Tennis Players Bring Out Their Best at MCTA’s Bruce Francis Memorial Tournament over Labor Day Weekend

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Over 130 tennis players from the Washington, DC, area came out over the hot and humid Labor Day weekend, August 29 through September 1, to compete in the Bruce Francis Memorial Tournament at Olney Manor Recreation Park.

This USTA-sanctioned tournament is one of MCTA’s biggest.  It’s also part of the Maryland District NTRP Championship Series and offers NTRP-based events, including singles, gender doubles, and mixed doubles for 2.5 to 5.0 level players. This tournament honors the memory of Bruce Francis, an avid team captain, player and volunteer. The event featured friendly yet competitive single elimination matches while friends, family, and spectators watched and cheered. The unexpected blast of heat and humidity throughout the weekend gave players an additional challenge but everyone was in good spirits and played their best tennis. The four days of fun and socializing was a great prelude to the fall tennis season.

“It has been another successful year! I want to thank everyone for coming out to this tournament. It truly is one of my favorite tournaments. I love seeing everyone come together and have fun!” said Linda Gowen, Tournament Director.

After rounds of matches in the sun, both winners and finalists of each of the 16 events were awarded trophies and medals.

“Congratulations to our outstanding players for great sportsmanship and high-level competition!! Special thanks to the tournament staff – Linda and the desk attendants, Charles and the officiating team –for doing an amazing job running this event. I hope to see everyone again in 2015!” said Carol Kromminga, MCTA Tournament Chair.

For more information, please visit:

List of Winners and Finalists by Event

NTRP Men’s 2.5 Singles: Rayth Myers d. Rudy Pankratz  (7-5; 6-1)
NTRP Men’s 3.0 Singles: Lenny Williams d. David Drees (6-2; 6-4)
NTRP Men’s 3.5 Singles: James Lawrence d. Juan Jose Tijero  (4-6; 6-3; 1-0)
NTRP Men’s 4.0 Singles: Nhat Nguyen d.  Tim Penarubia  (6-0; 6-0)
NTRP Men’s 4.5 Singles: Nicholas Colletti d. Sat Jiwan Ikle-Khalsa (7-6; 3-6; 1-0)
NTRP Women’s 3.0 Singles: Meglyn Lansing d. Trish Gray (7-5; 6-4)
NTRP Women’s 3.5 Singles: Danielle Armstrong d. Battsetseg Tsagaan (7-5; 6-4)
NTRP Women’s 4.0 Singles: Sondra Moore d. Erin Pulice (6-2; 6-3)
NTRP Men’s 3.5 Doubles: Erdely/Peet d. Patterson/Swann (6-3; 4-6; 1-0)
NTRP Men’s 4.0 Doubles: Miller/Thomas d. Bettis/Brodie (6-1; 6-0Ret (pc))
NTRP Women’s 3.0 Doubles: McLeod/Moeller d. Findley/Hsieh (6-3; 6-7; 1-0)
NTRP Women’s 3.5 Doubles: Maderia/Martin d. Aliibrahim/Newcomer (6-1; 6-3)
NTRP Women’s 4.0 Doubles: Carson/Goodwin d. Jones/McCauley (7-5; 6-2)
NTRP Combined Mixed 6.0 Doubles: Green/Lansing d. Batterden/Magda (7-5; 6-1)
NTRP Combined Mixed 7.0 Doubles: McDowell/Turnley d. Snowdy/Snowdy (6-1; 6-4)
NTRP Combined Mixed 8.0 Doubles: Van Winter/Wingate d. Erdely/Tsagaan (6-4; 7-6)

Men’s Sportsmanship Award: Nhat Nguyen

Women’s Sportsmanship Award: Shelley Moeller


Maryland’s Tennis Team Headed to 2014 Special Olympics National Games

Special Olmpics Tennis TeamMaryland’s Tennis Team Headed to 2014 Special Olympics National Games

Players and Coaches Nancy Van Winter and Greg Overkamp are first time participants

When the Special Olympics National Games take place in Princeton, NJ, June 14-21, Maryland and in particular Montgomery County, will be well represented on the tennis courts for the very first time.  This nationwide competition is a major annual event that brings together thousands of athletes from all 50 states to compete in 14 different sports including tennis.

Maryland’s tennis team, under the leadership of Coaches Nancy van Winter and Greg Overkamp, is well represented by gold medal competitors from Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties.  Among the five athletes and two unified partners from Montgomery County are the state’s dominant doubles team of Al Richardson and Scot Gerson, who have been competing together for seven years.  Gerson, who is now a 17-year-old senior at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, started volunteering for Special Olympics Maryland Montgomery (SOMO) before the age 10 and became the youngest coach/mentor shortly thereafter.

Competing in traditional doubles competition are identical twins Mark and Brian Salewskis, the county’s answer to the Bryan brothers.   Playing at the highest doubles level, they enter the competition at the top of their game with four consecutive gold medals.  Al, Brian, and Mark will also all be competing in singles.  Joining them will be Bijan Bagheri, the team’s singles specialist, who will also be playing mixed doubles with Howard County athlete Meaghan Hyer, the state’s top rated female Special Olympics tennis player.  In addition, Gaby Nugent will be competing in short court doubles with his partner Joe Richardson.

There are no fees charged to athletes who participate in local Special Olympics programs or the national games.  SOMO’s tennis program is made possible through the sponsorship of the Montgomery County Tennis and Education Foundation (MCTEF) and its affiliate, the Montgomery County Tennis Association (MCTA) as well as fundraising and individual donations.  Thus far the team has reached only 29% of its anticipated fundraising goal.  Any contributions will be greatly appreciated, distributed among the entire team, and will be used to defray expenses for food, lodging, equipment, and uniforms for state team athletes.

Be sure to visit the Montgomery County fundraising page.

Donations can be made to the general county, or to specific athletes, though will used to support the entire team.

For more information about the team and volunteer opportunities, contact Greg Overkamp: