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Tennis Briefs: Jr. Profile; USTA League 'Captain of Captains'

May 15, 2013 10:14 AM

Florida Jr. Profile May 2013: Jaeda Daniel, Port Charlotte

 
By Collette Lewis, USTA Florida junior tennis writer
 
photo_op-DanielUSTAFlaThirteen-year-old Jaeda Daniel has been well known in Florida junior tennis for some time, having won the 12s and the 14s divisions of the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Championships the past two years.
 
The left-hander from Port Charlotte stepped into the national spotlight in April however, collecting her first USTA gold ball at the Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
 
Seeded No. 3, Daniel breezed through her first three matches in the 14s division, but found the going much tougher in her final four wins, needing three sets in three of them, including the championship match. Down a set to No. 11 seed Ashley Lahey, Daniel rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory, overcoming her nerves, a talented opponent, and gusty winds to secure the title.
 
"I started out pretty nervous," said Daniel, who splits her training between Port Charlotte and Philadelphia, Pa. "It slowly went away, but I still had to find my game and get back into it. I kept the same strategy, but I just had to execute, and she wasn't letting me do that."
 
Daniel, who turns 14 in July, expressed satisfaction with her performance in the California desert.
 
"It was a great tournament overall," said the soft-spoken Daniel. "There were matches where I played really well, and matches where I didn't. All the girls were spectacular and it was tough to consistently get out there and do what I had to do myself. So I think it was a good week overall."
 
 

Oh Captain, My Captain: 71 Year Old Finds Late Lifetime Sport in USTA League

 
By Cary Bayer, USTA Florida Region 8 (North Gold Coast) Writer
 
region_8-TeterteamWilliam Ernest Henley wrote: "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." That's easy for the poet to say; he never captained seven USTA women's tennis teams, and four South Florida women's doubles league teams all at the same time the way that Sandy Teter does.
 
Sandy, who teeters on the edge sometimes juggling "round the clock" duties, is a Cutler Bay-based 3.0 player, and a 71-year-old retired P.E. teacher from Homestead Middle School.
 
The former coach of school volleyball, basketball, and softball teams didn't take up tennis until retiring 11 years ago, when she was looking for a sport she could play for the rest of her life. Little did she know what she was getting into. The captain of all captains plays at Miami's Alper Jewish Community Center on three teams.
 
An excellent communicator, she e-mails match logistics a week in advance, with rosters filled out, then texts each woman the day before matches -- for 11 different teams, and over 100 different players. "If this were a job, there wouldn't be enough money to pay me to do it," she said. She captains several 2.5 teams, as well, to nurture the beginners, and enjoys watching them improve.
 
One day, before going to state championships in Daytona Beach, her live-in boyfriend of 12 years asked her what was more important to her: tennis or him. "You don't want to ask me that question now," she said -- and he hasn't since. "Let's just say that he gives me a lot of freedom, and he likes to cook," she says. One of her teams is headed to state championships -- again -- and she'll play all of the ladies, not just the strongest.
 
When I told Sandy of the problems faced by women who captain one team, she laughed. She manages to laugh off a lot of her tennis workload, but does admit to being over-extended. "It saves me money, though, because I'm too tired to shop."
 
One of the secrets of her success at keeping her players (relatively) happy is her uncanny ability of finding the right partners for her women, and mixing it up so that partnerships never become stale. "I'd be a good matchmaker," she said.
 
If she ever tires of all this tennis captaining, she could give Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger a run for her money.
 
 
 
 

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