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tennis-10-26small.jpgLocal youth dominated singles play at the eighth annual Verde Valley Championships hosted by the Sedona Racquet Club this past weekend.
By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers

Local youth dominated singles play at the eighth annual Verde Valley Championships hosted by the Sedona Racquet Club this past weekend.

Alexander Lineberry, 15, of Cornville won the men’s 4.5 singles title. Cassandra Kovac, 15, of Sedona won the women’s 4.0 singles title and Aubrey Danks, 12, of Flagstaff won the women’s 3.0 singles title.

 Michele Bradley/Larson Newspapers

“It is wonderful to see the young players playing and performing so well in tournament matches,” tournament director Larry Lineberry said.

Alexander Lineberry won three matches without dropping a set in the men’s 4.0 singles title and defeated Steve Flora, 6-2; 6-2, in the final.

He then teamed with Rylie Longfield of Flagstaff to win the mixed 4.0 doubles title by defeating Charo Dglane and Stan Konopka, both of Phoenix, 6-2; 6-2.

In men’s 4.5 doubles competition, Alexander Lineberry partnered with Thanet Khamlua, 17, of Cottonwood, to make it all the way to the finals before losing to Flora and Eric Meyers of Rimrock, 6-1; 6-2.

“Junior players comprised about 20 percent of the total number of entrants. They won five of the six events in which a junior was entered and were finalists in the sixth event,” Larry Lineberry said.

As for Kovac, she won three matches to claim the women’s 4.0 singles title and defeated Paula Migala of Phoenix in the final, 4-6; 6-1; 7-6.

“There was a much-improved turnout of female players this year compared to previous tournaments. That is always good to see,” Lineberry said.

Other notables were Bill DeRidder and Daryle Buntley, winning the men’s 3.5 doubles title by defeating Diego Constante and Ed Wilkinson, 4-6; 6-3; 7-6.

In one of the more competitive matches of the tournament, Dr. Stuart Osher of Sedona defeated Alex Dinatale of Flagstaff in the men’s 3.5 singles final, 7-6; 2-6; 7-6.

“The city of Flagstaff was well represented this year compared to previous tournaments as well,” Lineberry said.

Lineberry says the SRC clay courts continue to be enjoyed by all players.

“With these clay courts, participation will slowly rise for years to come,” Lineberry said.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 131, or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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