2016 Toledo Pickleball Glass City Invitational – Results

The third annual Toledo Pickleball Glass City Invitational was held this past July at the TPC (Toledo Pickleball Club) courts in Rossford, OH and featured a little bit of everything. (Including: A full complement of 150 players from several states and even a few other countries, a heat advisory all three days of the event with the heat index topping out at 106 degrees, the hope and grace of rain holding off for the first two days and finally the skies giving way early afternoon on the last day, bringing on the “fear of all fears” and moving a working tournament from the six wet courts outdoors to the recreation center a half mile away with four dry courts indoors…)

There were two players who won three gold medal (winning every event they played in) and three more players with who won three medals (one for each event they played in)…Toledo Pickleball Logo

3 Golds-Tom Wells, Court Haslup

2 Golds, Bronze- Leonardo Gonzalez

Gold, 2 Silvers- Sue Yuan

2 Silvers, Bronze- Nancy Meyer

There were six players who won a gold medal and then medaled in another event also. And there were several other players that medaled in two events, along with all the gold medalists in just one event. (See the results list and most of their pics after the article…)

Gold, Silver- Matt McEwen, Mark Grimes, Karla Chesser, Mike Yuan, Andrea Rokicsak

Gold, Bronze- Pete Emch

Due to injury and defaults we had a couple of women, sub in for a male in the men’s doubles event. In both cases, the switch was a good one. In the Men’s 3.0 doubles, Mike Yuan’s partner left due to the weather delay and his wife Sue, stepped in and helped him win a silver medal. Early on Sunday morning, Eric Brown’s partner (and his dad) Dave, slipped, fell and broke his wrist while playing. The paramedics did a great job getting Dave to the hospital and then the docs got his wrist set in a cast. In the meantime, since the match had just started, Linda Hill jumped in to take Dave’s place and they won. (A special thanks to their first round opponents, Rick Potter & John Paul Aparicio, for being good sports and letting them make that substitution) Eric and Linda battled in the Men’s 4.0 doubles making to the semi-final round before losing the closest match of the tourney (12-10,10-12,12-10) to bronze medalists, Gordon Statz & Dan Kerr, and finished fourth overall.

Comebacks and Paybacks: What is a sporting event or tournament without great comebacks (or pay backs)? Take a look at the following comebacks and paybacks, with the best of them all at the end of this section:

Men’s Doubles 4.0: Mike & Brian Yunker def. Mark Grimes & Matt McEwen 11-9,11-4 in the semi-finals. Mark & Matt fought through the elimination matches to face the Yunkers in the gold medal match one more time. This time they prevail in three straight games to take the gold, 11-7,11-6,15-8. (Payback)

Men’s Singles (3.0-3.5): David Ronau defeated Craig Sloboda 11-9,11-3 in the first round. Craig fought through four elimination matches before getting his second chance against David. Craig lost the first game to David and then came back to win the next two games, the match and a silver medal (though he had to default in the gold medal match (fatigue)), 10-12,11-8,11-7. (Comeback/Payback)

Men’s Singles (4.0-5.0): Tom Wells lost the first game easily to Jay Simon in the gold medal match. Perhaps the heat or the lack of playing singles in more than a year was taking its toll on him. Tom found his rhythm in the second game and went on to win the last two games and the gold medal easily, 3-11,11-2,11-5.  (Comeback)

Mixed Doubles 4.0: Betsy Kenniston & Leonardo Gonzalez defeated Rachael Moritz & Matt McEwen 11-9,11-7 in the semi-final match. Rachel & Matt had to win two elimination matches to get a rematch. They won those matches and then defeated Betsy & Leonardo 11-9,11-5 in the bronze medal match. In the gold medal match, they won the first two games 11-3,11-4, before falling to the eventual champions, Court Haslup & Gene Rosswurm, 3-15 in the tiebreaker game. (Payback)

