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UPDATED: Florida Tennis Briefs(5): Fla. Upsets Southern for USTA Girls' 18 Team Title, More

August 5, 2011 11:10 AM
Florida Upsets USTA Southern for Girls 18 Team Championship

Danielle Collins web
Danielle Collins
The No. 4-seeded USTA Florida squad upset No. 1 USTA Southern 4-3 in the final on Thursday to capture the USTA Girls' 18 National Team Championships, held Aug. 1-4, 2011, at the Claremont Tennis Club in Claremont, Calif.

Southern won all three doubles matches to claim the doubles point, but Florida stormed back in the singles. Florida's top two singles players ground out three-set wins when No. 1 Danielle Collins came from a set down to defeat Whitney Kay 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, and No. 2 Maci Epstein outlasted Catherine Harris 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Southern won its two singles points, both in three-setters, at No. 4 singles when Sydney Campbell defeated Kelsey Laurente 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, and at No. 5 singles Ellie Yates came from behind to beat Lindsay Graff 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. Florida also received singles wins at No. 3 singles when Lynn Chi defeated Caroline Price 6-1, 6-4, and at No. 6 singles when Natalia Maynetto topped Megan Kurey 6-4, 7-6(5).

Florida's No. 1 Collins, the winner earlier this year at the USTA Florida Jr. State Closed Singles Championships, rebounded from an illness that saw her withdraw in the late rounds of the USTA Girls' 18 National Clay Courts weeks ago, taken by ambulance to a local hospital due to difficulties with her spleen after recovering from a bout of mononucleosis.
The championship squad was comprised of Lynn Chi of Weston, Daniella Collins of St. Petersburg, Maci Epstein of Windermere, Lindsay Graff of Ft. Lauderdale, Kelsey Laurente of Miramar, Amber Li of Tampa, and Natalia Maynetto of Naples.

In the semifinals the Florida team upset No. 2-seeded Southern California 5-2, and in the quarterfinals edged No. 7-seeded Texas 4-3.
"It really makes me happy for all these girls to win this event," said USTA Florida Competitive Tennis Coordinator Andy Gladstone. "I feel we sent a really good team, but all the girls are good out there and you still have to play well. The Florida girls should all be proud of this accomplishment. I am also grateful to our coach Melissa Applebaum who pulled the team together."

Calif. d Texas in World TeamTennis Jr. Nationals in San Diego

world teamtennis logoThe Jack Kramer Club Crushers won their first World TeamTennis Junior Nationals Championship, defeating Planet Texas 39-33 at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. The WTT Junior Nationals, which is hosted by WTT co-founder Billie Jean King, is a national junior invitational event featuring 16 coed teams from throughout the U.S.  The teams use the World TeamTennis format during three days of non-elimination draw competition. 

The Crushers had the longest road to the championship title, as they had to play in the pre-tournament qualifying event on Sunday to even make it into the main draw tournament. "It was a real team effort," said Crushers coach Dennis Rizza. "The Texas girls are really good but our boys singles really turned the match around. This is a great group of kids and I'm very proud of them."

USTA Intermountain Immortals, with players from Utah and Nevada, finished in third place with a 45-29 victory over USTA Southwest Sweetness. Two San Diego teams finished in 5th and 6th place as the Youth Tennis San Diego Sharks & Minnows defeated the San Diego Attackers 45-33.

"Hey...Youzz Guys," representing the USTA Middle States section, won the Maureen Connolly Brinker Team Spirit Award which is voted on by coaches, players and tournament officials for a team's outstanding sportsmanship and camaraderie. Hey...Youzz Guys received a $1,000 check along with the award.

Finishing 12th were the Miami Dream Team representing the USTA Florida Section, coached by Noel Cubela with players Kevin Cubela, Rafael Alvarez, Augusto Tomszay, Krystle Cintas, Sabrina Scovino, and Kristine Garcia, all from Miami.

Team members, ages 14-18, are selected based on their sectional and national rankings, but are not eligible if they attain a ranking of 1-150 on the USTA Seed Selection List as of May 2011. The tournament follows the WTT non-elimination draw format with the 16 teams divided into four groups. Each team is comprised of three boys, three girls and a coach. 

Florida's Van Nostrand to Lead Super Senior Tennis at World Team Chps.

Van Nostrand King
King Van Nostrand
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced King Van Nostrand of Vero Beach, Fla., has been selected to represent the United States in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Seniors World Team Championships to be held in Turkey, Oct. 10-15, 2011. 

This year's competition will be hosted on the 59 red claycourts of the Ali Bey Club Manavgat tennis resort in Antalya, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea's Turkish Riviera.  The ITF annually sponsors the event and all member nations are eligible to field teams.

For Van Nostrand, the ITF No. 1-ranked 75-and-over player in the world, the Bitsy Grant team competition will be his 18th USTA cup inclusion, dating to the 1981 Dubler Cup (45's) in Buenos Aires. His teammates are John Powless, Madison, Wis.; Lester Sack, New Orleans, La.; and Herman Ahlers, Las Vegas.

