Women’s “Green” Team Wins UVCTA Championship!

 

(l to r) Linda Arnold, Gina Hutchins, Kate Cricco, Sara Lang, Heather Klein, Megan Malandrinos, and Andrea Murphy indicate that the “Green” team finished at #1 for the 2019 season.

A new championship banner will soon be hung on the fences at Eastman.

The ladies from Eastman’s “Green” team went to Newport Tennis Club last Wednesday on a mission to bring home a 3rd Women’s B League banner in seven years, and they certainly did not disappoint—either themselves, their teammates, or the fans who traveled to Newport to cheer them on. In fact, by the time they left the club, the courts were not the only thing they swept.

Linda Arnold and Sara Lang teamed up for the late-afternoon opener, facing two experienced Newport players. After getting off to a slow start in the first set, Linda and Sara came back strong to take the second 6-4, and used lobs and drop shots to win the 10-point tiebreaker, giving up only four points to their opponents. 

Following that hard-earned, confidence-building “W” for the team, Kate Cricco and Heather Klein faced a formidable team in Newport’s captain and her long-time partner. Characteristically consistent from the baseline, Kate sent shots deep to the opponents’ baseline while Heather mixed up the pace with sharp cross-court backhands. The “Green’s” duo needed a mere 13 games to clinch the win—and championship. The “Special K’s” (Kate and Klein) in their first year playing together, finished the 2019 season undefeated as a team.

Photo: Newport Captain Nancy Jachim and the “Green’s” Captain Heather Klein shake hands after Eastman’s team, as Nancy’s partner, Sharon Goolbis (left) and Kate Cricco, Heather’s partner, (right) chat.

Two of the newest players on the team, Megan Malandrinos and Andrea Murphy were fierce and fired up at line 3. Not to be outdone by their teammates on the other court, the M&M team used their young legs, skills, and strategy to serve up their own 6-1, 6-0 win.

Photo: Megan Malandrinos ready to volley balls at the net while partner Andrea Murphy (not in photo) sets up the point at the baseline.

The M&M team round out what is a very deep roster for the Green Machine. Ten players finished the season winning more than 50% of their matches. In addition to the six women who played in the championship match, members of the Arnold/Klein/Lang-led team include: Caroline Carey, Christine Cecchetti, Judi Dixon, Connie Horton, Gina Hutchins, Brenda Rappeport, Pam Skillman, and Tami Palomba.

Tennis Trivia: What significance do the teams’ names “Blue” and “Green” have in Eastman?

According to the captains, the passion to play, the will to win, the enthusiasm and positive attitude exhibited by every member of the team all season long contributed to the team’s success. Heather also cited the camaraderie and support between the two women’s teams, the “Blue” and the “Green,” that practiced together all season long under enthusiastic coaching from Eastman’s tennis pro Josh Holt, as a factor in their road to success.

Congratulations to all for a great season! According to Heather, the ladies can’t wait to see the new banner hung on the fences on Draper Road. And neither can their loyal Eastman fans!

Fans on the edges of their seats

Answer to trivia question: Blue and green are the colors on the Eastman logo, an official registered trademark.

Tennis Committee Hosts Open House

AN OPEN INVITATION to the Pavilion Open House, Saturday, August 31, 3 to 5 p.m.

Calling all tennis players—and would-be tennis players—to this event that will combine play with a little organizational work—er, we mean “FUN,” as the Tennis Subcommittee evaluates this year’s program and plans for the next.

  • Come see what is planned for summer 2020. (Hint: a lot)
  • Meet your tennis subcommittee–without having to attend a meeting!
  • Experience the new pavilion.
  • Share what you would like included or improved upon in the tennis program.

All ideas are welcome—unlike on the tennis court, you can aim for outside the lines. Examples of a couple of ideas:

  • What about a bus trip to the Rogers Cup in Montreal next August?
  • Or a tennis “invitational” to introduce beginning players to play?

Bring your racquets, but play is not mandatory. Staying to enjoy refreshments and meet members of the tennis community is! CHEERS!

(And, when there, don’t forget to sign up those friends and family to receive our eblasts about tennis events and news in Eastman.)

