Mike Rusaw (GOLD medal mixed doubles, SILVER medal doubles, BRONZE medal singles)
Two years ago Stu Lesser and I, Deb Harrison and I qualified for men’s doubles and mixed doubles for the National Senior games. This year Stu and I had goals of qualifying for men’s singles as well as as the men’s double and mixed doubles. Our age group had the most ever men signed up, 20 men 75-79. With 4 groups of 5 men playing a round robin and the top 2 people coming out to play in a single elimination bracket. Stu and I both finished 1st in our respective groups. We had to win our first round in the playoffs to qualify by being in the top 4. The computer selected which 2nd place person we would play. Of the 4 second place men, I had to play a guy I have never lost to and Stu unfortunately had to play a tough player and lost in 5 games. One of the second place players left and forfeited. So luck of the draw I made the playoffs and Stu will have to qualify somewhere else. I finished 3rd and lost also to the guy that beat Stu.
Deb Harrison (GOLD medal singles, GOLD medal mixed doubles, SILVER medal doubles)
In singles my toughest match was with Mardee GOLDBERG. I won the first two, she came back like the tiger she is and won the second two and I squeaked it out in the fifth! What a competitor she is. She always gives me everything I can handle. I will also was pleasantly surprised that I did so well against Churchill. I went into the match fearing her attacking forehands and backhands. There was one serve I did that really got the best of her so fortunately I came out ahead. Mixed doubles, Mike Rusaw was as dynamic as ever. We cruised to an undefeated gold medal! Mike is always a joy to play with. He makes me look good. Mardee and Joan beat us in three. By the way, Joane is looking to be a future Villages residence. We will all welcome her. You couldn’t ask for a nicer competitor. Dianna Gray was such fun to play women’s doubles with. She also brought all the snacks that I could ever want. We had a nice waffle breakfast at least I did at the La Quinta Inn. Pretty convenient place to get to and from the games. Looking around it was great to see all of our Villages friends playing such good Table Tennis. Gordon, Deb, Marilyn, Stu, Mike, Scott, Jon, Bill, Cornell, Dean, Pat, Wendy. It was also a treat to see Gerry, Pat,Kathy, Mickey and Peggy.
Mardee Goldberg (GOLD medal doubles, BRONZE medal singles, BRONZE medal mixed doubles)
I had fun! But what a knucklehead! I had Churchill from Ocala 2-0 in games & 10-6! Yes I let her get back in and she won. Now that is a knucklehead!
Stu Lesser (GOLD medal mixed doubles, SILVER medal doubles, 5th-7th place singles)
We had the biggest and toughest group in the Games (20 players). I was in a round robin group of 5. One player I had never played and 2 other players had beaten me before (one had a rating of approx 1850). I was nervous but somehow I overcame my nervousness and was undefeated, and won my group. I advanced to the single elimination round and met a player that I had beaten in The Villages Games in April. I had confidence but I couldn't pull it off, losing 11-8 in the 5th game. In the Doubles and Mixed Doubles I had two great partners (Mike Rusaw and Joan Ruggerio) and they helped me win my Gold and Silver medals. Thanks Guys.