Marinwood Tennis

MAY 19, 2016

After a near-perfect regular season and rampaging through the playoffs, Francie Burkhard's and Gina Gogna's "Cutters" were on their way to Tahoe to represent Marinwood at the Mixed 7.0 Sectional Championships on May 13, 14, and 15. The venue was the Incline Village Tennis Center, 11 courts nestled in the Douglas fir forest on the north shore of the lake. The format was for all teams to play 3 lines in 3 matches on Friday and Saturday to determine which four teams would meet in the semi-finals on Sunday morning. The two semi winners would play the final immediately following on Sunday afternoon to determine which Northern California team would go to the Nationals.

Most of the team stayed in a big house a couple of miles from the tennis center with a view through the trees of the lake and snow-capped peaks beyond. The house had a huge kitchen and a rec room in the basement with pool, ping pond, air hockey, and hot tub.

After some late warm-up on Thursday afternoon, Friday's matches started early in the crisp mountain air. The Cutters won 2 lines and lost 1. The weather in the afternoon got surprisingly hot, with the competition heating up as well. Afternoon results:  1 win, 2 losses.

The way the standings shaped up by late afternoon, Marinwood need to sweep all 3 lines on Saturday. The team warmed up Friday night with a raucous ping pong round robin and ear-splitting air hockey action.

Saturday dawned cold and windy, but the action on the courts was sizzling! The competition at this level was awe-inspiring. The Cutters played so amazingly well, managed to pull out 2 wins, but fell just short of a sweep. In the finals on Sunday, a team that Marinwood beat went to the Nationals. It was that close.

The team treated themselves to a snazzy dinner at the Hyatt with careful debrief and planning for next time, more crazy ping pong at the house, and a long soak in the hot tub to sooth sore muscles. For this team, the tennis is amazing, but the friendship outshines everything else.

Congratulations Cutters on an incredible season and a great performance at Sectionals. "We'll be baaaack!"


APRIL 24, 2016

The Marinwood 2016 Mixed 40+  7.0 team had an awesome regular season! Co-Captains Francie Burkhard and Gina Gogna commanded  a near-flawless group of dedicated players who held first or second place all season long against very tough competition. Stand-out opponents were Rafael Racquet Club which remained undefeated into the playoffs. Marinwood swept Mill Valley in its first playoff, and then, surprisingly, Marin Tennis Club came up from behind to beat Rafael Racquet in their first playoff. This made the final showdown on April 24th at the Marinwood courts between Marinwood and Marin Tennis Club.

Christy Webster and Jonathn Ivory held off their opponents Elena and Randy fairly easily, winning 6-1, 6-2.  Tom Schmidt and Carla Wiley were up against MTC's ringer, Jeff Birkenseer and his partner Susan Cymrot. Tom and Carla lost the first set 2-6, dominated the second 6-1, and faded just enough at the end of the third set for their opponents to succeed. This left it up to Francie and Thomas Chang to haul the team off to the Sectionals in Lake Tahoe. Francie and Thomas were up against an amazing pair, Vesa and Doug. Vesa was a hard hitter, and accurate too. Doug was an enigma - he never seemed to take a step the entire match and didn't hit hard, but absolutely nothing went past him, even if it seemed way out of reach or at terminal velocity. And everything he hit landed in the court.

Francie and Thomas won the first set 6-2. In the second, Vesa and Doug just clicked and MW lost 4-6. The tie-breaker was a full third set, the decider for season champ. Francie and Thomas had an incredible battle on their hands but never gave up the fight, finally winning the set 6-3, clinching the match and the season. The MW side of the spectator bench finally started to breath again.

So the team is off to the Sectionals at Tahoe in mid-May. Good luck you guys - go get 'em Cutters!

2016 Mixed 40+  7.0 Sectionals in Tahoe

Unfortunately, the tennis court layout did not allow any kind of decent photography, video or stills. So we have the evening ping pong tournament instead.