by Nick Mazzella
View Men's Results View Women's Results
Sunday, October 9
USA LEAGUE TENNIS Women’s 4.0 Senior National Standings
Champion: Southwest – Tucson, Arizona
2nd place: Northern Cal – Berkeley, California
3rd place: Southern Cal – Rancho La Quinta, California
4th place: Texas – Austin, Texas
USA LEAGUE TENNIS Men’s 4.0 Senior National Standings
Champion: Middle States – Haddonfield, New Jersey
2nd place: Southwest – Phoenix, Arizona
3rd place: Texas – Houston, Texas
4th place: Mid-Atlantic – Columbia, Maryland
|Senior Women's 4.0 National Champions from Tucscon, Arizona representing the Southwest Section© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
National Champions: Tucson, Arizona. Front Row: Kris Moran, Ann Witkind (Captain), Betsy Musso, Rhonda Hagen. Back Row: Juliet Creveling, Chris Strohm
|Senior Men's 4.0 National Champions from Haddonfield, New Jersey representing the Middle States© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
National Champions: Haddonfield, New Jersey. Mark Jacobs (Co-Captain), Rick Wright, Frank McGovern, Bill Scott, Ron Block, Ted Joya, Creighton Frampton
SEMIFINALS AND FINALS RESULTS FROM OCT. 9, 2005
Tucson, Arizona, def. Berkeley, California, 2-1
Haddonfield, New Jersey, def. Phoenix, Arizona, 2-1
Tucson, Arizona, def. Rancho La Quinta, California, 2-1
Berkeley, California, def. Austin, Texas, 2-1
3rd place match:
Rancho La Quinta, California, def. Austin, Texas, 3-0
Haddonfield, New Jersey, def. Columbia, Maryland, 2-1
Phoenix, Arizona, def. Houston, Texas, 3-0
3rd place match:
Houston, Texas, def. Columbia, Maryland, 3-0
|Lee and Molly Hamilton Having a Good Time at Saturday's Banquet© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
|Texas Women Displaying Great Spirt and Sportsmanship© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
It was an honor having USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Lee Hamilton, along with his lovely wife Molly, spend the entire weekend helping out at the 4.0 Senior National Championships in Palm Springs. An avid tennis player, Lee won the USTA Texas Section Men’s 65 singles and doubles championships in 2002. During the Saturday night banquet, Lee expressed how proud he was of all of this weekend’s participants; their competitive drive, matched with courtesy and smiles, made this week’s National Championships one of the best ever.
Saturday, October 8
The Loss of a Friend
It has been a very emotional season for the Eastern Women’s team from Albany, New York. During the sectional finals, after winning one doubles match and losing another, it came down to Albany’s third doubles team, featuring teammate Betty Patterson, to determine whether or not they would be playing for a national championship. One day after winning this close third match, Betty Patterson regrettably passed away. Her team will play this weekend in Betty’s honor, and no doubt Betty is in the minds and heart of all of her teammates.
|The Eastern Women Will be Playing for Betty this Weekend© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
The Minnesota Twins
|The Minnesota Twins: Judy and Jill© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
Known as the “Real Minnesota Twins,” Jill Greer and Judy Freeman claim that they have been playing doubles tennis since they shared a womb. Members since the USTA’s first year, Jill and Judy are excited to play for their first national title on the USTA’s 25th Anniversary. Jill and Judy did not play tennis in high school, but one day, while attending the University of Colorado, the school’s tennis coach saw them playing for fun on one of the school’s courts. Before you knew it, they were playing college tennis. The twins have definitely taken advantage of their similar appearances. Years ago, Jill entered a tennis tournament for players who worked in downtown Minnesota. Since sister Judy was not working downtown, she found herself ineligible to participate. Nonetheless, Jill found herself in a predicament. Because of a scheduling conflict, she was unable to play on the tournament’s first day, so her twin sister, Judy, stepped in as Jill to play in the first round; they ended up splitting the tournament prize money.
|The Northern Women Don't Go Anywhere Without Their Ear Muffs, Not Even the Desert© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
If You Know Fritz, You Love Fritz
The Intermountain Men from Salt Lake City, Utah have been together as a senior team for five years, and no member is more excited about playing in their first National Championship than seventy two year old Fritz Heinecke. Team Captain Scott Fletcher will be the first to tell you that his team would not have made it to Palm Springs this weekend if it weren’t for Fritz’s remarkable play during sectionals; furthermore, what’s even more amazing is that Fritz has excelled in tennis while also battling cancer. Scott had nothing but good things to say about Fritz… well, almost nothing but good things.
|Fritz Surrounded by His Intermountain Teammates and Their Wives© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
While Scott insists that Fritz, an outdoor enthusiast who also loves fly fishing and golf, is the most fun and enjoyable person to be around, Scott also accuses Fritz of being the worst putter in the history of recreational golf. Scott chuckled, “You don’t know how much money he has lost to me on the putting green, but putting is the only thing that Fritz needs to improve on. He is a great team member, a better friend, and if you know Fritz, you love Fritz.” Scott also pointed out Saturday evening that Fritz was the only member of the Intermountain Team this year to go undefeated in sectionals and nationals; he even slightly pulled a hamstring in his final match today, played through the pain, and still managed to win the tiebreaker.
