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SC Dominates at Senior Cup

June 20, 2008 04:06 PM

An amazing weekend wrapped up June 9th with South Carolina taking home both the Gil Stacy (most individual wins) and Mildred Southern (most age groups won) cups for the first time in over a decade. The Senior Cup pits the best players in the nine states of the Southern Section against each other in 10 age groups (Men's and Women's 35s, 45s, 55, 65, and 75s). This year the South Carolina Team was very fortunate to have a sponsor, Cromer's Advertising Specialties. Cromer's provided some nice dri-fit shirts for the team and helped them look as good as they played.

SC took first place in the women's overall competition with wins in three divisions: 35, 55 and 65.
The men duplicated the women's achievement and won the men's overall with first place finishes in the 35, 45 and 75 divisions.

As icing on the cake, SC was also awarded the Mildren Southern prize for most age divisions won. With this award comes a check for $1000 which the SC team elected to donate to the SC Tennis Patrons Foundation.

First-year women's captain Cindy Babb of Mt. Pleasant put together strong line-ups in spite of the absence of several SC stalwarts from past years. In the 35's, former Clemson standout Sophie Woorons-Johnston from Anderson made quite a Sr. Cup debut, winning all three of her singles matches and teaming with Charlotte Hartsock of Charleston to win all three doubles matches, leading SC to the 35 title. Other undefeated women were Charleston's Brenda Carter and Susie Peiffer in the 55's, and Ann Hunt (HHI), Betsy McColl (Columbia) and Judy Levering
(HHI) in the 65's. Hunt and Levering also were undefeated in doubles.

On the men's side, captain Tom Foster of Woodruff knew he had a star in newcomer Andy Lake of Salem. Andy showed why he has won numerous national championships. He played spectacular tennis in leading the 35's to their division title. He and Brian Burke of Charleston were undefeated in doubles.
In the 45 division, Hilton Head's Scott Nichols continued his stellar Senior Cup record and won all three of his matches at the #2 position.
Also undefeated was Bob Koenig (HHI) at #2 singles in the 75's. Koenig and Okatie's Bob Wiederhorn were unbeaten in 75 doubles. The two Bobs seemed unfazed by the heat index of over 100 all three days of the competition and carried the entire load for the 75's when Joe Roberts of Greenville and Jerry Hanchrow of John's Island were unable to play.

As always, there were many highlights involving SC players.

----Columbia's Jim Hinson and Brad Watkins won a pivotal doubles match on the the first day to advance the 45's to the semi-finals. The 45's were unseeded and knocked off the #1, 2 and 3 seeds on their way to the championship. Al Cannon of Greenville won his semifinal and finals matches at #1 singles.

----As was the case in the men's 75's, the women's 75 team had only two players: Jeanette Weiland of Charleston and Janet Hanchow of John's Island. They had to play six doubles matches in three days and turned in excellent performances.

----Susie Peiffer at #2 in the 55's lost only four games in her three singles matches.

----Andy Steingold of Mt. Pleasant and Pat Child of Hilton Head got the 55 men off to a fine start with close wins over their opponents in #1 and #2 singles. The 55 team went on to finish 2nd in their division.

----One of the last matches on Sunday was the deciding women's 35 doubles battle against arch-rival Georgia. Woorons-Johnston and Hartsock lost the first set 5-7 but dug in and came through with a decisive 6-4, 6-1 finish to clinch the 35 title.
Woorons-Johnston's husband and 6 month-old baby were cheering them on!

----Brenda Carter, recently-crowned 60-and-over winner at the World Championships in New Zealand, got revenge for a Senior Cup loss in '07 by beating her NC opponent in the finals in two hard-fought sets that took well over two hours.

The SC team is grateful to the SCTA for its generous financial support of the 35 players who competed in the 2008 Senior Cup. The Fila shirts were a fine bonus (Thank you, Cromers!) Sherry Adams of Greer worked tirelessly as hostess of the hospitality room and as courtside supporter of the team. Columbia's Carol Fowles was recognized for her 20 years as Senior Cup referee and did her usual superior job.

All in all, it was a memorable weekend with wonderful tennis, outstanding teamwork in every division, and renewed friendships with players from all over the South.
Congratulations to all the SC players mentioned above, as well as:

35: Laura Pearce (Greer) and Chris Henderson (Charleston)
45: Nancy Szen (HHI), Donna McKenna (Bluffton), Debbie Southern (Greer), and Mary Spain Gastley (Charleston),
55: Cindy Babb (Mt. Pleasant), Janet Watanabe (Bluffton), Keith Whitlow (HHI), and Henry Dowd (Irmo)
65: Jane Foster (Woodruff), Richard Weathers (Charleston), Dewey Varn (Greenville), Detlev Nitsche (Greer), and Ben Varn (Inman).

Every player made a valuable contribution to SC's spectacular victory, and South Carolina is proud to have had you represent us at the most prestigious event in senior tennis in the STA. Well done, one and all!

2008 USTA SC Senior Cup Team:
Sophie Woorons-Johnston-Anderson
Andy Lake-Keowee Key
Charlotte Hartsock-Charleston
Chris Henderson-Mt. Pleasasant
Laura Pearce-Greer
Brian Burke-Charleston
Nancy Szen-Hilton Head
Al Cannon-Greenville
Donna McKenna-Bluffton
Scott Nichols-Hilton Head
Mary Spain Gastley-Charleston
Jim Hinson-Columbia
Debbie Southern-Greer
Brad Watkins-Columbia
Brenda Carter-Charleston
Andy Steingold-Mt. Pleasant
Susie Peiffer-Charleston
Pat Child-Hilton Head
Janet Watanabe-Bluffton
Keith Whitlow-Hilton Head
Cindy Babb-Mt. Pleasant
Henry Dowd-Irmo
Ann Hunt-Hilton head
Richard Weathers-Charleston
Betsy McColl-Columbia
Dewey Varn-Greenville
Judy Levering-Hilton Head
Detlev Nitsche-Greer
Jane Foster-Woodruff
Ben Varn-Inman
Jeanette Weiland-Charleston
Bob Wiederhorn-Okatie
Janet Hanchrow-Johns Island
Jerry Hanchrow-Johns Island
Bob Koenig-Hilton Head