Polk County collected its first title of the season while Hillsborough, Orange/Seminole/Lake and Pinellas counties added to their title count at the USTA Florida Adult 18 & Over 3.0/4.5 Sectional Championships, held July 31-Aug. 2 at the USTA National Campus.
Squads competed in dual matches consisting of two singles courts along with three lines of doubles. The 3.0 women was the only division to compete on the hard courts of the National Campus over the weekend, while the other three played out on the clay.
The largest competition of the event was the women’s 3.0, where 16 different teams battled it out in hopes of leaving as a sectional champion. All four semifinalists – Alachua (D B Racquet Club, Gainesville), Miami-Dade (Coral Pine Park, Pinecrest), Okaloosa/Walton/Bay (Edgewater Beach Resort, Panama City) and Polk (Beerman Family Tennis Center, Lakeland) – emerged undefeated from their respective flights.
In the knockout stages, Miami-Dade swept Okaloosa/Walton/Bay 5-0 while Polk outlasted Alachua 3-2 to advance to the championship dual. Once there, Polk bested Miami-Dade 4-1 with a commanding sweep on the doubles courts. Line one went to Kacee Swain and Cassie Miller 6-2, 6-1 while the team of Kara Reber and Jennifer Spann took court two 6-1, 6-0. Captain Nicole Giusto and Amanda Smith capped off Polk’s doubles sweep 6-1, 2-6, 1-0. In singles action, Polk’s Amanda Strawbridge rallied to take the first singles court 6-7, 6-3, 1-0. Maira Maguire secured Miami-Dade’s only victory with ease, not dropping a game at line two singles.
On the 3.0 men’s side, Orange/Seminole/Lake (USTA National Campus, Orlando) and Broward County (Midtown Athletic Club, Weston) finished atop of the standings at the completion of round-robin play. In the final all five individual contests ended in straight sets, with Broward taking an early lead and capturing both singles courts. Orange/Seminole/Lake bounced back though in doubles play, sweeping all three lines to take the team match by a slim 3-2 margin.
The men’s 4.5 division was handily dominated Pinellas County (Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, Safety Harbor) who breezed through Flight 1 dropping a mere four sets to reach championship dual. They squared off with Flight 2 winner Broward (Parkland Tennis Center, Parkland), losing just one court in four dual matches to take the men’s 4.5 crown.
Pinellas’ Kevin Gaughan and Ryan Gelhaus were awarded the third doubles matchup via default, while teammates Connor Molina and Shawn McGee wrapped up the matchup at line two 6-2, 6-2 and the duo of Mike Moenter and John Hollis rallied to a 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 victory on court one. In singles, Pinellas’ Blake Dantzle captured court one 7-5, 6-4 and Broward’s Jay Graff earned the second position with a 6-4, 6-4 record.
Defending champion Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) and Broward County (Lauderdale Tennis Club, Fort Lauderdale) topped the women’s 4.5 division, as Broward went 4-0 in flight play while Hillsborough’s sole loss was at the hands of Broward after both teams had already qualified for the championship match. Broward was in a prime position to capture the title after controlling both singles courts but fell in the doubles positions to Hillsborough, who swept all three lines to secure a 3-2 win.
The competing teams represented various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, and finished at the top of their local leagues during the 2021 season to advance to the USTA Florida Adult 18 & Over 3.0/4.5 Sectional Championships.
