Recent Events

ICEBREACKER 2018             

By Robin Lee

Sunday, March 4, 2018

MTA’s annual Icebreaker Tournament was played under sunny, blue skies, which was a relief from the frigid, rainy, wintry weather the East Bay has been experiencing.
8 men and 4 women gathered at Mills College and competed with varying partners in mixed doubles and men’s doubles.

At the end of the afternoon, before going home to watch the Oscars, prizes were awarded to first-place winners Robin Lee and Scott Murray, and second-place winners Mike Turkull and Bruce Williams (who tied for the men) and Jessica Reyes-hehr (new to MTA)


                                 Our Group

                                       Our Winners

                                                 Robin & Scott



By Stephen Graham

It was a picture-perfect Fall day, and I had just setup for the November 5 Annual MTA Turkey Day event.  On IR with a bum knee and unable to play, I felt an ominous foreboding.  Leaving sun-drenched Mills College, I screeched to a full stop, I kid you not, to avoid an errant turkey.  I tried to direct the tom back to the courts, and even asked, “Why are you crossing the road, Turkey?”  As he fluttered away, I heard him exclaim, “I am, and I expect, a fowl proceeding.”  And sure enough, our president had again this year signed on as a hen, and a late comer was shocked to find the action had begun without him.

13 entrants battled through five grueling rounds to determine four finalists.  Andrew Ivary wowed every opponent, achieving an astonishing 95% average court coverage, on the way to earning #1 Tom.  In a super tie breaker final, highlighted by so many spectacular points that the assembled crowd spontaneously performed The Wave (later rated a perfect 10)

 #1 Hen Mary Blume and #2 Tom Roger Lambert defeated #2 Hen Robin Lee and #1 Tom, an exhausted Andrew Ivary in search of his water bottle.  Final score, 10-8.  Robin was later heard to say, “Where was Andrew when I needed him?”

But alas, there was plenty of food and drink for all to enjoy at the end of a memorable day of tennis.  Don’t miss this one next year!


 BTC/MTA Interclub                                         

By Robin Lee

On Saturday, October 7, MTAers flocked to the beautiful Berkeley Tennis Club for what has become an annual happening . . . an interclub organized by their social director Barbara Marienthal, and Thelma Lancaster and Terri Coleman who hold dual club memberships.

After 2 hours of a mixed bag of mixed and gender face offs, everyone gathered in the clubhouse for a great catered meal, which included dessert, wine and other refreshment provided by our hosts. BTCers outdid themselves with their generous hospitality. For only $20/person, MTAers were treated to courts, balls, a tournament director, food and drink!

Who won the tennis club face off? The specific scores weren't shared . . . but it's safe to say, BTC won . . . hands down. Oh, well. MTA did win last year, and hopefully will have a better showing in 2018. In any case, a good time was had by all.

Special thanks to Thelma Lancaster for accommodating the many extra players who showed up, and Barbara Marienthal for personally providing extra side dishes, and being a gracious host.


Shasta Away Event                 

By Robin Lee

Wonderful Weekend at Mt. Shasta Resort

On Friday, September 29, 21 MTAers trekked to beautiful Mt. Shasta Resort for a weekend away of tennis, pickleball, hiking and general fun. There were 16 tennis participants plus 5 others to share the gorgeous view of Mt. Shasta, great weather and camaraderie.

Friday nite was the group potluck at the the Haiman/Lee/Blume rental unit. Saturday was mixed doubles, pickleball and a group dinner at the resort restaurant. Sunday was gender doubles. Many returned to the Bay Area that afternoon, but some stayed for hiking and a leisurely dinner at Mike & Tony's Restaurant, the oldest food establishment in the town of Mt. Shasta, returning home the next day.

Winners of the Saturday mixed-up mixed doubles were Roger Lambert and Ling Liu, runners up were Donna and Eric Haiman. Winners of the Sunday gender doubles were Robin Lee and Hans Boeurner, runners up Mary Blume and John Lee/Eric Haiman/Roger Lambert (a triple tie).

Because such a good time was had by all, MTA will likely return to Mt. Shasta in future. Next time, you won't want to miss out. 

Many thanks to the many co-organizers . . . Robin Lee, Mary Blume, Eric and Donna Haiman and Warren Garrison. And, it was WONDERFUL to have 86-year-old Walt Thomas join in the gathering. He's remained an inspiration to many of us tennis hackers.

                                 Our Happy Group!


                                          Welcome Elenor!


                                             John & Eric


                                    Walt & Amateur Partner    


September TGIF (September 22, 2017)

By Susan Goodman

The first part of the day was Summer.  The second part of the day was Autumn.  What a perfect way to say good-bye to Summer and hello to Autumn than the last MTA TGIF tennis social of the year!

 It was a gorgeous evening (not cold; not hot) for tennis, food, and friendship.  And we did all three with style!

 Fourteen members and one first-time guest (a colleague of mine from Clif Bar) played casual mixed doubles (and later, gender doubles) at beautiful Davie Tennis Stadium. We broke for supper (pizza, green salad, and grapes), then some of us hit the courts again, squeezing as much tennis into our Friday evening as we could.  It was great fun!

