Pro-Am Mixed Doubles begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The event benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Suncoast. For sponsor information, call (727) 546-1032, Ext. 17. For tennis questions, call (727) 669-1919.

COMING UP: The East Lake Woodlands Senior Championships are March 3-5 in Oldsmar. For details, call (727) 785-2212. The Good Life Games, a qualifier for the Florida Senior Olympics, is April 10-15 on the clay courts at McMullen Tennis Complex. For details, go to www.goodlifegames.org or call (727) 669-1919.

News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, (727) 796-5559, e-mailed to namorgan46msn.com or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include a phone number.

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