5.0 USTA Adult League National Championships
Indian Wells Tennis Garden - Indian Wells, Calif.
Sept. 28-30, 2007
|Southern's Spencer Moorman reaches high for this ball in her team's final-round match against Mid-Atlantic (Photo by Jeff Sikes). |
Day Three - September 30, 2007
Southern Women, So Cal Men Claim 5.0 Titles
INDIAN WELLS, CALIF.. - Just over 250 players comprising 31 teams (16 men's, 15 women's) from across the country came to this tennis oasis in the California desert with their hopes high and their sights set on capturing titles at the 5.0 USTA Adult League National Championships.
After a hot three-day weekend at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Caif., it was the Southern women and the Southern California men who cooled off the 5.0 opposition to claim national championship crowns.
The Southern women - based out of Louisville, Ky. - barely made it to the final day. With a 3-1 record in their flight, they squeaked through to the semifinals on the strengh of total number of matches won.
But once championship Sunday came, the ladies from Louisville kicked their play up a notch. Southern put a halt on Pacific Northwest's (Seattle, Wash.) championship bid with a 2-1 win in the semifinals, then avenged their lone loss of the tournament in the finals with a 2-1 victory over Mid-Atlantic (Richmond, Va.).
Southern's final-round victory over Mid-Atlantic was sweet redemption for an opening-day 2-1 loss.
Southern's championship roster included: (Captain) Allison Evans, Janey McKenna, Jan Deener, Jaimie McRae and Spencer Moorman.
Eastern finished strong, topping Pacific Northwest 2-1 for third place. Eastern had fallen to Mid-Atlantic 2-1 in the semifinals.
|Southern California's Golan Sassoon helped power his squad to the national title (Photo by Jeff Sikes). |
Southern California's South Bay-area based team went unscathed during the event, posting a perfect 5-0 record over three days. Two of those wins came on Sunday, a 3-0 semfinal victory over Texas and a tense 2-1 finals victory over Southern, with the title-clinching match coming on the No. 1 doubles court. Southern California lost just three individual matches total during the weekend.
Southern California's championship roster included captain Hyman Wong, Paulo Barriga, Alan Chang, Andy Chang, Michael Costigan, Dave Mann, Brian Matek, Golan Sassoon, Brian Su, and Valter Paiva.
Missouri Valley (Kansas City) took third place, beating Texas (Fort Worth) by a 3-0 score.
Final day results from the 5.0 USTA Adult League National Championships
Women's Semifinals: Southern 2, Pacific Northwest 1; Mid-Atlantic 2, Eastern 1
Women's Third Place: Eastern 2, Pacific Northwest 1
Championship: Southern 2, Mid-Atlantic 1
Men's Semifinals: Southern 2, Missouri Valley 1; Southern California 3, Texas 0
Men's Third Place: Missouri Valley 3, Texas 0
Men's Championship: Southern California 2, Southern 1
Below are photos of the top four finishers in both the men's and women's divisions, courtesy of Adam Davis from Cynthia Lum Photography. Congratulations to each team that reached the event and good luck in 2008!
5.0 Men's Champions: Southern California (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
(L-R front row): Brian Su, Valter Paiva, Paulo Barriga, Dave Mann, Andy Chang.
(back row): Brian Matek, Golan Sassoon, Mike Costigan, Alan Chang, captain Hyman Wong.5.0 Men's Finalists: Southern (Atlanta, Ga.)
(L-R front row): Matt Harvie, captain Bob Hennessey, Damon Costner, Bob Stratton.
(back row): Jamie Dockter, Sven`Plass, Jay Torrance, Tyler Faulkner, Greg Anderson, Robert Cizek.
5.0 Men's Third place: Missouri Valley (Kansas City)
(L-R): Paul Smith, Ken Veney, captain Chris Smith, Junior Brown, Jason Grubb.
5.0 Men's Fourth place: Texas (Fort Worth)
(L-R) Paul Haley, Brad Ibbott, Matt Watson, captain Jason Moore, Seth McCarthy, Steve Maupin, and Rafael Omana.
5.0 Women's Champions: Southern (Louisville, Ky.)
(L-R): Jaimie McRae, Spencer Moorman, Jan Deener, Janey McKenna, Allison Evans.
5.0 Women's Finalists: Mid-Atlantic (Richmond, Va.)
(L-R): Julie Ogborne, Kirsten Elim, Martha Condyles, Allyson Brand, Bridget Reichert.5.0 Women's Third Place: Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Wash.)
(L-R): Julie McDaniel, Lisa Menti, April Thompson, Lynne Cook, Annette Dresser, Mindy Blakeslee, Rochelle Whelan.5.0 Women's Fourth Place
: Eastern (Buffalo, N.Y.)
(L-R): Shawna MacFarlane, Margaret Bogumil, Eri Latimer, Caryoln Schopp (not pictured Jennifer Schneider).
