August 22nd, 2016

Orlando Surges, Winning 2 Titles at USTA Florida League 18 & Over Tennis Sectionals

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The Orlando area, defined as Orange/Seminole counties, is making a surge this summer to establish itself as “Florida’s Tennis Town” for the 2016 USTA Florida League season.

On Sunday two teams from Orange/Seminole counties (Sanlando Park, Winter Park) captured titles at the USTA Florida 18 & Over League 2.5/3.5/4.5 Sectional Championships, held on Aug. 19-21 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, and at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs.

The wins catapulted Orange/Seminole into first place for the first time this year on the 2016 USTA Florida League Sectionals Championships Standings (see chart below).

“We are so excited to win the USTA Florida 4.5 18 & Over,” said Kerry Sproles, team captain for the Winter Park women who booked their tickets to USTA League Nationals. “Our same group, plus a few others, also won this year’s 40 & Over! So we are amazed to be able to go to both USTA League Nationals in one year. Fortunately they are back to back, so we will have a vacation in Palm Springs!

“We are a super close-knit group of friends who have known each other and played together for many years. We always have a lot of fun together, both on and off the courts. We came in second place last year at Florida league sectionals so we were determined to get the win this year. The victory was sweet! We couldn’t have done it without our miracle motivational speech beforehand from [team member] Rita Gladstone!”

Other division winners that advanced to represent the USTA Florida Section at USTA League National Championships were teams from Duval County (Jacksonville Golf & Country Club), Broward County (Midtown Athletic Club, Weston), and Miami-Dade County-South (Salvadore Park, Coral Gables).

Among the highlights in the various finals, Broward powered past Alachua 5-0 in the Men’s 4.5 without dropping as much as a set, and both Broward and Duval counties narrowly missed collecting two titles over the weekend, each winning and losing a final.

There were three repeat winners from 2015 as Duval County won the Women’s 2.5 division for the second consecutive year, as did Orange/Seminole counties in the Women’s 3.5, and Miami-Dade County in the Men’s 4.5 division.

“Playing USTA League and having a chance to go to sectionals was an amazing experience,” said Miami captain Vilmar Ghizelini. “For my team it became a family matter, as most players took their families for a fun, healthy weekend. Winning the Florida Sectionals was the cherry on the cake. Happiness overdose! Thanks to USTA Florida and particularly to the on-site tournament management team who ran it without a glitch.”

The division winners next advance to represent the USTA Florida Section at USTA League Nationals: the USTA League 18 & Over 2.5 National Championships on Sept. 23-25 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.; the USTA League 18 & Over 3.5 National Championships on Oct. 7-9 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.; and the USTA League 18 & Over 4.5 National Championships on Oct. 28-30 at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Final Results:

18 & Over Women’s 4.5 Division

Final: Orange/Seminole counties (Azalea, Winter Park) d. Duval County (Glen Kernan Country Club, Jacksonville) 4-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Rita Gladstone (O/S) d. Vita Avery 7-5, 6-3
No. 2 Singles: Deborah Grissett (Duval) d. Angela Copeland 6-1, 6-2
No. 1 Doubles: Anne-Marie Miller/Sarah Harkins (O/S) d. Jan Sisko/Cindy Vermut 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles: Angela Robinson/Lisa Becket (O/S) d. Maryse Hotchkiss/Mary Turnes 6-3, 6-0
No. 3 Doubles: Stacy Girdley/Christine Alfert (O/S) d. Mary Bush/Helen Ciesla 7-5, 6-2
Orange/Seminole Season Roster: Kerry Sproles (captain), Christine Alfert, Lisa Becket, JoAnn Mokris, Kristine Dionne, Stacy Girdley, Alana O’Hern, Beverly Osterink, Angela Robinson, Lindsay Pearlman, Katherine Foulk, Sarah Harkins, Diane Caron, Paula Madsen, Angela Copeland, Anne-Marie Miller, Rita Gladstone

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18 & Over Men’s 4.5 Division

Final: Miami-Dade County-South (Salvadore Park, Coral Gables) d. St. Johns County (Marsh Landing Country Club, Ponte Vedra Beach) 3-2
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Olivier Hernandez (Miami) d. Rahim Khan 6-2, 6-1
No. 2 Singles: Hank Hill (St. Johns) d. Sebastian Gomez 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (super-tiebreak)
No. 1 Doubles: Damian Pilewski/Marcos Nahuz (Miami) d. James Porterfield/Richard Redick 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles: Greg Nydick/Nathan Fabrick (St. Johns) d. Patricio Casillas/Antonio Martinez 7-5, 7-5
No. 3 Doubles: Sid Doshi/Raymond Hackney (Miami) d. William Morgan/David Paul 6-2, 6-7, 1-0 (super-tiebreak)
Miami Season Roster: Vilmar Ghizelini (captain), Rodrigo Samson, Jassiel Rodriguez, Damian Pilewski, Marcos Nahuz, Ruben Penate, Michael Huston, Denis Pierrot, Antonio Martinez, Jose Romero, Raymond Hackney, Sid Doshi, Nicolas Eterovic, Sebastian Gomez, Emilio Casillas, Patricio Casillas, Olivier Hernandez

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18 & Over Women’s 3.5 Division

