Six teams from Western New York qualified for USA League national tennis championships this fall. The only one to play came within a few points of reaching the semifinals.
A 3.0 Women's team captained by Gretchen Humiston of East Aurora won two of three matches in its flight, losing to Northern California, 3-2, in a battle for a berth in the semis. All three points lost to Northern California came in third-set tiebreakers.
In a rule change, the USTA now sends matches that are tied at a set apiece immediately to a tiebreaker to decide the outcome.
Other members of the team are: Robin Crowley, co-captain Karen Ricciardi, Julie Cimorelli, Annette Abate, Mary Perla and June Brennan, all of Orchard Park; and Michele Plarr, Eden; Bev Kent and Donna Hutchins, Colden; Sylvia Fraize, Cheektowaga; Liz Briceno, Hamburg; and Nicole McKee, Elma.
The other teams, with the dates and locations of their finals, are:
3.5 Senior Women, Tuscon, Ariz., Oct. 21-23 -- captain Sandi Heberlein, Aileen Hannaway, Karen Leach, Sue Steger, Diane Peschio, Carolyn Weigel, Sumi Spahn, Donna Lewis, Rosie Vankerhoven, Stephanie Mclachlan, Geok Leong and Anne Rungi.
4.0 Senior Men, Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 7-9 -- captain Barry Olson, John Garis, Mark Ahrens, Jon Nichols, Al Litto, Earl Tomkins, Doren Goldstone, John Calleri, Dave Mosgeller and Mark Abels.
6.0 Super Senior Men, Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 17-19 -- captain Skip Hepp, Paul Bleckinger, George Palz, Dave Wrotniak, Robert Wolfe and John Brennan.
7.0 Super Senior Women, Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 17-19 -- captain Wilma Ianni, Mary Seevers, Terry Howse, Clare Schultz, Beverly Coke, Linda Purdy, Sue Radlin, Pat Spector, Geraldine Neff, Barb Johnson and Anne Lopus.
8.0 Super Senior Men, Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 24-26 -- captain Jay Sadkowski, Jon Nichols, Pat Hudak, Phil Celniker, Gary Solomon and Charlie Garfinkel.
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The Federation of Italian-American Societies of Western New York will honor undefeated heavyweight boxer Joe Mesi as its Person of the Year when the federation holds its Columbus Day Dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Salvatore's Italian Gardens in Depew.
Mesi compiled a ring record of 29-0 before his career was put on hold after he suffered brain bleeds during a March 2004 victory over Vassiliy Jirov.
Tickets to the dinner are $50 per person, available through the federation at 27 Castlewood Drive, or call 668-9451.
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BASEBALL: Buffalo School of Baseball will hold a college showcase for high school juniors and seniors, 1-6 p.m. Oct. 8 at St. Mary's of Lancaster. Players must pre-register for $100. Call Rick Lancellotti at 681-9410. . . . The Lancaster/Depew Baseball League will hold travel/tournament team tryouts at noon Oct. 9 for the 9, 11, 12 and 13-year-old divisions, and at noon Oct. 16 for the 10-year-old division. Tryouts are at Westwood Park. See www.eteamz.com/lancasterdepewbaseball.
BASKETBALL: Boys and girls leagues for grades 2-5 and 6-8 will begin Nov. 19 at the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Road. The cost is $40. Call Kevin at 310-3388 or Steve Kulu at 874-6133. . . . A city organization called the Family will present a free "preventional and aftercare" league for children aged 6-10. Registration will take place 4-7 p.m. Monday at the Kensington-Bailey Community Center, 2777 Bailey Ave.
BOWLING: AMF Airport Lanes will host clinics 9:30-11:30 a.m. Fridays, with Frank and Doris Coburn as instructors. The fee is $8 per week. Call Rose Bacon at 632-0655.
SOFTBALL: The Academy, a softball and baseball instructional facility at 3984 Burke Parkway, Blasdell, will celebrate its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 8, with free cage rentals, refreshments and prizes. Call 312-7959 or see www.baseballacademywny.com.
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