By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com and Shayne Dwyer, special to USTA.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The 2012 USTA League National Championship season is over after a sweltering weekend in the desert, as four new title-winning teams were crowned at the Super Seniors 7.0 & 9.0 level events at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex.
A total of 55 teams, spanning 17 USTA sections and four divisions -- 7.0 and 9.0 women’s and 7.0 and 9.0 men’s – vied for a shot at the coveted USTA League crystal ball trophies and coast-to-coast bragging rights during the three-day competition. The winners were: USTA Southwest (7.0 men’s, Sun Lakes, Ariz.), USTA Eastern (7.0 women’s, Lynbrook, N.Y.), USTA Southern (9.0 men’s, Atlanta, Ga.) and USTA Southern California (9.0 women’s, San Diego, Calif.).
"We had endurance, enthusiasm, energy and passion -- I’m very proud of everybody that played and cheered us on," said Cathy Caldwell, member of the victorious 7.0 Eastern team. "Everyone has come to practice for nine months to get to this tournament. It means a lot to us as friends and as players."
Super Seniors annually conclude the USTA League championship season, yet this year’s culmination carries greater weight as USTA League transitions to new play divisions. The start of 2013 Nationals in the fall will be the first large-scale showcase for the revised structure and format of USTA League play. The change offers USTA League participants among three age categories (Adult 18 & Over, Adult 40 & Over and Adult 55 & Over and Mixed 18 & Over) to better align participants with players their own age. The first national championships of 2013 will be the Adult 18 & Over 5.0+ level tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., as well as the Adult 18 & Over 3.0 level tournament in Tucson, Ariz.
"We’re all very happy, it was fun for all of us to be together and have a win," said Catherine Anderson, captain of the winning 9.0 women’s team from San Diego. "We were very excited to go out with a bang. We had a great time together in Surprise."
USTA League is the United States' largest recreational tennis league, helping more than 800,000 participants nationwide get on the court, have a good time and step up their game. Take part in the fun in 2013 for a team experience like no other!
The first step to joining USTA League is becoming a USTA Member. Not a member? Sign up today.