Life is Better on the Court

By:
Joe De Luna

As we ring in a new year, I would like to thank all of our members for their loyalty and support throughout the past crazy year. Despite the challenges 2020 presented, the tennis staff was able to create and maintain a healthy and safe environment for our members, their children and grandchildren. Our Club championships continued as well as the USTA League ladies’ teams, Summer Camps were a welcome outlet for kids, Pickleball’s popularity stayed strong, our Junior Programs flourished and families flocked to the courts for safe, outdoor recreation. 

2020 Ladies’ Doubles Club Championship

Tuesday, November 5 was a beautiful morning for the Ladies’ Doubles Club Championship. Eight members were signed up and ready for competition. The round robin qualifying was a new format for this event. Each member would play a total of seven rounds with a different partner, consisting of four no-ad games and a nine-point tie break. The top four game winners would qualify for the championship match.

The qualifying started at 9:30am and continued until almost noon, with many great points and close scores. When the dust settled, Leah Garner had earned the most games. Molly Glauser, Amy Gonzales and Kelsey Whitmire were all tied for the other three spots. After sorting through a series of tie break scenarios, it was determined that Leah Garner and Molly Glauser would play Amy Gonzales and Kelsey Whitmire for the championship. Theresa Butler, Lisa Bowling, Bobbie Sanborn and Jennifer West all competed well but fell short of qualifying.

The championship began with Leah and Molly taking an early two-game lead. Amy and Kelsey roared back by winning three straight games to go ahead. While being up, Amy and Kelsey earned a match point. Failing to convert allowed Leah and Molly a second chance and they were able to take advantage of some steady nerves and solid shot making to earn their own match point. Leah and Molly did convert to win the match and earn the Ladies’ Doubles Club Championship.

When it was all said and done, the competitors joined each other on the back patio of the Clubhouse for mimosas and lunch. Awards were presented and Leah and Molly were congratulated for their win.

I would like to thank everyone who participated. It was a great day at the Tennis Club and I look forward to next year’s Club Championship.

2020 Pickleball Club Championship

The 1st Annual Cordillera Ranch Men’s and Women’s Doubles Pickleball Club Championship was held on Saturday, December 5. It was a great day of competition, shot making and fun. The field of eight men and eight women was strong with several experienced players. The men’s competitors included Mike Tracey, Nick Schommer, Robert Patterson, Mike Noggle, George Gross, Rodney Rice, Ryan Rice and Richard Lytle. The women’s group included Martha Steele, Jane Pelley, Lisa Holderness, Madeline Cottrell, Susie Patterson, Margot Spitsnaugle, Cathy Geib and Jill Briggs.

The Men’s Doubles Pickleball Champions were George Gross and Ryan Rice. The Runners-up were Rodney Rice and Nick Schommer. The Women’s Doubles Pickleball Club Champions were Jane Pelley and Lisa Holderness, with Runners-up Jill Briggs and Martha Steele.

Tennis Club Junior Programs

What an amazing year we had with our juniors here at the Tennis Club! The Junior Program offers clinics, camps and events for all ages and skill levels, as well as private and semi-private lessons, and we saw record numbers of junior participation.

The season started on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with our Back-to-School Play Day. Twenty kids participated and the event incorporated drills, games, prizes and pizza. We also hosted another event in the fall with over twenty kids in attendance. This is a great way to kick off the Tennis Club’s Junior Program every spring and fall.

The Cordillera QuickStart Program for kids 4 to 7 years old meets twice a week. The goal of this clinic is to introduce the game of tennis in a safe and fun environment. Hand-eye coordination and motor skills are the main focus, as well as the basic fundamentals of the sport, including but not limited to basic grips, stroke production, movement, parts of the court and team building, all with a low compression red ball which increases success and fun! The QuickStart Program is the foundation of our Junior Program at the Ranch. 

The 8 to 10-year-old clinics are an extension of our QuickStart Program. Here the kids graduate to a low compression orange ball which allows them to grow at their own pace and continue to develop their hand-eye coordination and tennis skills. This clinic includes fitness, drills, technique and interactive games which begin to give our young members a path to learning scoring and match play.

The 10-12-year-old clinics offer more technical instruction through drills and live ball situations, with more emphasis on point play, strategy, court positioning, fitness and mental toughness. This is a perfect bridge to middle school tennis for our Cordillera Ranch juniors and continues to emphasize team building, confidence and self-esteem.

The 13 to 18-year-old clinics have continued to grow. This series is for middle school and Junior Varsity tennis players, and emphasizes fitness, technique, play based drills and match play. Match play is great for player development; it allows the professional staff to teach strategy, court positioning and mental toughness — all critical skills for a player’s transition to varsity high school tennis and USTA tournament competition.

The Cordillera Ranch Tennis and Swim Club summer camps were very popular this summer. It was awesome to see the kids be able to enjoy the Tennis and Swim Club as protocols were in place to create a safe environment during uncertain times. The professional staff and camp counselors were able to introduce QuickStart Tennis, pickleball and a variety of other sports and games at the courts and pool. We added a Little Tennis and Swim camp for ages 4 to 7 and continued our Junior Program for ten weeks.  

I look forward to welcoming more members to the Tennis Club in 2021 and introducing them to the wonderful games of tennis and pickleball.

Joe De Luna is the Director of Tennis at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at jdeluna@cordilleraranch.com or 830.363.9004.

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