June 5th, 2018

Escambia, Martin Counties Win Sectional Tennis Titles at USTA Florida Mixed 40 & Over League Championships

USTA Florida League Championship Cup Adult Leagues Adult Tennis News

Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) and Martin County (Buttonwood Tennis Club, Stuart) were winners decided on Monday at the 2018 USTA Florida Mixed 40 & Over 6.0/8.0 League Sectional Championships, held June 2-4 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

The two championship teams will next advance to represent the USTA Florida Section at the USTA Mixed 40 & Over National Championships on Nov. 16-18 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

In winning their first sectionals titles of the season, Escambia and Martin counties denied Volusia and Sarasota counties their first sectional titles respectively.

“Our team is not only a focused tennis team, but also an amazing group of close friends,” said Escambia captain Jill Wilson. “We support each other within the tennis community and within personal lives as well. These past few days have truly been an amazing experience and I am so thankful for the beautiful campus, the USTA staff and just an all-around great experience with great friends! I still can’t stop smiling!”

Martin and Sarasota counties in the 8.0 division final saw all three lines of doubles go to super-tiebreakers to decide the third set.

“What an amazing weekend,” said Martin County captain Larry Shull. “Aside from winning sectionals, the tournament was run smoothly. All our matches went on as scheduled and the USTA staff did an incredible job. Big thanks to my teammates and the staff for making our dream of nationals a reality.”

Martin County put a halt to a two-year winning streak by Pinellas County in the Mixed 40 & Over 8.0 division. It was Martin County’s first-ever sectionals title in any division at the USTA Florida Mixed 40 & Over Sectionals.

Pinellas County retains the lead in the 2018 USTA Florida League Championship Cup Standings (see standings below). The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2018 season.

Division winners and finalists:

Mixed 40 & Over 6.0 Division

Final: Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) d. Volusia County (Florida Tennis Center, Daytona Beach) 2-1

Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Brad Gifford/Alysia Webb (Volusia) d. Ethan Rhone/Jill Wilson 6-2, 7-5
No. 2 Doubles: Nick Farkas/Jennifer Ghiorso (Escambia) d. Edyta Wituszynska/Albert Weigel 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (super-tiebreaker)
No. 3 Doubles: George Rials/Erin Rhone (Escambia) d. Janie Panasis/Saroj Kasturi 6-1, 6-4

Escambia Season Roster: Jill Wilson (captain), Ethan Rhone, Betsy Dubose, Erin Rhone, Jennifer Ghiorso, Nick Farkas, Jacqueline Wallace, George Rials, Tyler Sanderson, Prebble Baker, Ryan Sellars, Gregory McWherter, Victoria Mullet, Gretchen Miller

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Mixed 40 & Over 8.0 Division

Final: Martin County (Buttonwood Tennis Club, Stuart) d. Sarasota County (Payne Park, Sarasota) 2-1

Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Eric Abbott/Ann Lammers (Sarasota) d. Michael DiNenna/Deborah Iandoli 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (super-tiebreaker)
No. 2 Doubles: Patrick Galligan/Somhathai Immerman (Martin) d. Nick Hardy/Jill Lyons 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (super-tiebreaker)
No. 3 Doubles: Larry Shull/Guadalupe Avinzano (Martin) d. Calvin Hac/Margaret Wieczerzak 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (super-tiebreaker)

Martin Season Roster: Larry Shull (captain), Patrick Galligan, Marie-Paule Cafmeyer, Deborah Iandoli, Lori Glaspey, Jan Krestan, Guadalupe Avinzano, Somhathai Immerman, Alex Aligata, Michael DiNenna, Beth Grossnickle

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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 Mixed 40 & Over team play were 6.0 and 8.0. For more information on NTRP levels go to www.usta.com/en/home/play/play-as-a-member/national/about-ntrp-ratings.html.



Pinellas retains the Cup lead as Escambia and Martin counties post their first sectionals victories of the season after the Mixed 40 & Over 6.0/8.0. The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2018 season (standings through June 5, 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

4T. Escambia County (1) — X40&Over-6.0
4T. Hillsborough County (1) — 55&Over-M4.0
4T. Martin County (1) — X40&Over-8.0

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: June 16-17, 55 & Over 3.5/4.5, USTA National Campus (rescheduled from May 19-21 due to rain)

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.