Green Machine m7.0 opens with a sweep, but 3.5 men take one on the chin

After a rain out and a postponement due to sectionals, the Green Machine mixed 7.0-over-40 (m7.0) squad finally opened it’s 2016 season with a 3-0 win at Harbor Island Sunday.

Captain John Cotey, whose enthusiasm and braggadacio last season was said to have put too much pressure on the over-18 team that was thought to be a sectional contender but fell short, was subdued after the win.

“Cool, I guess. Good job. Whatever,” Cotey said.


Marisa / file photo

Marisa Hunter made her 7.0 mixed doubles debut, and the 3.0 club standout teamed up with 4.0 hired (for beer) gun Chris Ricketts for a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 1. The tandem fell behind 3-0 before taking over and controlling the match.

“I was very excited for my debut it was great and the weather was super and I played pretty good and Chris was really terrific and the game went well and it reminded me of that time in high school when I hit a triple in softball no maybe it was I made a three-point in basketball I can’t remember boy Harbour Island is nice I really liked the set up and can I sit in the middle on the way home John Cotey keeps forgetting to put his seat belt on and I need to make sure he puts it on and we were losing 3-0 and came back man that was something else and wow Nini played great and that was fun and when is our next match?,” Marisa said.


Cotey and Baker / file photo

At No. 2, Cotey and Laura Baker posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory. Both sets were 4-all, but Cotey served both times and his serve was nothing today if not deliciously delightful to watch.

“They couldn’t touch it,” Baker said.

“Whatever, I mean, sure, it was alright and we won big deal — yawwwwwwwnnnnn — just for fun no one cares just  a game and good times,” Cotey said.

At No. 3, John Slatniske snapped a 4-match losing streak by hopping on Nini’s back and riding her to a 7-6, 7-5 nailbiter.


Slatniske, who had spent the week leading up the match doubting his very existence, had retired from tennis after a loss during Saturday’s league play — his 7th retirement of the week — but made a dramatic return by unretiring right before the match with Torres.

“It was a so-so performance all around,” Cotey said. “We’ll probably lose the rest of our matches so no need to start making plans for sectionals, whenever they are probably from May 20-22 but I don’t know I’m just guessing. I’ll probably just go to the beach that weekend, but I definitely don’t plan on playing tennis, probably.”


The win was a nice bounceback for Cotey and Slatniske, who suffered losses Saturday when the Green Machine 3.5-over-40 team lost 3-2 to Cheval, placing its streak of going to sectionals in severe jeopardy.

Newcomer Jim Jones won at No. 2 singles, and Erik Hajek and Herb Gabora won in straight sets at No. 3 doubles. Otherwise, it was a tough day all around as Cotey-Bruce Bursack lost at No. 2 doubles (snapping Cotey’s 12-match winning streak), Slatniske fell at No. 2 singles and Bob Schmidt and Andy Ritter failed to re-ignite their sectional magic, losing at No. 1 doubles.

The Green Machine is now 1-2, and trails Harbour Island (3-1), Cheval (3-0) and Fishhawk (1-1). The Green Machine has off this week, and will host Fishhawk Ranch on Feb. 13.


About johncotey

John was a sportswriter and columnist for the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Times for 25 years, before being pushed from the Titantic, and hopes all of you non-subscribers are happy reading your free news on the internets while his journalism brethren suffer. Not that he's not bitter or anything. His real true joys, however, are his wife, kids and tennis, though not necessarily in that order. Unless his wife is reading this. Then DEFINITELY in that order.
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