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Evan Woodworth and Veronica Alteri’s Pickleball Journey

Evan Woodworth and Veronica Alteri: Evan Woodworth, a 67-year-old resident of Clifton Park, New York, didn’t quite know what awaited him at the recent 4.0+ mixed doubles pickleball tournament in Sportime/Schenectady. Teamed with 18-year-old Veronica Alteri, a former standout from Schalmont High School, they set out on a journey that culminated in an unexpected but thrilling victory.

Skill and Synergy: Their Winning Formula

Woodworth, a self-proclaimed recreational player, initially teamed up with Alteri based on her impressive skills witnessed in casual games. “I saw her crushing the ball and thought, ‘Wow, where did she come from?'” Woodworth recalled. “I hoped she would carry me, and that’s pretty much what happened.”

Alteri, fresh from her freshman season of NCAA Division II tennis at Ave Maria University, brought her competitive edge to the pickleball court. Despite Woodworth’s modesty, Alteri emphasized his crucial role in their success. “He held his own quite well,” she noted. “His drop shots and precise volleys were crucial. We played very well together, and it was a lot of fun.

Their Tournament Journey

Their journey through the tournament was marked by resilience and teamwork. After navigating through a challenging round-robin phase and the semifinals, they found themselves in a tense championship match. Facing a daunting deficit in the final game, they staged an impressive comeback to clinch the title.

Reflections on Success: Evan and Veronica’s Perspective

Reflecting on their performance, Woodworth likened their comeback to momentum shifts in volleyball, a sport he also enjoys. “Sometimes you start playing better, and then momentum swings your way,” he explained. “It happens in all sports.”

For Alteri, pickleball has become a serious pursuit, especially with her exposure to the sport in Naples, Florida, a hub for pickleball enthusiasts. “Naples considers itself the pickleball capital of the world,” she remarked. “I got into it because my roommate, a tennis pro turned pickleball enthusiast, encouraged me to keep improving.”

Although Alteri only started playing pickleball less than two years ago, her background in tennis provided a smooth transition. “My tennis skills made the transfer to pickleball easier,” she said. “I enjoy the faster pace, the smaller court, and the quick reactions required at the net.”

Future Aspirations: Continuing the Pickleball Journey

Looking ahead, Alteri plans to continue her pickleball journey with more tournaments this summer, including a potential appearance in Liverpool, New York. “I also love singles, but it’s harder to find opportunities for that,” she added. “I hope to play more women’s doubles and maybe reunite with my roommate for some doubles action.”

In contrast, Woodworth, content with the tournament experience, intends to return to pickleball purely for recreation. “I play for fun,” he affirmed. “It keeps me active and helps me meet new people.”

For both players, pickleball has not only provided a platform for competition but also a community. Woodworth noted the sport’s social appeal and its ability to engage players of all ages and skill levels. “It’s a great way to stay active and connect with others,” he said. “Pickleball has really taken off, and it’s easy to see why.”

As pickleball continues to grow in popularity across the country, Woodworth and Alteri’s partnership presents the sport’s inclusive spirit and the joy it brings to players young and old alike. Their victory serves as a testament to the camaraderie and excitement that define pickleball tournaments, making each match a memorable journey.

Evan Woodworth and Veronica Alteri

News in Brief: Evan Woodworth and Veronica Alteri

Evan Woodworth, a recreational player from Clifton Park, New York, teamed up with 18-year-old Veronica Alteri, a former standout tennis player, for a surprising victory in a 4.0+ mixed doubles pickleball tournament. Alteri’s impressive skills complemented Woodworth’s steady play, leading to a successful tournament run marked by resilience and teamwork. They overcame challenges in the round-robin and semifinals before staging a comeback in the championship match.

For Woodworth, the win mirrored momentum shifts in volleyball, while Alteri, influenced by Naples’ pickleball culture, plans to continue competing, drawn to the sport’s fast pace and community spirit. Their partnership underscores pickleball’s appeal across generations, combining competitive drive with social connection, making each tournament experience enriching and memorable.

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