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Team Southern Defends WTT Title

August 20, 2008 09:59 AM

Team Southern defeated Youth Tennis San Diego to defend their title at the 13th Annual World TeamTennis Junior Nationals presented by Advanta at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. It was the third title for Team Southern in the event’s 13-year history, having previously won the championship in 2005 and 2007.

Representing Team Southern were Vikram Hundal and Henry Jang-Milsten from Alpharetta, GA; Ross Peets from Jackson, MS; Kaitlin Burns from Wilmington, NC; Katherine Oudin from Marietta, GA and Jeri Reichel from Hilton Head Island, SC. Susannah Cook from Chattanooga, TN is the coach.

WTT co-founder Billie Jean King hosted the tournament.

Team Southern began their undefeated tournament streak on Friday with a 41-25 win against the Bakersfield team from California. That afternoon they claimed a 48-15 victory over the Smooth Strokes team of the Midwest states. On Saturday Team Southern defeated Hawaii Pacific, 48-12, and Pacific Northwest, 48-10, giving them a perfect record heading into the finals.

With war paint streaks under their eyes and the words “South” blocked on their arms, Team Southern began Sunday’s morning final match against Youth Tennis San Diego. With a 36-30 lead against the local and home team, Team Southern was forced into overtime when they lost the designated mixed doubles match, 6-0. However, after one game in overtime play, the Southern team captured the WTT Juniors Nationals title, with a final score of 37-31.

“I was screaming so loud during the finals that I lost my voice,” laughed Burns, a senior at Hoggard High School in South Carolina. “This was a perfect weekend. Playing on this team was more fun than just playing individually because everyone got along so well. It was great working together and winning it with my team,” she added.

“Once these kids came together, there was instant chemistry,” said Cook. “And I knew it was going to be a great weekend.”




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