Women’s Doubles 4.5,4.0: Top seeded Andrea Rokicsak & Becky Selenko defeated Amy Rakowski & Nadine Geering 11-4,11-6 in the second round, but then lost to the mother-daughter team of Marilyn & Court Haslup in the winner’s bracket finals 11-1,11-1. Amy & Nadine won two elimination matches to get their rematch and revenge against Andrea & Becky, 11-4,11-5. Then they went on to take the first game in the gold medal match 11-1, before bowing out to the eventual champion Haslup team (who also won this division in 2014), 5-11,7-11. The 4.0 players took the top two spots in this combination bracket. (Payback)

Women’s Singles: Andrea Rokicsak defeated Court Haslup in three tough, hard fought games 8-11,11-7,11-8 in the second round and then went on to defeat Nancy Meyer in the finals of the winner’s bracket 11-8,11-7. Meanwhile, Court marched through three elimination matches until she got her rematch with Andrea in the gold medal match. After losing the first game 5-11, Court came back and won the next two games 11-9,11-4. (So, after playing six games against each other, the score was tied at 3-3 in games and 54-53 points, with the slight edge to Andrea and one game to decide it all.) In the tie-breaker game, Court was just too strong, as she won 15-4, to win the gold medal and get the “Comeback and the Payback Match of the Tournament”. Great job ladies… 🙂

We would like to give a special thanks to our tournament sponsors for this year’s event including the Rossford Convention and Visitors Bureau, Billy V’s Restaurant, the law firm of Heban, Sommer and Murphree, Richard L. DeVaul Tax Service and the Burger Bar 419. Their generous contributions really helped us bring you this event, so if you get the chance, please patronize their services during the year.

We would also like to thank all of the many volunteers who helped with this year’s event. Without your time, effort and hard work, we would not be able to host our event each year. We would like to give a special shout out to our tournament chairperson, Connie Mierzejewski and her assistant, Charlie McKnight, who put in many long hours and to Co-ambassador Marsha Koch, who basically ran the operations desk this year. And one more special shout out to Jim Barnhart, who worked so hard as our court manager all three days in the 100 degree plus heat index, that he not only lost his voice, but he almost had to go to the hospital for dehydration. Thank you all for your gracious help in making this event our best (and biggest) one yet… 2016 Toledo Pickleball Glass City Photos

Tournament Results


Singles Skill Levels (3.0-3.5)

  1. Leonardo Gonzalez– (by Forfeit)
  2. Craig Sloboda– (10-12,11-8,11-7)
  3. David Ronau– (8-11,11-8,11-2)

Singles Skill Levels (4.0-5.0)

  1. Tom Wells-( 3-11,11-2,11-5)
  2. Jay Simon-( 11-9,11-5)
  3. Thomas Fischietto-(15-3)

Doubles Skill Groups 3.0

  1. Ron June – Scott Clites– (11-4,11-8)
  2. Sue Yuan-Mike Yuan– (11-2,11-2)
  3. Jerry Sloan-Terry Sappenfield– (11-2,11-8)

Doubles Skill Groups 3.5

  1. Leonardo Gonzalez – Pete Emch– (9-11,11-5,11-5)
  2. Steve Clay – Jay Ortlip– (11-6,11-6)
  3. Dave Rice – Robert Allen– (9-11,11-6,11-9)

Doubles Skill Groups 4.0

  1. Mark Grimes – Matt McEwen– (11-7,11-6,15-8)
  2. Mike Yunker – Brian Yunker– (11-7,12-10)
  3. Gordon Statz – Dan Kerr– (12-10,10-12,12-10)

Doubles Skill Groups 4.5

  1. Ryan Burdick-Darren Coleman– (15-11)
  2. John Collier-David Sabino– (8-11,11-6,11-4)
  3. Charlie McKnight-Gary Ball– (15-11)


