Tennis players ready to double pleasure in Tahoe Classic
South Shore tennis lovers should be preparing for a wonderful weekend of their favorite sport. This coming weekend, Aug. 4-6, the 18th annual Tahoe Classic tennis tournament is back in town.
Dunlop Sports has graciously agreed to once again sponsor Tahoe’s largest and most popular tennis event. Participants from throughout the country, Canada, and even Europe have entered this year’s event.
“We feel that we have cultivated the Classic into a first-class event by selecting fair and honest people who are willing to play hard, but won’t compromise their integrity in the heat of battle,” tournament director Hersh Herschman said.
The tournament consists of six all doubles events: Men’s A, Men’s B Mixed A, Mixed B, Ladies and the always popular Century event. There is always one division that stands out each year. However, this year there appears to be two premier events: the Mixed B and the Century event, according to Herschman.
The Classic welcomes home Scott Cummins, a former longtime local who now in lives in Dayton, pairs with Joyce Youngs as the Mixed B event’s No. 1 seed. Youngs has worked hard on her game and has developed into one of the better female players on the South Shore.
Ryan Johnson and his ferocious forehand teams with the always tough and tenacious Barbara Cooper as the No. 2 seed.
Terry Bengston joins Dave Sanazaro, who hits the ball a ton on his forehand side. They are the No. 3 seed.
Former world class soccer player Gil Mardaresco from Mission Viejo and his wife Kathy round out the bracket as the No. 4 seed.
“This will be a very balanced division and literally any of the teams entered could win,” Herschman said.
The Century class will be the strongest field in the history of the Classic, according to Herschman. Herschman and Butch Stillman of Gardnerville are the defending champs and are the No. 1 seed.
“In this year’s event, the top seed doesn’t have as much credibility as it sounds,” Herschman said. “As many as nine of the teams in this event have a legitimate chance to win.”
San Diego’s Mike LeCaze brings his ace-making serve and teams with Aptos teaching pro Rick Taylor as the No. 2 seed. Auburn sends two of its finest citizens, Dan Sively and Terry Tangney. Sively has a wonderful all around game and teamed with nationally-ranked Tangney, the two are formable opponents in any event.
“I have been trying to get Tangney to the Classic for years and finally succeeded,” Herschman said.
Ken Ruud of Mill Valley doubles up with Dick Wright to round out the seedings.
“I have played a few tournaments with Kenny and he is always a true gentleman both on and off the court,” Herschman said.
A team to watch out for in the Century class is the always crafty veteran Wayne Prim and Greg Cosgrove, tennis director at the Vintage in Indian Wells, Calif.
The Ladies division promises to be the most balanced in years and a puzzlement to seed correctly, Herschman claims. Kim Schlagel, a former Gardnerville resident now living in Florida, is a gifted ball striker and is matched with Nicole Woywod. Schlagel and Woywood were teammates on the Weber State tennis team. “They have merited the No. 1 seed,” Herschman said.
Julie Clarke of Mammoth Lakes brings her shot-making abilities to the court with Reno’s Carol Tretten as the second seed.
The ever-improving Helen Laub joins Biljana Trpeska, who plays on the University of Nevada at Reno tennis team. Biljana was a No. 1 junior in her home country of Macedonia in the 12-14 and 16 age levels.
North Shore’s Maureen Hjelte and Cynthia Bascera are in the Classic for the first time, but they still have earned the fourth seed. Auburn’s Ann Holmes and Cindy Murphy, who have won numerous tournaments throughout the country, are certainly the dark horses.
The Men’s B division is always entertaining to watch and very competitive for the entrants. Last year’s finalists, the big-serving local Bill Vollenhals again teams with Neil Trebotich. These two gentlemen have the uncanny ability to win in the most unconventional ways.
Washington D.C. sends lefty Brad Shiller back to the tournament and he parters up with one of the favorite locals, Dick Fernandez. Jim “Kid” Currie of Encinitas brings his rifle-like serve to complement Indian Wells, Calif. , partner Tim Lyons, who always does well in the national tennis tournaments.
Floridian Paul Proeffer, who spends summers at his Glenbrook home, pairs with North Shore’s Les Ochman to round out the seeding.
Locals Bob Davis and Dennis Schmedes are primed and ready to upset any of the top seeds. Schmedes just might have the biggest serve of any player on the South Shore.
The highly rated Mens A class should again live up to its reputation for great competitive tennis. Some of the better player in Northern Nevada are competing, Herschman says.
Zephyr Cove tennis director Michael McFarlane, who also is the director of tennis at Shadow Mountain in Palm Desert, teams up with “Radical” Dave Radford as the top seed. McFarlane is a very gifted player and Radford has never lost a match in the history of the Tahoe Classic.
Local Joe Laub brings his shot-making abilities and teams with University of Nevada at Reno tennis coach Curt Rickter to earn the No. 2 spot. Caesars tennis pro Cal Waite, last year’s finalist, assumes the third seed with newcomer to the Classic Dave Clock.
San Jose sends two of its finest players in Chris Yoder and Mike Mochella and they occupy the fourth seed.
Dark horse contenders in this year’s event are Glenn Grissillo, who has won matches at Wimbledon, and partner Bruce Mullen of Reno. Craig Gorbach of Orinda, Calif., and Mark Peterson of Hawaii have big muscle serves and are waiting in the wings for anyone to falter.
The hardest event to seed this year is the ever-popular Mixed A division, with as many as 11 teams having a great shot at winning, according to Herschman. The top two seeds are a family affair, with Joe Laub teaming with Biljana Trpeska and Helen Laub pairing up with Curt Rickter. If play progresses according to plan, they will meet in the finals.
Local Kathy Wharton brings her athletic abilities to augment the immense talents of McFarlane. They have earned the No. 3 seed.
“McFarlane is a tremendous asset to the South Shore’s tennis community,” Herschman said.
The clever Glen Grissillo of Reno is paired with Linda Brunsen to round out the seeding. Former local standout Kelly Patterson teams up with David Chang from the Bay Area.
“These two could prove to be worthy contenders,” Herschman said. “Kelly will be resuming her college career at Southern Utah in Cedar City this year.”
If you are looking to see exciting matches played at one of the world’s most beautiful locations be sure to stop by the Zephyr Cove Tennis Complex this weekend. Bring along a lawn chair and plan on spending an enjoyable day of spectating. Matches begin at 7:45 a.m. Friday Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 6. Details for matches can be obtained from the tournament desk located at Zephyr Cove Park.
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