Louisville Hosts Spectacular Sectional Championships

August 1, 2002 11:13 AM

The 2002 USA League Tennis presented by Lincoln Southern Sectional Championships was a fantastic event in many ways! Team matches throughout the event were often decided by a tiebreak on the last court! Many said it was MUCH easier to play than watch matches go down to the wire…over and over!

Earning the right to compete in Louisville was a feat in itself. Over 118,000 players play locally with 13,000 advancing to one of the nine state championships! Out of the 2,000 players in Louisville, 200 will advance to a National Championships in Palm Springs, Tucson or San Diego.

The Louisville tennis community has devoted the last three and a half years to this event, first hosting it last year.

What does it take for a city to host the “world’s largest tennis tournament?” A LOT of planning, passion, and persistence!

50 courts are needed for eight days of play. In the case of Louisville, they also offered 46 indoor courts; many utilized for the finals of the first half!

Talented and dedicated leaders, who can raise significant dollars for player parties and local costs, organize sites and recruit numerous local volunteers.

Louisville has raised the bar for this event for years to come! The player party at the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Team Karaoke Contest, and Dick’s Sporting Goods Night Out made the trip to Louisville a memorable and fantastic experience for all!

Julie Pek (KY), Sam Miller (KY), Kay Wescott (SC), Mike Mathes (KY), Bud Spencer (STA), Dave Wibbles (KY) and Jim Wescott (SC)

Julie Pek, Sam Miller, Dave Wibbels, and Mike Mathes superbly led the local committee. Many thanks to committee members Courtney Allen, Elizabeth Bowling, Jen Brooks, Lynn Bunger, Bob Dusch, Shawn Howe, Kathy Mudd, Karrie Ralston, Rick Shafferman, Blanche Wibbels, and Shannon Wilson. Applause to the local site directors: Mary Ellen Craddock and Carlton Hewitt (Seneca Park), Sandra Murphy (KCD), Rita Kinsella and Linda Slye (EP Tom Sawyer), Betty Williams (UofL), Bob Dusch (New Albany).

Local sponsors to be thanked and recognized include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Humana, KFC, Brown-Forman, Primax Replacement Windows and Doors, Louisville Water Company, Kleier Communications, Merrick Printing Company, Wehr Constructors, IKON Office Solutions, Louisville Tennis Association, Jewish Hospital/Frazier Institute of Sports Medicine, Tenni-Trac Sports Surfaces, United Graphics Printing Group, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Salads, McAlister Deli, Plehn’s Bakery, J.P. Kayrouz Restaurant, SunCom, Pat’s Steakhouse, ISA Recycling Company, and Metro Bowling & Ad Specialty Services.

What a display of tennis community unity as the indoor clubs were on hold at the sign of a raindrop: Fern Valley (Betty Williams), Dupont Racquet Club (Brian Martin), The Tennis Club at Springhurst (Chris Mather), Bass Rudd Tennis Center at the University of Louisville (Meg Peavy and Rex Ecarma) Louisville Tennis Club, Blairwood Tennis and Mockingbird Valley Tennis Club (Chris Burckle and Larry Kline), Louisville Indoor Racquet Club (Marilyn Rueff).

Community support for our outdoor sites included: Seneca Park - Jefferson County Metro Parks (Brigid Sullivan, Director); EP "Tom" Sawyer State Park (Rita Stosberg, Executive Director); Kentucky Country Day (Chris Brice); University of Louisville (Rex Ecarma and Meg Peavy); New Albany High School (Bob Dusch).

The USTA Southern Section also has year round volunteers who offer tremendous time and talent to this event. Bud Spencer, Tournament Chairman and Helen Jeter, Adult Leagues Committee Chairman both epitomize giving to tennis every day of the year! They were joined by our state league coordinators: Jerrie Ciza, Sharon Shellabarger, Gertrude Peckham, Elizabeth Bowling, Wray Logan, Ronnie Bates, Nell Barksdale, Mary Goins and Dodie Hanchett; our state chief verifiers: Mike Barnett, Gary Jones, Mitch Godwin, Jose Chipe, Ray Anders, Debbie Swindoll, Mark Lindsay, Phil Meador and Ernie Harris; at large volunteers: Jerry Groce, Sue-Anne Stuntz, Bee Stewart, Betty Byars, Ann Brady, Vicky Bethel, Karl Keeseker; additional verifiers: Nita Perry, Terrie Gooch, Steve Grooms, Jennifer Blassingame; and National Verifiers: Pat Eaton (Nor Cal) & Mary Rogers (Nor Cal). Southern Staff included Marilyn Sherman, Dene Owen, Hal Regi, Bill Oakes, Hunter Hines, Kelly Mickelson and Ron Cioffi.

Southern Sectional Championships Staff

The players are also to be thanked! We observed many examples of GREAT sportsmanship and examples of why this program is the best recreational opportunity for adults PERIOD!!!

To our champions: GOOD LUCK! Make us proud and let us know about your experience in Palm Springs, Tucson and San Diego! Keep checking our website for updates beginning in early October.

The event will be held in Columbia, SC for the next two years! Jim Wescott (a former 3.5 National Champion!) will lead the way. Click here for additional information on plans for the 2003 Southern Sectional Championships.

 

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