Doubles Skill Groups 5.0

  1. Tom Wells-Paul Sprainitis– (11-7,11-5)
  2. David Seckel-Will Willson– (12-10,11-9)
  3. Ryan Clutter-Jim Hackenberg– (15-8)

Mixed Doubles

Mixed Doubles 3.0

  1. Sue Yuan – Mike Yuan– (11-6,11-1)
  2. Kim O’Neal – Tom Lemaster– (11-8,11-1)
  3. Caitlin O’Neal – Lynn White– (16-14)


Mixed Doubles 3.5

  1. Renee Buettner – Mark Weaver– (11-8,11-8)
  2. Karla Chesser – Mark Grimes– (11-7,12-10)
  3. Carol Martin – Pete Emch– (11-0,11-1)

Mixed Doubles 4.0

  1. Court Haslup – Gene Rosswurm– (3-11,4-11,15-3)
  2. Rachael Moritz – Matt McEwen– (11-9,11-5)
  3. Betsy Kenniston – Leonardo Gonzalez– (11-9,11-7)

Mixed Doubles 5.0,4.5

  1. Marsha Koch-Tom Wells– (3W-99 pts.)
  2. Nancy Meyer-Duane Hill– (2W-68 pts.)
  3. Liz Sepeda-Charlie McKnight– (W-54 pts.)



Doubles Skill Groups 3.0

  1. Baleigh Fleck – Taylor Favorite– (7-11,11-7,11-0)
  2. Sue Yuan – Lynn Gambrel– (11-9,11-0)
  3. Caitlin O’Neal – Kim O’Neal– (16-14)

Women’s Doubles Skill Groups 3.5

  1. Karla Chesser-Mary Massengill– (4W-84 pts.)
  2. Carol Martin-Annie Yunker– (2W-73 pts.)
  3. Cindy Brown-Dawn Brown– (2W-68 pts.)

Doubles Skill Groups 4.0

  1. Court Haslup-Marilyn Haslup– (1-11,11-5,11-7)
  2. Amy Rakowski-Nadine Geering– (11-4,11-5)
  3. Anne Butler-Mary Kozak– (15-8)

Doubles Skill Groups 4.5

  1. Andrea Rokicsak-Becky Selenko– (11-4,11-6)
  2. Nancy Meyer-Liz Sepeda– (15-5)



  1. Court Haslup– (5-11,11-9,11-4,15-4)
  2. Andrea Rokicsak– (11-8,11-7)
  3. Nancy Meyer– (11-7,11-7)


A love for Pickleball and Travel – Betsy Kenniston

amsterdam mixed double

Leo Gonzales and Betsy Kenniston

I love to travel and I love to play pickleball.  Since I started playing four years ago, I have played in numerous states. Sometimes when I’m on vacation I find a local club to play at, and sometime I travel specifically to play in a pickleball tournament.  In September 2014, I had a trip planned to visit a friend in England.  Before going, I searched online for any clubs in the UK.  I found one in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, about forty miles from her home.  They welcomed me and  it was apparent that they loved the game as much as I do.  This is where I met Leo Gonzales, who a year later would become my “international” mixed doubles partner.

In September 2015, I traveled to Madrid, Spain with Liz Sepeda to play in the 1st International Pickleball Tournament-Spain.  What a wonderful reason to visit Madrid!  This was the first tournament that Leo and I played in together, and we won a gold medal in the mixed doubles.  Liz and I didn’t medal in Madrid, but we played some tough matches and learned a lot from clinics given by teaching professional, Bob Youngren from Arizona and playing and teaching pro, Jennifer Lucore from California.  David Jordan, president of USAPA was there as well, and gave a referee training session.  We met pickleball players from other countries, many of whom I am still in touch with today.

On May 25, 2016, Liz Sepeda and I flew to Amsterdam to participate in the 2nd Amsterdam International Pickleball Tournament (the first one was in 2014).    After an overnight flight, we arrived Thursday morning, met up with my mixed partner Leo, and spent the rest of the day together, walking, talking, eating, and getting to know the area called De Pijp, where we would spend most of our time over the next few days.

