Carmel Racquet Club team finishes 2nd in national competition


Lisamaria Burkhard had never been on a tennis court.

That changed when she moved from California to Carmel four years ago.

“I was active hiking and a friend said, ‘Have you ever thought about taking up tennis?” Burkhard said. “I had never picked up a racket or even watched a tennis match in my life. I decided I would try it and liked it.”

Burkhard went all in on the sport.

“I captained about 30 teams (women and mixed-doubles), and almost every team came out first in their division,” Burkhard said. 

One of her United States Tennis Association teams, the Carmel Racquet Club 3.0 women’s 40-and-older team, placed second nationally last month in Orlando. The team, representing the Midwest, won four matches to finish first among 17 teams and reach the semifinals. The team won its semifinal match against a Missouri Valley team and then lost to a team from South Carolina, 3-2.

“I had a good, solid team that worked really well this year,” Burkhard said.

Burkhard took a different 3.0 team to the nationals in 2018.

“USTA has a rule that once you go to nationals, you have to disband that team,” Burkhard said. “So, these girls were all pretty new to this league this summer. We can go up a level but we can’t play at this level for another year.”

Burkhard, who plays on all the teams she coaches, estimated she played more than 100 matches this year.

Team members are Peggy Waldal, Westfield; Susie Rosenstihl, Fishers; Taeko Escasa, Fishers; Nancy Clemens, Carmel; Lynda Manley, New Palestine; Barb Birge, Indianapolis; Anne Wolf, Greenwood; Cathy Rasmussen, Zionsville; Alicia Wickler, Zionsville; Wei Wang, Carmel; and Erika Holly, Fishers.