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Southern Teams Make Their Mark at Regional and National Competitions

November 21, 2006 06:58 AM

USTA Southern Section League Tennis teams proved to be amongst the top teams in the nation as the National and Regional tournaments came to a close. Four Southern teams progressed through local, state, and sectional tournaments to earn the coveted birth into the USTA League Tennis presented by Chrysler National Championships. During National Championship play teams faced opponents from 17 Sections across the United States and the Southern Section brought home three National Championship titles! In the Mixed Doubles Eastern Regional Tournament hosted in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Southern team blew past the competition earning championship titles in Adult 8.0 (Team North Carolina), Senior 7.0 (Team Tennessee) and Senior 9.0 (Team North Carolina). In the Senior 8.0 division Team Kentucky took second place. Team South Carolina finished in third place in the Senior 6.0 division.

The Monroe Court Jesters from Monroe, Louisiana took home the National Championship Title in the Senior Men’s 3.0 division. The tournament was hosted by the Randolph Tennis Center in Tucson, Arizona on October 27th through the 29th. Fritz Holmstrom and John Wakeman lead the team with 6-0 records. Five of Wakeman’s wins was with partner Jimmy Eaton who also never lost a set. The Southern team won their flight 4-0 over teams from Northern and Southern California, Mid-Atlantic and Northern Sections. The men advanced to play-offs and defeated Florida 3-0 in the semi-finals. The Southern team went on to win a tough match against Hawaii 2-1 for the title. Also turning in perfect records were Patrick Wright and Randy Morgan. Other contributing members were Captain Mark Taylor, Charles Bell and Joe King.

Two Southern teams were crowned National Champions at the 2006 USTA League National Championships held in Tuscon, AZ the weekend of October 20th - 22nd. The Women's 4.5 Senior team from North Carolina and the Men's 3.5 Senior team from Roswell, Georgia brought the titles to the Southern Section.

Southern’s Women’s 4.5 Senior team, from Charlotte, North Carolina claimed the title in Tucson, Arizona at the Randolph Tennis Center. Doubles team Saundra Denny and Sharon Frahm led the charge winning both of their matches against a Southwest and a Southern California team in the semis and final matches. The Southern team beat both opponents 2-1. Also contributing to the success of the team were: Captain Marla Figard, Debbi Carmazzi, Dona Bowland, Joann Crolley, Sharon Greene, Faye Thomas, Miriam Morey, and Gwynn Sasser.

The same weekend, Southern’s Men’s 3.5 Senior team from Roswell, Georgia also claimed the title of National Champions. The doubles team of Rick Sommers and Aubrey Forlines compiled two wins in the semi and final matches. The Southern team defeated the Pacific Northwest tam in the semis 3-0 and edged out the team from Northern California 2-1 at the Indian Wells Garden in Indian Wells, California. Members of the winning team include: Captain James Meidl, Joe Boland, Richard Brownlee, John Cook, Neil Paauwe, Robert Pritula, Joel Schancupp, Fred Taylor, Mike Van Parys, Jack Warren, Mark Gottlieb, and James Wahl.

The weekend of October 13-15, the Southern Men’s 4.5 Adult team, from Marietta, Georgia was battling the competition at the Kohala Tennis Club in Waikoloa, Hawaii.The men swept their flight, beating teams from Pacific Northwest, Eastern, and Southwest Sections. Singles player, Travis Johnson and doubles team, Hammond Reynolds and Huntley Gordon won all three of their matches in flight play to lead the men to the championship bracket. The Southern team met a tough Florida group in the semi-finals and lost 4-1. In the championship subflight, the men lost 4-1 again to a team from the Middle States Section. Doubles teams Bill Chocallo and David Kusiel and Captain Jeff Crowder and Lucas Costa turned in wins during play-offs. Also contributing to the strong showing were Galen Johnson, Richard Lunney, Chad Harris, Jeff Jones and Mark Obrien.

The women’s team from Birmingham, Alabama representing the USTA Southern, finished third at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 2.5 Adult National Championships held at the Doral Desert Princess Resort in Palm Springs, California.

The Birmingham team defeated a team from Diablo, California 3-0 in the playoff match. The ladies were defeated in the semifinals by eventual champions, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2-1.

The women’s team from Charlotte, North Carolina finished third at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 5.0 Adult National Championships held at the Doral Desert Princess Resort in Palm Springs, California the weekend of September 29th - October 1st.

The Charlotte team defeated a team from Lakeland, Florida in the championship match. Earlier in the day, the Charlotte team lost to a team from Orange County, California in the semifinals. They advanced this far by winning their round-flight contested Friday and Saturday.

The team is captained by Dale Hall and features Mariana Hollman, Susan Love, Diane Mulkey, Aimee Norris, Julie Sawyer, Anne Carter Smith and Shirley Thompson.

USTA League presented by Chrysler is the world’s largest recreational tennis league. Established in 1980, the program began with 13,000 participants, playing in only a portion of the country. In 2005, it celebrated its 25th Anniversary, and had over 585,000 participants, playing across the entire United States, in all 17 USTA Sections. USTA League offers recreational players the opportunity to get a great workout, improve their skills, have fun, and compete for a National Championship.

The USTA League program was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. Players participate on teams in a league format, which is administered by the USTA through its 17 Sections. 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 19 years of age or older. It features Adult and Mixed Doubles divisions, as well as a Senior Division (age 50) and a Super Senior Division (age 60).

Chrysler is entering its first year as the presenting sponsor and official vehicle of the USTA League program. Penn Racquet Sports is in its 19th year as official ball of USTA League Tennis.




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