The Victoria pair of Barrie Hill and Peter Brix took the men’s doubles A division gold medal after they upset the Comox Valley pair of Thomas Rauber and Clay Toresdahl. — Michael Briones photo

Fast-paced, long rallies on display at pickleball tournament

Popular annual tournament continues to drawa huge interest

Long, exciting fast-paced rallies and close matches highligted the two-day Oceanside Pickleball Tournament.

The popular annual event, sponsored by the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Parks and Recreation and hosted by the OPC Pickleball Club, was held at Oceanside Place May 24-25.

Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport and that popularity was reflected in the high interest of teams wanting to enter this tournament. According to the organizers, they had a long waiting list of teams wanting to join in.

Among those who came out to watch the tournament was Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum.

In the men’s doubles A division, the Victoria duo of Barrie Hill and Peter Brix took the gold after they upset the Comox Valley pair of Thomas Rauber and Clay Toresdahl, who were the unbeaten team going into the final. Because of the double knockout format, Hill and Brix needed to beat the Comox Valley team twice to earn the title. They played steady and consistent while Rauber and Toresdahl committed too many unforced errors. Finishing in third place were Stewart McWilliam and Maurice Michurd.

In the men’s B division, winning the gold were Ray Bradford and Pete Korvin; silver medalists were Robin Milliken and Rob Milliken; and the bronze medals went to Pat McPhalen and Werner Mollenhoff.

The men’s C division gold medals were won by Livio Tedesco and Ken Sander, silver went to Owen Seeton and Len Doumont, and the bronze was won by Tom Balattie and Mike Leong.

The women’s doubles A final was also an exciting one. The team of Lissy Rauber from the Comox Valley and Dawn Dueck from Nanaimo were flawless heading into the medal game, not losing any matches. They took on Pauline Davidson from Nanaimo and Claudia McLean from Chemainus, who had to battle their way to earn a spot in the final.

The Davidson-McLean pair continued to play well despite having to play extra games.

They needed to beat Rauber and Dueck twice, which they did impressively to take home the gold medal. Barb Bradford and Susan Hawkes finished third.

In the women’s B division, the gold medal was won by Margaret van Veen-Hill and Glenda Sharpe, the silver went to Sue Newell and Mia Tremblay and the bronze went to Denis Hogg and Melissa Koehle.

In the women’s C division, Mary Orme and Teri Kielbiski bagged the gold when they beat Arlene Thorne and Sandra Ozera in the final. Placing third were Dona Turner and Lindsay Hays.

The mixed doubles A final also produced an exciting finish. A crowd of about 80 spectators watched the players trade shots and engaged in long rallies.

In the end, the pair of Rod Hamilton and Lizzy Rauber snagged the gold after beating Gwen Chew and Barrie Hill. Finishing in third place were Anna Edgar and Pete Korvin.

Mauke Mauke and Marie Randall beat Brian Jenkins and Margaret van Veen-Hill to land the gold medal in the B division. The third place team was Ron Denman and Penny Ward.

In the C Division, Alex Gendron and Susan Newell outlasted Werner Mollenhoff and Mia Tremblay to win the gold. Taking the bronze were Mark Lucier and Sandra Ozero.

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