Things were looking promising for the 2013 Western New England PCQ. With a 24 team draw featuring #1 players, Johan Du Randt and Mark Parsons, albeit paired with different partners, and a brand new state-of-the-art paddle hut, Longmeadow Field Club was looking like the place to be last Saturday. Unfortunately, the blizzard known as Nemo dumped up to 3 feet of snow in the New England region and forced the tournament committee to postpone the event to Sunday.
With the date change, the Western New England lost a number of players including Du Randt and Parsons. However, the tournament carried forth. More importantly, it maintained its tradition of pre-tournament festivities, afternoon BBQ and convivial mix of local and nationally ranked players, further enhancing its reputation as one of the most fun tournaments to play in Region 2.
On a beautiful day for platform tennis, the tournament play was spirited and entertaining. The tournament ran true to form through the early rounds and into the semi-finals. In the first semis, tournament director, Jeff Morneau, who had originally been scheduled to play with Mark Parsons, and his partner, the up-and-coming, Nick Mazzarese, faced off against Brian O’Connor and David Lee. The match was new-school paddle with lots of drives, spins and swinging volleys from 3/4th of the court. Mazzarese played flawlessly with first-time partner, Morneau and the duo eventually took the match 6-3, 7-5.
In the second semis, Alex Seiler and John Hughes were pitted against Adam Mirsky and Geoff Cartier in what many of the local fans expected to be a tightly-contested battle. However, local favorites, Seiler and Hughes, raced out to a quick lead and never looked back in taking a 6-0, 6-2 victory.
The finals match-up had several interesting storylines. Mazzarese and Hughes are regular partners and recently made the semi-finals of the Connecticut Classic. Now they would be playing against each other. Seiler and Morneau are both members of the host club and find themselves on the court together often. At the same time, Morneau couldn’t decide what pair of sneakers to wear for the finals. Eventually Morneau chose his shoes well. He and Mazzarese quickly blunted any momentum Seiler-Hughes might have had from the semis and took a relatively easy 6-1, 6-2 victory, proving that you don’t need to play with Mark Parsons to win a platform tennis tournament.
Despite the weather challenges by Nemo, the Western New England PCQ ultimately proved a great success with fantastic players, a wonderful host club and terrific tournament atmosphere. Hopefully next year, the tournament can expand further and compete, as they hope, as an NRT (national ranking tournament). If 2013 is any indication, they measure up in all aspects.
All other champions were as follows:
Quarters Reprieve: Gregor-Lynch over Waddington-Bodde
Consolation: Durfee-Shields over Freedman-Conley
Consolation Reprieve: Wistreich-Fauteux over Spencer-Doyle
Full tournament results available HERE.