Sports Stories

‘Tis the season to hit a volley.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la.
Donate food, play some tennis and be jolly.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la.

Forty tennis players came out for an afternoon of friendly mixed doubles tennis at the first ever Happy Volleydays at Poco Diablo Resort on Saturday, Dec. 16. The event served as a food drive to gather donations for the Sedona Community Food Bank, and organizer Claudette Laliberte’s expectations were superseded.

“I was not expecting this many people,” Laliberte said. “I was expecting 10 to 17 pairs, we doubled what we expected.”

Since the closure of the Cornville food bank, Sedona’s food bank now serves Sedona proper, the Village of Oak Creek, Cornville and Page Springs. The non-perishable food items, mostly canned goods, immediately went to help the pantry. which hands out twice every Wednesday. About 150 pounds were donated, according to Laliberte.

“We’re just so appreciative to get anybody who can contribute,” said Stacy Moore, the food bank’s secretary of the board of directors. “Every little bit helps.”

Laliberte paired players up and put the pairs into four separate categories depending on level of play: the Santas, the Reindeer, the Elves and the Jingle Bells.

The pairs played round robin, no-ad scoring solely within their own division until a champion was crowned. To the winner went a golden sneaker complete with a candy cane. Laliberte also called out Christmas movie trivia questions, the correct respondent receiving a prize.

Many of the participants found out through Laliberte herself, a local teaching professional who gives lessons to many of them. Other teaching professionals on hand were Chris Armstrong and United States Professional Tennis Association Master Professional Larry Lineberry.

“I’m having a howling time,” participant Leanna Sewell said. “It’s super cool for Sedona. Forty people attending and chipping in for the community of Sedona.”

Lynn Mathews and Diego Constante were the Santas champions and from the Jingle Bells it was the pairing of Carolee Hayley and Jeff Gloss. Winning the Elves division were Della Moore and Rune Carlson and taking the Reindeer bracket were Suzanne Eversull and Bob Doig.

“It’s always a good turnout here, it’s not really serious and it’s a lot of fun,” Carlson said.


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