By Jessica Hall, special to USTA.com
A three-week hiatus in the 2013 USTA League National Championships season came to an end with three coed teams, at the 2.5, 7.0 and 9.0 levels, earning the top prizes after three action-packed days at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz.
The USTA Midwest section squad from Bloomington, Ill., swept past the USTA Northern California team from Gold River, Calif., 2-1, to capture the 9.0 title.
“We’re shocked, to say the least,” said Mark Bowers, the Bloomington captain. “It’s great because the balance of our team was the key to winning. We have three very consistent teams and somehow two of our teams always play well.”
In the 7.0 final, the USTA Caribbean team from San Juan swept USTA Hawaii, 3-0, to ensure a very happy 3,000-mile flight home to Puerto Rico.
The 2.5 team from Ponce, roughly 75 miles southwest of the Puerto Rican capital, made it two out of three championships for Caribbean after defeating USTA Florida by the same 3-0 count.
“The finish for the team is wonderful because they worked so hard to get here,” said 2.5 team captain Johnny Mejias. “They worked for it and they achieved it, so our expectations were very high.”
Below is the placement breakdown of the 12 semifinalists who entered Sunday with a chance for victory:
Championship: Caribbean (Ponce, P.R.) def. Florida (Ocala, Fla.), 3-0.
Third Place: Mid-Atlantic (Columbia, Md.) def. Southern (Pelham, Ala.), 2-1.
Championship: Caribbean (San Juan, P.R) def. Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii), 3-0.
Third Place: Northern California (San Francisco) def. Mid-Atlantic (Marlboro, Md.), 2-1.
Championship: Midwest (Bloomington, Ill.) def. Northern California (Gold River, Calif.), 2-1.
Third Place: Missouri Valley (St. Louis) def. Southern California (Irvine, Calif.), 2-1.
The championship season continues in Tucson for the USTA League Mixed 18 & Over 6.0, 8.0 and 10.0 National Championships beginning Nov. 22.