League Most Valuable Players Butch Walts and Mary Lou Piatek defeated John Mattke and Candy Reynolds, 6-3, in mixed doubles Sunday night to give the San Diego Buds a 25-24 victory over St. Louis in the TeamTennis championship match at MacFarlane Park in San Antonio.
The Buds, who finished in second place during the regular season with 10-4 record, lost three of the first four matches Sunday and trailed the Slims, 21-19, heading into the mixed doubles match.
But Walts, named the league's male MVP after the match, and Piatek, the female MVP, broke Reynolds' serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and set the stage for Walts to serve for the championship. He served three aces in the deciding game including one at 40-30, the Buds' third match point.
"I think both teams we a bit nervous because it was a championship match but we had to hang in there," Buds Coach Larry Willens said. "We played one point at a time and I think, in the end, we out-gutted them."
Robin White, later named the league's Rookie of the Year, put San Diego in front, 10-9, after the women's play, defeating Sandy Collins, 6-3. Collins and Reynolds had given the Slims a 6-4 lead by beating White and Piatek in doubles.