Tahoe Tennis Classic attracts national field starting on Thursday | RecordCourier.com

Tahoe Tennis Classic attracts national field starting on Thursday

Special to The R-C

More than 170 competitors from throughout the country are about to play this weekend in the 32nd annual Tahoe Tennis Classic.

With the popularity of the tournament, the Tahoe Tennis Classic has been extended to four days for the first time and will be held Thursday through Sunday at the Zephyr Cove Tennis Club. It all begins Thursday at 7:45 a.m. with 11 divisions of doubles.

The most balanced competitive event will be the Men’s Century, which requires the combined ages of the team add up to at least 100 years. Mark Peterson and Randy Houston are the top seed. South Lake Tahoe’s Ryan Johnston and Tad Yukawa of Palm Desert, Calif. will combine to defend Johnston’s title in this category from 2014.

Perhaps the best team in this division is Dick Johnson, recently named to the National 70 team, and Terry Ward of St. Louis. Locals Zeke Straw, director of tennis at Northstar, and Chris Beye will be a factor.

The Mixed B division has Stateline’s Ray Fugitt and Tricia Ward as a top seed. The Zephyr Cove mother-son team of Holly and Mitch Rittiman are another strong team.

Fugitt also will team with Darryl Whittaker in the Men’s B as a top seed. Reno’s Dennis Diehl and Jim Kumpel also will be contenders in that division.

The Mixed C division will field several competitive teams. The top seed is filled by Zephyr Cove Tennis Club Foundation President Carolyn Wright and her partner R.J. Gardner, who won the event in 2013. Past champions Judy and Marc Spellman, who live in Florida but spend their summers on the South Shore, are back.

Paul Bruso and his partner from Carson City, Carel James, will be a formidable opponent.

Some of the most competitive play is expected in the Men’s A division. Tahoe Donner Tennis Club tennis Director Ian Mindell returns with Ryan Johnston, while Reno’s Kevin Strawn and Tony Matkulak are the top seed.

Partnered with Julie Chan, Sacramento’s Nancy Bui-Thompson will celebrate her birthday by playing in the Women’s A division. Defending champs and the mother-daughter team of Carol and Holly Tretten will again be the favorites in this division.

The Mixed A division will feature Kim Iliffe of Mill Valley with Ty Yarbrough of Texas. Iliffe’s partner last year, Blake Beavers, also of Texas, is partnering with Reno’s Holly Tretten. Zephyr Cove Tennis Club member John Wlcek will team with Sacramento’s Cynthia Reddick to be likely title contenders.

In the Women’s B division, South Shore’s Joyce Youngs and Reno’s Carol Tretten are the top seed. The tandem of local Sally Huttenmayer and Becky Smothermon from San Jose will be competitive. Denise Hallerbach from Reno will team with newcomer and Las Vegas resident, Laurie Sabol.

The Women’s C division could be interesting. Former champion Carolyn Wright and last year’s consolation round winner Becky LeBuhn are the top seed. They will be hard pressed by Sheryl Herschman and Carel James.

The Men’s C will be competitive with returning champions, Bart Tretheway from Chicago and his brother, Ray Tretheway of Sacramento. Long-time participant Rich Brown and partner Bill Gephart, both from Vallejo, Calif. merit strong attention in this division.

There also is the spirited Super Century event, in which the combined ages of the team must equal a minimum of 130 years. Hersh Herschman, founder of the Tahoe Classic, will pair with Tournament Director Bob Beutenmiller to vie for the No. 1 spot this year. Bob Valdez and Lee Ruch represent the Reno-Carson area and are long-time Classic participants.