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2014 SENIOR CUP RECAP - Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 Senior Cup

The "Crown Jewel” of Southern adult competition, the Southern Senior Cup was held in Huntsville, Alabama on June 5-8, 2014. This event pits the top men and women players from the nine states in the Southern Section against each other in a team format similar to Davis Cup, with two singles and one doubles match determining the victor. Each state fields teams in the men’s and women’s 35, 45, 55, 65, and 75 and over age divisions.

Louisiana fielded one of its strongest teams in years. For the third time in four years, the Men’s 75 squad anchored by Louisiana Tennis Hall of Famers Lester Sack of New Orleans and Ronnie Fenasci of Baton Rouge, captured the Men’s 75s title. Fenasci won a pivotal singles match against the defending champion North Carolina to clinch the win in the semifinals. No one can remember Lester Sack ever losing a singles match at Senior Cup. True to form, Sack went undefeated in singles and doubles again this year including the two victories needed to defeat Mississippi in the finals.

The 65s team was short-handed after two players dropped out due to injury. Cleburne Simon and Bob Browning had to play every match and competed exceedingly well coming in 6th place.

The most competitive division was Men’s 55s which had 6 teams capable of winning this division. The 55s team, seeded second, defeated Kentucky and Tennessee before dropping the title match to defending champion and number one seed Mississippi.

The 45s team was led by Senior Cup rookie Jason Noonan who went 2-1 in singles with his only loss coming in a 3 set battle with top seeded Georgia. Scott Nichols, a new member of Team Louisiana, but a Senior Cup veteran having previously played for South Carolina, was a quality addition to the squad.

The Louisiana Women’s team was also one of the strongest fielded in recent years. Finishing with a loss in the Consolation Finals, the 35’s lost a very tight match in the third set on their first round to seeded Arkansas—sending them to the consolation bracket. With only two players, they continued to play very competitively to the end. 45’s were seeded #3 and stayed true to their seed with awesome playing, losing only to # 2 seed Georgia. Again, missing one of the State’s finest players this year, they competed very strong. 55’s got off to a rough start against the #1 seeded South Carolina but continued to play great even having to play an extra match, 4 matches in the 3 days. They won the consolation in 55’s. 65’s, being a strong team as usual, were seeded #3 advancing with a win over Mississippi and then the #2 seed, Tennessee to advance to the finals. Defeated by # 1 seed, South Carolina, they did not go down without a strong showing from the team finishing 2nd, especially Sandy Childress who aged up this year and did not lose any of her singles matches. 75’s were a 2-man team full of hope going into the tournament. With no experience in the singles, the 75’s won their first round and then went on to upset the #2 seed South Carolina in a 3rd set doubles tiebreaker to advance to the finals-finishing in 2nd place.

Congratulations to the whole team, new members who got to taste the competitive spirit and friendship of the Southern Cup, and to the faithful repeat team members for their awesome play--making our captains look really good with their team selections. It was an awesome tournament!!

In theWomen’s Overall Championship, Louisiana finished in third place. Louisiana Men finished fourth in theMen’s Overall Championship just one-half point behind Tennessee.

Tennessee won theMildred Southern Cup, which goes to the state with the most overall men’s and women’s points. South Carolina and Georgia finished second and third respectively, with Louisiana taking fourth place.

Tennessee won theGil Stacy Memorial Cup which goes to the state with the most individual match wins. This was an extremely tight race, as South Carolina finished second at 50 points, and Louisiana finishing in third place only two points behind with 48 points.

Team Louisiana:

75s Men--- Lester Sack, Ronnie Fenasci, Bruce Johnson, Charlie Johnson

65s Men --- Cleburne Simon, Bob Browning

55s Men --- Jon Buise, Drew Meyers, Mark Shoptaugh

45s Men --- Jason Noonan, Scott Nichols, Lyn Minvielle

35s Women---Julie Lessiter, Sally Calongne

45s Women---Jennifer Marsh, Kathryn Scurlock, Elizabeth Chesteen, Elana Engleman

55s Women---Mary Karas, Bobbie Miles, Susie Gautreau, Susan Taylor

65s Women---Peggy Andry, Jan Pierson, Sandy Childress

75s Women---Genny Kirby, BJ Johnson


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