Courting fun

Families enjoying playing in Mixed Family Doubles division

Scott Voytilla lunges to return a shot Friday as his daughter Tayvia backs him up in their 6-2, 7-6 victory over Paul O’Neill and Matt Miller in the Mixed Family Doubles division of the McDonald’s Family Classic.

It was unusual for Tayvia Voytilla to play a doubles match against two males.

Sure, it was a little intimidating at first, but the 13-year-old adjusted.

“It was different with all the boys out there,” she said. “Last year we played another daughter and dad, and I knew the girl. One, I didn’t know them, and two, I was out there with all boys.”

Tayvia and her father, Scott, defeated cousins Paul O’Neill and Scott Miller 6-2, 7-6 on Friday in the first round of the Mixed Family Doubles 13-under division of the McDonald’s Family Classic at the Elliott Tennis Center at Colorado Mesa University.

“It’s fun,” Scott Voytilla said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but anything to go out and have fun with my daughter.

“Last year she got pneumonia right before Taco Bell and couldn’t play in it. We’ve been trying to get her back into it. This is her first tournament back into it.”

The Voytillas play a mother/son duo in the semifinals today.

The Mixed Family Doubles division has one father/son team, one father/daughter team, one mother/son team, two mother/daughter teams and the one cousin team.

The mixture of teams were combined, so the teams could have an opportunity to play, and none of the participants in the division seemed to mind the different gender teams, especially when the children were all age 13 and under.

It wasn’t a big deal for Julianna Campos to play with her mother, Jennifer, against a father and son. She usually plays against boys in the Mesa County Junior Program.

“It was challenging, but we finally pulled it together, and we started playing our best,” Julianna said.

The Campos duo rallied to defeat Chris Mahre and his son, Tommy, 4-6, 6-1, (10-4) in the same division.

“You don’t really worry about who’s on the other side,” Jennifer Campos said. “You play the ball more than the person. That’s what I tell the kids. It did help that we knew them because it is different.

“It’s family stuff, and you’re playing with your kids. It doesn’t get better than that.”

Julianna and her mom play a mother/daughter team in the semifinals.

O’Neill, 22, wasn’t planning on playing in the tournament, but it was an opportunity to do something with his cousin.

O’Neill, who is from Ireland, is in Grand Junction for his six-week medical work placement. He is in medical school at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“I didn’t give him a choice,” Miller said.

“I was told, ‘You’re playing tennis on Friday,’ ” O’Neill said with a laugh.

They led 5-1 in the second set before losing to the Voytillas.


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