Alpine doubles tournament featured some exciting tennis
Once the finals started Sunday at Mount Shasta Resort tennis courts, the action heated up in the annual Alpine Doubles Tournament.
While none of the dozen or so local teams that played for fun, sweat and cheers made it to the winners’ court, there were many well played matches that could have gone either way.
The tournament featured a drop down format to accommodate all caliber of players so every team entered was guaranteed at least two matches regardless of whether they won or lost in the first round.
Teams from as far away as the Santa Rosa area and Ashland, Ore., took part in the competition. In total, about 60 matches were played.
“It has been the tradition over the last 14 years these tournaments have existed to play higher level potentially close matches on Court 1 at the Mt. Shasta Resort where they can be easily viewed from the ‘grassy knoll,’ said tournament director Rod Koehler.
One such riveting match started at 8 a.m. Sunday morning and didn’t finish until 2 1/2 hours later.
The finals of the ‘A’ mixed doubles pitted two father-daughter teams against each other, Will and Miranda Duggan of Mount Shasta and Richard and Kelly Lynch of Petaluma.
The Lynch team won it in three close sets. The Duggans taking the first, 6-3, then the Lynches winning a tiebreaker to take the second set and closing it out with a 6-4 win in the third.
The match was interrupted several times by complaints from the Lynches about line calls. Eventually, Koehler interceded at Will Duggan’s request and placed Mount Shasta High School tennis coach Mike Covington at courtside to oversee the match.
“Players are required to call the lines on their own side of the court in these matches, and the Lynches had been questioning a number of the Duggan’s calls,” Koehler said. “Whether this was paranoia, distrust, or actual missed calls – all of which are not foreign to this highly competitive unofficiated sport – I’m not sure that, without instant replay, anyone could actually know.”
Koehler directed the players to continue calling their own line and told them Covington would decide any future disputed line calls, which he did.
“It was an incredible match to see. I learned a lot by watching. That may have been one of the most exciting matches I’ve ever seen,” said Brad Carter of Red Bluff who watched the Duggan-Lynch match.“It was unfortunate that it became as intense as it did because I think that affected the quality of play in the last set but sometimes things just happen that get in the way.”
Koehler said Miranda Duggan, and league and section champion who will be a senior at Mount Shasta High this year, “significantly raised her level of play to carry her weight in this high level match-up with older highly seasoned players. She additionally dealt well with the emotional test or challenge that comes when tempers in a closely fought match are rising, and opponents are questioning your calls on balls landing anywhere near the lines.”
The tournament director added that the draw for the Mount Shasta Hardcourt “will include a probable Duggan/Lynch rematch on Saturday evening, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. Spectators are welcome at all Mt. Shasta tournaments.”
In the mixed doubles A drop Dave and Jody Hodges of Ashland prevailed over Dorian Aiello and Laura Flett of MS and Yreka 6-1; 6-2.
The Mixed B division crown went to Mary Keany and Walt Swearingen of Redding over Rich and Erin Hensen of redding 6-4; 6-4.
The Mixed C final produced a solid match that Brad Carter and Cassie Clawson of Red Bluff won over Bob and Verna Payne of Chico and Redding 6-4; 6-4.
In the Men’s A round robin Steve Sacks and Dave Hodges went undefeated in the draw to place first. Dorian Aiello and Mark Paisley of Mount Shasta placed second losing to Sacks and Hodges 6-3; 6-1.
The Men’s B division was won by Mark Reichert and Mike Finnegan of Hornbrook and Yreka. They defeated Rich and Mike Lynch of Petaluma 7-5; 3-6; 7-5.
“Every point of the match was hard fought. From game to game the match was up in the air,” said spectator Lauren Blake. “Some of the moves were acrobatic. Especially Mark Reichert, the player from Hornbrook. The way he just swoops in to hit a winner is overwhelming. I don’t know how he does it.”
The Men’s C crown went to Jim Ham and Wesley Vanbuskirk of Redding and Chico after they won 6-0; 6-0 over the Mount Shasta team of Jarod Salinas-Dick and Daniel Ostrowski.
The Women’s A round robin was won by Kelly Sacks and Jody Hodges of Ashland. They defeated Sally Jones and Tony Edelstein of Ashland 6-4; 6-3 and Penny and Kelly Lynch of Petaluma and San Francisco 6-3; 6-2.
In the Women’s B division final Mary Keany and Robin Godnick of Redding defeated Sherry and Verna Payne of Chico and redding 7-6; 6-3.
The Women’s C division went to Sherry DeFreece and Mary Lynn Bononi of Redding who prevailed in their match with Loretta Carter and Cassie Clawson of Red Bluff 6-1; 6-3.
The traditional casual court side Saturday evening get together put on by tournament director Rod Koehler and his wife Lisa was appreciated as usual by all those who attended.