Region IV News 2007-2008

"Sensational in Survival" Tournament in Rochester

JANUARY 19, 2008

The second annual SIS Ladies Paddle tournament was a smashing success with a record number of 54 teams entered across four divisions.The SIS event which means “Sensational in Survival” raised over $10,000 to assist survivors of breast cancer with their financial needs.  

The Tourney kicked off on Friday night with a clinic and social, held for novice players to introduce them to the sport. Randy Strausser, Matt Dibiase, Sky “the kid” Kalkman and Steve Pike took part in an exhibition match and then stayed on to teach the ladies the rules of the game and offered pointers while they played. 32 women signed up and were treated to food, beverages and prize drawings after paddle. The cost was a $25 donation.  

Play started at noon on Saturday across the Rochester paddle courts. The match play was continuous from noon to four pm, when all the participants returned to the Midtown Club for the finals and the after party. Participants enjoyed a great dinner and drinks, much of which was donated, and were entertained not only by the amazing finals but by live music in the club.  

Another fund raising success story of the event was the Chinese Auction. The committee received over 80 donations ranging from trips to the Bahamas; designer purses and hair and spa treatments. The key to this auction format is that you put your raffle ticket down for the item you want to win. Each prize has its own bin that is used to pick the winner from. Almost every player won a prize.  

The winners and finalists were (by division):  

  • A Vicki Nagy & Bev Dyminski defeated Sandra Odenbach & Suzanne Lanthier ( Toronto )
  • B+ Bernadette Lodico & Lisa Mauro defeated Phylis Wilunda & Maryann Torchio
  • B- Mary Pavone & Robyn Roberts defeated Linda Downey & Christa Meyer
  • C- Debbie Nawoczenski & Margie Berliant defeated Kati Healy & Bonnie Maddox

Special thanks to the committee who organized the event: Lisa Abbott-Cisco, Carrie Irvine, Maryann Lester, Lisa Hayes and Steve Pike.

Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship

JANUARY 26, 2008

Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship 2008Twenty-four teams gathered in Toronto on a snowy January Saturday to battle it out for the Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships. Teams from Rochester NY, Fonthill ON, Niagara ON, Cleveland OH, London ON and Toronto partook in great paddle, cold beer and hot chili.

Pictured left to right are Dionne Bothner, Steve Pike, Rusty Wright, and Daniela Pino.

Complete Coverage 

Fifth Annual Cincinnati Adult / Child Tournament

JANUARY 10, 2008

The weather was great for the 5th Annual Cincinnati Adult/Child Tournament held on Sunday January 6. Twenty eight teams were entered. They played their matches at The Cincinnati Country Club, The Glendale Lyceum, Queen City Racquet Club and The Wyoming Golf Club. The children were enthusiastic as they encouraged the adults to play harder and high fives and smiles were seen frequently. A round robin format was used in all divisions with the 2 teams having the highest number of rounds won playing in the finals. [ See larger images ]

Cleveland Juniors

DECEMBER 15, 2007

Greg Aten (Local Pro) and I hosted a junior paddle evening. I think this is break - through for us in Cleveland as we had about 35 kids on 3 courts for a hour and a half.

We Try Harder

DECEMBER 3, 2007

The annual Women's We Try Harder tournament at the Kingsway Platform Tennis Club was held Saturday, November 25th. Thirty women take part in the tournament which generally matches experienced players with new players of the game. Tournament chair Stephanie Booth put on a fantastic spread at the club and great times…and a few glasses of wine…were had by all!

Janis Stitski and Stef Pilacinski won The Barb White Memorial trophy, this year beating Anna Lis and Cree Carr, a first-time player, in the final. The trophy is named for Barb White a wonderful woman, Mom and avid paddle player who passed away several years ago.

This a "NO MEN ALLOWED" tourney, as you can see by
the imaginative decorations!

