More than 100 athletes were greeted to idyllic weather at the 100th annual Okanagan Valley Labour Day Tennis Championships last weekend at the Kalamalka Country Club.
Entries from Seattle, Calgary, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Prince George, Kamloops and throughout the Okanagan competed in men’s A and B singles and doubles, ladies B singles and A and B doubles, and mixed A and B doubles.
In the men’s A singles division, Abbotsford’s Alex Kotai cruised to the title with a 6-1, 6-2 straight sets win over Prince George’s Andrej Vdovenko.
In the consolation final, Martin Gibb of Kelowna outlasted Todd Semeniuk of Vernon in an entertaining match, 6-7, 6-0, 10-6.
Reid Clarke, a former Vernon junior now living in Calgary, clipped Tom Budd of Kelowna, 6-4, 6-1 to claim the B singles crown
Vernon’s Ray Crampton iced Kelowna’s Steve Pastor 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in the B consolation.
With the ladies A singles cancelled due to very few entries, Vernon’s Sandra Liedl, now of Vancouver, Wash., grounded Aeri Lee of Kelowna, 6-4, 6-2 in the B final.
In the B consolation, Krista Martens of Kelowna took top spot over Becky Vink of Kelowna in a walk over (injury).
A total of six teams took the court in the round-robin ladies A doubles event. Placings were determined by the number of sets were won by each team.
Two teams – Meryl Ogden (Vernon) and Debbie Hoffman (Kamloops), and Rosie and Samantha Schaich (Kelowna) – each won the same number of sets, 9-1. The Schaichs won the tiebreaker as they won more games than Ogden/Hoffman – 61 games to 56.
A sixpack also battled in the ladies B doubles round-robin, with the Kelowna duo of Yvonne Faulkner and Becky Vink netting first place honours after they won all five of their matches to go 10-0 in set play.
Second place went to the team of Bonnie Anderson of Vernon and Darlene Dagan of Kelowna, who went 6-4.
In what appears to be a tournament first, four sets of brothers competed in the finals of both the men’s A doubles and B doubles.
In A doubles action, brothers Joachim and Holger Nierfeld of Kelowna stuffed Abbotsford siblings Alex and Daniel Kotai in two sets, 6-4, 7-5.
Vernon’s Valouch brothers, Dave and Shane, were victors over the brothers of Mike (Vernon) and Joel (Kelowna) dePfyffer, 6-4, 5-7, 10-5, in the closest match of the tournament.
In mixed A doubles, Meryl Ogden and Mike Knights of Vernon brushed back Rosie Schaich and Trevor Bechtel of Kelowna, 6-4, 6-4, to win the championship.
The Vernon tandem of Lynne Smith and Gary Edwards was victorious over Janet Lui-Hansen and Gary Zukowski, both of Seattle, 6-4, 7-5 to collect the mixed B doubles crown.
“Tennis tournaments cannot be successful without volunteers who put in many hours of their time,” said Ray Kimoto, a member of the Kalamalka club’s tennis committee.
He thanked fellow committee members Gordon Mann and Dave Valouch, as well as Sandra Liedl and Alice Kimoto for providing snacks and lunches over the long weekend.
The committee also thanked Voets Coffee for providing coffee for all its tournaments, Quails’ Gate Winery for the prizes, Hi-Pro Sportswear for the T-shirts, the Morning Star and club caretaker Tony Bastian.