The SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SPA) sponsored four teams in the Arizona Pickleball Players League (APPL), and three teams advanced to the Arizona state tournament and earned medals. Other SPA members advanced to state in separate teams, advancing to state and receiving medals.

In Mesa, SPA’s Soft Serve team (women 4.0 65+) finished second in the state tournament for a silver medal, losing to the first-place team by only one point on Sunday, April 7. Team partner players were Sue Deskovich and Janine Sullivan, Joan Van Matre and Kristy Johnson, and Jackie Kline and Cindy McAlbin.

SPA’s Tire Biters team (men 3.0 65+) first played against the eventual champion Encore Kitchen Heat team from East Valley, losing 32 to 10. Tire Biters partners in that match were Art Busby and Jim Lips, Gary Pelphrey and John Roberts, and Bill Bowman and Ron Blake. Next, the Tire Biters defeated the Province Golden Boys from Casa Grande by a score of 27 to 18. Partners in that match were Art Busby and Gary Pelphrey, Jeff Letterman and Greg Wilkens, and Bill Bowman and Bill Gray. The Tire Biters finished third overall, earning the bronze medal.

At the state tournament, SPA’s Dill Me In team (women 3.0 65+) lost in a close match 26 to 22 against the Pickly Pears from Casa Grande. Partners in that match were Donna Watson and Sue Wood, Catherine Carmody and Paulette Bosselman, and Ann Lange and Kandi Connor. The Dill Me In team prevailed 32 to 11 in the second match against the East Valley LPGW team. Sue Wood and Catherine Carmody, Donna Sehn and Paulette Bosselman, and Ann Lange and Kandi Connor were partners. The team members celebrated with a Mexican buffet.

On Sunday, April 7, five SPA members played on an outside team, The Ranch (men 4.5/5.0 50+), in the state finals at Robson Ranch in Casa Grande. The team came up short 25 to 21 against Team Rec N Balls from Robson Ranch, but finished second, receiving the silver medal. The SPA members on the team were Dirk Anderson, Mike Owens, Paul Massara, Dave Dowell and Sam Alkhoury.

Two SPA members (Sam Alkhoury and Mike Owens) joined in on another outside team, The Ranch Mixed (mixed 4.5/5.0 50+) in the state finals at SaddleBrooke Ranch on Saturday, April 6. That team became the state champions and earned the gold medal, topping Team Amistad 29 to 19.

In addition, three SPA members (Dirk Anderson, John Wining and Paul Massara) played in the Roadrunners team (men 4.0 50+) from Oro Valley, finishing third in the state and receiving the bronze medal.


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