Sunday, August 29, 2010

UPG - Home & Away - P'ball - August 27, 2010

Home: Steve reports that 10 players were present for p'ball action. Johnny, Carol, Jan, Catherine, Dave H, Bob H, Claude, Ray, Charlie and Steve. The courts were wet, but the troops soon dried them and got heavy into the game. Many good games followed.

Away: A contingent from the UPG traveled to Lake Lure, NC to participate in the Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad Pickleball competition @ the beautiful Rumbling Bald Resort: Sharon (Cupcake to her friends) and I (Spike) formed a mixed doubles team to begin play at noon. John (Dr. John, the Spinmaster and now 'Johnny-come-lately') and I formed a men's double team to begin play at 10:00. Pete Fallon was also in attendance as our cheering section, general all-around-handy-man, good-guy and un-official second to fill in for John. Pete was wearing leather deck shoes. I said he may have to fill in for John in case he didn't show up. Pete gamely, snugged up his shoes and was going to play. That's pretty hard core. Lucky for Pete, John and his darling wife Judy, arrived a few minutes after 10:00, having missed a turn somewhere en route (wind was a factor). After some rushing around, we were able to play our match and Peter, thankfully, was able to loosen up his leather laces. Phew! John and I won our 1st round two games to zip. In the 2nd round we were soundly thumped 0-2. But, we managed to get a third place ranking and were awarded medals to prove it. Cupcake and I won our first round in three games; lost the first, but won the 2nd & 3rd both times coming back from 5-2 deficits. In the next round we met up with two toughies from the Hendersonville and they promptly blew us to smithereens.

We had a great time with a nice group of p'ballers. The event was exceptionally well organized. We (listen to this: played with only two balls per match - no kidding). The hosts provided ball shaggers. Pretty high-end, eh?

This was the first time for the Pickleball event in the Olympiad. Hopefully, it will be included in next year. If so, perhaps the UPG can rustle up a bigger contingent and go to Lake Lure in full force. It was a fun experience, not a bad drive, nice courts with wide, blue p'ball lines, stiff but friendly competition, excellent facilities and beautiful scenery. Can't beat that!

Big thanks to Smoke for keeping our group apprised about the events.

Sorry about the short 'home' blurb and wordy 'away' report and the first-person narrative.


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