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Love at the 2007 3.0 & 4.0 Senior Section Championships

May 22, 2007 12:14 PM

Results | Photo Gallery

Love was in the air at the USTA League 2007 3.0 & 4.0 Senior Section Championships presented by Chrysler.  Okay, maybe it was thousands of love bugs that were in the air, but either way, the tournament provided a weekend filled with competitive tennis, genuine sportsmanship, and most importantly, no fires!

Friday, May 18 kicked off the start of the tournament with 48 men’s and women’s teams from throughout the state of Florida.  These teams advanced to the 2007 3.0 & 4.0 Sr. Sectional Championship because they won their local USTA league division.  This competition marked the culmination of the 3.0 & 4.0 league season for many; however four deserving teams have advanced to the 2007 3.0 & 4.0 Sr. National Championships in Indian Wells, CA (3.0 level) and Tucson, AZ (4.0 level) this October.

The 3.0 senior women’s team from Naples took home first place with a 2-1 win over the 3.0 senior women’s team from ClermontFlo Johnson and Merali Drucker def. Mary Lou Colangelo and Marlys Bromberg 6-3, 6-4 in the No.1 doubles spot.  This would serve as Clermont’s only victory in the finals, as the Naples women snatched the No.2 and No. 3 doubles lines.  At No. 2, Lyn Jaksich and Ellen Hermannsson-Vhugen def. Sandy Thompson and Linda Weber 7-5, 6-3, while teammates Diana Reed and Paula Davis def. Becky Dees and Loretta Shann (captain) in a close third set tiebreaker.

Lyn Jaksich, team captain of the Naples 3.0 team, explained that her team has been preparing since last October for this competition.  “This is a relatively new team,” she said.  “We have only been together 7 months.”  Lyn continued, “We followed a motto that states ‘the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win’.   This is what got us here today, and hopefully it will take us through to Nationals too.”

Also heading to Nationals is the men’s 3.0 team from St. Pete/Clearwater.  The 3.0 men’s division was played in a round robin format, with a total six teams playing each other.  Led by captain David Foster, the St. Pete/Clearwater senior men’s team needed a win on Sunday against the 3.0 men’s team from Lee/Charlotte to tie with them for first place. 

“This was a very tough match today,” said Foster.  “Our competitors haven’t lost all year.”  All three lines went to tiebreakers, and fortunately for the St. Pete/Clearwater men’s team, they won all three lines.  “We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting and better match.”

Once a first place tie was recognized, the tournament winner was then decided by the team who had the least sets lost.  The St. Pete/Clearwater men’s team clinched first with 10 sets lost, compared to Lee/Charlotte’s 16.

Dave and his team have played at the sectional and regional level many times before, but they have never advanced to Nationals.  “I think the difference this year was our experience,” he explained.  “Most people that play at this level are nervous and don’t really know what to expect.”

Expectations were not a problem for the 4.0 senior women’s team from Tampa, as they edged out the 4.0 women’s team from Brevard County 2-1 in the finals.  Brevard County took the No.1 doubles line with Kathy Hotchkiss and Jane Quadros defeating Sue Kendall and Cheryl Busciglio 6-1, 7-5.  Tampa picked up the pace in their No.2 and No. 3 positions and rallied to win the title of Section Champions.  Marybeth Sultenfuss and Diane Stablein def. Tammy Flint and Eleanor Sheldon 7-6, 6-0 while Phylis Albritton (captain) and Diana Helsing def. Brenda Weed and Marilyn Webster 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 in an exciting third set tiebreaker, respectively.       
The fourth and final Florida team to advance to the 2007 3.0 & 4.0 Sr. National Championships was the 4.0 men’s team from North Palm Beach.  Led by captain Oscar Fernandez, the team swept house in the finals with a perfect 3-0 victory against the 4.0 men’s team from Emerald Coast.  Emerald Coast finished second, but not before putting up a good fight.  Two out of the three matches were decided by third set tiebreakers.  The No. 1 team of Robert Podesta and Dick Weaver def. Earl Cunningham (captain) and Wade Hurst  6-7, 6-4, 10-7.   Finishing the line-up, Oscar Fernandez and Carl Leveridge def. Felix Beukemkamp and Brian Ritchie 6-4, 7-6, while the No. 3 team of David Mattson and John Myer def. Jerry Armstrong and Robert Faber 0-6, 6-4, 10-3.

Congratulations to all National qualifier teams and all players who advanced thus far to the 2007 Sr. Sections Championships.  Although only four advanced to Nationals, every team walked away with something; from raffle prizes and trophies, to Chrysler test drives and complimentary water, and Gatorade and munchies at the hospitality tent.  Thanks also to Inlet Harbor, Cancun Lagoon and the Super Grouper Seafood Trailer who helped satisfy hungry tennis players throughout the weekend.

One additional element that added a unique feature to this tournament was that the Court Reporter was on hand to collect an array of video tributes from teams and players to send to our troops abroad in recognition of Memorial Day.  The collection of videos will be featured online on our website and also sent to the troops abroad.  Thanks to all teams and tennis players who contributed to the video; your kind words, enthusiasm, understanding and appreciation will truly touch the men and women fighting overseas.  Watch MEMORIAL DAY tribute vidoes!

 View photos from around the courts!






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