Two New Events Added to 2019 Season

Plus a recap of the Member/Guest Tournament

UPDATED TIME: 3 – 5 p.m.

AUGUST 31, 4 – 6 p.m.

PAVILION OPEN HOUSE

featuring

PRO EXHIBITION DOUBLES MATCH

PLAYERS’ FORUM

REFRESHMENTS

Don’t have those $200 tickets for the US Open and are tired of sitting in front of a flat screen watching the action from afar? Then, come to this event planned by Eastman’s Tennis Subcommittee. Teams of local teaching pros, including our own Josh Holt, will provide plenty of action up close. These USTA-rated 4.5 – 5.0 guys are amazing to watch, so set your DVRs for the Open and come out to the Eastman Open House to see some quality competition on the dirt on Draper Road.

Bring your own comfy chairs or come early to claim a space under the new pavilion.

Before and after the match, members of the subcommittee will reveal what’s planned for summer 2020 tennis programming and solicit feedback from attendees about this year’s events and round robins.

Evening Mixed Doubles

Sign up with a partner by calling Gary Atchinson at (802)-673-2743 or emailing m_atchpoint@yahoo.com.

Play each week will be limited to 10 teams on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. While “drop-ins” are welcome, drop-in teams will not be guaranteed play if 10 teams have registered with Gary beforehand.  Any team turned away on a given week will be given top priority to play the following week.

So, get out your calendars and pick a partner for matches played on the lower and upper courts on Draper Road on:

Friday, August 16 – 5 p.m.

Wednesdays, August 21 through end of season – 5 p.m.

Member/Guest Tournament Recap

The third major weekend event of the summer brought out 25 players that represented a nice mix of ECA Members, summer tennis members, and guests from near and far. What started out as a nice day with an early fall-ish feel—weather just perfect for tennis—changed rapidly just before noon when winds began whipping around serves and lobs.  A light sprinkle quickly turned into a steady rain. However, the fast-moving weather front didn’t dampen any spirits as the courts dried out quickly and matches not completed before the rain resumed under sunny skies. Tournament director Josh Holt, whose upbeat attitude and quick thinking is as reliable as New England weather is unpredictable, provided the following results:

Men’s Doubles was played in a round robin format with the two unbeaten teams of Ed Hoyt and Chris Curwen (far left and second from left in photo) and Rick Cecchetti and Mark Fields (right and far right) matching up in the final round. Chris and Ed outlasted their opponents for a 9-7 victory.

Women’s Doubles was split into two round robin flights with Linda Arnold and Teresa Horan (second from right and far right) winning the first flight 2-0.  Judi Platt and Jenn Carnovale (far left and second from left) won the second flight, also 2-0.  Judi and Jenn won the finals matchup in a close 8-6 victory.

Mixed Doubles was played as an eight-team single elimination draw with a consolation round.  Mark Fields and Barb Schumacher played Raymond Crosby and Andrea Murphy in the finals.  Mark and Barb prevailed with an 8-5 victory.

Thank goodness for the new pavilion that provided a roof over players’ heads! And for Amy Hoffman, who as chair of Eastman’s tennis subcommittee, arranged for a carbohydrate-replenishing luncheon that satisfied both empty stomachs and soggy spirits. Amy extends her appreciation to those players and committee members who prepared homemade desserts that players enjoyed all afternoon: Linda Arnold, Kate Cricco, Judi Dixon, Gabby Eggert, Alice Podesta, and Barb Schumacher.

When the skies opened and rain interrupted play during the recent Member/Guest Tennis Tournament, players gathered at the pavilion to have lunch. In foreground, partners Alice Podesta and Kate Cricco; with back to camera, Heather Klein; in background against rail, Barb Schumacher, Mark Fields, Rick Cecchetti, Mitch Utell, and Tournament Director Josh Holt.

Chris Arnold and Amy Hoffman provided the photos for this blog.

