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APL Inter-Club Tennis Team 2001 - B Division Champions

Rule changes for 2001: Match format will consist of three singles and two doubles unless captains agree to use legacy 4/3 format. Complete league results are posted at

Individual match results: 5/20/01 Westleigh at APL

#1 Tamra Payne        Bob Shaver             3-6,3-6            L
#2 Ralph Brown        Joe Cassidy            6-1,6-3            W
#3 Pat Newell         Charlie Papadopolis    3-6,4-6            L
#1 Mike Kane/         Dan Kenshalo/          6-1,6-3            W
   Marc Kolodner      Dan Kenshalo
#2 Harry Chiu/        Joe Price/             6-4,3-6,6-3        W
   Dennis Kershner    Bob Kiers

Commentary: The APL Inter-Club Team prevailed in a close match Sunday to kick off the new season. The rain held off just long enough for the decisive #2 doubles match to complete, giving the home team a 3-2 victory.

The day started with the singles players vying for their positions in the line-up -- everybody wanted to be #3! Tamra jumped to a 3-0 lead then had mercy on her gray-haired opponent. Maybe I should have warned her that he is currently rated #1 in the Mid-Atlantic 60-and-over division. Ralph had too much for the opposing Captain. Pat fought hard against a good 4.5 player. Marc and Mike won with shocking efficiency against a father/son team they had no business beating at all (the son plays for U. of MD!). The outcome depended on the #2 doubles, which was in a third set when a persistent drizzle threatened to postpone the match. To make it even more challenging, our plumber started a progressive sprinkler test. As the sprinklers approached from court 6 towards court 1 Harry and Dennis defeated two Montgomery County 4.0 players just in time to clinch the team victory.

6/3/01 at Norbeck Country Club

#1 Ralph Brown        David Geier            4-6,7-6(3),6-2     W
#2 David Lario        Mike Cohen             3-6,1-6            L
#3 Pat Newell         Dave Johnson           6-1,6-2            W
#1 Mike Kane/         David Geier/           1-6,6-2,2-6        L
   Marc Kolodner      Mark Geier
#2 George Vetticad/   Mike Cohen/            6-4,6-1            W
   Rob Sevick         Matt Hopwood

Commentary: The inter-club team held on to first place, advancing to 2-0 with another 3-2 win, this time over 1999 league champion Norbeck Country Club.

Ralph struggled for a set and a half before coming on strong in the third. David lost the battle between topspin and slice. Pat triumphed over a college player. Mike and Marc lost a three-setter to a father/son team. George and new member Rob clinched the victory with an impressive win.

The team looked sharp in their official tennis attire. If this continues we may need to adopt a dress code at our home courts.

6/10/01 Montgomery Village at APL

#1 Mike Kane          Josh Friedlander       6-2,7-6(3)         W
#2 Ralph Brown        Dave Krucoff           6-2,5-7,1-6        L
#3 Pat Newell         Steve Woollard         6-4,6-7(8),6-3     W
#1 Tamra Payne/       Pitts/                 6-3,6-4            W
   Rob Sevick         Pitts
#2 Harry Chiu/        Hawkins/               5-7,5-7            L
   Daryl Walston      Beltrano

Commentary: The APL team continued it's efficient ways, winning the minimum required matches for the third week in a row. The key to victory was to be right-handed -- all of the righties won. I keep telling those lefties that they're holding the racquet in the wrong hand but they never listen. The highlight was a three-hour-plus battle at #3 singles, a rematch from last year. On match point Pat decided to use reverse dipsy-doodle spin on a backhand down the middle (or maybe it was a bad bounce winner).