Amsterdam is a busy city where bicycles are the main mode of transportation.  There are special bicycle lanes along every street which are called “red roads” because of the pavement color.  Bicycle riders seem to have the right of way.  You had better look left and right before crossing a red road, or you risk causing an accident with a cyclist.  There is also a very well laid out tram system throughout Amsterdam, which can take you almost anywhere you need to go leaving only a few blocks to walk from the tram to your destination.  We used the tram system every day to get to the sport center, or for sightseeing or shopping trips.

Amsterdam is a city of canals.  A canal boat tour is one of the best ways to see Amsterdam.  Houseboats line the canal walls.  These boats are private homes, and the owners also own the space where they are tied up, just as you own the real estate your home is built on.  Another distinctive thing about Amsterdam are the houses and buildings themselves.  They are usually three to four stories tall and deep, but very narrow in width.  None of them have elevators, and the stair cases are very steep, becoming almost like a ladder as you get up to the top floor.  Because of this, each house/building has a furniture hook at the roof peak which is used to hoist furniture to the upper floors through large front windows.  A common garden or courtyard is often shared behind a group of homes.  We were fortunate to have been able to take a “secret courtyard” tour and to see some of these gardens.  Our tour guide was the husband of one of the Amsterdam pickleball players.  I should add that in Holland, students are required to learn English from a very young age so language is never a problem.

Later in the afternoon, we made our way to the venue where the tournament would be held. The DePijp Sporthal has two large gymnasiums, each with six lined pickleball courts.  We weren’t able to play that evening since there were other scheduled activities, but we ran into a pickleball player who was American but living in the Czech Republic and invited her to join us at a nearby pub as we waited for friends from the UK to arrive for dinner.  It was interesting to hear her talk about her passion for the game and how she had brought equipment from the USA back to the Czech Republic and started a small club. She was looking forward to a higher level of competition than what was currently being played at home. (Unfortunately, she tore her calf muscle in a practice game later that night and had to withdraw from the tournament.)

The evening before the tournament, we participated in a clinic held by US Open Pro medal winners, Kyle Yates, Jennifer Lucore, and Gigi LeMaster.  After instruction and drills, Liz and I played a practice game against Jennifer and Gigi.   Early in the game we were actually ahead 2-1, but were ultimately beat 11-3.  Despite the loss, never once did I feel intimidated, or beaten up on by these two extremely skilled, yet gracious players.  At the end of the game, Jennifer and Gigi took time to talk with us, answer some questions, and made suggestions of how we could have handled certain situations differently, as well as some practice ideas to help us.  I’m sure they could have beaten us easily and quickly, but they allowed us to learn from playing some longer rallies.  That was an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often.

The tournament started on Saturday.  We met Atul Edwards from Mumbai, India, a player we had met at the Madrid, Spain tournament in September 2015 on the way to the gym.  Since we were a bit early, we stopped for a quick breakfast with Atul at a small café near the tournament venue.  It was a beautiful morning and we sat on the sidewalk in the sun getting to know each other.  Atul spoke of his life in India, and of the family class system that is so prevalent, and also of the poverty of some areas.  He also spoke of his beautiful wife, and of the splendor of India as a country.   Getting to know about people via conversations like this is so rewarding and ultimately what makes traveling to tournaments so special.

The tournament boasted players from 13 countries including England, Wales, Scotland, France, Spain, Belgium, Finland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belgium, India, USA and The Netherlands.  Many of the European players have no idea how their skill level translates to our familiar USAPA rating system, therefore based on a description of their skills players were sorted into three groups that were labeled 3.0 for the lower skills and newer players, 4.0 for the intermediate players and 5.0 for the more advanced skilled players.  Anyone with a USAPA rating of 3.5 and above were put into the 5.0 group.  Liz and I played in the advanced or 5.0 group.

