September 25, 2005
USA LEAGUE TENNIS Women’s 5.0 Adult National Standings
Champion: Northern California – Portola Valley, California
2nd place: Midwest – Columbus, Ohio
3rd place: Southern – Memphis, Tennessee
4th place: Missouri Valley – Kansas City, Missouri
USA LEAGUE TENNIS Men’s 5.0 Adult National Standings
Champion: Midwest – Stow, Ohio
2nd place: Southern – Atlanta, Georgia
3rd place: Pacific Northwest – Omak, Washington
4th place: Southern California – Tarzana, California
|Women's 5.0 National Champions from Portola Valley, California representing the NorCal Section© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
Women’s National Champions from Alpine Hills Tennis Club, Portola Valley, California: Leslie Airola-Murreit, Michelle Ahlstrom (Captain), Shelly Sweeney, Anne Kerwin-Payne, Susan Knox, Tanya Gacs, Leslie O’Keefe, Lee Safran
|Men's 5.0 National Champions from Stow, Ohio representing the Midwest Section© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
Men’s National Champions Stow, Ohio: Front: Mark Florman, Shaun Keenan, Steve Kuri, Jamie Kish, Brian Banas (Captain). Back: Greg Llewellyn, Chris Klampe, Ryan Wenger
SEMIFINALS AND FINALS RESULTS FROM SEPTEMBER 25, 2005
Portola, California defeated Columbus, Ohio, 3-0
Stow, Ohio defeated Atlanta, Georgia, 2-1
Portola, California defeated Memphis, Tennessee, 2-1
Columbus, Ohio defeated Kansas City, Missouri, 3-0
3rd place match:
Memphis, Tennessee defeated Kansas City, Missouri, 3-0
Stow, Ohio defeated Omak, Washington, 2-1
Atlanta, Georgia defeated Tarzana, California, 2-1
3rd place match:
Omak, Washington defeated Tarzana, California, 2-1
Saturday, September 24
Get Well Soon Mark
Florida’s team has something extra to play for this year; nine year teammate Mark Vansant, whose fantastic doubles play in sectionals was instrumental
|Just because Mark couldn't be here in person, doesn't mean he can't be here in cardboard© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
in getting this team into the National Championships, could not be with his friends and teammates this weekend.
|Brian Smith trying to win one for his pal Mark© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
Instead of playing the sport he loves in the desert heat, Mark is in the Intensive Care Unit, suffering from a 95% blocked carotid artery. The carotid arteries perform the task of carrying blood and oxygen from the heart to the brain. Team Florida, from Melbourn, and their Kiwi Club, who can empathize with hurricane victims, put on a fundraiser that raised $5,000 for Hurricane Katrina sufferers. The next day, Mark was in the ICU, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.
The Great Pyramid
New England Women’s team captain Vicki Hibbard is not only celebrating the 25th Anniversary of USA League Tennis, she is also celebrating her 50th birthday. The camaraderie and companionship between this group of women mask the fact that they have not been teammates for long; in fact, they have been playing against each other for years.
|The New England Women hands down make the best pyramid in League Championship history© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
This squad will rely on experience to succeed this weekend. Teammates Roberta Cullity and Nancy Grimes played together in the 1994 Nationals in New Orleans. Kristi Martin played with Vicki in 1998 in the New York Nationals. Christy Richenburg was here in Palm Springs two years ago playing in the National Championships, and last year, Anne Huemme was in Tucson competing for a title. Vicki praises and credits the USTA with being able to gather these competitive players from New Hampshire and Massachusetts to not only play against each other, but to play as a team as well.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Women from Rye, New York, will have to play without team captain Carolyn Cruz, who suffered a knee injury on Friday. Despite not being able to get on the court, Carolyn can be seen courtside cheering on her squad.
|New York's Olga Harvey in a singles match saturday afternoon© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
This is the Year!
|GO GUSTIES!!!© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
For the past six years, the Northern Men from Minneapolis were guaranteed to have an email waiting for them at the start of their season. This email, sent by team captain Ryan Haddorff, was short, sweet, and to the point: “this is the year.”
|Northern Men's Adam Beduhn and Matt Lundmark© Betsy Bender/ Cynthia Lum Photo|
The team has developed this email into their team motto; this maxim has motivated a group that has been so close in the past to making it to the National Championships only to get eliminated late in sectionals. Finally, after playing together for eight years, they are here. Interestingly enough, despite a ten year age difference between the youngest and oldest team member, all members of this Northern Men’s squad attended the same college, Gustavus Adolphus, in St. Peter, Minnesota. The Gusties are a division three powerhouse, led by legendary tennis coach Steve Wilkinson.
Friday, September 23
The Hotter, the Better
One would think that the Southern Californian Section would feel right at home with the National Championships being held in Southern California; however, the Women’s Team from San Diego begs to differ. Plagued with injuries, causing two of their singles players to miss this weekend’s tournament, and unaccustomed to the desert heat, this group of women will insist that they have no home court advantage whatsoever. On the other hand, Gary Cohen, captain of the Men’s Southwest Team from Tucson, Arizona, loves the hot and dry weather. The men from Tucson will try to use the heat, which they have been so accustomed to, to their advantage this weekend.
|College teammates Jack Enfield and Mark Jariabka feel at home in the desert© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
|Simon Aldrich and Bob Morris are the top doubles team in New England© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|