USTA Florida League Championship Cup leaders Hillsborough County (Fishhawk Ranch, Lithia) and Broward County (Dillon Tennis Center, Oakland Park) kept their 2018 momentum going with titles on Dec. 3 at the USTA Florida Combo 18 & Over 6.5/8.5 League Sectional Championships, held at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
Broward looked to close Hillsborough’s League Cup lead with the Men’s 6.5 title, but Hillsborough remains out front after capturing the Women’s 6.5 title, it’s ninth sectionals crown of 2018 to maintain the lead in the USTA Florida League Championship Cup race. Broward won the Men’s 6.5 title for the second time in three years, and is attempting to win the League Cup for a third consecutive year.
“We had players who became ill at the last minute and couldn’t make the trip,” said Broward winning captain Kevin Sims. “I only took six players with me, some who were playing with injuries and others who had to play with colds. After winning our flight on Sunday, two players had to leave right after the match. We were left with only four players to play in the finals. After having to default one position we were down 0-1, but we won our remaining two matches, the last one in a third-set super tiebreaker. We all ran onto the court to hug our teammates…Broward’s superheroes I call the ‘Fantastic 4’ pulled out a champion win. For the last two weeks everyday I kept reminding the team we needed to win to help Broward in the race for the USTA Florida League Championship Cup.”
Broward trails Hillsborough by two sectionals titles entering the last USTA Florida League Sectionals, the Combo 18 & Over 5.5/7.5/9.5 to be held next weekend at the USTA National Campus (see full League Cup standings below). The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is annually awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the league sectionals championships season.
Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) won the Women’s 8.5 division and Sarasota County (Payne Park, Sarasota) the Men’s 8.5, both counties bringing home their second sectionals titles of the season. Escambia had the chance to take home two titles over the weekend but fell in the Men’s 8.5 final.
“It has been an honor to captain this fiery group of women — by which I mean, they unmercifully forced the captaincy on me,” said Escambia captain Rachel Trahan. “But in all seriousness, I have only been playing tennis for four years, during which time I have looked up to the women on this team, usually as they whipped me during league play. They are such strong players on the court, but also truly remarkable women off the court — lawyers, PTO presidents, teachers, veterinarians, and mothers. Throughout the weekend we felt the Pensacola tennis community love as players back home showered us with encouragement via text and calls, and while they watched us on the PlaySight system.”
Diminutive Santa Rosa County (Shoreline Park, Gulf Breeze) on the Florida Panhandle saw its Cinderella sectionals run come to an end in its quest to win a first sectionals title of the year, narrowly falling 2-1 to Hillsborough County in the Women’s 6.5 final.
The competing teams represented various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, and finished at the top of their local leagues during the 2018 season to advance to the USTA Florida Combo 18 & Over League Sectional Championships.
For Combo 18 & Over 6.5-8.5 doubles-only division play, the combined NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) ratings of each doubles team may not exceed the level in which they are competing, and the NTRP rating difference between members of an individual doubles pair may not exceed 0.5. For more information on NTRP levels go to www.ustaflorida.com/adult-tennis/usta-leagues/#section-ntrp-ratings.