Like Father, Like Son
Norton Pines, Michigan’s Mike Morrison has made the National Championships for the first time in his forty years of playing tennis, and nobody could be more excited for Mike than his father. Eighty two year old A.B. Morrison played in the first National Championships in Tucson, Arizona twenty five years ago, and A.B. can still be found on the courts today.
|A.B. Morrison is Proud of His Son and His Midwest Teammates© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
The NY Yankees of Tennis
Northern Men’s Captain Eric Narvaez is known by his peers for scouting out opponents and recruiting the best players to play on his squad; therefore, it is no surprise that Eric has already attended fifteen USTA National Championships.
|Maynard Having a Good Time Drawing Caricatures at the Riviera Resort© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
One of Eric’s recruits, Paul Carlson, boasts an impressive tennis resume; in 1981, Paul defeated a very young Michael Chang. Paul knew Michael’s father, Joe Chang, very well, and replaced Joe as the director of an intramural tennis league in Minnesota. Team trainer/coach Maynard Lieder served twenty seven years in the army reserve and four years in the air force. Maynard insists that he was in much better shape than many of his peers, and he credits tennis with keeping him fit. While stationed at Fort McCoy, Maynard, a gifted artist, drew cartoons for the “Desert Rag,” a newsletter that informed the troops of certain instructions and upcoming events. Maynard was with the team last year in Tucson, Arizona and is here in Palm Springs this year. He can be found near the courts drawing caricatures of fellow players and the USTA staff. Lastly, Don Smith, who played with the team all season, could not make it to the desert this weekend. Don is a Vietnam Veteran who suffered a war wound in his tennis arm. His arm has been fine since sustaining his injury; however, he unexpectedly started having trouble with it this past week, and was forced to have surgery this weekend. His teammates wish Don a full and speedy recovery.
Friday, October 7
Getting Tips FROM the Waiter
Different teams have different strategies; the intermountain women exhibited a unique approach which helped them move on to compete for a championship at the national level. While most squads choose their doubles partners based on player chemistry, the intermountain women from Las Vegas instead took a gamble by letting a complete stranger choose their lineup. One afternoon, while dining at an Applebee’s restaurant, the ladies decided to let their waiter place the team’s six members into three doubles teams. They would go on to win sectionals and they now find themselves playing for a national title. This recent success has made these women very spiritual; teammate Rita Arden can be found reading her “Starfleet Daily Meditation Guide” as well as letting her teammates know that they “are loved when they go out on the court, and they are loved when they come off the court.”
|The Women From Las Vegas Take a Gamble by Letting Their Waiter Choose Their Doubles Teams© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
If You Make It, I Will Play
|Mark Jacobs' First Time on the Court in Six Weeks© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
When Mark Jacobs tore a ligament in his ankle during the district finals, he refused to lose faith in his Middle States teammates from New Jersey. Instead, he made a promise, “if you make it, I will play.” Well, his teammates have lived up to their part of the bargain; their team has indeed made it to the National Championships. Naturally, Mark has made good on his promise as well; he stepped on the tennis court today for the first time since injuring his ankle six weeks ago. Mark is joined by teammates with many years of playing experience under their belts.Creighton Frampton has been playing tennis for over twenty two years and is playing in his fourth National Championships in Palm Springs. Seventy four year old Ted Joya has been playing tennis for thirty years and Frank McGovern has been playing for over twenty years. Whether or not his team brings home the tennis title this year, Frank is confident that the men from New Jersey would defeat any other team on the basketball courts.
|All Members of the Middle States Team Lived Up to Mark's Challenge© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
Nobody Call in Sick
|The Hawaiian Women Are Used to Playing in the Heat© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
The members of the Hawaiian Women’s team from Kamuela, representing the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, are used to the high temperatures in Palm Springs, but are not accustomed to the dry desert air. But don’t expect that to slow them down. Doubles teammates Lynn Lally and Kathy Lindsey enter this weekend with recent National Championship experience; both played in the National Championships last year in Tucson, Arizona. Lynn also pointed out that it is rare for a team from the Big Island to make it to the finals because of the island’s small population, compared to other Hawaiian islands like Oahu and Maui. Lynn is proud of her “small, but mighty” team, who send their appreciation and thanks to Craig Pautler, a local pro who has supported them throughout their season.
|The Hawaiian Women Are All Smiles in Palm Springs© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
|The Hawaiian Men Having a Good Time in Palm Springs © Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|
Meanwhile, Captain Derek Young, of the Hawaiian Men’s team from Milileni, had only one message for his teammates before traveling across the Pacific Ocean to Palm Springs: “nobody call in sick.”The Hawaiian team of eight has two of their key players out for the championships, one member hurting his knee, while the other member is out with an injured shoulder. But don’t count this first year team out. Despite being shorthanded, this group knows how to overcome adversity; they defeated Hawaii’s top ranked team in sectionals to make it this far.
Born to be Wild
The sounds of Fleetwood Mac and Santana blasting over the car stereo were all Southwest section’s women from Tucson, Arizona needed to make their six hour drive to Palm Springs, California. The team’s six members all play a vital role in keeping their team competitive while having fun at the same time. USA League Tennis’ 25th Anniversary has special meaning to team captain Ann Witkind; she played in the first National Championships twenty five years ago. Her doubles partner, Julie Crevel, lives for sports; her car’s license plate appropriately reads “fit 4 fun.” Both Julie and Ann can be found playing doubles tennis together in the morning, and then on the golf course to shoot nine or eighteen holes in the afternoon. Doubles partners Betsey Musso and Rhonda Hagan sport shirts that read “Born to be Wild” to intimidate their competitors; they even stick with their wild theme by filling emptied bottles of rum with drinking water instead of using a traditional water bottle. KIDS, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Tennis, however, is not the only racquet sport that Rhonda excels in, as she holds a national title for racquetball. The third doubles team, consisting of “team doctor” Kris Moran and “team spirit” Chris Strohm, has been crucial in driving this competitive and fun team into this year’s National Championships.
|The Wild Bunch: Betsey Musso and Rhonda Hagan© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo|