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Kidney Stone, Car Accident, Bad Knee Don’t Slow GA Team

By Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern

Player with a kidney stone? Call in the reinforcements!

That’s what captain Betsy Backe did when Maggie Powell, one of nine Georgia 3.5 players from Valdosta, went to a Mobile hospital with a kidney stone.

Maggie Powell

The Georgia team gathers around Maggie Powell in Providence Hospital.

“On Thursday, Maggie complained of nausea and a pain in her back. But she still came with us here,” Backe reported. “She said the pain was very strong and we took her to the hospital.”

The team gathered around Powell Friday night to offer comfort. Treatment was set for Saturday in Providence Hospital on Airport Boulevard.

“She’s resting comfortably now. A true teammate,” Backe said.

But, like any resourceful captain (aren’t they all resourceful?), Backe had another player in the wings. Lita Hollister was able to get to Mobile – she flew in and arrived  at 2 a.m. – to bolster a bruised lineup by joining Backe in No. 1 doubles.

The team, which plays out of McKey Park, continued its run of wins despite additional setbacks plaguing other players.

Gretchen Fricks was in a car accident Monday. “Her car was totaled,” Backe said. “She still has bruises but she said she could play.”

Cheri Tillman

Cheri Tillman hits a forehand on her way to a doubles victory.

Another teammate, Kim Lindsey, has been dealing with a torn meniscus. She decided to opt for rest instead of surgery but was getting little as she was still competing in doubles. “She said she wanted to go on court and play through it. She played twice {on Friday}.”

Backe, a dermatologist, serves as the team’s trainer. She made sure the players came to Mobile ready to compete in the heat by organizing practices in the middle of the day on weekends. While temperatures this weekend are relatively moderate for Mobile, Georgia’s Azalea City is known for scorching heat in July.

Despite the team’s misfortunes, the players have rallied to support each other.  As Backe said, “It’s been a great weekend. No drama.”