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Southern men, Southern California women win 8.0 National Championships

October 26, 2015 09:54 AM

By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com

SURPRISE, ARIZ. – The USTA League Adult 55 & Over 8.0 National Championships had a Southern feeling Sunday at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, with the Southern section men’s team and the Southern California women's team taking home the titles.

The Southern men, from Marietta, Ga., reached the final with a 2-1 semifinal victory over the Southwest section team, from nearby Chandler, Ariz. Waiting for Southern in the 8.0 men’s final was a strong Florida section team, from Valrico, Fla., which blanked the Missouri Valley section team, from Topeka, Kan., 3-0, in the other semifinal.

In an entertaining championship, the Southern section men finished on top with a narrow 2-1 victory.

“It’s been a long road for us. We lost a match on Saturday morning and basically thought we were out of it,” said team captain Wayne Miller. “We’re a strong team. We just kept fighting. We had a great time and a great bonding experience.”

After losing in its Sectional tournament the past two years, the Southern California section women’s team, from Escondido, Calif., completed a magical journey to the 2015 national championship title.

Escondido began the day with a semifinal victory over the Southern section women’s team, from Mt. Pleasant, S.C., 2-1. Following a short break, SoCal went on to win the title with an emotional victory in the championship over the Pacific Northwest Section women’s team from Lake Oswego, Ore., 2-1.

“It’s so exciting. It took us three years, but we finally did it,” said an elated Hitomi Wittl, captain of the Southern California section championship team. “We have 12 players and they were all committed to our team.”




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