Miami Team Places 2nd at USTA Mixed Nationals
The South Miami-Dade 8.0 adult mixed doubles squad representing USTA Florida finished 2nd over the weekend in Tucson, Ariz., at the 2011 USTA Mixed Doubles National Championships, held Nov. 18-20, 2011, at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center.
Playing out of Coral Pine Park in Pinecrest, Fla., during their local season, the South Miami-Dade team was edged 2-1 in the 8.0 mixed final in Tucson by the USTA Pacific Northwest team from Mill Creek, Wash. In the semifinals the Florida squad defeated the team representing USTA Mid-Atlantic, which finished third ahead of the USTA Midwest Section in 4th place.
It was the second consecutive year advancing to nationals in the 8.0 mixed division for South Miami-Dade, whose team was comprised of captain Robin Connell, Renzo Velis, Miguel Fundora, Leslie Stein, Donna Kass, Adam Joseph Rosales, Nastasha Rodriguez, Mel Gutgsell, and Carin Blanchard.
In other championship finals over the weekend in Tucson the USTA Southern Section won the 10.0 mixed championship, and the USTA Northern California Section won the 6.0 mixed championship.
This year's USTA League Mixed Doubles National Championship drew the top 44 teams (12 10.0-level teams, 16 8.0 teams and 16 6.0 teams) from throughout the nation.
USTA League is celebrating its 31st anniversary this year. Established in 1980, it has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year, to over 779,000 players across the nation today, making it the world's largest recreational tennis program.
College Tennis: Collins Commits to Florida Gators
IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., on Thursday announced that academy trainee Danielle Collins, ranked No. 3 in the 2012 tennis recruiting class by Tennis Recruiting Network, had committed to play for the University of Florida.
"I checked with her longtime coach Scott Dei this evening, and he confirmed it, although the 17-year-old from St. Petersburg will not be signing until the spring," wrote tennis blogger Colette Lewis of zootennis.com. "The Gators have two seniors this year -- Claire Bartlett and Joanna Mather -- but did not announce any signings in the recently completed early signing period, at least not yet. Collins will be playing the Orange Bowl and hopes to receive a wildcard into the Eddie Herr."
Florida won out over a host of other schools Collins was considering, including Georgia, TCU, Tennessee and Virginia.
It has been a breakthrough year for Collins, who in October won her first pro-level event, the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Williamsburg, Va. In March she captured the title at the USTA Spring National Championships, and in May she won her first ITF-level junior title at the ITF Grade 4 in Plantation, Fla.
In June at the 63rd USTA Florida Jr. State Closed Singles Championships at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, the top-seeded Collins won the Girls' 18 title for the second time in three years, defeating No. 2 seed Chalena Scholl of Pompano Beach 6-1, 6-1 in the final. Collins was also a 12s division champion earlier in her junior career.
"I didn't do well here last year," Collins said in June of the highly-competitive Florida Jr. State Closed tournament, which has seen ATP and WTA former No. 1s Andy Roddick, Jim Courier and Chris Evert raise trophies during their junior days. "I've been working on hitting the ball harder, and also getting a little more spin on the ball and hitting with a little more variety. I've been working out at Bollettieri's a lot, so all the hard work is paying off."