Play began with a round robin within the skill groups.  Then, based on wins in the round robin (total points for any tie breakers) the tournament matches were seeded.  The twelve teams in the advanced women’s bracket were split into two six team groups, so we played each of the five teams in our group (one game to 15 each) in the round robin.  We were the winners of our group.  Then we played another 8 games to finally win the women’s doubles advanced gold medal!  Our final game was against Gigi and Jennifer, and they beat us handily!  To be fair, the pros were awarded separate medals since their skills are far above even the best of any other players there!   They just don’t make mistakes! Amsterdam womens doubles

DePijp Sporthal has a pub upstairs and this was where the tournament dinner was held on Saturday night after the women’s and men’s doubles play ended.  Aside from the meal, it was a great opportunity to talk with fellow players, especially those in other skill groups whom we hadn’t met on the court.

On Sunday, I played in the advanced mixed doubles tournament with Leo.  In a similar format, we played five games in the round robin, then another six tournament games, losing a hard fought game to our friends from Spain, Danny and Gema, but going on to beat Mike from Spain and Sheena from Scotland for the silver.

The Amsterdam tournament was well planned and meticulously organized by tournament directors Bernadette Snijders Blok and Carine Thesingh.  Bernadette’s two sisters, along with a group of student volunteers from a local college worked long hours setting up the venue prior to the tournament, handling registration, creating a very detailed and precise schedule, calling all the games, and making sure every need was met until the last medal was awarded.  Simply put, their work allowed the players to worry about nothing but playing pickleball, which makes for a successful experience for everyone.  Their smiles made losses easier to tolerate, and wins seem even more thrilling.

It was difficult saying goodbye to my international pickleball friends, some who I have known for over a year now and some I just met, but I know I will see them at another international tournament in the near future.   We’ve all heard it said, “pickleball is a social game.”  For me, there isn’t a truer statement.  I have made so many friends at home and around the world through pickleball.  The game brings us together and friendships are built.  Say what you will about Facebook.  For me, it is the perfect communication channel which allows friends to remain connected, even across oceans.

* USAPA has a great resource for finding places to play in the US and even in other countries.  Pickleball clubs are popping up all over the world.


Toledo Pickleball Glass City Invitational – Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 22-24, 2016

If you are looking for a fun tournament this summer please come and join us for the 3rd Annual Toledo Pickleball Glass City Invitational. The events will include Women’s Doubles & Men’s Singles on Friday, Mixed Doubles on Saturday and Men’s Doubles & Women’s Singles on Sunday. The format will be double elimination using the USAPA Rules. Doubles Skill Levels will include 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0. The Singles will be an open event for all skill levels. For more information, contact tournament director Connie Mierzejewski at 419-509-3023 or email her at bucksrgr8r@aol.com.
To view more tournament details online or to register, please go to the following link: http://www.pickleballtournaments.com/welcome.pl?tid=551
If you would like to help us promote our tournament with your club or local players, here is the link to the printable PDF – 2016 Toledo Pickleball Glass City Invitational

New Place to Play – Perrysburg Tennis Center

Hi Everyone,

Toledo Pickleball is excited to announce that the owners of the Perrysburg Tennis Center are interested in providing another indoor venue for Pickleball in our local area.

They are adding four Pickleball courts to their large indoor facility located at 1750 Progress Drive in Perrysburg, Ohio. To get things started they will be offering free play from Monday, Dec 14 through Friday, Dec 18 between 1:00-3:00pm.

If you are interested in playing, please send an email to Bob at bob_fastnacht@yahoo.com

In your email please let them know which day you would like to attend and also and one backup date.  They will only assign you to your backup date if your primary date is full.  They will be limiting participation to 24 players per day.

If any dates don’t fill up, they will allow some players to play on their backup dates as well.  After playing we will ask you to fill out a brief questionnaire.

