Three counties, including USTA Florida League Championship Cup frontrunner Pinellas County, collected titles at the USTA Florida Mixed 40 & Over 6.0/7.0/8.0/9.0 Sectional Championships, held June 25-28 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

In the 6.0, Duval County (Deerwood Country Club, Jacksonville) and Hillsborough County (Grand Hampton, Tampa) met in the championship dual after making quick work of their flights. All three courts of the final would end in straight sets, with Duval’s Elizabeth and Brendon Vavrica capturing court one 6-2, 6-2 and Georgi and Irena Eneva-Kirov earning line three by the same score line. Those victories delivered Duval’s first-ever title in the Mixed 40 & Over 6.0 division, with an overall match score of 2-1. 

Pinellas County (Seminole Lake Family Tennis, Seminole), looking to extend their 2021 League Cup Championship lead, faced off against Orange/Seminole/Lake (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) in the 7.0 championship dual. In the end, Pinellas proved too tough for O/S/L, as the squad battled their way to a 3-0 sweep to claim Pinellas’ first sectional crown in the Mixed 40 & Over 7.0 division.

Not looking to stop the momentum in the 8.0 competition, Pinellas (Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, Safety Harbor) blazed through Flight 1 with a sterling 3-0 record. Flight 3 was dominated by Hillsborough (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) with another pristine 3-0, while Flight 2 was taken by Okaloosa/Walton/Bay (Shalimar Pointe Country Club, Shalimar) in a tiebreak. Duval (Southside Tennis Complex, Jacksonville) rounded out the divisional semifinals as the wildcard for being the runner-up in Flight 3. OWB and Pinellas both earned their spots in the championship match, where Pinellas was successful in taking the first and third courts in straight sets to take home the title. 

Perhaps the most dominant team of the weekend was the 9.0 squad from Hillsborough (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa). In the round-robin portion of the event, Hillsborough won not only all nine courts they contested in Flight 1, but also all 18 sets – giving away just 47 games over the course of three dual matches. Emerging from Flight 2 was Miami-Dade (Ron Ehmann Tennis Center, Miami) who finished 3-1 overall and earned their place in the finals in a head-to-head victory over 3-1 Pinellas (McMullen Tennis Complex, Clearwater).

Miami-Dade brought the pressure in the championship dual, but ultimately Hillsborough would close out their impressive effort with a 2-1 triumph. In the top spot, Manuel Alvarez and Stephanie Means teamed up for a 6-4, 6-4 score line while Dagmar Rocker and Jamie Mckibban turned in a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 victory on court three. Preventing the sweep were Miami-Dade’s Antonio Necuze and Janine Burke, who captured line two 1-6, 6-3, 1-0.

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 40 & Over 6.0/7.0/8.0/9.0 Sectional Championships.

Final results:

Mixed 40 & Over 6.0

Final: Duval County (Deerwood Country Club, Jacksonville) d. Hillsborough County (Grand Hampton, Tampa) 2-1

 Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Elizabeth Vavrica/ Brendon Vavrica (Duval) d. Jeffrey Rodriguez/Beatriz Cardona 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 Doubles: Adam Bell/Sandra Bell (Hillsborough) d. John Mahoney/Julie DeNapoli 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 Doubles: Georgi Kirov/Irena Eneva-Kirov (Duval) d. Manuel Gutierrez/Marieglory Quinones 6-2, 6-2

Duval County Season Roster: Jill Evans (Captain), Elizabeth Vavrica, Lisa Aboudan, Irena Eneva-Kirov, Brendon Vavrica, John Mahoney, Richard Buttimer, Christopher Landon, Julie DeNapoli, Georgi Kirov

Mixed 40 & Over 7.0

Final: Pinellas County (Seminole Lake Family Tennis, Seminole) d. Orange/Seminole/Lake (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) 3-0

 Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Mark Nasworthy/JoAnn Lind (Pinellas) d. Nairo Arismendi/Kelli Forgione 7-5, 6-1
No. 2 Doubles: David Crandall/Dori Hazama (Pinellas) d. Pedro Hernandez/Judith Melendez 6-7, 6-4, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Jose Dsa/Joy Dsa (Pinellas) d. Tracy Stitt/Jaqueline Pelliccia 6-3, 6-0

Pinellas County Season Roster: John Ramdeen (Captain), Shellie Dalton, Irene Nasworthy, January Moennig, Joy Dsa, Mark Nasworthy, Carlos Rodriguez, Arthur Annas, David Palmer, Elizabeth Jordan, Yesh Naidu, Jose Dsa, Dori Hazama, Kevin Burnett, JoAnn Lind, Diana Zarreke, David Crandall

Mixed 40 & Over 8.0

Final: Pinellas County (Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, Safety Harbor) d. Okaloosa/Walton/Bay (Shalimar Pointe Country Club, Shalimar) 2-1

 Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Kim Cashman-King/John Hockin (Pinellas) d. Gregory Bennett/Kristie Edwards 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 Doubles: Lubomir Kaderjak/Elisabeth Sherwin (OWB) d. Mike Moenter/Cynthia Martinez 7-5, 6-2
No. 3 Doubles: Josh Melton/Joy Dsa (Pinellas) d. Byron Cotton/Kim Pennington 6-3, 6-4

Pinellas County Season Roster: Lisa Hueholt (Captain), Ray Pasinski, Josh Melton, Mikael Derderian, Emiliya Clark, Kim Cashman-King, David King, Mary Miller, John Hockin, Randy Chapman, Barry Niemann, Joy Dsa, Eric Landrum, Cynthia Martinez, Lara Slatniske, Natalia Illich, Mike Moenter

Mixed 40 & Over 9.0

Final: Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) d. Miami-Dade (Ron Ehmann Tennis Center, Miami) 2-1

 Championship Match Results:
No. 1 Doubles: Manuel Alvarez/Stephanie Means (Hillsborough) d. Miguel Fundora/Miriam Radillo 6-4, 6-4
No. 2 Doubles: Antonio Necuze/Janine Burke (Miami-Dade) d. Ignacio Molina/Judi Alford 1-6, 6-3, 1-0
No. 3 Doubles: Jamie Mckibban/Dagmar Rocker (Hillsborough) d. Andres Lozano/Carin Blanchard 6-3, 6-2

Hillsborough County Season Roster: Stephanie Means (Captain), Gail Gibson, Lisa Nicoll, Jamie Mckibban, Richard Sobieray, Judi Alford, Kurt Williams, Karen Blount, Manuel Alvarez, Chris Canfield, Dagmar Rocker, Ignacio Molina, John Hollis


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 June 29, recent winners in bold):

1. Pinellas County (6 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/W8.0/M8.0, 55&Over-M9.0, 40&Over-X7.0/8.0

2. Orange/Seminole/Lake (3) — 55&Over-W7.0/W8.0/W9.0

3T. Marion County (2) — 65&Over-W6.0/M7.0
3T. Duval County (2) — 55&Over-M7.0, 40&Over-X6.0
3T. Hillsborough County (2) — 55&Over-W6.0, 40&Over-X9.0

4. Escambia County (1) — 55&Over-M8.0

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: July 17-19, Adult 40 & Over 3.0/4.0/5.0 Sectional League 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.

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