| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The sun was shining, the players flocked to the courts and New York Beach Tennis (NYBT) hit the sand running in its first tournament of the summer. No one could've asked for more, as players were treated to a day of competition and great camaraderie at the beautiful Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y., which boasts four sand courts on premises.

On this weekend, over 70 local players hit the sand and none left disappointed, with many wondering how quickly they could come back for the next NYBT practice and tournament.

In Men’s Pro Doubles, the finals featured familiar foes as the team of Devin Wakeford & Phil Stolt battled David Sickmen & Brad Berger for the Championship. With the court surrounded by onlookers, Wakeford & Stolt impressively took care of business on this day and hoisted their trophies as the winners of the first NY Beach Tennis Tournament.

“A great tournament with great weather and an all-around great day,” said Phil Stolt, one half of the Men’s Pro Doubles championship team. “Thanks to NYBT, DJ Curtis McCalla, and all of the sponsors. I encourage everyone to join us and play NYBT. It will surely be a great day in the sun and the sand."

In Women’s Doubles, it came down to Val Bogard & Angela LaManna taking on the team of Liz Kobak & Julia Koubalaya. This was the first Beach Tennis Tournament for all four competitors, and the match turned into a battle of attrition, as both teams were worn down by a full day of competition. In the end, Bogard and LaManna were able to survive a second set tie-breaker to pull out the victory to win the championship.

"I had an amazing time playing in the first NYBT tournament at Crest Hollow,” said Jen Petersen, who played in the NYBT Tournament. “The competition was great, the atmosphere and the music were amazing, and my doubles partner and I cannot wait until the next tournament!"

Even when players weren't in the midst of matches, the fun didn't stop. NY Beach Tennis brought in a multitude of sponsors and entertainment so that players and attendees could enjoy refreshing smoothies from Jamba Juice, play beach games provided by LI Tennis Magazine, be interviewed on NY Tennis Magazine's Tennis Talk NY Radio Show, play the John McEnroe Tennis Academy-branded Corn Hole game, and listen to music by DJ Curtis McCalla. Players also received a litany of prizes from the tournament organizers and sponsors alike, as each left with a swag bag full of gifts which included gifts from Sportime, The John McEnroe Tennis Academy, Holabird Sports, Boast, ZEMgear and many many others.

Who could argue with the surroundings at Crest Hollow? After their matches, players jumped in the Crest Hollow pool to cool off and went up to the food bar to have lunch. Even during the intense competition, a short break was taken as players gathered around the TV to watch FIFA World Cup action between Brazil and Chile.

"The first tournament of the 2014 NYBT Summer Season was a huge success,” said Matt Garavaglia, director of racquet sports at Crest Hollow Country Club.

In the end, it was debatable as to what aspect of the day was the best, but what couldn't be argued was that it was simply a great day of New York Beach Tennis, and the excitement for what this group can do is growing.

"NYBT at Crest Hollow CC gives Beach Tennis players in the New York area a place to play organized Beach Tennis all summer long,” said David Sickmen, founder and president of NYBT and owner/publisher of United Sports Publications. “We are growing our player base by reaching into the junior tennis and adult tennis world for new players and we are making sure everyone who comes into this sport is happy with their experience on the sand so that they keep playing.”

New York Beach Tennis will run three more tournaments this summer, Saturdays, July 19, Aug. 2 and Aug. 16, in addition to weekly open play and mixers. There will be a week night play day under the lights, as well as a weekend play day. There are memberships available for NYBT seasonally, or you can pay a guest rate to play. NYBT is hosted at the beautiful Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y., which also boasts five tennis courts, four paddle courts and a huge pool, in addition to the Beach Tennis Arena.

Follow NYBT on Instagram at instagram.com/nybeachtennis, or find us on Facebook at “NY BeachTennis.” For more information, e-mail info@usptennis.com