Orange/Seminole/Lake and Hillsborough counties continued to dominate the 2021 Florida league sectionals season, each collecting their 8th title of the season at the USTA Florida Mixed 18 & Over 6.0/7.0/8.0/9.0/10.0 Sectional Championships, held Sept. 10-14 at the USTA National Campus. Also taking home sectional crowns were Brevard, Broward, and Duval counties.
Orange/Seminole/Lake (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) and Volusia (Daytona Beach Shores Parks & Recreation, Daytona Beach Shores) dominated their respective flights to set up the divisional championship dual. Orange/Seminole/Lake commanded the final matchup, claiming all three doubles courts. At the top spot, Jaqueline Pelliccia and Jorge Marfisi teamed up to win 6-1, 7-5. Courts two and three finished with similar results, as Alida Astudillo and David Mayorca won 6-1, 6-0 while Erin McCarthy and Javier Pozo came through 6-0, 6-1.
In the 7.0 competition, Duval County downed Miami-Dade (Crandon Park Tennis Center, Key Biscayne) and Broward County (Weston Tennis Center, Weston) topped Leon (Forestmeadows Park and Athletic Center, Tallahassee) to advance to the championship dual. With the title at stake, Claudine Owen and Brendon Vavrica got Duval off to a strong start by winning line three 6-2, 6-0. In a close 7-5, 6-4 match, Duval’s Sherri Ouchi and Darren Odendaal claimed the top spot. Finally, the Duval duo of Elizabeth Vavrica and Troy Patton captured the win on court two when their opponents retired with the score standing at 6-7, 5-2, giving Duval a clean sweep.
The largest division of the weekend, the 8.0 semifinals came down to flight winners Hillsborough (River Hills Country Club, Valrico), Broward (Midtown Athletic Club, Weston), and Polk (Country Club of Winter Haven, Winter Haven), with the addition of wild card entrant and defending division champion Okaloosa/Walton/Bay (Shalimar Pointe Country Club, Shalimar). At that stage, Hillsborough defeated Broward by a 2-1 margin and Okaloosa/Walton/Bay knocked out Polk by the same score.
After Hillsborough and Okaloosa/Walton/Bay squads each claimed a court quickly, the championship match came down to line one. Despite letting a tight opening set slip away, Hillsborough’s Thinh Duong and Kim Ortmeier rallied in the top spot to a 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 victory, relieving the pressure and securing the crown for Hillsborough. Connor Molina and Andrea Cammarata captured the second position for Hillsborough early on 6-2, 6-1 while Lubomir Kaderjak and Elisabeth Sherwin claimed the lone court for Okaloosa/Walton/Bay with a 6-1, 6-0 win.
A commanding force in the 9.0, Broward (Lauderdale Tennis Club, Ft. Lauderdale) did not give up a single court throughout the weekend event. They started their run in Flight 1 by sweeping all three matches and giving up only one set and 46 total games. They would face the undefeated winner of Flight 2, Hillsborough (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa), in the championship, but Hillsborough was ultimately still no match for the powerhouse squad from Broward.
A dominant force from start to finish, the Broward 9.0 squad did not surrender a single court the entire weekend. They began their run in Flight 1, taking all three matchups via a sweep while giving away just one set and 46 games in total. Across the net from them in the final was Hillsborough (HCC Tennis Complex – Tampa), a team that also went undefeated in Flight 2, but ultimately was still no match for Broward.
The eventual champions won in straight sets on lines two and three, with Matt and Amy Sauerman winning 6-1, 6-3 on court three and Rosamaria Rodriguez and Rob Norton winning 6-3, 6-1 on court two. On court one, Andrew Hoing and Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz were forced to a match tiebreak but won 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 to complete Broward’s sweep and earn the 9.0 division title.
The only strictly round-robin division of the weekend, the 10.0 division was a tight race between Brevard (Kiwi Tennis Club, Indian Harbour Beach) and Hillsborough (Sandra W Freedman Tennis Complex, Tampa). With only three teams in the field, and both having swept Sarasota (Payne Park, Sarasota) twice, the deciding factor was the two head-to-head encounters between them. However, with each squad taking a 2-1 win, the champion had to be determined by the tiebreaking procedure. A mere two games would prove to be all the difference, as both teams lost 93 games overall, but Brevard collected 125 in total while Hillsborough only took 123 for the event.
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 18 & Over 6.0/7.0/8.0/9.0/10.0 Sectional Championships.
