Robson Ranch, Eloy – In the 3.5 Men’s Doubles division the formidable Hank Bryce/Steve Smitham pair fought valiantly in a large bracket to their first medal together, bronze. Sun Lakes top point winner of the season, Jeannine McKinna, took gold in the 3.5 Women’s Doubles with Jan Ardis, a feat they have shared many times this season. The 3.5 Mixed Doubles division saw two Sun Lakes pairs scoring big. Jeannine and Kelly McKinna lost a very tough gold medal match claiming silver but only after escaping with an exciting 12-10, 11-7 win against Sun Lakes pair Sheila Parkinson/Barry Schultz.
The biggest Sun Lakes moment was the gold medal win by Dianne Zimmerman and Sheila Parkinson in the 4.0 Women’s Doubles, Parkinson’s first entry in a 4.0 tournament. Zimmerman and Parkinson were undefeated, losing only one game and dominating the final match 11-1, 11-2. Winning in such dominant fashion wowed the awestruck crowd on hand. These women are good! Taking her skills to the 4.5 Mixed division, Dianne Zimmerman paired with David Zapatka to win bronze under the lights in the second-to-last match of a very long day.
Spring Slam, Sun City – Sun City invested $4,000,000 in their new Marinette Pickleball facility unveiling it one week before the tournament; eight of the 20 outdoor courts are under roof with enough viewing area between courts for a command center and hundreds of spectators. With temperatures in the 90s, the players and the spectators alike appreciated the shade.
The 3.5 Women’s Doubles division saw Sheila Parkinson and Jeannine McKinna losing a heart-braking 11-9 in the third match awarding them the bronze medal. But Parkinson returned for the 3.5 Mixed Doubles division for another shot with Steve Smitham; this time making it to the finals and losing an even closer match 12-10, 11-13, 11-9, 15-5 winning the silver medal.
In the very tough 4.5 divisions David Zapatka teamed with his regular partners Don Simmons in the Men’s and Dianne Zimmerman in the Mixed. David and Don were on top of their game losing only one game in route to their gold medal victory. Dianne and David navigated eight matches throughout another long day winding up in the gold medal match against a pair they have battled with on numerous occasions. The final pairing of the day took 1’ 55” in a tense and strategic dinking and hitting duel of wits that resulted in a match that saw the Zimmerman/Zapatka team win 10-12, 11-3, and 11-8 only to lose the final and most important game 15-9. The road to gold was not to be this day but that precious silver medal was very rewarding.
Congratulations Sun Lakes Pickleball players on all the medals you brought home to Sun Lakes this season.
Interested in Sun Lakes Pickleball clubs? Check these websites.
Cottonwood – http://www.sunlakespickleball.com/
IronOaks – https://sites.google.com/site/slpcioaz/