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May 2008 - NC Paddle Tennis Association performs well at St. Augustine tourney
From the St. Augustine RecordThat's a Wrap
Veteran teams rack up pro division wins; local teams thrive on final day of paddle tennis tourney
From Staff Publication Date: 05/27/08
Some very familiar names ruled the pro divisions, while a handful of local winners made it a memorable Monday at the 36th Annual Michelob Ultra National Beach Paddle Tennis Championships at Crescent Beach.
Four of the winning men's teams were from St. Augustine, with three of those tandems working overtime to get their titles.
In all, the tournament featured 61 teams -- up 12 from last year -- representing eight states.
The two premier divisions (the $1,000 payout men's and women's pro) were won by familiar tandems. Aldo Burga and Russ Garber won the men's division for the third time in four years, surviving a marathon round against Daryl Lemon and Jeff Fleitmann that took nearly four hours and a venue switch to complete. The match began at 10:30 a.m., but would eventually be pushed to Ron Parker Park because of the incoming tides on the beach. It was one of three divisions that needed a playback tiebreaker to determine a winner.
In the women's pro division, California natives Sonia Lucci and Denise Yogi pulled off a three-peat, beating St. Augustine tandem Becky Burney and Shelly Painter, 6-2, 6-1.
In some capacity -- either playing as a team or with different partners -- Lucci and Yogi have been apart of seven of the nine pro championships this decade, including the final three.
Their title came much quicker than their male counterparts.
Garber and Burga are mainstays at the local event, although they had to work overtime for this one.
The team of Lemon and Fleitmann nearly pulled off the championship by coming out of the loser's bracket. Lemon and Fleitmann won 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 to force a winner-take-all elimination match.
But Garber and Burga roared back to win a three-setter, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. It was the fifth winning team that Garber has played on since 2001.
He and Burga won both the 2005 and 2006 tournaments, while Burga also won a title in 2002 with Scott Espenship.
In the men's B division, Robert McGee and Frank Hennessey of St. Augustine were one of the local winners, dumping Jeff Finck and Gene Jowyk of North Carolina, 6-2, 6-3.
Another local team (Andy Brooks and Mike Palmer) emerged from the loser's bracket to win a shootout against locals Rhett Davis and Kenneth Ausley. Brooks and Palmer won the first round 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 to force a playback, then survived an 11-9 battle to win the division.
In the men's open division, St. Augustine tandem Brian Durr and Chuck Durr beat Frank Galindo and Chuck Garcia of California. The Durrs won the opening set 6-0, then wrapped up the division when one of their opponents withdrew because of an injury.
Billy Angyalfy and John Gwaldis of St. Augustine won in a playback that went three sets, beating Mike Faulkner (South Carolina) and Ron Sass (St. Augustine), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
In the women's B division, Bethany Puopolo and Cindy Semer of Virginia beat Miko Fallon (Tampa) and Tania Jarrell (St. Augustine), 6-4, 6-2.
In the women's A division, South Carolina natives Amy Foxman and Charlotte Gerber beat the St. Augustine team of Pamela Jett and Nancy Kropacek (7-5, 6-3)
The North Carolina-based team of Eleanor Goodman and DeAnne Edwards beat St. Augustine's Beth Bowen and Linda Young, 6-2, 6-3 in the women's open division.
The tournament also honored Martin and Olga Martin and their family with the Buddy Davis Award. The award, now in its 25th years, recognizes contributions of those who help raise awareness and support local paddle tennis. The Peter and Debbie Burkhardt family were last year's recipients.