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Racket Sports: Maureen Rasp-Glose defies her age in tennis

Even at the age of 7 Maureen Rasp-Glose possessed outstanding athletic skills, skills that continue to serve her well on the tennis court at the age of 64.

She competed in a baseball league (hard ball!) and football with boys 8-10 years old.

"Even at that early age I was extremely active and loved to win no matter what sport I was playing," she said.

At St. Aloysius School, Rasp-Glose continued to play sports that mostly boys played. Nuns at the school called her parents saying that they thought playing boys sports wasn’t appropriate and she might get hurt.

Maureen said, "I was a tomboy and proud of it. However, as I got older I noticed that the boys were throwing much harder at me when I played baseball." She realized she might get hurt and stopped playing football and baseball.

At Cleveland Hill High School, Rasp-Glose took up bicycling and tinkered a little bit with tennis. However, she never played on the high school tennis team. Still, she worked out as much as she could to stay in top physical shape.

When Rasp-Glose attended UB she met a very good squash player. He taught her how to play squash and she defeated him more than he defeated her.

Rasp-Glose moved to Boston after graduating from UB to take a position in the legal profession and take some graduate courses at Boston University. She also played squash sporadically.

Boston is home to the famous marathon and in that setting Rasp-Glose soon became hooked on running. After seeing Heartbreak Hill in Boston she started running more. Over a five-year period she averaged 60 miles a week.

She ran the Boston Marathon three times. The first time she ran as a non-qualifier. The second time she qualified by running the Skyline Marathon in 3 hours and 28 minutes. She also ran Boston a third time without qualifying. Running for the greater Boston Track Club she met such all-time running greats as Bill Rogers and Alberto Salazar.

When she turned 27, Rasp-Glose wanted to run faster and race shorter distances. She started running in 10-kilometer events and consistently finished in under 40 minutes. When she moved back to Buffalo she continued to run 35 miles a week.

Before her kids were born she started playing squash at the University Club and Buffalo Athletic Club and became adept at the game. Once her kids came along they built a tennis court. She started playing casual tennis with friends and her husband.

"For the past 35 years tennis has become a huge part of my life," Rasp-Glose said.

She took a few lessons from Al Litto and, to improve her game, watched people play, mentally takes notes.

She notes that she is still trying to improve every day and her running still plays an important part of her game.

Rasp-Glose’s mental game is nonpareil and she plays as hard as she can at all times. To defeat her in singles or doubles you have to work as hard as you can. She will fight for every point regardless of the score. Even if she doesn’t win she makes sure that her opponents will have to play their best to defeat her.

Currently she plays USTA singles and doubles in Buffalo and in Florida at a 4.5 level.

Maureen said, "I owe a great deal to Jim Remington, who is the coordinator of singles and doubles play, and Rob Gregoire, who is the director of tennis, both at the Village Glen.

"Remington gets everyone involved in playing singles and doubles and makes sure that players are at their appropriate levels. Gregoire is in charge of match play and gives each participant a detailed note on how to improve their games that have proved to be very helpful."

Perhaps no one knows Maureen’s game better than Joe Pannullo, an outstanding senior tennis player. He said, "Maureen and I try to play singles twice a week. Often she will play doubles later in the day and might even run two miles or ride her bike. Last year I felt that I had a slight edge. This year she has definitely been the better player.

"If we go three sets I know that I am in deep trouble as her fitness is incredible. She has a booming forehand, a devastating slice backhand and moves like most people 20 years younger than she is. She is also one of the most competitive players I have ever played against and a true lady in every sense of the word."

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