18 & Over Women’s 3.0
Final: Polk County (Beerman Family Tennis Center, Lakeland) d. Miami-Dade County (Coral Pine Park, Pinecrest) 4-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Amanda Strawbridge (Polk) d. Ana Tirado 6-7, 6-3, 1-0
No. 2 Singles: Maira Maguire (Miami-Dade) d. Heidi Zepeda 6-0, 6-0
No. 1 Doubles: Kacee Swain/Cassie Miller (Polk) d. Tiffany Ortiz/Angela Musso 6-2, 6-1
No. 2 Doubles: Kara Reber/Jennifer Spann (Polk) d. Paola Campanella/Maritza Marchand 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 Doubles: Nicole Giusto/Amanda Smith (Polk) d. Maggie Sanchez/Penelope Johnson 6-1, 2-6, 1-0
Polk County Season Roster: Nicole Giusto (Captain), Kacee Swain, Angie Shoemaker, Deborah Carter, Cassie Miller, Jan Hyman, Amanda Strawbridge, Amanda Smith, Heidi Zepeda, Kara Reber, Jennifer Spann
18 & Over Men’s 3.0
Final: Orange County (USTA National Campus, Orlando) d. Broward County (Midtown Athletic Club, Weston) 3-2
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: German Avellaneda (Broward) d. Nelson Chatei 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 Singles: Ricardo Dillon (Broward) d. David Mayorca 6-3, 7-5
No. 1 Doubles: Jorge Marfisi/Joshua Ortiz (Orange) d. Eduardo Cordova/Rodrigo Yervis 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 Doubles: Javier Pozo/Jose Agreda (Orange) d. Fernando Machado/John Hingley 7-6, 6-4
No. 3 Doubles: William Vazquez/Omar Bou-Gomez (Orange) d. Jorge Alejandro Romo/Saeid Sadoughi 7-5, 6-2
Orange County Season Roster: Jorge Marfisi (Captain), Omar Bou-Gomez, Ivan Rodriguez, Marcos Fret, Jaime Mesia, Nelson Chatei, William Vazquez, Jose Agreda, Axel Massol, David Mayorca, Michel Toubji, Joshua Ortiz, Javier Pozo
18 & Over Women’s 4.5
Final: Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) d. Broward County (Lauderdale Tennis Club, Fort Lauderdale) 3-2
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Amy Sauerman (Broward) d. Asbel Giang 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 Singles: Rocio Rodriguez (Broward) d. Joan Simmons 6-2, 6-1
No. 1 Doubles: Denise Agnew/Avery Zercoe (Hillsborough) d. Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz/Gabriela Castanon 6-3, 2-6, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Stephanie Means/Maria Stand (Hillsborough) d. Natalia Moll/Manuela Gil 7-6, 5-7, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Lisa Shelton/Elizabeth McCafferty (Hillsborough) d. Janine Burke/Leyvis Concepcion 6-4, 6-4
Hillsborough County Season Roster: Denise Agnew (Captain), Asbel Giang, Kelly Sincich, Joan Simmons, Lisa Shelton, Kate Panawash, Avery Zercoe, Elizabeth McCafferty, Dagmar Rocker, Maria Stand, Stephanie Means, Brianna Civiero, Maki Smith, Lauren Snipes, Faith Sincich
18 & Over Men’s 4.5
Final: Pinellas County (Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, Safety Harbor) d. Broward County (Parkland Tennis Center, Parkland) 4-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Blake Dantzler (Pinellas) d. Alejandro Cadena 7-5, 6-4
No. 2 Singles: Jay Graff (Broward) d. Leif Shuman 6-4, 6-4
No. 1 Doubles: Mike Moenter/John Hollis (Pinellas) d. Anthony Cottone/T. Dienes 5-7, 6-4, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Connor Molina/Shawn McGee (Pinellas) d. Greg Brusey/Atif Raoof 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 Doubles: Kevin Gaughan/Ryan Gelhaus (Pinellas) awarded via default 6-0, 6-0
Pinellas County Season Roster: Ryan Gelhaus (Captain), David Dollbaum, Stephen Lappano, Michael Lenhart, Connor Molina, Leif Shuman, Amit Taggar, Gustavo Sanchez, Shawn McGee, Ali Rizvi, Jamie Mckibban, Ignacio Molina, Mike Moenter, Jonathan F Collazo, Nicholas Yale, Kevin Gaughan, Josh Heeg, Destiny Okungbowa, John Hollis, Blake Dantzler
2021 USTA FLORIDA LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP CUP STANDINGS
The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2021 season (standings through August 3, recent winners in bold):
1. Pinellas County (7 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/W8.0/M8.0, 55&Over-M9.0, 40&Over-X7.0/X8.0, 18&Over-M4.5
2. Orange/Seminole/Lake (6) — 55&Over-W7.0/W8.0/W9.0, 40&Over-W3.5/W4.5, 18&Over-M3.0
3. Hillsborough County (5) — 55&Over-W6.0, 40&Over-X9.0/W4.0/W5.0, 18&Over-W4.5
4T. Broward County (3) — 40&Over-M3.0/M3.5/M4.5
4T. Duval County (3) — 55&Over-M7.0, 40&Over-X6.0/M4.0
4T. Marion County (3) — 65&Over-W6.0/M7.0, 40&Over-W2.5
5T. Escambia County (1) — 55&Over-M8.0
5T. Miami-Dade County (1) — 40&Over-W3.0
5T. Polk County (1) — 18&Over-W3.0
Note: County determined by location of team’s home club. Season-ending ties to be broken by teams’ 1st-4th place results at USTA League Nationals.
Next Sectionals: Aug 14-16, Adult 18 & Over 2.5W/4.0/5.5 Open Sectional League Championships, USTA National Campus, Orlando.
Established in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year to more than 904,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league. The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). USTA League is open to any USTA member 18 years of age or older.
For more information on USTA Florida Leagues go to www.USTAFlorida.com/leagues.