Duval, Marion and Pinellas counties all collected titles in the final USTA Florida Sectional event of the 2021 season, the Mixed 55 & Over 6.0/7.0/8.0 Sectional Championships, held Nov. 19-21, 2021 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
Neighboring counties Alachua and Marion made up the 6.0 division, the smallest competition of the weekend. After round-robin play, Marion County dominated the division in both top positions, with the squad representing Citrus Hills Tennis Club in Hernando finishing ahead of the team from the Fort King Tennis Center in Ocala with a score of 4-0 to 2-2. The team from Citrus Hills Tennis Club dropped a mere 4 sets throughout the competition, with a total of 102 games won.
The clash for the 7.0 title came down to an all Duval championship dual – Eagle Landing in Orange Park versus Fleming Island Plantation. In the end, the squad from Eagle Landing swept their in-county challenger on all three courts. The duo of Greg Forhan and captain Susan Brink went 6-1, 6-1 on line one while Maria Tamming and Ronny Willis captured court three with a score of 6-3, 6-3. On line two, the Eagle Landing pairing Sanford Aldrich and MaryLynn Karpicki pulled out the 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 win against Fleming Island’s Van Le and Sherry Latta-Raines.
The biggest rivalry of the weekend was in the 8.0, as bordering counties Pinellas (McMullen Tennis Complex, Clearwater) and Hillsborough (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) went head-to-head for the top prize. It was the team from Pinellas who would control the championship dual, mastering all three courts to pull out the win and claim the title. Court one went to Lynn O’Brien and Albert Alhadeff with a score of 7-5, 6-3; court two was handled by the duo of Kim Cashman-King and John Hockin 7-5, 4-6, 1-0; while line three was taken with a 6-4, 6-3 victory by Pinellas’ Ethel Murphy and Dane Houston.
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 Mixed 55 & Over 6.0/7.0/8.0 Sectional Championships.
Mixed 55 & Over 6.0
Final: Marion County (Citrus Hills Tennis Club, Hernando) finished ahead of Marion County (Fort King Tennis Center, Ocala) 4-0, 2-2 in round-robin play
Marion County Season Roster: Shelley Ennett (captain), Mike Joyce, Nancy Wallace, Miles Ridgway, Suteera Chaisumrej Joyce, Chris Heck, David Charlip, Joan Kelsey, Gregg Wilson, Kathleen Lockhart, Kevin Lee, Maribel Mena, Barbara Mashburn, Peggy Ridgway, Eduardo Maldonado
Mixed 55 & Over 7.0
Final: Duval County (Eagle Landing, Orange Park) d. Duval County (Fleming Island Plantation, Fleming Island) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Greg Forhan/Susan Brink (Duval, Orange Park) d. Tim Fritz/Pam Fritz 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 Doubles: Sanford Aldrich/MaryLynn Karpicki (Duval, Orange Park) d. Van Le/Sherry Latta-Raines 3-6, 6-3, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Maria Tamming/Ronny Willis(Duval, Orange Park) d. Chau Do/Tan Pham 6-3,6-3
Duval County Season Roster: Susan Brink (captain), Hugo Anthony III, Elizabeth Sotomayor, Greg Forhan, Sanford Aldrich, Philip Sotomayor, Diane Forhan, Maria Tamming, Richard Gehret, Ronny Willis, Nancy Mbuthia, Hattie Willis, MaryLynn Karpicki
Mixed 55 & Over 8.0
Final: Pinellas County (McMullen Tennis Complex, Clearwater) d. Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Lynn O’Brien/Albert Alhadeff (Pinellas) d. Monty Johnson/Dori Hazama 7-5, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles: Kim Cashman-King/John Hockin (Pinellas) d. Laurie Smith/Chris Eversole 7-5, 4-6, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Ethel Murphy/Dane Houston (Pinellas) d. Xiao Zhang/Sharon Zohar 6-4, 6-3
Pinellas County Season Roster: David King (captain), Ethel Murphy, Rhonda Mendoza, Kim Cashman-King, John Hockin, Elizabeth Burdick, Joseph Starnes, Albert Alhadeff, Kathleen Stein, Dane Houston, Lynn O’Brien, Caralyn Paul
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 Nov. 22, recent winners in bold):
1T. Orange/Seminole/Lake (8) — 55&Over-W7.0/W8.0/W9.0, 40&Over-W3.5/W4.5, 18&Over-M3.0/W3.5/X6.0
1T. Hillsborough County (8) — 55&Over-W6.0, 40&Over-X9.0/W4.0/W5.0, 18&Over-M4.0/W4.5/M5.0/X8.0
1T. Pinellas County (8 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/W8.0/M8.0, 55&Over-M9.0/X8.0, 40&Over-X7.0/X8.0, 18&Over-M4.5
2. Duval County (7) — 55&Over-M7.0/X7.0, 40&Over-X6.0/M4.0, 18&Over-W4.0/W5.0/X7.0
3. Broward County (5) — 40&Over-M3.0/M3.5/M4.5, 18&Over-M3.5/X9.0
4. Marion County (4) — 65&Over-W6.0/M7.0, 40&Over-W2.5, 55&Over-X6.0
5T. Alachua County (1) — 18&Over-W2.5
5T. Brevard County (1) — 18&Over-X10.0
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.
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.