2006 3.5 Adult League National Championship News




by: Grant Chambers

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Sunday, October 8th
The 2006 USTA League Tennis National Championships has concluded.  Congratulations to the following winning teams for their great determination and perseverance! 

Women’s Final
Albany, NY - USTA Eastern Section def.  Dallas, Tex. - USTA Texas Section, 3-2

Men’s Final
Freemont, Calif. - USTA Northern California Section def. Hamilton, NJ - USTA Middle States Section, 3-2

Women’s 3rd place match:
Indianapolis, IN - USTA Midwest Section def. Washington DC - USTA Mid Atlantic Section, 3-2

Men’s 3rd place match:
Chicago, ILL - USTA Midwest Section def. Salt Lake City, Utah - USTA Intermountain Section, 3-2


Champion Women: Albany, NY – USTA Eastern Section

Front row (left to right): Susan Polino, Laura Brendese, Ellen Barnes, Cathy Griffin, Julia Richards, Julie Raymond, Ellen Taussig (captain), Michelle Granger, Maureen Brink, Julia Whitney, Margaret Malicki, Sandra Westfall, Barbara Clay, Gloria Jean Hooper


 

Champion Men: Freemont, Calif. - USTA Northern California Section

Front row (left to right): Tri Tran, Phil Diep, Hong Nguyen, No Van Doan, Rey Medalle, Hank Vu (captain), Cuong Minh Nguyen, Chinh Phan, Glenn Fujinaka, Jeffrey Amante
Back row (left to right): Roger Chang, John Garcia, Alan Hanley, Eric Broque, Ben Homer, Trien Tong Ngo, Michael Amos, Conrad Dias




2nd place Women: Dallas, Tex. – USTA Texas Section

Front row (left to right): Sheila Sergiovanni, Deborah Becker, Patricia Harvey, Lynh Pham, Susen Derrick (captain), Charlyn Plunk, Bridget Clark, Jenny Lavey, Valerie McArthur, Glorie Averbach, Cathy Burkel, Linda Simeone, Dencil Johnson (coach)


 

2nd place Men: Hamilton, NJ  - USTA Middle States Section

Front row (left to right): Michael Fleischman, Scott Iwicki,
Back row (left to right): Brett Iwicki, Jolly Benitez, Terry Schneider, Eric Winter, Sean Lowery (captain), Joseph Matheson, Jim Peiffer, Bill Muller, David Bulman, Rajesh Kaikini


 

3rd place Women: Indianapolis, IN – USTA Midwest Section

Front row (left to right): Juancho Rodriguez (coach), Lucy Lane, Wendy Hamilton, Linda O’Bryan, Allison Gritton, Jane Dunnivant (captain)
Back row (left to right): Kelly Kunkel, Minday Blaiklock, Terri Vanwinkle, Kris Moenkhaus, Kristina Scott, Paige Hall


 

3rd place Men: Chicago, ILL  - USTA Midwest Section

Front row (left to right): Bob Voeks, Kevin Flanagan, Alan Lifchultz (captain), Mike Gorski, Arnold Villagomez, Stephen Foulkes, Ryan Vasey
Back row (left to right): Jay John Renstrom, Tim Bober, Ken Kuly, Christopher Springer, Mark MacDonald, Frank Tucker


 

4th place Women: Washington DC – USTA Mid Atlantic Section

Front row (left to right): Joanne Shaak, Flecia Colbert (captain), Michele Hamilton, Cherie Furlow, Catriona bagley, Tracey Dickens, Kimberly Redfearn, Rosemary Peters, Bev-Freda Jackson, Teri Hudson, Candy Miles-Crocker
Not pictured – Valarie Carter


 

4th place Men: Salt Lake City, Utah – USTA Intermountain Section

Front row (left to right):  Brad Flitton, Rick Scott, Perrapong Aramvareekul, Gang-Wei Lin (captain) Pouya Ghazvini, Douglas Wirthlin
Back row (left to right): Paul Roundy, Michael Morse, Jeremy Hadley, Edward Thomas, Gregg Oliphant



Women’s Semifinal
Dallas, Tex. - USTA Texas Section def. Washington DC - USTA Mid Atlantic Section, 4-1
Albany, NY - USTA Eastern Section def. Indianapolis, IN - USTA Midwest Section, 3-2

Men’s Semifinal
Hamilton, NJ - USTA Middle States Section def. Chicago, ILL, - USTA Midwest Section 4-1
Freemont, Calif. - USTA Northern California Section def. Salt Lake City, Utah - USTA Intermountain Section, 5-0

 

Saturday Night Player Party Fun for All

Highlights...
 - Over 450 players and supporters attended Saturday night's Player Party, held at the Doubletree Hotel.  

