Duval County (Southside Tennis Complex, Jacksonville), Hillsborough County (River Hills Country Club, Valrico), and Pinellas County (St. Pete Tennis Center) were winners at the 2018 USTA Florida 55 & Over 3.0/4.0 League Sectional Championships, held May 5-7 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
The three championship teams next advance to represent the USTA Florida Section at the USTA 55 & Over League National Championships on Oct. 19-21 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
Hillsborough County won its first sectional championship of the 2018 season, while Duval denied Leon County a first title in the women’s 3.0 division final.
“One of our players got injured on Saturday but stayed and watched all matches, while two other teammates had to leave but drove all the way back from Jacksonville just to watch the final match on Monday,” said Duval captain Sandy Wedge, whose team plays out of the Southside Tennis Complex in Jacksonville. “The USTA National Campus is top notch and well run!”
Collier County, which led the 2018 USTA Florida League Championship Cup Standings coming into the event, was 0-2 in finals, falling in the women’s 4.0 final 2-1 to Pinellas County, and 3-0 in the men’s 4.0 final to Hillsborough County.
Pinellas took over the lead in the 2018 USTA Florida League Championship Cup Standings (see below) after winning its third sectionals title of the year. The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2018 season.
“Rain delays made for long days but the wait was worth it,” said Pinellas women’s 4.0 champion captain Janet Matthews. “The finals were played in full sun and tolerable heat. We’re looking forward to nationals on Oct. 19 at the USTA National Campus.”
The 55 & Over sectionals will conclude on May 19-21 with the 3.5/4.5 sectional championships at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
Division winners and finalists:
55 & Over 3.0 Women
Final: Duval County (Southside Tennis Complex, Jacksonville) d. Leon County (Forestmeadows Tennis Center, Tallahassee) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Sandy Wedge/Shari Shuman (Duval) d. Kathy Abney/Margaret Mooney 6-3, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles: Jean Levis/Floris Singletary (Duval) d. Sally Davis/Mollie Palmer 6-4, 6-4
No. 3 Doubles: Irene Perazzo/Valencia Oglesby (Duval) d. Mary Macko/Nancy Klucher 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (super-tiebreak)
Duval Season Roster: Sandy Wedge (captain), Bonnie Laster, Floris Singletary, Irene Perazzo, Sandra Tobias, Valencia Oglesby, Anne Hoover, Shari Shuman, Jean Levis, Lindy Green, Laura Yocum
55 & Over 4.0 Women
Final: Pinellas County (St. Pete Tennis Center) d. Collier County (Pelican Bay, Naples) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Kathy Moll/Frances Strazzulla (Pinellas) d. Nancy Ferguson/Minok Allen 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles: Lisa Ruffolo/Gail Hayton (Collier) d. Lynn O’Brien/Susan Tarantino 6-2, 0-6, 1-0 (super-tiebreak)
No. 3 Doubles: Kim Fernald/Nancy Bahls (Pinellas) d. Lisa Graham/Lori Coates 7-5, 6-0
Pinellas Season Roster: Janet Matthews (captain), Susan Tarantino, Clara Reynolds, Nancy Bahls, Frances Strazzulla, Charlene Knetsch, Kim Fernald, Kathy Moll, Lynn O’Brien
55 & Over 4.0 Men
Final: Hillsborough County (River Hills Country Club, Valrico) d. Collier County (The Strand, Naples) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Roger Bensinger/Thor Moody (Hillsborough) d. Douglas Evans/Tom Eggleston 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (super-tiebreak)
No. 2 Doubles: Mark Wolfson/John Holland (Hillsborough) d. John Weiss/George Morton 6-4, 6-4
No. 3 Doubles: Donald Bell/Randy Chapman (Hillsborough) d. Ronald Bartlett/Jim Hahn 6-2, 6-2
Hillsborough Season Roster: Marvin Shienbaum (captain), Chip Broecker, Albert Alhadeff, Mark Wolfson, John Holland, David King, Randy Chapman, John Leep, Greg Goodson, Roger Bensinger, Sylvain Gauthier, John Green, Thor Moody, Robert DiCara, Donald Bell
Teams consisting of three doubles lines competed in a non-elimination round-robin format. The winner of each flight/division was determined by team matches won. The winner of each flight then advanced into a single-elimination semifinal followed by the final. NTRP levels of play were 3.0 and 4.0. For more information on NTRP levels go to www.usta.com/en/home/play/play-as-a-member/national/about-ntrp-ratings.html.
2018 USTA FLORIDA LEAGUE
CHAMPIONSHIP CUP STANDINGS
Pinellas knocks Collier out of the top spot with a title at the 55 & Over 3.0/4.0 sectionals. The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2018 season (standings through May 8, recent winners in bold):
1. Pinellas County (3 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/8.0, 55&Over-W4.0
2T. Collier County (2) — 65&Over-M7.0/8.0
2T. Duval County (2) — 65&Over-W6.0,55&Over-W3.0
4. Hillsborough County (1) — 55&Over-M4.0
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: 55 & Over 3.5/4.5, May 19-21, 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.