 Thanks to Warren Garrison and Cathy Stonefelt for their edible contributions (what a sweet gesture), and to everyone who helped set up and clean up – it takes us all!

 While this was the last TGIF of the year, there are still lots of other fun MTA still upcoming – check them out on the Upcoming Events page.

 Thanks – and see you on the courts!


August TGIF (August 18, 2017)

By Susan Goodman

There were 18 of us at our most recent Friday evening tennis social at Davie Tennis Stadium.  We celebrated the end of the workweek with tennis (although limited; see below), socializing, and supper (Chicken Caesar Salads, fresh pineapple, carrot cupcakes, and more).  It was great fun to see everyone!

 Unfortunately, the lights went out (actually, due to a last-minute generator problem, they never came on – big bummer!). We quickly moved our feast outdoors (it had been planned for the clubhouse) and called it a picnic. Sadly, we were only able to play tennis for a bit before having to call it an early evening. The good news is that both generators are now back up and running, and they hope to have a permanent (non-generator) solution in place by early November.

 Thanks to Mary Blume for the yummy dessert, and to everyone who helped set up, clean up, and schlep stuff – it takes us all!

There’s still one more TGIF this Summer – September 22 – see the Upcoming Events page to register.

Thanks – and see you on the courts!



By Marty Gutherz

The 2017 mixer with the Watergate Condominiums Association was held on August 12th on a perfect summer day. Only 5 MTAers registered for this event, thereby undermining my best efforts to hype it, but 13 Watergaters and their fellow travelers compensated for our low turnout, so we had a total of 18 players; with 4 courts available, only 2 players had a bye in each round.

Ron Louie, the Watergate pro, once again, admirably orchestrated the dou-bles matches for each round of play, so that they were invariably competitive but extremely friendly. 

The savories provided including some scrumptious pizza that Ron scored, the other menu items were delicious and the liquid potions were exhilarating, and even the most discriminating food and beverage fetishists amongst the participants were seemingly wholly satisfied with the food and beverage offerings.

The only complaints that were registered were by a few male mixed doubles zealots who grumbled about the gender imbalance of the event-there were only a total of about 5-6 women players who seemed nonplussed by the intense male en-ergy permeating the courts. I happened to be one of the lucky guys who wound up playing all mixed doubles rounds. To those aforementioned male mixed doubles zealots who suffered through playing all or most of their rounds with the guys, all I can say is, c’est la vie.


Lee Family Sweeps                           

 Generations Tournament

By Robin Lee

On Saturday, July 22, a mighty group gathered for this year’s Bridging the Generations Tournament. As is required for the tournament, each player was paired with a partner at least twenty years older or younger.

Despite the best efforts of other players in the event, they were no match for members of the Lee family. Robin Lee and her son David took a victorious first in the tournament, while John Lee with son-in-law Michael Van Lokeren took a close second.  All enjoyed the great tennis, fabulous weather, and abundance of donuts. 


President's Tournament          

by Richard Stark

Sunday June 25 was cool but nice warm, a perfect day for ten contestants to play the  President’s tournament held at Mills College. 

Thanks to Robin Lee for the five round eight no-add games and a nine point tiebreaker (45 games) format.  Competition was keen and the snacks and socializing after was good.  All had a good time. 

The winners were Thelma Lancaster and John Lee and second Robin Lee and Steve Graham.  Thanks to all for making the event successful.


TGIF #2 June 16, 2017

by- Susan Goodman                                       


Right in the middle of an Oakland HEAT wave, it was a gorgeously-warm (but not overly-hot) evening in the beautiful shade of Davie Tennis Stadium!  Perfect for a little tennis (3 courts), a lot of socializing (16 of us), and some yummy food (banh mi sandwiches, watermelon salad, and brownies).  We had mixed doubles going, as well as some men’s doubles and women’s doubles – it was fun to mix it up a bit and the numbers seemed to work out perfectly.

 We’d like to send a special welcome to Priti and Charan Brahma, our guests for the evening – our hope is that they had so much fun that they decide to join so we can see them again at another MTA event!

 Huge kudos to all who helped set up, clean up, and schlep stuff – it takes us all!

 Sign up now for the rest in the series: July 14, August 18, September 22.  (see the Upcoming Events page of this website)

 Thanks – and see you on the courts!


TGIF #1 May 5th 2017         

by Susan Goodman

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


For MTA’s first TGIF tennis social of 2017, we gathered on three courts at serene Davie Tennis Stadium on Friday evening, May 5, and enjoyed a lovely evening together!


We played several rounds of rotating mostly-mixed doubles (there were plenty of courts, so everyone definitely got their fill of tennis!), and then helped ourselves to a do-it-yourself chicken taco bar with all the fixings, and then wrapped things up with homemade Orange Cupcakes (thank you, Mary!).


We’d like to send a special welcome to Gabriela Aranda, our guest for the evening – our hope is that she had so much fun that she decides to join so we can see her again at another MTA event.