The club follows this up with the Men's Christmas Chaos tournament on December 8th. This annual tourney began as a father/son event and has grown to become legendary north of the border. Each year a country is chosen as a theme, ithIreland being the chosen one for 2007. The Guinness will be tapped by 7:30am and this writer has the inside scoop that a piper is starting off the festivities. If anyone will talk after, I'll report on this one next month!!!

Annual Holiday Tourney in Rochester Huge Success

DECEMBER 3, 2007

The Country Club of Rochester annual men's Holiday Paddle Tournament on December 1st and once again it was a huge success. This 32 team, one-day event is consistently a sell- out and this year was no exception (there was even a waiting list).

The Holiday Paddle Tournament is a handicap event so many teams have an equal chance to come home with the winner's trophy. The Rochester Paddle leagues are divided up by levels of ability and not by which Club a person plays for. The over 700 men and women Rochester league players are divided up into 13 levels of play with Level 1 being the most advanced players and Level 13 being the beginner players. For this tournament, the men's teams have to add up to a total of 5 or more (Level 1 player has to play with a level 4 player or below or a Level 2 player has to play with a level 3 player or below).

Once the entry forms come out there is a mad rush of phone calls to grab the best players available to qualify for the draw. This format is a great way to encourage new or non- tournament players to enter.

But let's be honest, the biggest draw is the famous CCR lunch that features perfectly cooked courtside steaks, plenty of beers and card games between matches. Teams from Buffalo and Syracuse made the trip to participate too.

The sunny and cold weather was perfect for paddle. The finals saw the #1 seeded team of Rick Massie and John Henderson defeat the #2 seeds Jeff Natapow and Rick Glazer. Tournament chairman Bob Koegel did an amazing job organizing this annual event. The popularity of the tournament proves that Platform Tennis is alive and well and stronger than ever in Rochester!

Semifinalists (L to R) Josh Fernandez, Randy Strausser, Jeff Natapow, Rick Glazer

The 33rd Cleveland Masters

Left to right:
Paul Stulac (Toronto, ON), Scott McFaden (Pittsburgh, PA),
Fritz Odenbach (Rochester, NY) and Doug Jones (Cincinnati, OH)

NOVEMBER 18, 2007

In what could be regarded as the deepest draw in recent memory, 26 teams from the U.S. and Canada competed in the 33rd Cleveland Masters. In the final, the team of Fritz Odenbach (Rochester, NY) and Doug Jones (Cincinnati, OH) defeated the #3 seed of Scott McFaden (Pittsburgh, PA) and Paul Stulac (Toronto, ON) 7-5, 6-1.

Complete Results

Shadow Lake

OCTOBER 29, 2007

The first major Region IV tourney of the year at Shadow Lake in Rochester was a huge success! The threat of bad weather turned out to be just that! The men's final was one of the best ever, where a huge crowd saw John Milbank and Drew Broderick (#2 seed) beat Mike Stulac and Blake Cordish (#1 seed) 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

Dave and Mike Gallagher (Men's B players) and the women's A team of Sonja Erskine / Suzanne Lanthier

Mike Stulac, Blake Cordish, John Milbank, Drew Broderick

Natalie Lemieux and Kelly Fischer easily won the Women's A draw beating Lisa Lange and Amy Taylor (Rochester) in the finals 6-1 6-2. Fifty teams overall participated in the event.

Left to right:
Jessica Guyaux, Kelly Fischer, Holly Peck and Lynn Thompson all from Pittsburgh, PA

There was a separate Women's B draw for the first time which was a huge success. The men's B draw was well represented with 16 teams, including 2 teams from Toronto, 2 teams from Syracuse, 3 teams from Buffalo, and 1 team from Michigan.

This was the 29th Annual Shadow Lake tournament and tournament co-chairs Fritz and Sandra Odenbach introduced two new popular features. An afternoon cook out was held during the semis and finals. Grills were set up right next to the courts and a bar was in the hut. This kept everyone around until the end and the crowd noise got louder as the matches went on. The other great addition was a live feed into the Shadow Lake Bar all day long. Participants and fans could eat lunch and not miss a minute of the action on all 18 TV's throughout the bar.