King is yet to lose a set of tennis in 2011. He is the two-time defending USTA 75 claycourt singles champion, and three-time consecutive ITF World singles champion, having won in 2008, in Turkey while in his last year in the 70's age group, and in 2009 on grass in Perth, Australia and in Turkey once again last year.

For more information go to www.itftennis.com/seniors/news/newsarticle.asp?articleid=22665.

Private Agassi-Graf Lesson, More at MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation Gala

The MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation's live auction, sponsored by Resolate Global, will feature unique, one-of-a-kind experiences during the Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Gala Dinner on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The Gala will also feature a Tennis Pro-Am at Deerwood Country Club on Sept. 12, and a Golf Pro-Am at Marsh Landing Country Club on Sept. 13.

MWKF logoThe auction and gala benefit the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation, which provides after-school youth development programs in the urban core of Jacksonville.

This year's auction will feature:

Ultimate Mixed Doubles -- A trip to Las Vegas for private instruction from Andre Agassi and wife Stefanie Graf, a three-day, two-night stay at a hotel on the Vegas strip, round-trip airfare, and a one-hour private tennis lesson for one (or two) with the former world No. 1s.

US Open Tennis 2012 -- This package includes two (2) tickets to the USTA President's Suite (including lunch and cocktails) at one session of the US Open, two tickets in the ATP World Tour suite for another session, and box seats to one session. All sessions will take place during the first three days of the 2012 US Open (Aug. 27-29, 2012).  These tickets cannot be purchased and offer the best view of all the action in the stadium...plus the ability to roam the grounds and check out all the side-court action.

Family Fun in the Sun -- Club Med Sandpiper Bay, the only all-inclusive family resort in the U.S., re-opened in December 2010 after an extensive $25 million transformation. Your trip will include a seven-day, six-night stay at this 216-acre resort for a family of four...only a three-hour drive from Jacksonville, in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Monkeying Around at the Jacksonville Zoo -- A one-of-a-kind, private event at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. Your event will include cocktails and dinner for 24 at a unique location within the Zoo (Range of the Jaguar, Savannah Blooms by the Giraffe Overlook, Asian Bamboo Gardens, etc.). The winner will work with the zoo's catering department to create a memorable menu event to suit their needs. In addition, you and your guests will be treated to a private zoo keeper experience and behind the scenes tour.

Additional auction items are expected to be confirmed. Unable to attend but still want to bid? Call or email Terri Florio at (904) 359-KIDS (5437) or e-mail terri@malwashington.com.

If you would like additional information or would like to purchase tickets, visit www.malwashington.com.

Orlando USTA Flex League Tennis Crowns Champions for Spring Season

FlexLogo_CroppedTennis players 125 strong competed in the spring season of Orlando USTA Flex League tennis, with the top flight winners invited to the playoff tournament held in late June at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The 50 playoff competitors squared off in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

"We look forward to the playoff each season, it's just so much fun and we get so excited to play in it," said player Lee Okubo of the competitive league participants from Orange and Seminole Counties.

"Everyone had a blast and enjoyed the wonderful weather as well," said league organizer Chelsea Underwood. "Lots of players are so anxious for the summer season's playoff tournament already. We just started the summer season a few weeks ago with over 100 players. It's so wonderful to see how much the USTA Orlando Flex League has grown with lots of returning tennis players each season and plenty of new ones. It's also been amazing to see all the friendships and partnerships that have been made through this league."

Women's 3.0 Doubles Final: Denika Williams/Kristine Tran d. Linda James/Kathi Thomas
Women's 3.5 Doubles Final: Terri Bahr/Mary Townes d. Rebecca Marek/Caitlin Fogarty
Men's 4.0 Singles Final: Jeff Ballantine d. Fabio Okubo
Women's 4.0 Singles Final: Audrey White d. Terri Bahr
Mixed Doubles 6.0/7.0 Final: Rick Van Schoick/Theresa Connolly d. Dennis Bray/Carla Bray
Mixed Doubles 7.5 Final: Dorothy Harris/Bernie Harris (mother/son) d. Blaine Roseberry/Connie Fenchel
What is USTA Flex League? USTA Flex Leagues packages all the thrills of organized league tennis into a flexible schedule so everyone, regardless of time constraints and ability, can play. The Flex League format groups players of similar ability together in an organized seven- to 10-week league that allows participants to schedule matches on their own terms. Flex Leagues can be either singles or doubles, all organized by NTRP ratings, ensuring fair and competitive matches. What makes Flex Leagues so unique is that you play your matches when it's convenient for you, as either player can take responsibility for setting up a match in any given week. That allows players to compete at a time and a date that's mutually convenient.

For more info on the Orlando USTA Flex League contact Chelsea Underwood at Cmaratta@alumni.flagler.edu, or go to www.ustaflex.com.






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