Sunday afternoon at the USTA National Campus saw the final matches of the USTA Florida Mixed 18 & Over 7.0/9.0 Sectional League Championship. Titles were captured by Alachua County (Westside Park Recreation Department – Gainesville) in the 7.0 competition and Broward County (Brian Piccolo Tennis Center – Hollywood) in the 9.0 division.
Teams were competing in dual matches consisting of three courts of doubles contests; at least two of those three courts were needed in order to claim the dual.
The day began with the 7.0 semifinals, where Orange/Seminole/Lake (Red Bug Lake Park – Casselberry) downed Broward (Weston Tennis Center) by a 2-1 margin and Alachua swept aside Pinellas (Seminole Lake Family Tennis).
All three courts between Orange/Seminole/Lake and Broward were decided in straight sets, with Orange/Seminole/Lake taking the top two lines to advance, Nikki Anne Ballelos and Alfredo Sy teamed up for a 6-1, 6-3 victory at the top spot while Lisbeth Santiago and Pedro Hernandez claimed court two 6-1, 6-4. For Alachua, they won all three matchups while giving away a mere 12 games in the process. Cynthia Thibault and Boris Kuchuk played line one, coming through 6-0, 6-4 to go along with Megan Molyneux and Harrison Thibault breezing through the second position 6-1, 6-1. The sweep was completed with a 6-4, 6-2 effort by Kristina Ford and Corey Sobers.
Commanding performances on courts one and two in the final gave Alachua the divisional crown over Orange/Seminole Lake. Molyneux and Harrison Thibault moved up to line one, where they bested Zesa Manhart and Glenn Montenegro 6-4, 6-1. Fort and Sobers also slid up one spot to the second position, dismissing Ballelos and Sy impressively 6-1, 6-0. Santiago and Hernandez got Orange/Seminole/Lake on the board with their extended 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 victory on court three over Bridgette Wicke and Jonathan Wright.
Marissa Valentine-King leads the Alachua squad that features Ben Overholt, Molyneux, Kuchuk, Sobers, Wicke, Enrique Vargas, Cynthia Thibault, Harrison Thibault, Wright, Ford, Maria Delgado, Amanda Fuller, Lan Hoang-Minh, Austin Manning, and Samantha Walton.
The class of the 9.0 competition from start to finish was the crew from Broward. They entered the day at 3-0 overall, having lost just one individual matchup on the weekend. Broward would clinch the title in emphatic fashion on Sunday, recording two more sweeps, including dispatching the other squad to enter the day undefeated in Alachua (D B Racquet Club – Gainesville). Sarasota (Independent) – the only team to take a court from Broward – would eventually take runner-up honors thanks to their head-to-head win over Alachua, which finished third.
Captained by Elizabeth Millson Anderson, the full Broward roster includes Anibal Ciffoni, Katrina Elder-Bush, Alejandro Arraiz, Rosamaria Rodriguez, Victor Caba, Stefania Bermudez, Eduardo Cabrita, Santiago Eslava, Manuela Gil, Julian Gil, Barbara Superlano, Orlando Superlano, and Marcos Daniel Gonzalez Tonanez.
18 & OVER MIXED 9.0
Final: Broward County (Brian Piccolo Tennis Center) d. (Sarasota County) Round Robin
Broward County Season Roster: Elizabeth Millson Anderson (Captain), Anibal Ciffoni, Katrina Elder-Bush, Alejandro Arraiz, Rosamaria Rodriguez, Victor Caba, Stefania Bermudez, Eduardo Cabrita, Santiago Eslava, Manuela Gil, Julian Gil, Barbara Superlano¸Orlando Superlano, Marcos Daniel Gonzalez Tonanez
18 & OVER MIXED 7.0
Final: Alachua County (Westside Park Gainesville Recreation Department) d. Orange County (Red Bug Lake Park) 2-1
Alachua County Season Roster: Marissa Valentine-King (Captain), Ben Overholt, Megan Molyyneux, Boris Kuchuk, Corey Sobers, Bridgette Wicke, Enrique Vargas, Cynthia Thibault, Harrison Thibault, Jonathan Wright, Kristina Ford, Maria Delgado, Amanda Fuller, Lan Hoang-Minh, Austin Manning, Samantha Walton
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.