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USTA Southern Teams Bound for National Tournament

October 3, 2007 03:02 PM

To get to the National Tournament a team must win their USTA local league, state, and sectional tournaments. This is no easy feat for any team for there are over 600,000 league players divided into 17 sections. Three USTA Southern teams bound for the League National Championship has battled a myriad of obstacles on their journey. The Fabulous 5 from Charleston, SC had to rebuild their team this tennis season after losing half of their team. The Screaming Indian Savages from Monroe, LA found a way to raise the money needed for their trip to Nationals and the Hot Shots from Sun City, SC buckled down and raised their fitness level in order to become strong contenders at Nationals.

Fabulous 5 Women’s 3.5 Charleston, SC

This year the Fabulous 5 rebuilt about 50% of their team due to various reasons. The team name came from their determination that all 5 positions would be “Fabulous” every time they were on the court; thus the “Fabulous 5”. This year was the first time the entire team played together, but somehow they clicked perfectly. They ended their league season undefeated, made it through their area playoffs and advanced to the State Championship. It was a nail biting final match, but they suffered a heartbreaking loss of 2-3.

Although they lost at State, they were offered a wild card entry to Sectionals in Mobile, Alabama. What happened next was beyond anything they could have imagined! They won the Southern Sectional Championship tournament, something no one from the Charleston area had done previously at that level.

Now they are headed off to Nationals in Las Vegas, NV, where it’s going to truly test their team bond. With the determination they had this year; it’s going to be difficult to beat them. That’s what makes the Fabulous 5 so fabulous.

Screaming Indian Savages Men’s 4.5 Monroe, LA

From its decidedly insensitive name to its unusually homogenous makeup, the Screaming Indian Savages of Monroe, LA are nothing if not unique. Named in light-hearted protest of the loss of the local university’s (Louisiana-Monroe) mascot to NCAA pressure, the Savages have built a Southern Champion 4.5 Senior Men team with 7 of 8 active players hailing from the same club in Monroe, LA.

Savage Captain Phil Trahan credits his team’s success largely to the camaraderie that accrues in players who know and genuinely like each other. “Particularly at the 4.5 level, it’s hard to put a winning team together without some outside ‘ringers’, but the flip side is that we have great cohesiveness and we travel well.

Before this close-knit team could even think about heading off to Nationals in Tucson, AZ, they had a daunting task ahead of them; they had to come up with a way to finance their trip. Taking matters into their own hands, they held a Doubles Fundraiser that netted $10,000. With an additional stipend provided by the Louisiana Tennis Association, the Savages generated enough funding to pay 100% of the team’s expenses and donate $1200 to the Northeast Louisiana Community Tennis Association. The NELCTA will dedicate these funds to the construction of additional courts at the Forsythe Park public tennis facility.

Hot Shots Women’s 3.0 Sun City, SC

After the 3.0 women’s team returned from winning Sectionals, they knew they needed some work. So they immediately they started training. The Hot Shots had obstacles to overcome, playing on hard courts and having back to back matches. They trained vigorously, riding bikes, swimming, going to the weight room, and practicing on hard courts. They even went to Jacksonville, FL for a more in-depth training experience. There they had a lot of fun playing on hard courts, working out and even getting personal pointers from a pro. Each morning they would all say, "I am going to Indian Wells to win". With their motivation, nothing stands in the way.

These three teams have something very special in common. Other than a trip to Nationals, they all worked really hard to make their dream a reality. From rebuilding 50% of a team, finding a way to raise money for their trip, and deciding to work really hard improving all aspects of their game, they are determined to succeed.




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