Wendy Lawrence became totally involved in a squash tournament this weekend. As resident pro at the Capitol Hill Squash Club, she helped coordinate the Loew's Cherry Blossom Open there. She also wanted to get in on the competition.
Yesterday, in the women's final of the second annual tournament, Lawrence defeated Nanette Mutrie, a physical education professor at Glasgow University in Scotland, 15-12, 9-15, 15-10, 14-16, 15-9.
"I was really tired in the first game," Lawrence said. "I've been so busy around here I haven't had the time to concentrate on my own game."
In the men's final, unranked Glenn Perry of Ardmore, Pa., recovered from a sluggish start and defeated defending champion, and 19th ranked, Scott Ryan, 8-15, 17-16, 15-6, 15-7.
Playing Mutrie, ranked fifth in Scotland, was almost more than Lawrence, 28, could handle. Falling behind in every game, Lawrence began putting the ball deep, keeping Mutrie off balance.
Both players showed superb placement in their shot selection throughout the match; Mutrie playing a solid short game and Lawrence countering with her precision-placed deep, low volleys.
Lawrence, who is ranked 23rd nationally, was impressed by Mutrie, playing her first tournament in the United States.
"She is very well-tooled in her skills," Lawrence said of Mutrie, currently on leave from Glasgow while studying sports psychology at Penn State. "I believe that the difference in rules in which she plays under in Scotland hurt her some today. But once she makes the adjustment (to harder balls on a smaller court), she'll be hard to beat."
Mutrie said the three-day event was a challenge and that she would look for more tournaments during the time she has left in this country.
"The rules are somewhat difficult to adjust to, and at the same time a bit more lenient than in Scotland," she said. "Also, the ball is much harder here, so you have to play back and play the ball and not let it play you."