The Sun Lakes Table Tennis Club Championships were hotter than ever this year. Indiana newcomer Dave Fletcher made a big splash with his wily play employing anti-spin rubber on one side of his paddle while employing spinny rubber on the other side of his paddle flipping between forehand and backhand. But southpaw Steve Weitz, a/k/a Willie Nelson, found a way to push, loop, lob and spin his through the barrage of confusion Dave Fletcher threw at him to win the A flight championship match. It was a match worthy of YouTube posting. After beating Dave in the finals of the winners’ bracket, Steve had to face Dave again after Dave won the losers’ bracket. Seeking revenge for his earlier loss, Dave determinedly fought his way to a close three-game win. Being double elimination, they had to fight through one more match to decide the champion, and it went the distance. Edging Dave in the third game 12-10, Steve screamed loudly with relief and elation at finally securing the win.
In the B flight championship, tournament coordinator Bill Aichele prevailed over the surprisingly versatile Rich Nadler, club president and Sun Lakes pickleball guru, in a nail biter that had our fans on the edge of their seats applauding point after point.
The random-draw doubles tournament proved to be the most interesting matches of the day. Alan Behr and Bill Gaston defeated Bill Aichele and David Novikoff in another cliff hanger. Watching these two pairs move in and out of the table alternating shots was like watching a cast of ballet dancers center stage. The beauty and finesse in their movement was captivating, riveting. They were all over the room, chasing balls deep from the table, dropping shots so expertly over the net, lobbing high near the ceiling, retrieving smashes against the back wall then sliding in to hit unreturnable angle shots reminiscent of the Olympics; the Arizona Senior Olympics, that is.
Flight A Singles: 1st Steve Weitz, 2nd Dave Fletcher, 3rd Steve Chambers
Flight B Singles: 1st Bill Aichele, 2nd Rich Nadler, 3rd Gerry Vogelsang
Doubles: 1st Alan Behr/Bill Gaston, 2nd Bill Aichele/Dave Novikoff, 3rd Jim Spolar/Steve Chambers