CALIFORNIA DUO CONTINUES
NPA DOUBLES DOMINATION
By LOU GIAMPETRONI
ANN ARBOR, MICH. -- Kelly Gelhaus had a different partner this time but he still won his third straight National Paddleball Association national doubles championship on April 23, 2006.
Gelhaus teamed with Todd Entrikin to easily handle Mike Wisniewski and Mike Czabala, 21-8, 21-13, at the Old IM Building of the University of Michigan.
Gelhaus, 35, and Entrikin, 25, both of Riverside, CA, didnt have much trouble with Wisniewski, 47, of Bay City, Mich., and Czabala, 29, of Los Angeles.
Gelhaus, who lost his chance to win a third straight national NPA singles title a month earlier, won the previous two doubles championships with Steve Lerner, also of Riverside.
Entrikin was a fantastic replacement.
Gelhaus was his usual, dependable self -- despite just coming off a grueling, three-game loss in the Seniors final to Andy Mitchell and Don Kirkconnell.
Entrikin, who does power-washing of buildings and homes, got just about everything on the right side thrown at him by his opponents. And when he wasnt doing that, he was covering on the left, front side for Gelhaus. Wisniewski-Czabala just had great difficulty scoring because of Entrikin.
And most of the time, he was scoring. A lot. On drives and quick corner shots. The only thing he seems to lack in that department is the almost incredible soft, corner shots of Gelhaus.
Hes the quickest player Ive ever seen, said Gelhaus.
Wisniewski and Czabala just never seemed to get comfortable and probably hoped that the Seniors match had taken a lot out of Gelhaus. It did but he recovered enough to carry his share of the offensive load.
The first game saw both sides feeling each other out and just trying to get some rhythm.
It was 3-0 for Gelhaus-Entrikin before Wisniewski-Czabala got their first point.
Not much happened for a while with the score tied at 4. Then the new champs ran off 10 unanswered points to take a 14-4 lead. That was pretty much the outcome with Gelhaus-Entrikin outscoring their foes, 7-4, the rest of the way.
The start of the second game was similar to the first. Wisniewski-Czabala seemed to be stuck on 4 points for quite a while. The biggest lead for the winners was 18-8 before a late flurry cut the margin to 19-11. Both sides then scored two each to close out the match.
Afterward, Entrikin was referred to as a great sub for Lerner but Gelhaus said: Hes no sub. Were permanent.
Entrikin said he has been playing paddleball about five years and previously played a lot of racquetball since I was 2. His father, Terry, was a top-level racquetballer for a number of years.
Entrikin also found time to team up with Vince Carlone to win the Mens A championship earlier in the day. And he played just about as magnificently in that one.