Team Sarner, composed of Windsor Square residents Stacy and Mike Sarner, triumphed over some 30 teams to win the first Larchmont Village Pickelball Tournament held in the Larchmont city parking lot on Saturday morning. The Sarners edged out Kitchen Keepers, the team of Matt Rosen and Sean Grumman, Hancock Park residents who were undefeated in their round robin segment.
“The tournament was an excellent example of what pickleball can be, a fun game accessible to players of all ages and all skill levels, and a chance to meet new people at the same time — a win win,” said Gary Gilbert, a Windsor Square resident and pickleball enthusiast who helped organize the tournament along with Annie Wyrick, manager of Beyond Yoga, Melissa Farwell, market manager for our Larchmont Farmers Market, Heather Duffy Boylston, executive director of the Larchmont Village BID, and this writer who, in addition to the Buzz, serves on the board of the Larchmont Boulevard Association.
“I played and really enjoyed meeting new people and seeing familiar faces from the community,” said Hancock Park resident Rosalie Roth. “My next-door neighbor showed up…I didn’t even know he played PB!”
“As a new member of this community, I felt welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed myself,” said Marvina White, who played with longtime Windsor Square resident Margaret Shipman.
In all, sixteen two-player teams players participated in the tournament, with each team playing three rounds over the course of the two-hour tournament, which used “rally scoring” to keep the games moving and reduce waiting times for players.
“Rally scoring means a point is scored on every point, no matter who serves,” Gilbert explained to the players. “So if you hit it into the net, your opponent gets a point. It takes a bit of focus, but it will prevent long games. First team to 15 wins, there’s no “win by two,” and the potential for real drama at 14 -14.”
Teams were divided into two flights playing on the two courts laid out in the traffic lanes of the parking lot. The Los Angeles Tennis Club lent the nets, and tournament organizer Gary Gilbert and this writer laid out the courts with tape early Saturday morning. By 9 a.m., the parking lot was transformed into a tournament space, with nearly 30 people showing up for free lessons. Pickleball player and teacher Alana Jackler provided free instructions to more than thirty players who signed up to learn how to play the game. For some, this was their first time holding a paddle and trying the sport. Loaner paddles were provided by Beyond Yoga, the Buzz, Gary Gilbert and the Los Angeles Tennis Club.
The idea for the tournament came from the Larchmont 2021 community conversations, at which residents expressed strong support for more community events and efforts to beautify and activate the public spaces on Larchmont for community-building activities beyond the weekly farmers markets and the annual Larchmont Family Fair. Transforming the city parking lot into two pickleball courts for four hours required only nets and tape. But it took the generous support of residents and local businesses to bring the plans of the small organizing committee to life. The proceeds from the tournament will be applied to the installation and maintenance of the bistro lights on Larchmont and in the city parking lot.
Thanks to the following players (listed below in no particular order) who signed up and supported the tournament. Their enthusiasm and sportsmanship have started a new Larchmont tradition.
Star Queens – James Bekier and Steven Starling
Team Anawanna – Brianna Duran and Tanner Elza
BK Pickleball – Robert Kylman and Dena Bloom
Kitchen Keepers – Matt Rosen and Sean Grumman
Rickenbacker – Rikin Mantri and Kim Shetter
Nonesuch – Rosalie Roth and Paulo Henrique Gusmao Williams
Sypek Group – Laura Shirley and Ryan Sypek
For the Love of LVP – Jonathan Swaden and Kyle Alleman
Original Sinners – Izzy Sartorius and Kim Deck
Collibal – Megan Colligan and Mark Roybal
The M & M’s – Margaret Shipman and Marvina White
Pickle Twins – Declan and Hudson McGough
Kosher Dills – Celey Schumer and Becca Roth
Pickled Beats – Heather Moiseve and Bambi Bambrogan
Manchester United – Dan Sturman and Josh Willis
Team Sarner – Mike and Stacy Sarner
Thanks, too, to the local businesses who generously donated prizes for the tournament. The top two players won a travel tote valued at $175 from Topdrawer, Beyond Yoga tote bags filled with goodies including a $75 gift certificate from Credo Beauty, a gift certificate from Salt & Straw, and a cookbook, plus the winning four players received a free pair of pants donated by DU/ER apparel. All the teams who signed up to play each took home a swag bag from Beyond Yoga filled with a water bottle, a towel, and a $5 discount card from Topdrawer. Players and guests of the tournament were treated to free snacks from MUSH overnight oats, Boxed water, Suja organic juice, Synergy Kombucha, The Bad Tea Company, WHY bars superfood bars, and Holey Grail Donuts was on site serving up its complete line of beverages.