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Blog: USTA Florida at League Tennis Nationals-Final

October 7, 2012 09:00 AM
Gina Betbeze is blogging this weekend from the USTA League Women's 3.5 Nationals in Tucson, Ariz., as her team from Julington Creek Plantation in Jacksonville represents USTA Florida.
 
SATURDAY, Oct. 6, 2012
 
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Official team photo, left to right: Vanessa Viere (team captain), Tina Markowitz, Karen Pandolfi, Alcira Guzman, Becky Argalas, Elaine Wombolt, Joanne Booher, Gina Betbeze, Jessie Ceccorelli, Susanna Vance, Terry Lamendola
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The team after their 5-0 win 
What an incredible day we had.  The  weather in Tucson really benefitted our team.  With temps in the low 90s and relatively no humidity our ladies were thrilled. 
 
After losing 2/3 yesterday to Northern  California we knew we had to really bring it today. We played Southwest (the local team ) and won our match 3/2 with 3 third set tie breakers. 
 
Next up was Minnesota. I must say they were a great group of ladies to play and socialize with.  We won the match 5/0. How awesome is that? We were so excited to think we might make the semis. We just needed Southwest to win 3/2 for us to advance. Unfortunately that didn't happen and we lost out on the chance to move on to the semis by just on line. Our ladies were so excited at the possibility.
 
This was our first trip to Nationals and we plan on coming back.  We've met some awesome players and really connected to the men's team from Puerto Rico as we have some players from there as well.  We wish all the teams well and just know that this team from Julington Creek Plantation (Duval) will be back for more.
 
Next time we will have less nerves and more fire. We can't wait to make this trip again. Thanks to USTA Florida for all your support.


FRIDAY, Oct. 4, 2012
 
Team Florida had a blast today; day one of the USTA 3.5 Nationals in Tucson.
 
We still can't believe we are here with all these great players.  We never gave this event a thought when we formed our team. 
 
Last night we had dinner in downtown Tucson at Delectables where we discussed team strategy and pumped each other up. We hit the courts this morning eager to show our stuff.
 
Both our singles players, Susanna Vance and Karen Pandolfi, won their matches. Our doubles teams didn't fare as well, losing all three lines, but they did provide us with plenty of entertainment that we replayed at lunch and again later in the day. Our team photographer and friend, Janet Gibson, has been shooting lots of footage to be used in our team video. That is something we may not be able to share with outsiders. 
 
So far we have met many players from all over and it's great to see them as excited as we are. Tennis has brought us all together and we couldn't be more thrilled to be sharing this experience with each other. 
 
Tonight we are enjoying the player party in the Grand Ballroom of the Double Tree Hotel. The food is fabulous, the drinks are flowing and soon there will be dancing. Unfortunately our next match is at 7:30AM so for us ladies it will be an early night.
 
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