 - HEAD/Penn Racquet Sports, now in their 19th year as a USTA League Tennis sponsor, provided a whole slate of prizes for the event!  Tournament Director and USTA New England Section President Jack Schubert energized the crowd while announcing semi-final match-ups, then calling numbers for the prize winners.

 - Special guest and USTA Director at Large Joe Grover attended the party and gave a brief congratulatory speech to the players. 

 - Annice Seelig, now in her 4th year as the USTA Leagues Committee chair and 12th year overall, was also in attendance at this weekend's event. 

 - Chrysler representative Christa Retford held two drawings for more than $500 worth of tennis gear!  Over 200 players who took a Chrysler TEST DRIVE this weekend were entered into the drawings.  

 - And once again, the incredible DJ Warren B kept the house dancing until the early hours of Sunday morning.


 

Cindy Chu, pictured here at the Saturday night Player Party at the Double Tree Hotel in Tucson, Arizona
Living on Other Side of Planet No Problem for Chu
Cindy Chu, team member of the USTA Missouri Valley women’s team, moved away from her home of St. Louis, to the Lao People's Democratic Republic, which is located on the other side of the world, just south of China and west of Vietnam.  As part of an assignment representing the Health Frontiers, a volunteer non-profit organization engaged in health-related activities in the US and overseas, Cindy will help educate physicians so that they can become future leaders and teachers.  “We want to help build an educated base of physicians in the Lao PDR, so they can become more self-sufficient and progressive,” mentioned Cindy.

As her team’s USTA season progressed, Cindy had a haunch that they would at least make it to the sectional championships.  Therefore, she scheduled her departure accordingly, making herself available for the championships.  Her team would continue to win their sectional championships, earning a coveted spot in this weekend’s national championship.  “I was already scheduled to move to Lao PDF, so I had to book a ticket to come back for nationals,” stated Cindy. 

Now that’s some serious dedication!  Cindy mentioned, “it took me 54 hours to get here....but will only take about 36 to return.” 

After being in the Lao PDR, Cindy has already played tennis 6 times.  “Tennis is a great stress reliever for me,” she stated.  She has already located a teaching pro for lesions and others to play with.

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Saturday, October 7th
Day 2 of the 2006 USTA League Tennis 3.5 Adult National Championships is underway.  We could not have asked for better weather as the sun is shining and temperatures are expected to stay in the high 80's.  Be sure to keep up with all of today's scores and results using the above links.




Chris Daniels (right) with 2nd place trophy at National Deaf Tennis Tryouts
Chris Daniels Having a Great Tennis Year

Chris Daniels, 20-year-old team member of the 3.5 Adult men's team from Los Angeles, California has had one special tennis year.  In addition to making it to the 2006 USTA League Tennis 3.5 Adult National Championships, Chris recently placed 2nd at the National Deaf Tennis Tryouts held on July 14-16 at Farmington Farms Tennis and Athletic Club in Farmington, CT.  As a top finisher, Chris was nominated and selected to represent the USA for the 2007 Dresse Cup to be held in Munich, Germany on July 21-28, 2007.  Chris refers to the event as the “Deaf Davis Cup” explaining “that it makes more sense to people when I say it that way.”  The event is hosted by the German Deaf Sports Federation and will take place at tennis club “Grün-Weiß Luitpoldpark“ in Munich.

When asked what the game of tennis meant to Chris, he stated, “it’s all about playing your game.”  Chris is also a member of the United States Deaflympic Tennis Team.

Congratulations!




Jolene with husband and supporter Kraig Hamel, who will be in the audience when Jolene participates
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
Jolene Hamel, member of the 3.5 Adult women’s team representing the USTA Florida Section, has always been a fan of TV game shows.  Earlier this year, she got the bright idea that she wanted to participate in a show.  Being a fan of the popular Who Wants to be a Millionaire? TV game show, she went to their website and found out about an audition for the show being held in New York City.  Specifically, Jolene auditioned for a pop culture segment of the show.  “I flew up to New York City, took a pop culture test that entailed 30 questions.  We only had 10 minutes to take the test,” stated Jolene.  After taking the test, her picture was taken and she was told to look for a “yes or no” postcard in the mail over the next 4-6 weeks.  Jolene passed the test with flying colors and received a “YES” postcard only a few days later!