Eastman’s “Slam”–August 10

Wimbledon is a memory now. The US Open is just weeks away. But, in between the two “Slams,” we have our own and it’s going to be grand! So put down the remote and stop looking for action on TennisChannel. Eastman is where it’s happening next week! Choose a partner and sign up for this final weekend event of the 2019 season–Eastman’s Members-Only Tournament. 

Deadline to sign up is August 4, so don’t hesitate. In fact, stop reading this email and call Recreation RIGHT NOW! (603)-863-6772 Eastman’s tennis pro Josh Holt is running the event that begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday and has three categories: Mixed Doubles, Men’s Doubles, and Women’s Doubles. For $20/pp you get a chance to be memorialized as a 2019 Eastman tennis champ (i.e., you’ll get a mention in the next email blast) and enjoy a carbo-loaded barbecue following the matches.

Last year’s categories filled up fast, so don’t be left sitting on the sidelines. Like Men’s A team player, Mitch Utell in the photo, keep your eye on the little yellow ball and save the date: 8/10.

GO EASTMAN!

Eastman’s teams continue to practice with pro Josh Holt and work towards a strong finish to the 2019 season that is only one week away for the Men’s A team and the Women’s teams. With a total of 58 players, Eastman has more teams than any other site hosting teams in the UVCTA this year.

With only eight players this year, the Men’s A team has had its work cut out for them in a very competitive league that includes teaching pros on a couple of the other teams’ rosters.

The Women’s B teams, “Green” and “Blue,” with several new members in 2019, have been in the top half of their league all summer, trading the top spot with a couple of other teams. The Blue and Green have a combined total of 27 players this season. A win against the last place team next week would place Eastman “Green” in contention for the top spot.

Eastman has two Men’s B teams this year with a total of 23 players split almost equally between the “Podesta” and “Arnold” teams. The teams got off to slower starts as new partnerships formed, but with four weeks left to the “B” season, they are both hoping to finish strong.

A new face, new pro with new ideas, it’s a positive change.”

Feedback from the captains about the experience with a new pro this year has been extremely positive. According to women’s captain Heather Klein: “We are so happy to have him here. . . . Josh has provided drills that keep ladies moving and working on skills . . . He has added a fresh approach to our team clinics and works effectively and cooperatively with the Captains.” The men concur, with A team captain Jeff Adie adding: ” . . . it was a very solid practice. We did some things we had not done before. A new face, new pro with new ideas, it’s a positive change.”

The Men’s B teams were caught in a bad weather pattern at the beginning of the season, with many Thursday night practices rained out. When the skies cleared, Chris Arnold offered that he was really enjoying the drills that Josh has been running. According to the Men’s B captain, “They are fast-paced, fun, and involve both skill and strategy.” He also appreciates that Josh offers quick tips/corrections to individuals as he observes them playing and thinks that the instant feedback is very effective.

Eastman fans cheering on their team

Add SPARK and SPARKLE to Your Game

OMG! July 4th is upon us and Eastman’s tennis players have a lot to celebrate. Raise the flag. Light some sparklers. Storm the courts. (oops. . . that’s for Bastille Day.) But, seriously, it’s time to get to the courts on Draper Road any way you can. Our exciting new tennis program is beginning!

  • Do you want to be the player that everyone wants to play with?
  • The one at the top of everyone’s sub list?
  • Or, maybe you’re just ready to elevate your game from “hacker” to “player”?

It may be time for a tune-up!

While team practices focus on strategy and positioning, drills in an Adult Intermediate Clinic focus on the mechanics of stroke production you need to develop consistency and commit fewer unforced errors.

“Players” who have played “for a while” (like maybe 20, 30, or even 40+ years like me), as well as up-and-coming superstars with a few years on their jazzy Nikes or Asics, know the value of practice, practice, and more practice. But, practicing bad habits and incorrect stroke production, not only “plateaus” a player, it can lead to the dreaded tennis elbow or other injuries. And, injuries mean time away from a sport you love.

Tennis is not “like riding a bike.” Time away from the sport–even a few months–erodes skills and timing. Technology has changed and play has changed: ask anyone who has played with younger players schooled in topspin and open stances. A couple of lop-sided singles losses to hot-shot (literally) 30-somethings a few years ago had me running to my local pros, racquet emblazed with an SOS. For me, and lots of other players on the intermediate-to-advanced spectrum, Darwinism comes into play. Adapt or go down crying at every missed shot, errant smash, or anemic service return.

