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Stone Mountain Team Wins Junior Team Tennis National Championship

November 21, 2005 01:39 PM
The 18 and under team from Stone Mountain, GA clinched the National Junior Team Tennis title at the Championships held in Tucson, AZ. The eight member team, which trains out of the Peter Burwash International Tennis Academy at the Stone Mountain Tennis Center, traveled to the Championships with their coach, Chris Palmer. Most of the Stone Mountain team holds Southern and even National rankings and trains two to three days a week at the Academy. They decided to form a USTA Junior Team Tennis team last winter as a means to get in more match play.
Although they competed fiercely in the 18 and under advanced division, the team only had one 18 year old on its roster. The other player's ages range from 13-16 years old. Their team includes diversity in not only age and game style, but also a variety of ethnicities. As the base of their training, the Peter Burwash International Tennis Academy has provided for quite a multi-racial gathering of skilled and dedicated tennis players. Members include those of Caucasian, African, Indian, Turkish, Chinese and even a hint of Native American decent!

The Stone Mountain team was placed in Flight 1 in National Championship play where they faced teams from Wisconsin, New Mexico, Minnesota, Kansas and 2004 runners up, Team Utah. They finished in second place behind Wisconsin in round robin play, but advanced to the semi-final playoffs where they faced the winners of flight 2, Team Texas. They breezed past Texas in the semi-final match up only to face Wisconsin again in the finals. The Stone Moutain team triumped 37-23 in the finals to claim the title.

"The experience was huge for these kids," Coach Palmer commented. "It is definitely something they will remember for the rest of their lives."

Perhaps one of the most important lessons that the team learned was the importance of working as a team.

"After the first two or three matches the kids realized that they had to fight for each game because every single point was important," Palmer added. "There was such a shift from the first day to the last day of competition. It was really eyeopening to watch these kids learn not to focus on themselves but to focus on the team."

Click here to view results from the Junior Team Tennis National Championships in Tuscon, AZ.




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