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Sun City womens tennis team is shining bright

Super Seniors head for sections
By: Jim Linsdau/News Messenger Sports Editor
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It didn’t take long for the Lincoln Hills Sun City womens 60 tennis team to become a real force in the United States Tennis Association 7.0 league. In September, the 11-member squad will head for the Monterey Peninsula to compete in the Section Championship. Playing in the Sacramento and Stockton division, The Sun City club went 6-2. They played teams from Sierra View, Gold River, Lake Wildwood, and In Shape West out of Stockton. All matches are doubles with the combined ranking of the two players being no greater than 7.0. The USTA ranks its members level of play in increments of five-tenths – 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, etc. “It’s a combination. You can have two 3.5s, which is seven,” said team coach James Walker. “You can have a 4.0 playing with a 3.0; as long as that equates to seven that’s how it works.” Walker, a USTA teaching professional, was asked to help the team. The Sun City club had been moved up to 7.0 and was struggling. Walker accepted the challenge, and in two short years has his athletes heading to the USTA Section Championship. Now, two of the Lincoln Hills players are at the 3.5 level. Earlier this year, the team had to compete in a playoff to determine their area’s champion. They went up against a tough Lake Wildwood squad and swept them in three-straight sets. “This is a tremendous milestone for them,” said Walker, who downplayed his role in their success. “We take what they have and encourage that without making life too complicated. (We continue) the fun and the sportsmanship and the family atmosphere.” Although fun, excitement, and exercise is a big part of the team’s purpose they do not hide their desire and dedication. Team captain Pietrina Magna said the members have put in the work necessary to get where they are. She said Walker gave them the tools to succeed and the players put them to good use. “All of this has been an asset to us in order to assist us in becoming where we are now,” said Magna. “I think we’re going to be very competitive.” That particular day the temperatures were rising well into the 90s but that didn’t slow practice. Magna said the cooler temperatures of Carmel would be welcomed but it wouldn’t matter to them what the weather was like. She said the club practices year round. She said it doesn’t matter if it’s hot or the temperature is 32 degrees, they’re out playing. It’s the sort of thing all athletes recognize as necessary in order to be competitive. “Unless it rains, we’re on the courts,” Magna said of Lincoln Hills’ Super Seniors (players must be 60 years of age or greater). We know how to play in the fog; we know how to play in the cold, so we’re very, very dedicated. We’ve waited a long time so this is very exciting for us.” The Section Championships will be played at the Chamisal Tennis and Fitness Club on the Monterey Bay Area. The Team Pietrina Magna, captain _ Magna moved to Sun City from Carlsbad in 2007. She began playing tennis that year and is rated a 3.5. Chris Biswell _ Biswell began playing tennis as a teenager but gave it up for golf 15 years ago. She returned to the tennis courts after moving to Sun City from Newcastle. Bonnie Sonnenberg _ A former resident of Roseville, Sonnenberg began playing tennis in high school. She picked up the game again after moving to Sun City. Carol Rodwick _ Rodwick began playing tennis at age 9 and continued with it through college. She moved to Sun City from Lakeland, Fla., in 1999. BJ White _ White didn’t take up the game until age 50 and played off and on for five years. Before moving to Sun City, she spent time in Illinois and Kentucky. Sharon Klotz _ Klotz is among the more experienced players having played competitive tennis for 25 years. She moved to Sun City from Kansas. Pam Geernaert _ A 10-year veteran of the game, Geernaert played out of the Lafayette Tennis Club before moving to Sun City. Katie Didion _ A former resident of San Ramon, Didion has spent more than 30 years competing on the tennis courts. Jan Boatwright _ Boatwright attended Roseville High and Sierra College. However, she didn’t start playing tennis until moving to Sun City in 2008. She previously lived in Woodbridge Ranch, Granite Bay. Lisa Snapp _ Snapp was introduced to the game in the early ‘90s. However, she didn’t really take it up until 2005, when she moved to Sun City from Antioch. Sally Sanguinet _ Sanguinet started playing at age 33 but didn’t stay with the game for long. It wasn’t until she moved to Sun City from Carlsbad in 2004 that she made it her No. 1 sport.