The tournament-tough Sun Lakes pair Dianne Zimmerman and Sheila Parkinson teamed up for yet another successful East Valley pickleball competition. This time it was in Casa Grande at the fifth annual Mission Royale Pickleball tournament. Attendance at this year’s tournament far exceeded previous years leading to four tennis courts being striped with pickleball lines to handle the crowds. Right out of the box, Zimmerman/Parkinson was pitted against the No. 1 seed, Yu/James. Our girls put a scare into them but narrowly lost 11-8, 11-9.
Heroically they fought their way through the tournament’s double elimination opportunity bracket making their way all the way back to the bronze medal match where they met second-seeded Glogower/Van Matre, arguably the toughest, most consistent pair in the draw. Once again our girls fought gallantly but came up just short losing in overtime, 7-11, 11-8 and 13-11. Winning bronze and losing only to the gold and silver medal winners made for a successful outing.
In their first tournament together, Sun Lakes resident David Zapatka paired with friend and Palm Creek resident Gary Baker in a day to remember. They were crushed in their first match 11-1 and 11-6. In the opportunity bracket where games are played to 15 and you have to win by two, our men were nearly eliminated from the tournament down 14-7 before saving nine match points and eventually winning a thriller 19-17. This was a win to remember. Subsequent matches were won 15-6, 15-11 and 15-6 allowing them to reach the bronze medal match. Competing against one of the top Tucson teams, Baker and Zapatka jumped out to win the first game 11-7 only to lose the following two games 11-7 and a heartbreaker 11-9. In spite of losing that last game in such close fashion, both men were extremely happy to have done so well in their first tournament together winning the bronze medal.
The third bronze medal brought back to Sun Lakes in the fifth annual Mission Royale tournament went to Dianne Zimmerman and David Zapatka in the 4.5 mixed doubles. Without losing a game, our Sun Lakes pair made it to the finals of the winners’ bracket. What looked like was going to be a routine win after winning the first game 11-1 turned in to a devastating loss when the next two games were won by the other pair 11-5, 11-5. Now thrown into the bronze medal match it was up to Zimmerman/Zapatka to tame one of the hottest pairs in the draw Martin/Glogower. It wasn’t to be as the Z team lost handily 11-4 and 11-7 securing the bronze medal.
Congratulations Sun Lakers for bringing the hardware home to Sun Lakes!