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Blog: Miami Team at USTA League Nationals Tennis in Tucson

November 10, 2012 12:51 PM
Julio Ugarte blogs for USTA Florida from the 2012 USTA League 2.5, 7.0 & 9.0 Mixed National Championships at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort in Tucson, Ariz.
 
Blog #2: Saturday
 
After a day of low temperatures and high wind yesterday, Team Florida was ready for today's challenge.
 
We started off strong in our first match against the Southern team. After winning the first set on 2 courts, Team Florida looked as strong as ever. Corine Grana and Sid Doshi won the first set easily at 6-2, while Sheri Adler and Kevin Johnson won their first set 6-3. Miriam Radillo and I were down early, but instantly picked up our game starting the second set. Things were looking good. After a quick nap, we realized that Team Southern was picking it up! All of the sudden, the 2 courts which were dominated by Team Florida in the first sets were turning around. Team Southern gained confidence and ended up winning both second sets. This match couldnt have been any closer. Ultimately the match came down to 3 super tiebreakers.
 
blog-miami-fridayAt position #3, Sheri and Kevin first fell short 10-5. Despite their great fight after losing the momentum in the second set, they were unable to bounce back in the tiebreak. At position #1, Corrine and Sid were winning 9-6 in their super tiebreak, but ultimately were defeated 11-9. Finally, at position #2, Miriam and I lost our tiebreak 10-6. Although we lost the match 0-3, it was truly an evenly matched competition.
 
Going into our second match, our record was 1-3. We knew that we were not eligible to advance to the semifinals. We also knew that our last match would be against the undefeated Texas team. Despite the odds, we were not defeated yet. We all wanted to finish strong and show Nationals 2012 what we're made of! The match started with an unexpected retire- Patricio Madariaga had a sudden back spasm in the second game of the match while reaching for a tough volley. This put Team Florida down 1-0.
 
Positions #1 and 2 then both barely lost their first sets. Although the match wasn't looking promising, the fight and intensity was still there. Both positions rallied back to win both second sets, leading to 2 more super tiebreakers. Despite losing both tiebreakers, the team was happy about our overall result. Texas has excellent players, both men and women, who were equally great fighters. We played our hearts out and learned from every match lost.
 
Our overall super tiebreak record from our 4 matches was 2-5. This shows how even all of these teams are. Every match came down to simply a matter of points; we had our chances to advance to the semifinals. That is how nationals should be- great teams playing against great teams.
 
We look forward to our next chance to play together as a team, more experienced and hungrier than ever. For the 9.0 Mixed National Championships, Team Florida will be back and stronger than before!
 
Julio Ugarte
 
 
 
 
Blog #1: Friday
 
blog-miami-fridayWhat a day for Team Florida! Competing at the team 9.0 nationals is a blessing. We couldn’t be happier to be in such a beautiful place. But, despite the great scenery and lovely facility, many elements created disadvantages for our team; high winds and cold weather. Coming from Miami where temperatures are currently in the 80's and somewhat humid, the dry, windy, cold weather came as a shock! Despite these disturbances, Team Florida had an excellent day of tennis.
 
To start off the day, Team Florida played against Northern California where we were victorious 2-1. Service tosses were tossed up and blown to the next court, while many rally balls were swung at with no contact. Julio Ugarte and Miriam Radillo won quickly in straight sets at position #2 to get the team up 1-0. After a tough fight from Sheri Adler and Patricio Madariaga, they fell short at position #1. The match came down to a third set super tiebreak which was dominated by Florida's Corrine Mason and Sid Doshi.
 
Unfortunately we fell short in our second match against the Midwest 1-2. The match simply came down to a matter of points. After splitting the matches 1-1, the pressure was on for Sheri Adler and Kevin Johnson. After winning their marathon first set, they lost the second set 6-4. Hence, another super tiebreak! Much credit should be given to the Midwest team for stepping up their game in the tiebreak and finishing strong. Team Florida definitely had their chances to win, but unfortunately, it didn't go our way. Despite the loss, this match was so exciting and intense that it had both teams on their feet cheering. This is what makes playing on a team so much fun.
 
We have 2 matches left to play in our flight tomorrow. At this point, almost every team is neck and neck to advance to the semifinals. Our next 2 matches will be extremely important and full of pressure, and we couldn't be more excited!
 
I am so proud of my team today. The fight, enthusiasm, and hunger is evident in every match. I can't wait to see what we will soon accomplish!
 
Julio Ugarte
 
 
 

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