And a good workout!

Cardios may be the thing for you–and me. Requiring more stamina and speed than skill, cardio sessions combine fitness and ball movement under the direction of a certified pro. These sessions have been extremely popular in private clubs for a couple of decades now and are a great way to improve footwork. You won’t become a Roger Federer (the Baryshnikov of tennis footwork), but you will get your heart rate up and your reaction time tested. You’ll find me in Eastman’s groups this summer trying desperately to find the footwork and foot speed that I’d lost after giving up playing competitive singles. Sessions are being held early mornings to beat the heat: 7:30-8:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 8 to 9 on Saturdays.

A buzz of excitement has been in the air, and on the dirt (courts), since the announcement was made that Josh Holt is Eastman’s new pro. The time to sign up for clinics, lessons, and/or cardio workouts with Josh is RIGHT NOW! Clinics for ADULT BEGINNERS and INTERMEDIATES, and JUNIORS from ages 5-13 begin this week. Click on this link to see a detailed schedule of all the clinics and sessions this summer.

Who among us mortal players (those of us not Roger Federer or Serena Williams) could not use a little tweaking to our games from time to time? Maybe you once had great form and skills, but a long lay-off or injury has you out of rhythm and spending more time retrieving balls than playing long rallies. Adjustments may be necessary. Even my personal idol, the “old man” on the pro tour, Roger Federer, who has admitted to losing foot speed (a nanosecond) in recent years, has added a drop shot to his game. At the risk of being trite: It’s never too late to learn. And, “craftiness” counts in winning points.

So, what are you waiting for? Tennis is a sport for a lifetime. Call RVC’s FITshop at (603)-643-3627 to sign up for clinics, lessons, or cardio sessions at Eastman.

and a final note . . .

Do you know someone who would like to learn to play tennis? Beginning players today have the advantage of learning the “new” style of play, two-handed backhands, topspin, open stances, right from the start. ADULT BEGINNER sessions are being offered both on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 – 11 and Thursday evenings, 7 – 8. JUNIOR clinics and camps also begin this week. Call RVC’s FITshop (603)-643-3627 today to sign-up your kids or grandkids for clinics or Junior Camps. Tennis is like learning a language; the younger you start, the easier it is–and FUN.

Please share this email with anyone whom you think would like to learn to play tennis. The public is welcome to participate in our new programming at non-ECA Member rates.

judi platt

Mixing It Up on Sundays with Scrambles

We’re talking TENNIS here, not eggs. If you missed out on playing in Eastman’s 4th Annual Open on June 1, don’t fret. You have another chance—in fact, many chances to mix it up in doubles scrambles on the lower courts on Draper Road every Sunday morning from 9 to 11 from now until September. 

Pete and Alice

Shortly after Alice and Pete Podesta moved to Eastman, the avid tennis players saw an opportunity to bring couples together on the tennis courts and organized mixed doubles round robins. With a little experimentation with times, they found Sunday mornings to be a good time for these get-togethers and a “scramble” format workable for Eastman’s players. Pete’s extensive experience organizing tennis events and the couple’s integration into “all things tennis” in Eastman quickly infused energy into these informal get-togethers. So much so, that most Sundays last summer three or four courts were consistently filled with players.

So, just what is a scramble? It’s an informal type of doubles play in which partners are matched up randomly. Alice and Pete provide numbers—one set for women, another for men—that players pick from a hat, or, to be exact, a Baggie from the Podesta’s kitchen. Since there is no advance sign-up required, some weeks there may be more men than women on the courts, or vice versa. In that event, some improvisation occurs on the spot, but everyone gets a partner picked at random. The idea is to get people of all skill levels together to play without a lot of stifling rules or rigmarole.