For more information on the Perrysburg Tennis Center visit their website by clicking this link Perrysburg Tennis Center

Please forward this post to others who may be interested in indoor Pickleball at PTC!

See you on the courts!


Christmas Tournament, Columbus OH

Hi P-ballers!

Are you looking for a fun indoor tournament in the local area?

“Holly Jolly” 1-day Pickleball Tournament

Saturday, Dec. 12 (Check-in 3:15pm, Play begins at 4pm)

Olympic Tennis Club
3480 Indianola Avenue
Columbus, OH 43214

Divisions: 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0 – All Doubles
(Any combination of male/female)

$28 / person

Enter online at www.athleteratings.com, create profile, enter a tournament, Holly Jolly, click on register and pick a division. Your partner must also create a profile. Must mail in fees for both partners!

(If you need a partner, please email, as others are also looking!)

Or mail entry and fees to:

Laura Fenton Kovanda
1601 Oakview Drive
Columbus, OH 43235

DEADLINE: Wednesday, Dec. 9th

For any questions, please email Laura Fenton-Kovanda at lfenton2862@gmail.com.

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Courts in Sylvania – We Need Your Support!

Toledo Pickleball Club members  or non members who live in Sylvania are asked to attend the Sylvania Area Recreation District board meeting on Tuesday November 24 at 7:30am to support building pickleball courts in Sylvania.  The Rec board is interested in knowing how many residents of Sylvania are actively playing pickleball in other communities.  Lets show them with a large turnout of players!  Be at the West Entrance to Tamoshanter (Sylvania Ave, behind the Sylvania Senior Center) by 7:15am.  Email Betsy Kenniston at bak703@bex.net if you have any questions.

Thanks for your support!!

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Paddle Cores – What is the difference?

As pickleball grows as a sport, so does the technology used to make the paddles. Pickleball paddles started out being made out of leftover scrap wood as shown in this awesome video by Pickleball Channel…

The Nomex Core

The first light-weight composite core put into pickleball paddles was the Nomex honeycomb core. Nomex technically is a “a registered trademark for flame-resistant meta-aramid material developed in the early 1960s”, according to Wikipedia.   This is the original cardboard-like material that is then dipped into resin to toughen it up. A fun property of this core is while it’s extremely tough while applying pressure down onto the honeycomb core, it is squishy while squeezing on the side of the core (as shown below).

NomexNomex core in general is the loudest of the three cores, as well as the hardest. Nomex cores will give you great pop and the ball will seemingly fly off the paddle’s surface.

Check out some of our most popular paddles with a Nomex core, including the Rally Graphite and Z5 Graphite.

The Aluminum Core

The second honeycomb core found in pickleball paddles is aluminum. Aluminum cores are exactly what they sound like: honeycomb-shaped cells made of the metal aluminum.

Aluminum cores are well-known for being the best at providing “touch”. We consider touch to be maneuverability, ball placement and finesse at the net, or being able to perfectly place your shot. Aluminum honeycomb core is slightly softer than Nomex, meaning the ball pops off just a bit slower which gives you more time to manipulate the ball. Aluminum cores are usually quieter than Nomex cores as well.

The most popular paddles with an aluminum core are the Phantom Graphite and Selkirk 300A Graphite.

The Polymer Core

The newest core is polymer, which is basically a plastic blend developed specifically for pickleball. Just like the other two cores, it’s laid out in a honeycomb pattern.

Polymer cores are the softest and quietest cores on the market. Because it is a plastic, each hit is quieter since the surface isn’t quite as hard. Lots of communities with noise restrictions list paddles with polymer cores the most frequently on their “Quietest” or “Approved” paddle list. Because polymer is the softest core, you’ll find that these paddles give you an immense amount of control over shot placement.

The most popular polymer core paddles are the Element and Tempest.

What’s your favorite type of pickleball paddle core?

Thanks to Pickleball Central and The Pickleball Channel for the great info and video!

See you on the courts!

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