On Saturday, Bethpage Park Tennis Center hosted Long Island Tennis Magazine’s first official pickleball event as players came out to compete in the Pickleball Easter Classic.
The tournament was run by experienced pickleball tournament director David Radisch, and across two divisions, teams battled against one another in the round robin matches. This allowed for everyone to play a lot of matches against different teams over the course of the tournament.
At the end of the round robin play, the top two teams in each division played for gold and silver medals, while the teams that finished in third and fourth played for bronze.
In the Men’s Doubles 4.0 division, Ryan McCabe & Franklin Bermeo defeated CJ Shank & Lou Butzgy to win gold.
“We played well today, were able to come to the net quickly and put it away without being wild,” said McCabe.
“I have the touch, and he has the power game, so we complement each other well.”
Gerard Malinow & Michael Edelstein finished third and earned the bronze medal.
The Women’s Doubles 3.5 division saw Lisa Goldberg & Darlene Pergola defeat Heidi Hothan & Jennifer McGraw to win the title.
“Next week is the one-year anniversary of my double knee replacement surgery, and so I was determined to come out here and play well, and get back to that competition,” said Pergola.
This was the first time the pairing had played competitive pickleball together, but were able to come away victorious.
“This was our first pickleball tournament together, and it was great,” said Goldberg. “We love the power aspect of the game, not so much the dinking, but we are still getting better. It was really nice to come out here, and compete against a new group of people that we hadn’t met before.”
Lisa Layton & Jaime Weiss were the third-place finishers in the Women’s Doubles 3.5 division.
In all, the tournament was a fun way to spend a Saturday night, and in doing so the participants helped raise money for both Grow Tennis New York and Serve & Return, two 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that help to grow tennis and other racquet sports here in our community. Both winning teams walked away with new pickleball paddles courtesy of adidas. All players were treated to pizza, snacks and drinks throughout the evening.
“This is was a great tournament with good people and a fun atmosphere,” added Bermeo. “It was a nice night.”
"We want to thank all the players who came out to make the Pickleball Easter Classic a success, as well as thank Steve Kaplan and Bethpage Park Tennis Center for hosting the event, adidas for sponsoring the winning prizes, and David Radisch for being Tournament Director," said David Sickmen, publisher of Long Island Tennis Magazine. "We plan to continue our engagement into the pickleball world moving forward, and have plans to do big things to help grow the sport on Long Island."
Long Island Tennis Magazine’s next pickleball event will be the Hamptons Pickleball Open, set for Saturday, June 18 at Tennis & Pickleball at The Barn in Westhampton. This unique event will feature a 3.5 Mixed Doubles draw in the morning, followed by a Men's Pro $2,000 Prize Money tournament in the afternoon. There will be lunch, drinks and happy hour for all players and much more.
Scenes from the Pickleball Easter Classic