The "904" junior tennis team from Jacksonville representing the USTA Florida Section finished second to USTA Texas 49-39 over the weekend at the 2011 USTA Jr. Team Tennis 18 & Under National Championships, Oct. 27-30, 2011, in Surprise, Ariz.
Florida won the match score 3-2, but total points is the winner in the Jr. Team Tennis format, where the "ATA Dream Team" from Austin edged ahead in the final 49-39 for the victory. Texas easily won the boys' and girls' singles, while Florida likewise won the boys' and girls' doubles in straight sets. The match came down to the mixed doubles, which Florida won in three sets, but Texas' Brooke Hughes and Andrew Parks closed the door on the match before Florida's Gray and Keller could make up the point differential.
The "904" squad (pictured, left to right)
was comprised of Amanda Keller, Katie Fitt, Jaclyn Switkes, Andrey Majkic, Ethan Wichtendahl, Mitchell McCauley, James Gray, Lara Dedic, and Sarah Jones.
Keller also received the Girls' Sportsmanship Award for the Advanced division.
MORE PHOTOS AND STORIES FROM THE JR. TEAM TENNIS NATIONALS
Third place went to Team RCC representing USTA Midwest, and fourth place to Team Wells Wackers representing USTA Northern.
In the 18 & Under Intermediate Division final, Team Tennessee representing USTA Southern defeated the Munster Monkeys from the USTA Midwest Section 53-30. Third place was Team KC Swagg representing USTA Missouri Valley, and fourth place went to Team Bloomfield Bobcats representing USTA New England.
USTA Florida was represented in the Intermediate division by "Six Sense" of Broward County. While failing to finish in the top four, Six Sense's Kevin Chavez was among those making fashion statements by wearing clothing articles from the team gift exchanges.
"I personally wear crazy things," said Chavez, in the photo sporting a beanie gift from another team. "It's not one of the craziest things I have worn, but it's up there. And it suits the way I am as a person. I have fun. Wearing this hat is fun. We got the hats at our first match against Maryland as part of the gift exchange."
About USTA Jr. Team Tennis
USTA Jr. Team Tennis is designed for kids ages 5-18, and brings players together in co-ed teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering a spirit of cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. Matches can be held anywhere from a local park or school to a commercial or private club. Teams are divided by the age and play levels of 18U, 14U, 12U, 10U and 8U, and beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Champions at the USTA Section level qualify for the USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships. For more information go to www.florida.usta.com/youth_tennis/jr_team_tennis/home/