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Asheville: Patchwork Team Excels, Moves To Sectionals

August 23, 2013 03:40 PM
Above: Co-captians Sam Doak (left) and Rod Meryweather.
Below: Team members play doubles.
By Ron Cioffi/USTA Southern
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The Tennessee 40 & Over Men’s 3.0 team feels pretty good about being in Asheville.
Sown together like a patchwork, the team didn’t exist before this year’s local season.
Rod Meryweather, co-captian of the team with Sam Doak, talked about how the two of them gave a number of Knoxville players a chance to play USTA League.
"There were a number of players who were on a team but didn’t get to play last year," he remembered. "So, I got together with Sam Doak and we put together another team."
Meryweather thought the team would be challenged as the two other teams have years of experience and successful seasons. "We figured we wouldn’t be very competitive but we decided to give it a try and see what happened."
Before the season started, Cheryl Thompson, Knoxville’s Local League Coordinator, realized there may be an opportunity to add a third 3.0 team to the local mix. "When Rod stepped up to captain a team, we were able to go from two teams to three," she said. "Without Rod’s and Sam’s team, about 11 players wouldn’t have a team to play on."
Meryweather was originally reluctant to captain this team because he already shepherds two other team out of the Webb School, a primary and secondary private school. He was able to add four players and Doak had five additional who play at the Knoxville Racquet Club. With some persistence, they had compiled a new team.
What was the team’s greatest accomplishment of their first season? "We beat one of the other Knoxville teams 5-0 in the states."
Like a proud parent, Meryweather had a big smile on his face when we talked about that state championship match.



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