Wes and Betty Sandvig Family
Nearly 40 years ago, Carol Sandvig biked to
Augustana’s two asphalt courts to hit against the wire
fences and learn the game from instructors Don Grebin
and John Simko. Carol and father, Wes, were first in the
family to take to the courts, but a move in 1961 to the
McKennan Park neighborhood sent a passion for tennis
raging through the Sandvig household.
Wes and Betty Sandvig and their four children – son
Craig and daughters Carol, Chris, and Kari impacted
tennis not only in South Dakota – but nationwide as
players and coaches. The family is being recognized with
the 1998 SD Tennis Achievement Award.
After a days work at Midwest Beach in downtown Sioux
Falls, Wes would change into his white tennis shorts,
pull on his Stan Smith tennis shoes and walk the three
blocks to affectionately do battle with the likes of
Durand Young or Lloyd "Carlie" Carlson. His kids saw the
fun and exercise he so much enjoyed and the rest is
history! When he’d return to work the next day, he knew
where his family was – at McKennan learning the game of
tennis from park instructors like Tom Line, Don Grebin,
Rich Stevenson, Pam Gefke, Fred Fischer and V. Smith.
The tournaments and hundreds of trophies followed for
the four children – throughout the Northwestern Tennis
Association and later into Big Ten Tennis Championships.
"None of it would have been possible," said Chris,
"without the tireless support and good nature of our
parents. Mom transported us to tournaments, sewed
dresses, ironed shorts and pleats, housed more kids than
the house could handle and cooked for any player that
was hungry. Mom says she had all the fun while Dad had
Wes and Betty said that having such a strong interest
in a healthy, exhausting sport like tennis encouraged a
"wholesome" lifestyle – with priceless friendships
through their greater South Dakota tennis "family."
Craig, one of the nation’s leading instructors of
junior players out of Sunset Tennis Center, St. Louis,
Mo., was a dominant high school player in Sioux Falls.
The lanky lefty was at Washington High in 1965 when he
teamed with Randy Peterson to win the state doubles –
then when Lincoln High opened, became a Patriot –
winning singles titles in 1966 and ’67 (doubles with
Recruited to the University of Iowa, he played for
Dr. Don Klotz and the late John Winnie and is listed in
the ‘Iowa Bests’ under career singles and doubles
winning percentage. He finished second at flight #3
singles in 1969 and ’71 at the Big Ten Championships and
won the Iowa Big Ten Medal as the school’s top scholar
athlete for all sports.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Craig attended
graduate school at Washington University, St. Louis. As
a player, he was ranked in the top five in the St. Louis
District for several years, and he played two summers in
Europe. During his 20 years as a USPTA Pro 1, Craig has
coached ten state champions and many nationally ranked
and collegiate players. He has been a St. Louis Area
Training Center Administrator/Coach (USTA) and leader in
junior tennis development.
Carol was a top-ranked junior player growing up in
Sioux Falls, capping her career with a state singles
title for Washington High in 1970 (beating sister
Chris). Then she played at Arizona State where her team
won three national team championships, (1971, ’72, ’74).
Tennis and year-round sun was a good mix for Carol
and she’s been in the Phoenix area ever since with her
tennis career. She is a USPTA teaching professional and
USTA National and Sectional umpire. Her coaching career
includes leading the women’s team at Phoenix College
(’75-’80), assistant at Arizona State and head coach for
Tennis Europe for seven years and Grand Canyon
University ’89 to ’96.
She really flourished at Grand Canyon – leading the
team to second place finishes nationally in 1992 and
1995. She was named Coach of the Year by NAIA District
VII and the California Collegiate Association (twice).
In 1996, Carol was named the ITA/Wilson NCAA Division II
National Coach of the Year and Southwest Section USPTA
College Coach of the Year.
She continues to teach tennis and work as an umpire
and resides in Chandler, AZ with husband Ken Cornell.
Chris Sandvig Dummermuth
Chris has spent virtually her entire life playing,
teaching and coaching tennis – beyond what any woman has
ever done in South Dakota history.
Highly ranked in the NWTA as a junior, Chris finished
her prep career with two state tennis singles titles at
Washington High (1971, ’72). While at Augustana, she
played on the men’s tennis team, competing in the North
Central Conference. Her "favorite" partner in doubles
was future husband, Dave Dummermuth.
She’s taught in the Sioux Falls School District since
1975 and since 1987 has coached the Lincoln High boy’s
team to five state team tennis titles. Five times the SD
High School Activities Association has named her Tennis
Coach of the Year. Her repeated state titles in singles
and doubles as a player led to her being selected 1985
Female Independent Athlete of the Year by the SD
Sportswriters Association. Augustana College honored her
in 1991 as Alumni Coach of the Year.
Kari Sandvig Richardson
Kari learned tennis as a junior at McKennan Courts.
But when Wes and Betty moved to the Twin Cities area of
Minnesota, Kari played for Mounds View High School –
qualifying for the state tournament during her junior
and senior years.
She then competed four years at the University of
Minnesota as a key part of three regional team
championships. She won flight #6 singles in the Big Ten
in 1978, was flight #3 doubles champion the same year
and won flight #2 doubles in 1980. As a senior she
played #1 in both singles and doubles and won the alumni
Award as outstanding tennis player for the Golden
Kari and husband Paul (teaching pro in St. Louis and
Aberdeen, SD native) live in St. Louis, MO, with their
three daughters: Elyse, Laura and Emily. She works as a
speech and language pathologist in an elementary school.