The party continued at everyone's favourite local watering hole, Thirsty's, later that evening. Sandra and Fritz hosted a Tournament brunch at their house on Sunday morning for all the out of towners to send them on their way. Fantastic tournament and a great warm-up for this year's Nationals in Rochester!

Cincinnati Juniors Taking to the Courts


Cincinnati has experienced huge growth in platform tennis over the last 10 years. Most of the growth has occurred in the adult game in the form of Men's and Ladies recreational and league play.

Ashley and Michael Todd from the Glendale Lyceum, started a parent child tournament 4 years ago. The kids came out slowly but surely, not knowing about this strange sport played outdoors in the wintertime. Now the tournament has reached nearly 40 kids and this year, Ashley and Michael Todd have volunteered to start the first junior platform league here in Cincinnati. Parents from other participating clubs have volunteered to throw matches/parties through November thru January on Friday nights. Each team is made up of two coed age divisions. They will play 8 game, no add sets and enjoy pizza and various other treats in the paddle hut between matches. This new venture should go a long way into making platform "cool" with the kids.

APTA Nationals Set for Rochester

SEPTEMBER 30, 2007

The 2007-2008 season is shaping up to be an exciting one with the return of the U.S. Nationals and President Cup Tournaments to Region IV.

Rochester, NY will host the Nationals from March 13 - March 16, 2008. Tournament chairpersons Sandra and Fritz Odenbach and their organizing committee are hard at work ensuring that this year's Nationals are the best ever.

The event schedule is as follows:
March 13th  Women's President's Cup (Region IV women are defending champs!)
March 14th  Men's President's Cup & Women's Nationals Day 1
March 15th  Women's Finals and Men's Nationals Day 1
March 16th  Men's Finals

Oak Hill Country Club will host the Saturday night bash. It's a safe bet that St. Patrick's Day will factor into the party somehow!

home or the 'tough' first round matches. My partner and I sum up our trip to the Nationals last home or the 'tough' first round matches. My partner and I sum up our trip to the Nationals last year in Westchester, NY like this “ 16 hours of driving; 4 hours of shopping; 2 hours of playing and numerous hours of watching mind-blowing, jaw- dropping paddle.

Don't feel up to playing? How about having your club organize a bus trip down (or up) to Rochester to check out the action. Keep checking back to the APTA website for more information on the 2008 Rochester Nationals as plans unfold.

Is your club doing something noteworthy this year? Have a tournament you want reported on? Drop me an email at sara. and we'll be sure to include it in an upcoming Region IV update!

Inferno Cup lives up to its Name


Inferno Cup. It took place on September 1st (Labor Day weekend) and with the challenged everyone's endurance and patience!
temperatures reaching 90, player's showed up to play a round robin format that
challenged everyone's endurance and patience!

At courtside, sat a cooler filled w/ beer, Powerade, and Platform Tennis balls that were iced down the night before and wrapped in foil until the moment they were put into play. Guys were stretching, chugging drinks, and pounding Advil as the day went on, but in the end everyone had a great time says Gray. The word around the club was the next day many were sore and were not seen back on the courts for several days.

Gotta love Platform!!!!!!!!!
Jason Gray
Director of Racquet Sports @ Four Bridges Country Club

Women's West Penn Open (ranking and President's Cup Qualifying) Tournament on November 29-30


This annual tournament is scheduled for a Thursday 8 AM start in the Sewickley area, with a lunch at Edgeworth Country Club and a "Yellowbox Fundraiser" to benefit Sojourner House on Thursday evening at Allegheny Country Club from 5 to 8 PM. Contact Linda Weaver, at (412) 831-1996 or , to register. Fee is $60 per paddle.

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