Tennis courts in Turlock are typically populated by high school and collegiate teams seeking competition and individuals looking for recreation, but from September to March there is a group of women who occupy the courts at Brenda Athletic Club in search of both.
For years the Turlock Women's Doubles team has competed in both the B and C divisions of the Central Valley Tennis League, bringing together women from their 30s to late 60s and giving them an opportunity to support each other, have fun and exercise with racquets in hand.
“It's friendship, camaraderie and exercise. We get out there, and when you play for an hour and a half on the court, you just forget all your troubles and any aches and pains you might have. You just get out there and play and it's very rewarding,” Pat Weisel said. “It's nice and fun, but it's competition. So we're always happy when we win and when we play against good players.”
This year, the Turlock Women's Doubles B and C teams added success to their season's lot as the C team placed first in league and the B team placed second after both placed third in their respective divisions a year ago. It was the first time the C team won league since 2003.
“The C team has kind of been in the wilderness with a lot of rebuilding years,” Weisel said with a laugh. “This year we were so excited because we came in first. We were very, very happy.”
The C team, which consists of 10 women across five doubles teams, earned their first place position with a 17-1 record as they took down a number of teams from areas like Modesto, Stockton, Discovery Bay and Lodi.
“We're about half the size of some of these other teams and we ended up beating them. So we were very happy about that,” Weisel said.
Weisel and her teammates now have less than three months before the beginning of another season in the CVTL, during which time the Turlocker encourages women with an interest in tennis to check out the team and join in on fun.
“The focus is competition, but it's also friendship,” Weisel said. “Anybody can do it if you want to. Where there's a will there's a way.”