6/24/01 at Flower Valley

1) Marc Kolodner      JP Fauvre              4-6,6-4,6-3        W  Clay
2) Mike Kane          Don Wright             6-2,6-2            W  Hard
3) Ralph Brown        Kyle Sourk             6-1,6-0            W  Clay
4) Daryl Walston      Jason Wright           6-1,6-0            W  Hard
1) Tamra Payne/       John Vlahakis/         6-2,6-4            W  Clay
   Rob Sevick         Gene Sheskin
2) Pat Newell/        Dudley/                7-5,7-6(5)         W  Hard
   Daryl Walston      Alan Rothfeld
3) Mike Kane/         Don Wright/            6-2,6-0            W  Hard
   Ralph Brown        Rod Shockley

Commentary: The Flower Valley Club was kind enough to field a full team of four singles and three doubles even though several of their top players were unavailable. 3 & 4 singles were recruited from the Rockville High School Tennis Team. No matter what else happens the rest of the way, we can say that the team is 4-0 on hard courts, as these will be our only hard court matches of the season.

Having not forgotten last year's 7-5-in-the-third-set loss, Marc got the rematch he was looking for and defeated a crafty Frenchman on the clay, again in three sets. Mike was fortunate to play the opposing, substitute captain who was forced to fill in when his #2 singles didn't show. As a captain himself, Mike recognized the "one eye on the ball, one eye on the parking lot" style of his counterpart. Ralph and Daryl took care of the kids (better now than in a few years). With Rob serving at 6-2, 5-4, he and Tamra closed out their match in style, falling behind 0-40 before winning the final 5 points. At 15-40 Tamra threw in her patented lunging, two-handed backhand, overhead, touch volley winner into the alley, accompanied by an inappropriately loud grunt to sell the off-speed shot. No one believed the score from the #2 doubles court as each time anyone watched, Pat or Daryl were putting away another ball at the net. The opponents must have won every point that nobody saw. Ralph and Mike completed the sweep at #3.

As an added bonus, Edgemoor, our opponent in two weeks, lost their match 3-2 to Aspen Hill. That leaves the APL Team alone at the top of the standings -- at 4-0, the only remaining undefeated team. Edgemoor, Cheverly and Aspen Hill each have one loss. The same three clubs comprise our remaining schedule, so we'd better not start celebrating just yet.

7/8/01 at Edgemoor

1) Mike Kane          Henry Kennedy          6-7(4),1-6         L
2) Ralph Brown        Steve Ornstein         2-6,2-6            L
3) Pat Newell         Peter Lawler           1-6,4-6            L
1) Bud Kessler/       Lee Rawls/             0-6,4-6            L
   Ralph Brown        George Arner
2) David Lario/       Greg Magner/           6-2,6-4            W
   Pat Newell         John Osadiach

Commentary: The APL team suffered it's first loss of the season, 1-4, at the prestigious Edgemoor Club in Bethesda. Even with all of the rain Sunday morning the courts were immaculate and at 1:00 PM the weather was perfect with the exception of some slight humidity (110%).

Mike was up 6-6 (4-2) in the tiebreak when he strained to reach a backhand overhead and missed. It occurred to Mike that he had a crucial Inter-Department Team match on Monday and that he'd better save something for that very important match. He faded 6-7(4), 1-6. (What do you mean "That's not even plausible?") Ralph played the guy who refuses to hit any backhands and Pat ran out of sets before he could figure a way to beat his tough opponent.

The later start time enabled Bud to make his first appearance of the year for the team at the club he used to sneak into in his youth. They still had a photo of him on the bulletin board with the caption "Do not give this man any towels!" Pat and David salvaged the teams' pride with a straight set victory. We were able to walk off with our heads high while exclaiming "Nice match BUT -- NOBODY BEATS US 5-0!"