Huge kudos to all who helped set up, clean up, and schlep stuff – it takes us all!


It was great to see everyone back out at these popular events!  Sign up now for the rest in the series: June 16, July 14, August 18, September 22.  (see the Upcoming Events page of this website)


See you on the courts!


Day Across The Bay (April 22, 2017)  

by Susan Goodman

 “Located in the heart of Golden Gate Park… lies one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets: the Golden Gate Park Tennis Complex. Established in 1901, this historic 21 court facility hosts professional level tournaments, leagues, camps, and recreational play for the city’s tennis community.”  - SF Recreation & Parks

 These well-maintained and reasonably-priced courts are no longer a secret to MTA, this being our second annual event there. We were 20+ players strong, and we had a great tournament. We played four rounds of 8 no-ad games each, rotating partners and opponents to the best of our ability each time, with some players getting a bye for one round (or two, if they wished).  Winners were determined by who won the most number of games per number of rounds played (we had to make it fair, right?!). There was one tiebreak situation (for Men’s Second Place), which was broken by an Earth-Day-related question (what percentage of electricity is saved by switching from incandescent to LED bulbs – the answer was approximately 80%).  First place winners: Pan Dechlalom (women’s) and Roger Lambert (men’s).  Second place winners: Susan Goodman (women’s) and Mike Turkull (men’s, after winning the tiebreak question to Marty Gutherz). Prizes were awarded and photos taken.

 After playing our hearts out in warm but mostly-overcast weather, we trekked up the hill, just to the right of the carousel, to a very nice location which included three picnic tables and a whole bunch of trees.  Several non-tennis-playing significant others (some who came straight from the March for Science) found us and joined us. Thanks to Lyn Murray’s culinary and organization prowess, an abundance of Chinese food was seamlessly delivered to us, and as most of us were starving by this time (1:30/1:45), we devoured the delicious food (and did our best to stay warm, as it was chillier up there).  Dry-fried chicken wings, spring rolls, sweet-and-sour pork, green beans with tofu, sweet-and-spicy chicken, Chinese broccoli beef, rice, and chow mein.  Dessert (brownies, peanut butter cookies, and fresh strawberries) were compliments of Lyn Murray and Robin Lee – thank you!  Fabulous meal – perfect for after all that tennis!

 Folks had the option of staying into the later afternoon to enjoy one of the many other sights and activities available in Golden Gate Park. Rumor has it that some of our group took in the “Summer of Love” exhibit at the DeYoung, while others of us headed home. Either way, it was a great day. Special thanks to Lyn (who co-organized the event with me), and to everyone else who brought stuff, carried stuff, cleaned up, and added your own great personalities (and tennis) to the day.

 Click here for more photos (compliments of Donna Haiman):


2017 MTA Men’s Singles      

by Steve Graham 

After many days of rain, the Montclair tennis courts were under sunny skies for the MTA Men’s Singles Tournament on Saturday, April 15.  Having just finished our taxes, tennis was the perfect outlet to mourn our depleted bank accounts.  Though our turnout was small, the numbers were just right for four eager contestants on two reserved courts.  The time and format allowed each of us to play a full set against the other three.

With MTA President Richard Stark in attendance, Richard Goslee led off with a first set tie-breaker win over Steve Graham, 7-6.  Newly-minted MTA member Mike Gilpin used his big game for two victories at 6-1 and 6-2.  But it was the cagey and always well-positioned Eric Steinhauer who calmly put away all comers, winning his three sets 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, to claim first prize, a dapper white MTA tennis cap.

Exhausted but happy to have survived three tough sets of singles, and pleased with such good competition, we retired to a picnic lunch of barbequed chicken wings, tuna salad sandwiches, hummus and chips, and a healthy dessert of cut up apples – not bad vittles for a group of guys!  Thanks to one and all.


Men's Doubles

by Steve Graham                                       

The Montclair Tennis Association Men's Doubles Event was held at Mills College on Sunday, March 19th.  We were honored to have three of the finest men's doubles teams to ever play the event.  MTA Hall of Famer Mike Turkull was paired with punster Peter Volin.  Andrew Ivary, recently recognized as the fastest human being to ever step on a tennis court, joined forces with the crafty Marty Gutherz.  At the last minute, Jim Seid flew in from a whirlwind Pan Asian tour where he was undefeated, to pair with USTA champion Roger Lambert.

On the very first point, the event was marred by a leg injury to Mike Turkull.  But traveling as always with a deep bench, he was able to call up Pan Dechlalom-Seid, who met with the hearty acceptance of teammate Peter Volin, and the unanimous approval of every opponent.  Once asked for his set leading score, Volin reported "4-2-itous."  Ivary lived up to his reputation for covering 95% of the court, leaving partner Gutherz standing at the baseline to watch.  But in the end, it was Seid and Lambert who won every match to garner the crown.  Ivary and Gutherz suffered only one defeat to claim the runner up spot.

Mark your calendars now for next March.  You will not want to miss this hotly contested annual event!