Fun Facts from the 5.0 USTA League National Championships
Best Team Name: Mighty Mighty Pineapples (Hawaii – Men’s Team)
Second Best Team Name: Grumpy Slugs (Texas – Men’s Team)
Sets of Twins: One – Alan & Andy Chang – Doubles Team (Southern California – Men’s Team)
Former Mayor’s: One – Tracey Worley Hagen from the City of Tustin, California (Southern California – Women’s Team)
Team with the Most Foreign Players: Southern California – Israel, Brazil & South Africa
The number of years that Penn has been the official ball sponsor of USTA Leagues: (20)
Iron Woman Award: Southern’s Jan Deener who is six months pregnant and played in all five of her team's matches
Number of nets broken at the Indian Wells Tennis Center during action this weekend: One
Best moment: When Texas Captain Andrea Dodd realized that Midwest Captain Lisa Goldberg used to be her babysitter back in Argyle, Texas.
Number of individual matches played: 198Day Two - September 29, 2007
Amount of Balls used for matches this weekend: 594
Thirty-one teams started in the 5.0 USTA Adult League National Championships presented by Chrysler, but that field was whittled down to eight on Saturday afternoon at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.
National championships will be on the line Sunday morning when the semfinals get underway at 7:30 a.m. Finals are tentatively slated for 9:30 a.m.
In the women's semifinals, Eastern (Buffalo, N.Y.) takes on Mid-Atlantic (Richmond, Va.) and Southern (Louisville, Ky.) takes on Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Wash.).
In the men's semfinals Missouri Valley (Kansas City) takes on Southern (Atlanta, Ga.) and Southern California (Redondo Beach, Calif.) takes on Texas (Fort Worth).
Tennis Foes for a Couple Hours
Share Story of a Lifetime
When Dayna Guizzetti (Southwest Section) took the court against Jennifer Schneider (Eastern Section) little did they know what they had in common.
|Dayna Guizzetti and Jennifer Schneider forged a special bond on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Adam Davis). |
In April 2006, Dayna and her husband, Mike started the long process of trying to adopt a little boy from Vietnam. Overseas adoption can be an exhaustive and drawn out process. Once the paperwork was completed, Dayna and Mike received a letter saying the process had begun but could take up to ten months to get a boy, they were #74 overall, but #29 for families adopting a boy.
While waiting for a boy the Guizzetti’s started looking at the Waiting Children section of the adoption agency's website they absolutely fell in love with a little girl who was born premature. They immediately e-mailed the adoption coordinator for Vietnam to see if she was available, but were told that there was one family ahead of them who had already expressed an interest in adopting the young girl. The next day Dayna and Mike’s dream came true when they found out that little Hannah An Guizzetti (Tran Khanh An – Vietnamese name) would become part of their family.
It wasn’t until May 2nd of this year that the surreal dream of finally being able to hold their little girl came true when Dayna & Mike traveled to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam to meet their new daughter, Hannah.
"It was just amazing, I really was at a loss of words what it was like to finally hold Hannah," replied Dayna. "For people who want to adopt internationally, don’t let the paperwork intimidate you. The agony is the waiting."
|Dayna Guizzetti and daughter Hannah (Photo courtesy of Adam Davis)|
Before today’s match, Jennifer spotted Dayna coming through the host hotel lobby with Hannah and asked her if she needed any helping getting Hannah's stroller through the door. After talking in the hallway, they found out that they shared an incredible link, both had adopted children from Vietnam in the past year. Jennifer has two twin girls, Tylie and Zoe, brought them home last December.
The trip to Indian Wells to play in the 5.0 USTA Adult League National Championships presented by Chrysler was the first time Jennifer had been away from Buffalo, N.Y. without the girls. Seeing Hannah in the hotel was an emotional moment for her, if only because it reminded her of that fact.
After their hotel hallway conversation, both had to cut the conversation short, since they both had pool play matches Saturday, including against one another's teams. When both women arrived on Court 4 today for the No. 1 doubles match, the two were surprised to see each other standing on the opposite side of the net.
In the end, Dayna’s team fell short 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (falling 10-8 in the supertiebreaker). But both women forged a special link because of their unique experience today.
"It was a knock-down drag out match, we had some great points," stated Jennifer. "It could not have been much closer.".
Both women intend to stay in touch as they each plan on adopting from Vietnam again, this time each want a little boy.
"It’s a small world, we will definitely be in touch," said Dayna.
To read more about the Guizzetti’s story you can check out their blog at: http://www.guizzetti.blogspot.com/
--Tom LaDue and Jeff Sikes
|Jennifer Schneider (Photo courtesy of Adam Davis)|
Diabetes Can’t Stop McKinstry
|James McKinstry (Eastern, 5.0) testing his blood sugar levels during a changeover (Photo by Jeff Sikes).|
Twenty-seven year old James McKinstry
of Long Island, N.Y. is one of the many examples of medical persistence at the event here this week. McKinstry, who's playing on the Eastern
team this week in Indian Wells, is a Type 1 diabetic, and it's something he can't get away from, even on the court. He's not alone. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 21 million Americans suffer from some form of diabetes, and nearly 41 million have "pre-diabetes" and are at a risk to suffer from the disease.