7/15/01 at Cheverly

1) Chris Chiu         Jeff Barnes            6-0,6-2            W
2) Mike Kane          Aaron Carter           6-4,6-1            W
3) Tamra Payne        Bill Barnes            6-0,6-7(4),6-1     W
4) Marc Kolodner      Mike Murphy            6-0,6-0            W
1) Chris Chiu/        Jeff Barnes/           6-1,6-1            W
   Ralph Brown        Mike Headley
2) Marc Kolodner/     Aaron Carter/          6-0,6-2            W
   Rick Castiglia     Mike Murphy

Commentary: The Cheverly Swim & Tennis Club did a top notch job of hosting. The red clay courts were freshly watered, rolled and groomed for our match and the Cheverly team fielded all four singles courts and two of the three doubles courts even though three of their top players were unavailable and one player, expected for both singles and doubles, failed to show.

It was a treat to play on the red clay. There were very few bad bounces except for the occasional ball hitting a line. As the day progressed, the courts dried out some and became a little slippery in spots. It was easy to see how sliding into shots would help with court coverage and change of direction. We didn't have any sprained ankles so I suspect that nobody from our team tried sliding.

Chris won the battle of the college players at #1. After falling behind 1-4, including nine consecutive service winners from his left-handed opponent, Mike settled down to take the #2 match. The opponents' high school players were gibing each other for losing to Ph.D. scientist dweebs. I pointed out that Tamra was demonstrating sine wave tennis while Marc's match was more linear. I also indicated that although we put nicknames on the score card, we were actually all named Poindexter. I'm glad they didn't find out that the combination to the lock at our courts is pi backwards (...we really should change that to Avogadro's number).

The doubles matches concluded with two more one-sided wins. Special thanks to Chris and Rick for helping us fill out our side of the line-up card.

8/5/01 Aspen Hill at APL

1) Chris Chiu     Haris Causevic    1-6,7-5,1-6    W (Default - Ineligible players)
2) Mike Kane      Daniel Wheeler    3-6,2-6        L
3) Tamra Payne    Delia Causevic    2-6,3-6        W (Default - Ineligible player)
1) Mike Kane/     Daniel Wheeler/   5-7,6-4,6-4    W
   Marc Kolodner  Tom Brady
2) Ralph Brown/   Ivo Njosa/        6-4,3-6,3-6    L
   Pat Newell     Dan Simos

With a possible league championship on the line, the Aspen Hill team decided to send three players who hadn't played for their team all year. Chris tried his serve and volley game on the slow, wet clay against his hard-hitting, future Terrapin teammate. Mike and Tamra took their lumps. Mike and Marc prevailed in the must-win match (Tom was Mike's USTA doubles partner for several years). Ralph and Pat put up a valiant effort against Ivo (who recently won the 4.5 Banana Open Singles Tournament) and Dan (who played #1 Doubles in the recent USTA District 4.5 playoff for the Montgomery County Championship team).

League Rule 1.2 states that players who have a Sectional Ranking are only eligible to play in the A Division and we are in the B Division. Haris is ranked #1 in the Mid-Atlantic Section (he was seeded second in the Legg Mason Wild Card Tournament, which, if he had won, would have put him in the main draw to perhaps play Andre Agassi). Delia plays for U. of MD. Women's team and made the ACC all-conference team. Of course Chris is a bit of a ringer as well. However, I informed Aspen Hill weeks ago that I intended to play him so Dan Wheeler (an accomplished 5.0 player) would have a competitive match.

We certainly had a successful TEAM season. It seemed like every week somebody different stepped up and won the big match for us. Our first three team wins were 3-2 even though, individually, almost all of us lost in those early weeks. Our teammates really took the sting out of losing by winning when it counted. Look at the results -- every week there was a three-setter that somebody gutted out.

We had a great away-match schedule this year playing at Norbeck, Flower Valley, Edgemoor, and Cheverly, all gracious hosts and top notch facilities. We also have to thank our hard-working, all-volunteer grounds crew for their constant efforts in maintaining our home courts and the rest of the Club members for tolerating our use of the courts at prime weekend time.

Our 6-1 record was enough to clinch the league title. We will be receiving championship T-Shirts as awards. Congratulations team!!!

Last Updated: November 15, 2001

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