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Florida Region 2 Top Finishers at 2012 Adult League Sectionals

September 27, 2012 11:25 AM
By Rick Vach, Region 2 columnist, Play Tennis Florida magazine
 
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The Ocala 2.5 men
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The Ocala 3.5 men
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The Gainesville 4.0 women
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The Jacksonville 3.5 women
All USTA Florida league players dream of going to nationals -- but the major hurdle, after winning local league play and regionals (no easy feat in itself), is winning at the USTA Florida League Sectionals at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.
 
Let's use this space this month to recognize the Region 2 teams from Gainesville, Jacksonville and Ocala that advanced to nationals, or finished in second place at the USTA Florida League Sectionals, held at the end of August in Daytona Beach.
 
Ocala advanced two teams to nationals, both out of the Ft. King Tennis Center.
 
The Ocala Men's 2.5 team (3-0 record at sectionals) finished ahead of Gainesville/Jonesville Tennis Center (0-3) in an all-Region 2 battle in the 2.5 division in Daytona Beach. The Ocala Men's 3.5 team were also sectional winners, posting a perfect 4-0 ahead of second-place Broward County.
 
The Ocala 2.5 team was captained by Paul Scott Steinberg, with the team roster comprised of Todd Stafford Jones, Frank Owings, John Frederick Berg, Chris Prusak, Gary Crawford, Rick Durham, Burt Waldren, Steve Forrest, and Efren Vasquez. The Ocala 3.5 team was captained by John Wheeler, with the team roster comprised of Brian McGee, Jacob Chak, Richard Velez Perrone, Oleksandr Kovalchuk, Dwight Landmann, Kyle Randle Drawdy, Michael Pera Daniels, William Steigner, Paul Franck, Joel Raney, Dustin Carstenn, Justin Gregory Greene, and Chris Reed.
 
Gainesville, in addition to their second-place team in the Men's 2.5 division at sectionals, advanced one team to nationals when the Women's 4.0 team out of D.B. Racquet Club swept their division in Daytona Beach without dropping a team match, finishing ahead of second-place Sarasota.
 
The D.B. Racquet Club teams roster during the season was Lenhs Louis (captain), Michiele Sherman, Terry Lynn West, Cathy Boon, Julie Garrish, Lori Glenn, Debbie Neubauer, Stephanie Davis, Theresa Anderson, Lynn Godwin, Cynthia Thibault, Cristi Dobbs, Susan Comolli, Michelle Waters, Lidia Vesely, and Joy Ann Parker.
 
Jacksonville had one team advance to nationals from the sectional event, and two teams that were edged from national berths, finishing second in their divisions in Daytona Beach.
 
The 3.5 women from Julington Creek Plantation were the lone team from the Jacksonville area to win at the Florida Tennis Center, advancing to the USTA 3.5 Nationals, which will be held Oct. 5-7 at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz. The Julington Creek ladies couldn't have won in more dramatic fashion in Daytona, tying the Pinellas County team 3-1 in round robin play, but winning the tiebreaker, which was their 12-8 overall individual match win-loss, compared to Pinellas' 11-9. Who says one little match doesn't make a difference?
 
The Julington Creek ladies' team roster is Vanessa Viera (captain), Jill Wild, Betty Tully, Victoria Benjamin, Terry Nauert Lamendola, Alcira Varela Guzman, Gina Betheze, Frances Sanfiorenzo, Tina Markowitz, Susanna Vance, Liz Schultz, Jean Lee, Elaine Wombolt, Nancy Jeter, Jessie Ceccorulli, Joanne Marie Booher, Becky Argalas, Sandra Salley, and Karen Pandolfi.
 
"The ladies from Julington Creek Plantation's 3.5 USTA team are very excited to represent Florida in the upcoming USTA Nationals in Tuscon," said Betbeze, who will be blogging for the USTA Florida website during their competition. "We are truly just a group of friends that play on various tennis teams who decided to get together and form this team for fun. This was supposed to be our 'Fun, no pressure, hurry-and-play-so-we-can-go-to-cocktails-on-a-Sunday-afternoon' team. Obviously it didn't take long for us to find our competitive spirit. We have supported each other through so many adversities including injuries, family drama and of course tennis frustration, and we couldn't be happier to be sharing this exciting experience together."
 
Two other Jacksonville teams finished in second place in round robin play at sectionals, one with another shocker of a result.
 
The San Jose Country Club 3.0 women finished with a 3-1 round robin record in their group at sectionals, tied at the end of the day with South Miami-Dade at 3-1. This time the tiebreak did not go Jacksonville's way, as South Miami-Dade had the better individual match win-loss, 14-6 to 12-8. It was a heartbreaker for the San Jose women, who had beaten the South Miami-Dade women 3-2 in round robin play, but USTA national league rules go with individual match win-loss as the tiebreaker rather than head-to-head records.
 
The San Jose team was comprised of captain Pamela Ann Basney, Beth Gregory, Julie Pyburn, Judi Tygart, Vicki Suhrer, Lori Talbert, Patricia Lamell, Jennifer Greer, Diane Martin, Nancy Hanna, Janet Olinto, Evelyn Tovar, Erica Hayman, Gwen Gallagher, Amber Redden, Melissa Brannon, Meg Sheffield, Staci Kelly, and Cindy Thompson.
 
The other second-place finishing team from Jacksonville knew they had their work cut out for them in Daytona. Jacksonville men have dominated the 5.0 Florida Sectionals over the last few years, but this year's sectional team was lacking some key contributors due to injuries prior to the event.
 
The men's 5.0 team out of Selva Marina Country Club in Atlantic Beach were swept 3-0 by the Collier County team out of Arthur Allen Tennis Center at Cambier Park in Naples. The Selva roster was comprised of captain Alex Henderson, Alex Hidalgo, Chris Childers, Al Restrepo, Brian Landeweer, Kevin Grant, Jamie Booras, Gus Treyz, John Jacobson, Joshua Vissman, Bill Chapman, Mark Worsham, Adam Hausman, and Daniel Nebus.
 
Congratulations to all the Region 2 teams that advanced to USTA Florida League Sectionals. Whether you won, finished second, or lower in your group in Daytona Beach, you realized what remains a dream for the majority of Florida league players.
 
 
This article appears in the September/October issue of Play Tennis Florida, the USTA Florida Section's digital magazine, available the first week in October 2012. To read the current issue, or an archive of past issues, go to www.florida.usta.com/magazine/play_tennis_florida.
 
 
 

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