Tennis Club Is Back in Full Swing

Back row (left to right): John Jerome (club president), Melissa Craig, Gil Gilliland, Kenny Nelson (vice
president), James Morgan, JD Stephenson, and Brian Turner (secretary); front row (left to right): John Schlenker,
Jack Barber, Sherry Mullen-Strang, Sue Stephenson, Dianna Wreford (co-tournament director), and Barb Hall (photo by Melissa Craig)

Sharlene Jerome

Memberships are up! Tournaments are on!

New Member Spotlights: Rowland Tegio and Sherry Mullen-Strang

Both Rowland and Sherry have migrated from the Great State of Washington. Just as my husband and I did a few years ago, if you spend enough time in the Seattle area, sometimes you just need to “find the sun.” As SunBird residents, you know there is plenty to be found here in Chandler, especially this past summer!

You can definitely say that Rowland is no slacker when it comes to tennis. He played for one year at Bellevue College and continued his collegiate career at Central Washington University. Having played USTA myself in the Seattle area, I can attest to how good the players are and what the expectation levels are in the state. He also served as the assistant tennis coach for both the men’s and women’s teams at Bellevue College. In the 35s division he played as a 5.0 player. So, we are all going to need to step it up a level (or two). He joined the club simply to be associated with a great group of people who love the game of tennis.

In Sherry’s case, who doesn’t love a good tennis love story? On the professional tour, we saw it first with Gael Monfils and Elena Svitolina and then Stefanos Tsitsipas and Paula Badosa. When Sherry was younger, she was eager to learn and started looking for a club in Bellevue, Wash., where she lived. Her “used-to-be boyfriend” Jerry Strang, owner of the Bellevue Racquet Club, had taken an instant liking to her. He bought her a membership to his club, the first indoor tennis facility in the State of Washington. However, there was a 100-plus person waiting list. Miraculously, Sherry’s name went to the top of the list. They were eventually wed on center court at his facility. Sadly, Jerry has now passed, which is how Sherry ended up living in Arizona. On her frequent visits to the Valley of the Sun to see her niece and other family members, she always gravitated to SunBird. Early this year she finally bought her home. She is looking forward to her new tennis life with our club.

For the first tournament of the season, we teamed up with neighboring club Springfield, hosting Cottonwood on Oct. 28. It was a tightly contested match, but we did prevail 17 Springfield/SunBird and 11 Cottonwood! Way to go to all who played and supported the event.

November was an extremely busy month for us, as we had our first all-club meeting on the 7th, hosted Robson Ranch on the 11th, and held our welcome back tennis tourney on the 18th. Be sure to sign up for all the events via the Team Reach app. It is so easy to use and provides the club with better efficiency and insights. In addition, we implemented a new color-coded team assignment system for tournament food and day of responsibilities to ensure that everyone contributes in an equitable way.

We will have our annual Christmas Party on Dec. 12 in the Lakeview Room here at SunBird starting at 5 p.m.

Now that most of the snowbirds have returned, we have begun our regular season play, which is as follows:

All Mixed Doubles:

• Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday at 10 a.m.

• Thursday and Friday at 9 a.m.

Please sign up via Team Reach!