On June 9-10, a team of six ladies from the Salmon Arm Tennis Club competed in West Kelowna at Lakeview Heights Tennis Club in the 2018 Okanagan Interior Miele.
Despite the stormy weather, the team of Marietjie Bonthuys, Loree Boyd, Shannon Hecker, Carol Ross, Deedee Shattock and Marianne VanBuskirk were successful in defeating four other teams from around the Okanagan/Columbia region.
The victory in the Miele qualifies the team to move on to a provincial tournament. VanBuskirk, Bonthuys, and Boyd have taken home the provincial title themselves in Whistler in 2014 and, according to VanBuskirk, they are itching to hit the court and earn themselves a second title.
The format of the Miele tournament is not what some might call a traditional tennis format, following the Davis Cup or Fed Cup men’s and women’s team formats. In this competition style, teams enter two sets of doubles and one singles player, with the results of all matches a team plays being counted towards their standings.
In the 2018 Miele, however, for the first time in tournament history, the women’s division was changed to a format of three doubles teams. VanBuskirk notes that this format relies a bit more on strategy and team dynamics than raw individual skill.
“if we go into a regular tournament I will practice some doubles with some ladies for myself, but never usually think of the whole team dynamic,” she says. “It’s a lot more strategic in that you have to think of the whole team and not just individual players.”
After a one-hour rain delay in the 2018 Miele, Salmon Arm’s first three matches were against Team Kamloops, where they won all three matches. The second pairing was against Team Kelowna which Salmon Arm defeated 2-1 in match play. Salmon Arm then returned home after a strategic planning session for Sunday’s return to West Kelowna.
On Sunday morning, the Salmon Arm ladies met Team Summerland in their third match-up. Team Salmon Arm defeated all three Summerland teams for another clean sweep. The afternoon match was to be a challenge when Salmon Arm was required to face Team Wine Country.
The blustery winds began, but the rains held off for some extremely exciting matches.
With Salmon Arm and Wine Country tied at 1-1, the final doubles team found itself in a must-win situation. With a game score of 5-5, Salmon Arm needed to step up their game and put the match away – which is exactly what happened – with a final score of 7-6, 7-5.
After defeating four Interior teams, Team Salmon Arm was declared the winner and will now represent the Interior Zone in the Provincial Championships taking place Aug. 10-12 in Victoria.