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Bradenton Mixed Tennis Team 3rd at USTA League Nationals

November 20, 2012 09:36 AM
100-sarasota-3rd-nationals2-webRepresenting USTA Florida at the USTA League Mixed 10.0 Nationals last weekend Nov. 16-18 in Tucson, Ariz., the team from River Strand Golf & Country Club in Bradenton finished in 3rd place among the Top 12 teams in the nation representing various USTA Sections. The event was held at the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort in Tucson.
 
The Bradenton squad successfully advanced out of round robin play, where in the semifinals they lost to the USTA Southern California Section (Irvine, Calif.) 2-1.
 
After splitting the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches, Bradenton and Southern California were tied at 1-1 in the semifinals. In the deciding No. 2 doubles match, Bradenton's Susan Dean and Scott Schuhriemen were edged 6-4, 4-6, 1-0(10) in the third-set super-tiebreak.
 
"It was just basically making a lot of balls in play and we were just calm and confident," said Southern California team captain Binoj Shaktidham. "It's great to be here, playing great tennis."
 
Bradenton then locked up 3rd place by defeating the team from the USTA Intermountain Section (Boise, Idaho) in the 3rd/4th place playoff, while Southern California went on to lose in the final to USTA Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C.).
 
The Bradenton team regular-season roster was comprised of Kristina Von Kessel (captain), Courtney Spafford, Sarka Vitkova, Danielle Hollis, Cesar Morales, Nathan Griffin, Scott Schuhriemen, Susan Dean, Dennis Hendrickson, Brock Gratton, Lisa Nicoll, Larry Woodruff, and John Hollis.
 
In their round robin flight, Bradenton finished ahead of teams from USTA Texas (Houston) and USTA Northern California (Sacramento).
 
The top four teams in order of finish were USTA Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C.); USTA Southern California (Irvine, Calif.); USTA Florida (Sarasota, Fla.) and USTA Intermountain (Boise, Idaho).
 
"It feels awesome. The entire team came together this weekend and played great," said the champion Mid-Atlantic team captain Sam Leiber. "We played our best match in the final. I couldn't be prouder of our team. The key to 10.0 Mixed Doubles is how good your women are and our women are the best in the tournament. Because our women are so strong, it makes it very difficult for any opponent that we play."
 
USTA League Mixed Doubles is for men and women 18 years of age and older. Teams are formed by combining the two player's individual National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) ratings. The total NTRP rating cannot exceed the level of the team. For example, a 10.0 team could be a combination of two 5.0 players, or one 5.5 partner and one 4.5 partner. Play format consists of three doubles matches.
 
This year marks the 32nd anniversary of USTA League. Since its inception in 1980, it has grown from 13,000 participants in its first year, to over 835,000 players across the nation today, making it the world's largest recreational tennis league. USTA League was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. Players participate on teams in a league format, which is administered by the USTA through its 17 Sections.
 
For the 2013 National Championship season, USTA League is changing its structure and format. The change will allow USTA League participants among three age categories (Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over and Adult 55 & Over and Mixed 18 & Over) to better align participants with players their own age. The restructuring guarantees more frequency of play opportunities at more appropriate age divisions.
 
For more information on USTA Leagues in Florida go to www.florida.usta.com/usta_adult_senior_leagues/home.
 
 
 
 
 

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