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OTA Directors/Coordinators

Beth Arms

Leigh Chak

Michele Duffy

Marianne Marcoux

Laura Roberson

George Ryals

Barbie Slatton

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Our Dueling Doubles Junior Tournament on Saturday October 7 proved to be a lot of fun as juniors of all levels came out for the half day event at the Fort King Tennis Center accompanied by their huge fan base! They may have scrambled to find partners, but 30 juniors managed to register to play in what for many was their first tournament. One young player admitted to being “scary anxious” but he prevailed. The players were greeted at the registration table by Marianne Marcoux and each received a bright red Wawa bag filled with treats, drinks, and a tennis towel courtesy of the Ocala Tennis Association (OTA). They were directed to their respective Tournament Directors – Ebony Evans-Molock for the red and orange ball divisions and Drae Centonze for the green and yellow ball beginner draws. After a warmup, play started in earnest and the format was different for each level. The red and orange ball players were adeptly aided by some very patient and attentive OTA Court Monitors, Jan Cole, Laura Roberson, and Barbie Slatton. Madison Molock was also on hand to help out resplendent in her royal blue OTA volunteer shirt courtesy of the very talented Reshelle Evans, who also designed the popular balloon towers, and our newly minted OTA tennis towels. The partnered players had to take on the other pairings in their divisions, so the majority played at least two matches. Sometimes it came down to counting the number of games won before the champions could be announced and awarded medallions:

Red Ball Division Champions:  Ainsley & Avery Fabian (The red dot ball has the lowest compression and is the slowest, and a bit larger than a standard yellow tennis ball. As a result, the ball is more easily controlled by our youngest and least skilled players.)

Orange Ball Division Champions:  Penelope Arnold & Bryn Sheldon (The orange dot ball has slightly higher compression and is the same size as the standard yellow ball.)

Green Ball Division Champions: Brook Mora & Taylor Holland (The green dot ball is 25% slower and therefore more manageable than the yellow ball. Adult beginners often start with this level ball.) 

Yellow Ball Beginner Division Champions: Tanner Tew & Cooper Gumpert (The teaching pros further divide this group into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced depending on their skill level.)

As always, we are grateful to Renee & Jason Weiss and the Fort King Tennis Center, to our generous Sponsors (who hopefully can see their yard signs on display), and to our OTA Board of Directors and Coordinators. The next OTA Junior events include the High School Jamboree in early February and a Singles/Doubles event for all levels in the spring. So, stay tuned Juniors and keep dueling!!

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