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Little travel for Valley teams

May 25, 2008 03:06 PM

by Joe Deburro, May 25, 2008, The Republican

Eleven Valley League women's teams have advanced to the USTA League Tennis Red District tournament, and they'll have a degree of home courts advantage.

It's the Western Massachusetts section's turn to host the event, so Valley League players won't have to travel far to take on teams from the Rhode Island section when the tournament takes place Aug. 1-3.

More home cookin' awaits any Valley League teams that advance to the New England sectional championships, which will be contested at Mount Holyoke College and Smith College Aug. 22-24.


While men's and mixed teams voted this year to change to team won-lost records for standings, Valley League women's teams chose to continue to use the cumulative individual match victories to determine league standings.

The Valley League's 2.5 level women's champion was A Shot in the Dark out of Grande Meadows Tennis Club in Longmeadow, captained by Dilara Harmanli, with 17 individual wins. Runner-up Cheetas (Ludlow Tennis Club, captain Maria Goncalves) advanced with 16 wins.

Mass Confusion (Enfield Tennis Club, Korby Clark) won the 3.0 Flight A with 54 wins, and Sure Shots (Ludlow, Sue Trompke) was second with 47. Aces Wild (Enfield, co-captains Annette Batista and Judy Schweiger) captured 3.0 Flight B with 45 wins, and Berkshire Belles (Berkshire West Athletic Club in Pittsfield, Kathleen McClure) finished second with 43.

At 3.5, Net Results (Ludlow, Denise White) and The Networks (Ludlow, Christine Babineau and Karen Rossi) finished tied at 25 wins in Flight A. Net Results claimed the title by losing one less set during the course of the eight-match season. In Flight B, Big Fun (Berkshire West, Ana Larkin and Cathie Kavanaugh) took first with 29 wins and Spin Sisters (Art Carrington Tennis Academy in Amherst, Bernadette Danylieko) was second with 27.

With only four teams, the 4.0 level will send one team to the district tournament - champion Bay Road Runners (Carrington, Elizabeth Varner), which had 33 wins.

NET NOTES: The fourth annual Casey Kane Memorial Tournament will take place in two segments this year. Men's and women's singles draws are Saturday and Sunday; mixed doubles is set for July 19. All matches are at the Holyoke Canoe Club. The cost is $5 plus a new can of balls per event. Proceeds go toward a Holyoke High School scholarship in Kane's memory. To enter, call Bill Rigali at 533-9333. Kane earned varsity letters in tennis, field hockey, soccer and swimming at Holyoke High, graduated from UMass in 1999 and went on to a career in sports journalism. She died in 2004 of Hodgkins Disease at age 28 ... We're getting a steady stream of entries for The Republican's Sheldon M. Rosenthal Memorial Junior Tournament, slated June 18-22 at the Forest Park hard courts. Starting times are: June 18, boys 16- and 18-and-under singles, 3:30; June 19, girls 16s and 18s singles, 3:30; June 20: boys and girls 12s and 14s singles, 3:30; June 21: all doubles, 9 a.m. The tournament is free, new balls are provided for each match and trophies go to winners and runners-up. To enter, visit masslive.com/sports on the Internet or call 788-1210 weekdays after 5:30. Children under 13 cannot enter online.

Joe Deburro can be reached at jdeburro@repub.com