Getting hit with diabetes at the age of 16 set McKinstry's promising junior tennis career back, as his early teenage years he was in and out of doctor's offices trying to find out what was wrong. A severe back injury playing high school basketball a year later effectively put the kibosh on his junior tennis career, and forced him to take a year off after high school just to get settled physically.
But McKinstry found new life again through tennis when St. John's University offered him a tennis scholarship, and McKinstry took advantage, He played for the Red Storm tennis team from 1999-2001.
Being around pro athletes was commonplace for McKinstry, whose namesake father was a tight end for the New York. Jets back during the "Broadway Joe" Namath era, early NFL days in the mid 1960's. While in college, McKinstry spoke with his father and decided to give football a go, based upon wanting to try a new sport, and knowing that his 6-3, 220 frame could work on the gridiron as well as the tennis courts.
"He was instrumental in my tennis," said McKinstry, whose father suffered a career-ending arm injury. "He wanted me to play a sport that I could play for a lifetime. And I have. I'd always looked up to my dad, and I wanted to challenge myself, so I wanted to give football a try. I'm not sure many people would think that. I was black and blue, but being close to the sport gave me an appreciation for what my dad and football players went through."
McKinstry did the two-sport thing while at St. John's for 2000-2001, playing both tennis and football. The SJU sports staff told him that he was one of around 10 athletes who have tried that particular two-sport combo
A diabetic episode after a football practice at the end of the football season in his junior year left McKinstry in a coma, and pretty much finished both his college athletic careers.
McKinstry has been episode-free since his senior year of college, and now in the working world as a financial analyst for Bear Stearns, and has again returned to his first love, tennis, as a release from work, and to keep from letting diabetes conquer his life. --Jeff Sikes
|James McKinstry goes airborn for this forehand (Photo by Jeff Sikes). |
Thanks to an extremely diligent program, that can include up to five or six insulin shots a day and constant monitoring of his blood sugar, particularly on court, McKinstry has found success on it. Though he went 0-2 on the first day here in Indian Wells, McKinstry is just happy to be out on the court with his buddies from Huntington (N.Y.) Indoor Tennis Club and playing here in Indian Wells, showing diabetes sufferers that a diagnosis isn't an end to all things.
"It's not been easy, but I think things would be so much worse if I was just sedentary all the time," said McKinstry, who is trying for his master's now at St. John's.
"The thing is just to get out there on the court and move around if you can. You'll feel better. It's good for the heart and circulation. It's good to get into a routine of making exercise and physical activity of any kind. It's so helpful for diabetics to be active in keeping it from getting worse."
Baby On BoardJan Deener
|Jan Deaner (Southern 4.5) |
's serve normally packs a strong kick, but at this week's 5.0 USTA Adult League National Championships presented by Chrysler,
it's packing even more. Why? The Shelbyville, Ky. resident and former Clemson Tigers' player is taking to the courts six months pregnant.
Not that the extra baby weight is slowing Deener or her Southern
squad down much. The Louisville and Lexington-based team went 1-1 on the first day of pool play Friday, falling to Middle States in the morning 2-1 before rebounding with a 3-0 afternoon win over Intermountain to keep themselves in the running for a semifinal berth on Sunday.
Like her Southern team, Deener and doubles partner Janey McKenna
were also 1-1 on the day, losing a tight three-setter in the morning, before returning later in the day to post a three-set victory over Intermountain.
Deener may be showing a little extra baby weight in the tummy, but thus far, no signs of wear. She knocked out six sets of tennis in the 90-degree California heat on Friday with no problem, chasing down lobs and drop shots with gusto, and managed to get knee-scrapingly low to dig out a few volleys on more than one occasion.
"She may be pregnant, but she's still playing amazing tennis out there," said McKenna.
Deener played a couple of months ago at the Southern Section Championships in Mobile, Ala. at four months pregnant, but wasn't showing as much then. It's become a little more obvious now. Deener is playing this week in Indian Wells as much out of a desire to be appear at her first national championship as team necessity.
The Southern squad was down to just five players heading into Indian Wells, and Deener was one of them, so the team had no chance of fielding a complete roster without her being here. Deener checked with her doctor before coming out here and got the OK to play, but admits this will be her last athletic endeavor for a few months.
"Honestly, I am surprised at how well I've been able to play this far into the second trimester, which everyone tells me is the biggest growth time when you're pregnant. I'd say I still feel about 90 percent out there, though. I may be a little slower, but I'm still managing to get around OK. If our team would have had another option (to field another player without me being here), I'm sure I probably would have exercised it."
Added Deener: "We have a team full of moms, so they understand what I'm going through."
Deener's due date is Jan. 4. and she already knows that her child will be a boy. -- Jeff Sikes
|Jan Deaner shows her baby-soft touch on this volley (Photo by Jeff Sikes).|