If you want to play, show up with a can of new balls at 9 a.m. on any Sunday and mix it up with old and new “scramblers.” And, don’t forget your water bottle and sunblock. While the scrambles are designed for fun, you will get a workout and some good play. On the days when umbrellas (or tarps) are needed rather than sunblock, you can stay inside and serve up some scrambled eggs, or delve into some tennis trivia.

Did you know that “love” for a zero (0) score in tennis is derived from “l’oeuf,” the French word for “egg”?

So, however you like your “oeuf”s, get ready to scramble on Sundays. If you have any questions about the scrambles, contact Pete or Alice at troonhouse@comcast.net or at (603)-843-8045. For information about other round robin opportunities in Eastman, or to see your coordinators’ smiling faces, go to the 2019 Round Robins page on the Eastman Tennis web site.

Be a Sport and Reserve a Court

Don’t be left outside the gates looking in at the action. Reserve a court using the Eastman Tennisbookings.com system. Yes, we know that in years past, players just walked onto the courts at any time without reservations. However, use of the system is critical to effective tennis court management and happy players.

It takes just minutes to set up an account, and literally seconds to reserve a court once you save your ID and password on your electronic devices. And, for those needing a little help keeping their busy schedules straight, Tennisbookings.com will even email you a reminder that you can add to your digital calendar with just two quick clicks. For help with either, call Recreation at (603)-863-6772 or stop by the reception desk at the South Cove Activity Center. For more details about playing on our superb membership-only courts, go to Play at Eastman.  A few seconds of your time will help ECA staff and volunteers plan for future enhancements to the tennis program–and maybe save you a wasted trip to fully occupied courts.

Eastman’s Open–Cause to Celebrate

Left to right: Eugene Demidenko, Valentina Demidenko. Richard King, Emmalie Snyder

Once again, the “Open” was a success, drawing players from both the Eastman community and the Upper Valley. Held only one week after the Memorial Day weekend event that drew 40 players, the tournament competed for players with USTA matches held that weekend and a myriad of end-of-school-year activities, including graduations. Nonetheless, ten teams competed in the Mixed Doubles and four in the Men’s category. Emmalie Snyder of Elkins, NH and Richard King, of Bradford, NH were victorious over Valentina and Eugene Demidenko of Norwich, VT in the Mixed Doubles.  (Richard is a repeat winner, having won the event two years ago with Laura Joslin-King.) In the Men’s competition,

Pete Podesta and Gary Atchinson

Eastmanite and tournament director Pete Podesta teamed up with Gary Atchinson of Croydon to claim first place in the Men’s category. Gary competed with flare in his characteristically colorful tennis attire.

Will there be a 5th Annual? We sure hope so. But, in the meantime, players can hone their skills and find potential partners in the Mixed Doubles Sunday Scrambles described above.

Local Pro Brings New Look to Eastman Tennis

Eastman’s new pro, Josh Holt of the River Valley Club (RVC) in Lebanon exudes lots of enthusiasm when he shares with players his ideas for expanding Eastman’s tennis program. A certified USPTR pro with over 10+ years of experience teaching and coaching tennis locally and in Vermont, Josh brings to Eastman for 2019 a comprehensive program developed by the RVC pros that has been very popular among Upper Valley players of all ages and levels of skill. 

The Grantham resident is a New England guy through-and-through. A Woodstock, VT native, Josh took his talent up I89 to St. Michaels (or as he calls it, “St. Mikes”) College in Winooski where he played #1 singles and doubles before launching his career as a teaching pro at The Edge Sports & Fitness Center in South Burlington. Back in the Upper Valley, Josh coached the Hanover High JV Boy’s Tennis Team for four years and joined RVC in 2008. With three young children of his own, Josh enjoys working with Eastman’s juniors–as well as the not-so-youthful players.

With something for everyone–adults and juniors, beginners and seasoned players–the flexible 7-day-a-week program is designed for the enjoyment of all Eastman residents: full-and-part-timers, working and retired, and those only in Eastman on weekends. Additionally, ECA Members’ visitors and the public are welcome to participate in any of the sessions with purchase of day passes or memberships, or through the UAP‘s Family and Friends benefit.