Final: Orange/Seminole counties (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) d. Broward County (Weston Tennis Center) 4-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Luciana Neveleff (Broward) d. Yoshiko Heafy 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 Singles: Jennifer Eldredge (O/S) d. Alexandra Maldonado 6-4, 6-2
No. 1 Doubles: Maryann Brown/Marcy Pierson (O/S) d. Lori Weathers/Renee Welch 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles: Karen Crane/Christine Hinn (O/S) d. Romina Ravenna/Ingrid de Gyldenfeldt 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (super-tiebreak)
No. 3 Doubles: Tina Gamb/Jodi Battista (O/S) d. Shannon Lutes/Sueli Gyotoku 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (super-tiebreak)
Orange/Seminole Season Roster: Tina Gamb (captain), Karen Crane, Alejandra Maddox, Pamela Shale, Donna Siskind, Maryann Brown, Karina Macher, Jennifer Eldredge, Marcy Pierson, Jodi Battista, Elisabeth Mccaw, Sara Plavetic, Mary Lutz, Linda Trudo, Linda Shaw, Michelle Berganini, Christy Schenck, Chantal Dalabona, Christine Hinn, Yoshiko Heafy

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18 & Over Men’s 3.5 Division

Final: Broward County (Midtown Athletic Club, Weston) d. Alachua County (Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville) 5-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Juan Molano (Broward) d. Daniel Zhang 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 Singles: Nick Boros (Broward) d. Greg Norman 6-3, 6-3
No. 1 Doubles: Ricardo Cardenas/Guillermo Sarria (Broward) d. Scott Thompson/Frederic Davis 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles: Ronald Coletto/Ramon Mora (Broward) d. Benjamin Budian/Guilherme Arfelli 6-3, 6-3
No. 3 Doubles: Gaston Belen/Luis Di Lauro (Broward) d. Jackson Songayab/Moises Rivero 6-0, 6-1
Broward Season Roster: Fernando Lamus (captain), William Guasch, Ramon Mora, Gaston Belen, Alberto Ettedgui, Juan Llano, Kevin Whiteside, Luis Di Lauro, Nick Boros, Enrique Escobedo, Juan Molano, Ricardo Cardenas, Edward Benavides, Ronald Coletto, Ruben Lisman, Guillermo Sarria

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18 & Over Women’s 2.5 Division

Final: Duval County (Jacksonville Golf & Country Club) d. Marion County (Fort King Tennis Center, Ocala) 3-0
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Singles: Charleen Bearup (Duval) d. Frances Ramirez 6-3, 6-4
No. 1 Doubles: Jodie Nutter/Carole Doudy (Duval) d. Carmen Rosario/Lynn Erwine 6-0, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles: Michelle Mendez/Cathy Mathis (Duval) d. Cristal Brown/Jennifer Alberty 6-3, 6-3
Duval Season Roster: Julie Engelien (captain), Jodie Nutter, Cathy Mathis, Amy Rosa, Charleen Bearup, Carole Doudy, Karen Green, Allison Carbonneau, Mary Tice, Michelle Mendez, Kim Drager

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This year’s USTA Florida 18 & Over 2.5/3.5/4.5 League Sectional Championships drew the top teams from throughout Florida, representing various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations that finished at the top of their local leagues. The NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) scale progresses from 2.5 (beginner) to 5.5 (advanced) for USTA Florida League championship events. For more information on NTRP levels go to


Leagues NEW_Event CircleThe Orlando area grabs the lead in the 2016 sectional championships standings after claiming two titles at the recent 18 & Over championships. Here are the league sectional title leaders this year (through Aug. 22, most recent winners in bold):

1. Orange/Seminole counties (5) — 40&Over W4.5+, 40&Over M3.5, 18&Over M5.0, 18&Over W4.5, 18&Over W3.5

2T. Clay County (4) — 55&Over W3.0, 40&Over W3.5, 18&Over W3.0, 18&Over W3.0
2T. Miami-Dade County (4) — 40&Over W4.0, 40&Over M4.0, 18&Over M4.0, 18&Over M4.5
2T. Pinellas County (4 titles) — 55&Over W4.0, 55&Over M4.0, 40&Over X8.0, 40&Over X9.0

5T. Collier County (3) — 65&Over W6.0, 55&Over M3.5, 55&Over W4.5
5T. Marion County (3) — 55&Over M3.0, 40&Over X6.0, 40&Over M3.0
5T. Volusia/Flagler counties (3) — 55&Over W3.5, 40&Over X7.0, 18&Over W-Open

8T. Broward County (2) — 55&Over M4.5, 18&Over M3.5
8T. Lee/Charlotte counties (2) — 65&Over M7.0, 18&Over M-Open

10T. Alachua County (1) — 65&Over M6.0
10T. Duval County (1) — 18&Over W2.5
10T. Indian River/St. Lucie/Martin counties (1) — 65&Over W7.0
10T. Leon County (1) — 18&Over M3.0
10T. Nassau County (1) — 65&Over W8.0
10T. Palm Beach County (1) — 18&Over W5.0
10T. Polk County (1) — 65&Over M8.0
10T. Sarasota County (1) — 40&Over M4.5+
10T. St. Johns County (1) — 40&Over W3.0

Next USTA Florida League Sectionals: Sept. 30, Mixed 18 & Over 7.0/9.0

For more USTA Florida Leagues championship information go to