October 23rd, 2017

Central Florida Blog: USTA League Captain, Team Success Stories

Adult Leagues Adult Tennis News

Beginner’s Luck Leads to Florida Sectionals Bid

By Suzanne Turbyfill, USTA League player

When I realized my 6.5 USTA captain was not going to head up a 3.0 team in the spring, my tennis partner and I shrugged our shoulders and said, “Well, I guess we will have to do it.” And just like that the “Maitland Mojo” team began.

Being new to the Orlando area (Meriel Donahey and I have been here less than three years), we weren’t even sure we knew enough people to have a team. However, through friends and word of mouth, we scraped together 15 of some of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of playing tennis with.

We had some crazy line-ups (whoever is available is playing), some crazy mix-ups (“Well, since your player is not actually registered, you can do it right now before we play…”) and some crazy weather (lots of delayed rain matches). However we were elated to be able to get out there and play. When we won our final match and knew we were going to USTA Florida League Sectionals, we celebrated with mimosas on the court.

Although we did not win sectionals, it was so much fun! The USTA National Campus is amazing and we all had a blast cheering each other on. Thanks Mojo — see you on the courts soon.


First-year Captain to Represent Florida at USTA League Nationals

By Ann Jones

My 3.5 40 & Over team is very excited to represent Florida at USTA League Nationals this year! It is my first year as a captain, and my third year playing USTA League.

Most of my players are also new to USTA League, and some are playing for the first time. My team came together last year thanks to the encouragement of my tennis pros, Gabriel Mattos and Ligia Bottinelli.

We had a very tough season against local teams before making it to USTA Florida League Sectionals, and had very close matches at sectionals. Most of our matches were nail biters, where we squeaked out three line wins. In many season matches (and I’m embarrassed to say, even at sectionals), I put partnerships together who had never met each other. But because we all played a similar strategy, we were successful. The sum of our parts is much greater than our individual talents.

But I also learned something else during sectionals about the women on my team and the reason for our success. We lost many first sets, and many of our match wins came down to one line and a tiebreak. My teammates, even when it appeared that they were being outplayed, never gave up. They fought for every point, even when exhausted after playing multiple matches.

I have a team of fighters. So I attribute our success largely to something William Churchill said: Never, never, never give up.