Dinks, Lobs and more Pickleballs – NIT has a great week

Just a sample: Pickleball players, fans and spectators and volunteers - a great group!

Just a sample: Pickleball players, fans and spectators and volunteers – a great group!

Irene D’Aloisio

A perfect week for dinking, lobbing and having fun — that’s what happened at the 4th Annual Norris Invitational Tournament which started on March 6 and went through March 9. Sun Lakes residents from all over the community gathered together at the Cottonwood pickleball courts for a great competition. The Sun Lakes Pickleball Cottonwood (SLPCC) had another great tournament.

The winners were a good mix from the entire Sun Lakes community. Here they are, listed by ratings category:

1.5-2.0 Women’s: 1st Bucholz-Benson, 2nd Ori-Roper, 3rd Irwin-Fewell

1.5-2.5 Men’s: 1st Dockter-Goziak, 2nd Eberle-Meyer, 3rd Paradee-Kristensen

1.5-2.5 Mixed: 1st Dockter-Dockter, 2nd Campbell-Campbell, 3rd Landwehr-Landwehr

2.5 Women’s: 1st Strom-Ledene, 2nd Dixon-Seckles, 3rd Clarke-Burnham

3.0 Women’s: 1st Coulter-Koepp, 2nd Marron-Bryce, 3rd Songer-Livotti

3.0 Men’s: 1st Harper-Baessler, 2nd Gates-Hansen, 3rd Pedersen-Berberian

3.0 Mixed: 1st Goziak-Koepp, 2nd Jasnic-Baessler, 3rd Marron-Rethke

3.5 Women’s: 1st (tie) Mann-Kent and Speager-Parkinson, 2nd Rounds-Hickman, 3rd Burr-Ryan

3.5 Men’s: 1st Kasper-Iovin, 2nd Strom-Ori, 3rd Campbell-Northcutt

3.5 Mixed: 1st Speager-Speager, 2nd Strom-Burr, 3rd Nohl Northcutt

4.0+ Men’s: 1st Gillett-Mann, 2nd Dawson-Hill, 3rd Bicchieri-Zapatka

4.0+ Mixed: 1st Zimmerman-Smitham, 2nd Parkinson-Mann, 3rd Iovin-Zapatka

The SLPCC’s NIT event is always huge, and it grows larger every year. The number of this year’s entries was nearly 100 teams, beating last year’s by nearly 20 teams. That’s nearly 200 players!

The annual event honors Cottonwood’s own pickleball pioneers Maureen and Dick Norris, who worked hard for the acquisition of the club’s four pickleball courts. The appropriately-named tournament shows how much we recognize and appreciate their efforts. Without them, we’d still be playing in a parking lot!

It was great fun, but without the volunteers, there wouldn’t be much of a tournament. The SLPCC wishes to thank all the teams who entered and all the volunteers who worked so hard to put the tournament together.