18 & Over Mixed 6.0
Final: Orange County (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) d. Volusia County (Daytona Beach Shores Parks & Recreation, Daytona Beach Shores) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Jaqueline Pelliccia/Jorge Marfisi (Orange) d. Brad Gifford/Carina Wiedeman 6-1, 7-5
No. 2 Doubles: Alida Astudillo/David Mayorca (Orange) d. Stephen Lucas/Chantel Day 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 Doubles: Erin McCarthy/Javier Pozo (Orange) d. Juan Chico/Jeannederie Ray 6-0, 6-1
Orange County Season Roster: Jaqueline Pelliccia (Captain), Axel Massol, Jose Agreda, Kelli Forgione, Judith Melendez, Daniel Veaudry, Jorge Marfisi, Javier Pozo, Cecily Mevorach, Erin McCarthy, David Mayorca, Alida Astudillo
18 & Over Mixed 7.0
Final: Duval County d. Broward County (Weston Tennis Center, Weston) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Sherri Ouchi/Darren Odendaal (Duval) d. Daniela Hernandez/Oliver Matheus 7-5, 6-4
No. 2 Doubles: Elizabeth Vavrica/Troy Patton (Duval) d. Franco De Andreis/Marianne Rivas 6-7, 5-2, retired
No. 3 Doubles: Claudine Owen/Brendon Vavrica (Duval) d. Simon Palacios/Maria Lanza 6-2, 6-0
Duval County Season Roster: Michael Alden (Captain), Megan Alfano, Annabelle Matias, Jill Jabot, Brendon Vavrica, Matt Ausherman, Troy Patton, Elizabeth Vavrica, Darren Odendaal, Claudine Owen, Sherri Ouchi, Christopher Whiteman, Richard Owen, Rachel Richter, Kendall Taylor, Arnie Cilliers
18 & Over Mixed 8.0
Final: Hillsborough County (River Hills Country Club, Valrico) d. Okaloosa/Walton/Bay County (Shalimar Pointe Country Club, Shalimar) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Thinh Duong/Kim Ortmeier (Hillsborough) d. Jenna Kafferly/Byron Cotton 5-7, 6-4, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Connor Molina/Andrea Cammarata (Hillsborough) d. Gregory Bennett/Kristie Edwards 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 Doubles: Lubomir Kaderjak/Elisabeth Sherwin (OWB) d. Gavin Szoka/Christina Dorothy 6-1, 6-0
Hillsborough County Season Roster: Ben DeBrocke (Captain), Andrea Cammarata, Catheleine Rossborough, Alvin Macasinag, Ignacio Molina, Manuel Alvarez, Natalia Loutas, Christina Dorothy, Jackie Caouette, Teresa Manganello, Shannon Deck, Kim Ortmeier, Jeffrey Benelli, Thinh Duong, Kurt Williams, Connor Molina, Gavin Szoka, Alejandra Sanderson, Andrew Sanderson
18 & Over Mixed 9.0
Final: Broward County (Lauderdale Tennis Club, Ft. Lauderdale) d. Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Andrew Hoing/Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz (Broward) d. Ignacio Molina/Judi Alford 4-6, 7-5, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Rosamaria Rodriguez/Rob Norton (Broward) d. Manuel Alvarez/Stephanie Means 6-3, 6-1
No. 3 Doubles: Matt Sauerman/Amy Sauerman (Broward) d. Connor Molina/Maria Stand 6-1, 6-3
Broward County Season Roster: Matt Sauerman (Captain), Denise Rapetti, Patricio Casali, Amy Sauerman, Rob Norton, Anna Rachman, Rocio Rodriguez, Andrew Hoing, Michael Nouri, Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz, Rosamaria Rodriguez
18 & Over Mixed 10.0
Final: Brevard County (Kiwi Tennis Club, Indian Harbour Beach) finished ahead of Hillsborough County (Sandra W Freedman Tennis Complex, Tampa) 3-1, 3-1 in round-robin play
Brevard County Season Roster: Joseph Romanelli (Captain), Ruben Vanoppen, Mary Devereaux, Julie Loy-Markey, Stephanie Falconi Nemeth, Andreea Carpenter, Anna Stroman, Lawrence Jones, Thomas Knights
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 Sept. 14, 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
2. Pinellas County (7 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/W8.0/M8.0, 55&Over-M9.0, 40&Over-X7.0/X8.0, 18&Over-M4.5
3. Duval County (6) — 55&Over-M7.0, 40&Over-X6.0/M4.0, 18&Over-W4.0/W5.0/X7.0
4. Broward County (5) — 40&Over-M3.0/M3.5/M4.5, 18&Over-M3.5/X9.0
5. Marion County (3) — 65&Over-W6.0/M7.0, 40&Over-W2.5
6T. Alachua County (1) — 18&Over-W2.5
6T. Brevard County (1) — 18&Over-X10.0
6T. Escambia County (1) — 55&Over-M8.0
6T. Miami-Dade County (1) — 40&Over-W3.0
6T. 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.
Next Sectionals: Nov. 6-8, Sectional League Invitational – Adult Tri-level, USTA National Campus, Orlando.
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.