Women’s 8.5 Division
Final: Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) d. Pinellas County (Tarpon Tennis Club, Tarpon Springs) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Lauren Haack/Rachel Trahan (Escambia) d. Judi Alford/Xiao Zhang 7-6, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles: Allison Lowie/Danielle Armstrong (Pinellas) d. Lori Gonzalez/Carel Demanss 6-2, 6-7, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Jenna Kafferly/Melissa Paravalos (Escambia) d. Abby Kronk/Stephanie Means 7-6, 3-6, 1-0
Escambia Season Roster: Rachel Trahan (captain), Lauren Haack, Lori Gonzalez, Melissa Paravalos, Renee Baggett, Heidi Wilkes, Carel Demanss, Whitney Sumrall, Kim Pennington, Jenna Kafferly
Men’s 8.5 Division
Final: Sarasota County (Payne Park, Sarasota) d. Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Lubomir Kaderjak/Brad Bradford (Escambia) d. Duncan Crowley/Philip Crutchfield 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles: Michael Boothman/William Rhodes (Sarasota) d. Rick Cuny/Stephen Baes 6-3, 6-1
No. 3 Doubles: Randolph Gibson/Eric Abbott (Sarasota) d. Charlie Skelton/Christopher Brown 7-5, 6-3
Sarasota Season Roster: Philip Crutchfield (captain), Andrew Chiang, Barry Bright, Brandon Nelson, Steven Roberts, Michael Boothman, Leonard Belli, William Rhodes, Duncan Crowley, Nick Hardy, Randolph Gibson, Eric Abbott
Women’s 6.5 Division
Final: Hillsborough County (Fishhawk Ranch, Lithia) d. Santa Rosa County (Shoreline Park, Gulf Breeze) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Jackie Caouette/Krissy Heybroek (Hillsborough) d. Lisa Robertson/Alexandra Mauro 6-2, 6-3
No. 2 Doubles: Heather Reese/Maria Hicks (Escambia) d. Andrea Cammarata/Monica Eiermann 6-3, 6-0
No. 3 Doubles: Shannon Deck/Kim Ortmeier (Hillsborough) d. Jennifer Jackson/Tara Baril 6-1, 6-3
Hillsborough Season Roster: Krissy Heybroek (captain), Angela Thomas, Alison Dominic, Jaime Martin, Jackie Caouette, Nicole Kipp, Andrea Cammarata, Sheryl Schumacher, Monica Eiermann, Carrie Deming, Kim Ortmeier, Shannon Deck, Agnes Lirag
Men’s 6.5 Division
Final: Broward County (Dillon Tennis Center, Oakland Park) d. Marion County (Fort King Tennis Center, Ocala) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Michael Stites/Fernando Calvo (Broward) d. Zak Bernard/Robert Kennedy 5-7, 7-6, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Marcus Pfenninger/Ara Toroyan (Broward) d. Jon Miller/Scott Anthony 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 Doubles: Weston Wise/Charles Anthony (Marion) won by default
Broward Season Roster: Kevin Sims (non-roster captain), Marcus Pfenninger, Erick Maillard, Dean Lawrence, Michael Stites, Rene Elvir, John Durgan, Juan Maldonado, Stuart Flanzer, Fernando Calvo, Mark Reyes, Ara Toroyan, Kevin Johnson, Andrew Brown, Charles Gould
2018 USTA FLORIDA LEAGUE
CHAMPIONSHIP CUP STANDINGS
Hillsborough and Broward counties both added to their impressive sectional title hauls this year after the Combo 18 & Over 6.5/8.5 championships with one sectionals championships remaining in 2018. The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2018 season (standings through Dec. 4, recent winners in bold):
1. Hillsborough County (9 titles) — 55&Over-M3.5/4.0/4.5,W4.5, X18&Over-10.0, X40&Over-7.0, 18&Over-M5.0+, Combo 50&Over-M8.5/18&Over-M6.5
2. Broward County (7) — 40&Over-M3.5/W3.5, 18&Over-M4.0, X18&Over-6.0/7.0/9.0, Combo 18&Over-W8.5
3T. Duval County (6) — 65&Over-W6.0, 55&Over-W3.0, 18&Over-W2.5/W.4.5/M4.5/W5.0+
3T. Pinellas County (6) — 65&Over-W7.0/8.0, 55&Over-W3.5/4.0, 40&Over-W4.5+, Combo 50&Over-W7.5
5. Collier County (5) — 65&Over-M7.0/8.0, 40&Over-W4.0, 18&Over-W4.0, Combo 50&Over-M6.5
6. Miami-Dade County (3) — X40&Over-9.0, 40&Over-M4.0, 18&Over-W3.0
7T. Escambia County (2) — X40&Over-6.0, Combo 18&Over-W8.5
7T. Leon County (2) — 40&Over-M3.0, 18&Over-M3.0
7T. Orange County (2) — 40&Over-M4.5+, 18&Over-M3.5
7T. Sarasota County (2) — Combo 50&Over-W8.5/18&Over-M8.5
11T. Alachua County (1) — Combo 50&Over-M7.5
11T. Martin County (1) — X40&Over-8.0
11T. Okaloosa County (1) — X18&Over-8.0
11T. Osceola County (1) — 40&Over-W3.0
11T. Seminole County (1) — 18&Over-W3.5
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: Dec. 8, Combo 18 & Over 5.5/7.5/9.5, USTA National Campus, Orlando (final of season)
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.