Southern Family Pride

November 12, 2011 02:35 PM
TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 12: 2011 USTA League 2.5 7.0 9.0 National Championships held at the Reffkin Tennis Center, in Tucson, Arizona.
TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 11: 2011 USTA League 2.5 7.0 9.0 National Championships held at the Reffkin Tennis Center, in Tucson, Arizona.

By Matt Birch, Special to

Tucson, Ariz. --- The team representing the Southern Section at this weekend’s 2.5 Mixed Doubles National Championships from Covington, La., has brought state and family pride as well as their fun attitudes with them to the desert.

The team features three sets of family pairs, and the traveling party includes two young children and another on the way.

Elizabeth Boyce is approaching the sixth month of her pregnancy with her second child, and is missing a friend’s wedding this weekend in order to compete at Nationals. She explained that she has enjoyed the exercise provided from playing tennis, and that the pregnancy has not had too much of an impact on her playing, although she can feel the baby moving when she rests between sets.

Elizabeth’s doubles partner this weekend is her brother, Ryan Fischer, and their parents have also made the trip to Arizona to watch their kids compete at Nationals. Another brother/sister duo featured on this Southern team is Ken Aswad and Kaki Wells.

Married couple Lance and Frances Williams also plays as a doubles pair, and their two kids are in attendance to watch their parents compete.

Every member of the team, which is captained by Wayne Weidenbacher, has been playing tennis for less than two years, out of the Stone Creek Club and Spa in the Northshore region of Louisiana.

The team has been together for about one year, and has quickly bonded and has had a lot of fun together, as well as with the other teams competing at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center this weekend. For the teams’ gift exchange with their opponents, the Southern team shows off its Louisiana pride by presenting their opponents with Mardi Gras beads.

Practice has been important to this group, as they try to practice their tennis four to five times per week. They credit the weather in Louisiana with being nice enough to practice outdoors year-round, which teams in many other regions are unable to do.

Kaki spoke about the experiences the team has had this weekend and about the bond within her squad.

"Our team is a very strong and deep team, and we are like one big family," she said. "Everyone we have played against has been so nice. While we want to win, it’s more important to play good and have a great time."

They are certainly having a great time this weekend, and this tennis family from Covington is continuing to grow and expand their love for tennis.