5 County Teams Crowned at 2011 Season-ending USTA Florida Combo League Chps.

January 24, 2012 02:55 PM
Broward, Escambia, Indian River/St. Lucie/Martin, Marion, Polk counties take home titles
The Combo Men's 9.5 champions from Escambia County
The Combo Men's 9.5 finalists from Sarasota/Manatee counties
The Combo Men's 8.5 champions from Broward County
The Combo Men's 8.5 finalists from Alachua County
The Combo Women's 8.5 champions from
Indian River/St. Lucie/Martin counties
The Combo Women's 8.5 finalists from Pinellas County
The Combo Men's 5.5 champions from Marion County
The Combo Men's 5.5 finalists from Escambia County
The Combo Women's 5.5 champions from Polk County
The Combo Women's 5.5 finalists from South Miami-Dade
A squad captained by a major college tennis coach was among five different teams capturing championships last weekend at the season-ending 2011 USTA Florida Combo Adult League 5.5, 8.5, & 9.5 Championships, held Jan. 20-22, 2012 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.
The weekend was the last of the 2011 USTA Florida Section League Championships, where local league winners square off at the Florida Tennis Center for the title of USTA Florida Section Champion.
"January brought perfect weather for all three weekends of the Combo Championships after not-so-pleasant weather the past two years," said Jodi Manning, USTA Florida leagues coordinator. "The 1,300 players that visited the Florida Tennis Center sure appreciated great weather, superb tennis and excellent sportsmanship throughout their weekend of play." 
Led by captain Derrick Racine, also head coach of the University of West Florida men’s and women’s tennis teams, the squad representing Escambia County from the Florida Panhandle won the Combo Men’s 9.5 championship, edging second-place Sarasota/Manatee counties in the final tally. Both teams were tied at the end of group play with a 3-1 team win-loss record, but Escambia won the tiebreak with an 8-4 match win record over Sarasota/Manatee’s 7-5 record.
Joining Racine on the Escambia roster were Brock Sakey, Mansfield Coe, Jonathan Sloan, Brian Sakey, Rick Davis, Chris Bloomberg, Daniel Herman, Dixon Harold Abell, Buddy Gonzalez, Iain Pound, and Erik Stenberg.
The team representing Marion County, playing out of the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club in Ocala, captured the Combo Men’s 5.5 title, winning their group with a 3-0 win-loss record ahead of second-place Escambia County. It is the second consecutive Combo Men’s 5.5 title for Ocala after capturing the championship in the 2010 season.
The Ocala team was captained by Jerry McLauchlin, and included teammates Richard Astrom, Ray Barnett, Christopher George Luetgert, Steve Gray, Paul Zirakian, Lawrence Albritton, Guy Lemieux, Andrew Louis Donohue, Jay Claus, Randy Miles, Dennis Craig Curry, Chester Weber, and Robert Salat.
Broward County won the Combo Men’s 8.5 championship, defeating Alachua County 3-0 in the final. Captained by Gabriel Eduardo Arraiz, the squad included Luis Ortega, Cesar Eduardo Nunez, Ricky Wilson, Ed Wilson, Anibal Ciffoni, Regulo Araujo, Edgar Galea, Jaime Enrique Astudillo, Victor Araujo, Gregorio Rodriguez, and Manuel Hernandez.
The Combo Women’s 5.5 title was won by the team from Polk County, playing out of the Beerman Family Tennis Center in Lakeland, edging South Miami/Dade 2-1 in the final. Captained by Elisa Buffington, the team was comprised of Brandie Philpot, Ashli Buckner Morris, Kelly Abad, Terri Louise Walker, Michele Lyn Marbra, Pamela Harrington, Leigh Harris, Punam Verma Saxena, Tina Roberts-Reid, and Angie Nichole Burt.
The team representing Indian River/St. Lucie/Martin counties, playing out of The Boulevard Tennis Club in Vero Beach, defeated Pinellas County 3-0 in the Combo Women’s 8.5 final to claim the championship. Captained by Elizabeth Kenney, the team included Deborah Lloyd, Jaclyn Whiddon, Sharon Runk, Laura Toth, Katherine Zanon, Carol Donnelly, Julie Baker, Wendy Tatum, Colleen Crafton, Laura Bradshaw, Rose Culumber and Mary Wick.
Combo Adult teams are comprised of players 18 years or older in a combined-rating format from 5.5 to 9.5. The combined NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) ratings of each doubles team may neither exceed the level nor be more than 1.0 less than the level in which they are competing. The NTRP rating difference between the members of an individual doubles pair may not exceed 0.5.
For additional info on USTA Florida Combo Adult Leagues go to www.florida.usta.com/USA-League-Tennis-Pages/22261_Adult_Combo_Division/.