Hillsborough, Marion, and Seminole counties each logged their first division wins of the 2020 season at the USTA Florida 55 & Over 7.0/9.0 Sectional Championships, held Oct. 24-26 at the USTA National Campus.
The 9.0 divisions were dominated by Hillsborough County, with the men (Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, Tampa) and women (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) both taking home titles.
The 9.0 men, captained by Scott Bartos, proved their strength on the court with duos winning a total of 17 sets over the course of the weekend, only dropping three. The squad also tallied eight court victories, elevating them above the competition to a clean 3-0 team score and keeping Broward County (Midtown Athletic Club, Weston) from capturing its fourth title of the season.
Making the 9.0 division a family affair with the help of her husband, Chris Bartos captained her Hillsborough women’s squad to a 4-0 victory over Orange-Seminole (Heathrow Country Club, Heathrow). Despite being tied in court victories, Hillsborough took home the title due to winning the head-to-head matchup with Orange-Seminole.
Orange-Seminole didn’t leave the courts empty-handed though, as the 7.0 women’s team (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) pushed through the Championship match against Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) to claim the division with a 2-1 defeat. It was the second time the teams encountered each other during the weekend — in their first meeting in Flight 1, Orange-Seminole controlled Escambia winning two of three courts.
Easily the most contested division of the weekend, the men’s 7.0 offered a thrill when the come-from-behind squad from Marion County (Fort King Tennis Center, Ocala) was crowned the division winner. When play began Monday, Marion was sitting at 5th place until an upset saw Broward County (Weston Tennis Center, Weston) knock Duval County (Charles J. Williams YMCA, Jacksonville) off the path to victory and ultimately opened the door to the winner’s circle for the remaining teams. Marion went on to secure all three courts against Collier County (Arthur Allen Tennis Center at Cambier Park, Naples) for an overall 3-2 record and 9-6 for individual matchups. Despite having identical numbers in the end, the 2-1 score Marion put up versus Hillsborough County (Temple Terrace Recreation Dept., Temple Terrace) in their face-to-face confrontation served as the ultimate tiebreaker and handed Marion the division.
The competing teams represented various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, and finished at the top of their local leagues during the 2020 season to advance to the USTA Florida 55 & Over 6.0/8.0 Sectional Championships.
55 & Over Women’s 7.0
Final: Seminole County (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) d. Escambia County (Roger Scott Tennis Center, Pensacola) 2-1
Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Vicki Carson/Terry Armstrong (Escambia) d. Nancy McLarnon/Karen Crane 6-3, 6-0
No. 2 Doubles: Susan Uhrig/Cynthia Rawlins (Seminole) d. Kristyn Miller/Mecy Wimberly 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 Doubles: Terri Bahr/Dorothy Harris (Seminole) d. Kelly Dempsey/Jacqueline Wallace 6-3, 6-2
Seminole County Season Roster: Dorothy Harris (Captain), Nancy McLarnon, Susan Uhrig, M. Barrett, Cynthia Rawlins, Karen Crane, Lynn Ford, Dorothy Harris, Terri Bahr
55 & Over Men’s 7.0
Final: Marion County (Fort King Tennis Center, Ocala) finished ahead of Hillsborough County (Temple Terrace Recreation Dept., Temple Terrace) 3-2, 3-2 in round-robin play
County Season Roster: Scott Kiefer (Captain), Grady Grimes, Douglas Speaker, Christopher Clements, Earl Schwartz, William Ray, Jack Matlock, Dennis Rose, Robert Poling, Alan MacMurray, Ralk Barckhausen, Charles Anthony, Paul Steinberg
55 & Over Women’s 9.0
Final: Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) finished ahead of Seminole County (Heathrow Country Club, Heathrow) 4-0, 3-1 in round-robin play
Hillsborough County Season Roster: Chris Bartos (Captain), Denise Agnew, Kathleen Stein, Karen Olson, Susan Williams, Brenda Wiser, Sharon Benson, Mary Turnes, Allegra Campos, Stephanie Gilcrease
55 & Over Men’s 9.0
Final: Hillsborough County (Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, Tampa) finished ahead of Broward County (Midtown Athletic Club, Weston) 3-0, 2-1 in round-robin play
Hillsborough County Season Roster: Scott Bartos (Captain), Chris Canfield, Ignacio Molina, Michael Erbe, Jonathan Lurie, Steven Brady, Richard Sobieray, Marc Mazo, Michael Rothberg, Robert Graham, Egan Adams, Gary Downing
2020 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 2020 season (standings through Oct. 27, recent winners in bold):
1. Broward County (3 titles) — X40&Over-7.0/8.0, 55&Over-M8.0
2. Hillsborough County (2) — 55&Over-W9.0/M9.0
3T. Brevard County (1) — 55&Over-W8.0
3T. Marion County (1) — 55&Over-M7.0
3T. Pinellas County (1) — X40&Over-9.0
3T. Seminole County (1) — 55&Over-W7.0
3T. St. Lucie County (1) — 55&Over-W6.0
3T. Volusia County (1) — X40&Over-6.0
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: Oct. 30-Nov. 2, Adult 40 & Over Men’s 3.0/4.0/4.5+ Women’s 4.5+ Sectional Championships, 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.