November 16th, 2015
Florida 1st, 3rd, 4th at USTA League Nationals in Arizona
Rain created an unusual situation as Florida teams finished in 1st, 3rd and 4th places this past weekend at USTA League National Championships held in Tucson and Surprise, Ariz.
Heavy rain in Surprise, Ariz., led to the Florida (Gulf Breeze) and Southern California (Fountain Valley) section teams being named co-champions at the USTA League Mixed 40 & Over 8.0 National Championships.
The Gulf Breeze team, which played out of Club II during the regular season, advanced to the final by breezing past the USTA Texas section team from Hurst, Texas, 3-0 in the semifinals. In the final the Florida and Southern California teams split the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches, leaving the No. 2 doubles match to determine the winner.
The teams at No. 2 doubles split the first two sets and were set to play a third-set match tiebreak for all the marbles when the rain came. The teams waited four hours before tournament officials called the match and declared Florida and Southern California co-champions.
“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t finish the last tiebreaker,” said Gulf Breeze team captain Will Morris. “It couldn’t have been more even. The weather just didn’t cooperate. We’ll take co-champions. I love my team and I couldn’t be prouder.”
The Gulf Breeze team’s regular-season roster was comprised of David Jenkins (captain), William Morris, Glenn Shane, Renee Baggett, Lisa Bew, Angela Stewart, Brad Bradford, Christy Shane, Daniel Herman, Kerry Powell, and Bonita Witkin.
At the USTA League Mixed 18 & Over 9.0 National Championships in Tucson, Ariz., the Florida team from Sarasota finished in 3rd place after defeating the team from USTA Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C.) 3-0 in the 3rd/4th place playoff.
In the semifinals the Sarasota squad, which plays out of Payne Park, lost to USTA Missouri Valley (Kansas City, Mo.) 2-1. That team in the final fell to USTA Southern California (Upland) 2-1.
The Sarasota team’s regular-season roster was comprised of Barbara Lancer (captain), Rene Muzquiz, Scott Schuhriemen, Steven Soberts, Michael Karka, Dean Dancer, Kristina Von Kessel, Jennifer Bright, Kelly Dancer, Dale Slimick, Paul Jaworski, Brock Gratton, Tanya Ferris, Brandon Hilyer, Jennifer Fiers, Montana Moore, Josh Melton, and Jennifer Chessler.
Also in Tucson the team representing USTA Florida from Gainesville came in 4th place at the USTA League Mixed 18 & Over 2.5 National Championships.
The Gainesville squad, which played out of Westside Park during their regular season, in round robin play finished behind teams from USTA Mid-Atlantic (Columbia, Md.), USTA Southern (Hattiesburg, Miss.), and USTA Caribbean (San Juan, P.R.).
Their regular-season roster was comprised of Colleen Anderson, Mari Rivera, William Wright, Rick Melzer, Lenny Kennedy, Marc Schnoll, Vinata Vedam-Mai, Raksha Ramkissoon, Charles Koval, Dee Dee Scharf, and Richard Valenzuela.
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 865,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league. Players participate on teams administered by the USTA and its 17 sections across the U.S. 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.
The 2015 USTA League season will be the third season with the updated structure and format which offers four age categories (Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over and Adult 55 & Over and Mixed 18 & Over) to better align participants with players their own age. A fifth age division, the Mixed 40 & Over division, was added last year. The restructuring guarantees more frequency of play opportunities at more appropriate age groups.
For more information about USTA League or the USTA visit www.usta.com.