A 30,000′ View of the Program

Adult Classes–Separate sessions for Beginners and Intermediate level players, will be offered on Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings. Sessions will focus on stroke development and progress to doubles strategy.

CARDIO! Get your heart pumping in the morning. This fitness program, that has been a popular one in clubs throughout New England for over a decade, is suitable for players of all abilities–from beginner to pro.

Team Practices–We expect the Eastman teams’ standings to soar in the UVCTA Summer League after practicing with Josh. As in years past, women will practice on Monday evenings, A men on Wednesdays, and the Bs on Thursdays.

And, the kids will LOVE these.

RED BALL— for 5 – 6 year olds, uses low-compression balls on shorter courts focuses on coordination and FUN.

ORANGE BALL— 7 – 8 year olds will enjoy fun and games still using low compression balls to improve coordination and skill.

GREEN DOT–Drills, games, and point play are added for both beginners and intermediates in the 9 -11 year range.

JUNIOR CAMPS–For ages 6 – 13, these camps are offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings throughout the summer. Players sign up by the week.

For the close-up view, day-by-day, click here.

Contact Josh via email at Holtie227@yahoo.com or call the RVC FitShop (603)-643-3627 for information about the Eastman program or to arrange private or semi-private lessons.

It’s going to be an ACE of a season on Eastman’s courts!

Save the Date: 2019’s First Tennis Event

Games, Sets, and Matches for All

Fill your summer calendar acing and smashing–or, slicing and dicing. Whatever your playing style or skill level, there’s something for everyone this summer at Eastman.  Here’s a quick view of the first of several special events planned for you and your family and friends.

 

Season Opening Social, Saturday, May 25, 9 AM  

2017 Open House

Shake off the mud-season blahs and join fellow tennis players–and aspiring tennis players–at the Lower Courts on Draper Road to kick off the 2019 tennis season. All Eastman’s tennis players are welcome to learn about the community’s tennis programs that include some exciting new changes for 2019, meet new players and welcome back old faithfuls, and, of course, play tennis. Come meet Eastman’s new tennis pro, Josh Holt of the River Valley Club in Lebanon. The $20/pp fee includes lunch served at the Lower Court.

This event is guaranteed to be a big SMASH! 

Don’t commit an unforced error and miss this event. 

 

Sign up by May 22 by calling Recreation at (603)-863-6772.

 

For a complete list of special events for 2019, go to 2019 Weekend Events

Sport for a Lifetime

Often touted as a “sport for a lifetime,” tennis is like riding a bike—you have to keep on moving to keep your balance. However, if you haven’t played in a while, you may need a little nudge to get back on the courts. The tennis community in Eastman is ready to give you that nudge, and all the tools and opportunities that you need to get back in the swing of things. ECA’s Recreation Committee’s Tennis  Subcommittee is rolling out the welcome mat for new players this summer from Eastman and the surrounding communities.

The Tennis Subcommittee has laid out its vision:

  •  The eight har-tru courts on Draper Road teeming with activity from May to September
  • Players from nine to 90, playing and socializing under a newly constructed pavilion on Draper Road
  • Eastman’s travel teams entertaining loyal fans with “W”s against opponents in the Upper Valley Community Association Summer League
  •  A jam-packed calendar of events, lessons, clinics and fun-filled activities for players of all ages, abilities, and interest-levels offered evenings, weekdays, and weekends.

Technology changes for racquet construction have helped many beginning players get off to a quicker start and many of us to keep on playing well into our “golden” years. A typical hour of singles can burn off 400 or more calories for the average adult, and 90 minutes of doubles, the same.

 

NEW this year at Eastman–CARDIO tennis. A combination fitness and tennis program, Cardio tennis will be offered on Saturdays at from 8 to 9 a.m.. If you want (or need) a good workout, whether you’ve barely played the sport or are a seasoned master, Cardio tennis is for YOU! 

 

For more information on how you can enjoy a sport for a lifetime and make new friends, use the box in the upper left of this page to get the latest news about tennis in Eastman or call the ECA Recreation Department at (603)-863-6772.

 

Don’t stay on the sidelines. Get into the swing of tennis at Eastman.