She will go back to New York City to participate and tape the show on October 20.  The show will air during the week of November 13.

 

 


New England Women's Team Show Support
Shown below, this year's Adult 3.5 women's team representing the USTA New England Section pose in front of their team van, which they proudly display a banner for their hometown club, Weymouth Club.  The team flew into Phoenix on Thursday where they rented the van. 

Fresh off their 2nd victory this weekend (2-0), this team from Weymouth, Mass. is all fired up for their next round match.  If they win, they will earn a spot in Sunday's semifinal round.

Keep it roll'in ladies!






3.5 Caribbean women's team members Elmer Rivera with twin daughters Stephanie (left) and Natalie (right) Maldanado



A Game for All Ages
The sport of tennis, known as the sport of a lifetime, is enjoyed by enthusiasts of all ages.  This year's 3.5 men's team representing the USTA Southern California is a great representation of this fact with an age range spanning 50 years!  Shown below, team members Ted Brown (70) and Chris Daniels (20) cap off the age spectrum of the men's team from Los Angeles, Calif.

3.5 Adult men's team members Chris Daniels and Ted Brown.

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Friday, October 6th
After a short morning rain delay, the 2006 USTA League Tennis 3.5 Adult National Championships are off to a smashing start here in sunny Tucson, Arizona.  Being held at Randolph Tennis Center, the championships feature the top 17 men's and 17 women's teams from around the country, representing each of the 17 USTA Sections.

 


It's Business as Usual for the Middle States Men's Team
The Middle States 3.5 men's team from Hamilton, NJ, has ended the day with a 2-0 record, and a boat load of confidence going into Saturday.  Earlier today they conquered the 3.5 men's team from Phoenix, Arizona 4-1.  This afternoon, they defeated the always-tough Caribbean team in a nail-biter, 3-2.  "We're feeling good about our chances tomorrow," stated team captain Sean Lowery.

Turning back the clock two years, we learned that it's no accident this team is here at nationals.  In fact, the team had a calculated four-year plan, much like a business would have a plan, that culminated with a national championship at the end of year four.  Needless to say, they're ahead of schedule.  Co-captain Ram Chakravarti stated, "we've accomplished our four-year plan in two."

What's their secret?  In addition to their well-thought-out and calculated plan, the team is extremely grateful and appreciative of their support group whom they call "The Wags".  "The Wags" stands for "Wives and Girlfriends."  As you can see in the picture below (taken Friday night), many of The Wags made the trek to Tucson to support their men!  "in many ways, The Wags have been extremely supportive and tolerant of our team," stated Lowery.  He went on to say, "they help us win!"

The Middle States 3.5 men's team plays out of Veterans Park, a public facility in Hamilton.  Their motto - "Great Guys, Good Tennis."





Flamingos In Full Bloom


This year's 3.5 Adult women's team from San Jose, California may have the most colorful name and "costumes" at this year's event.  Vivid pink outfits combined with bright pink feathered boas, topped off with a large flamingo calf tattoo on each player help make this group of women really stand out!  But there's no fluff on this team. Calling themselves "The Flamingos", the spunky women's team representing the USTA Northern California section are 1-0 after round one.

"We'd like to give credit to and recognize Debby Roberts with Debb's Tennis Shop for supplying us with our pink outfits," stated team co-captain Carol Wolf.

In the photo below, you might notice team co-captain Patty Donovan, pictured front and center with the large white arm cast.  She may not be able to play this weekend, but she's a real trooper for just being here.  "I broke my wrist 3 days ago while practicing for nationals," explained Patty.  She went on to say, "against the will of my doctors, I wanted to make sure that I still came to nationals to support my team."  Patty was back-pedaling on the court when she fell and broke her wrist.  She postponed her surgery until Monday.  She added...."but i was playing against a 4.0, and beating her!"

Another unique feature of this team is that they all live within a 3-mile radius of each other.  "We've formed our team based on friendship, not recruitment," mentioned team captain Liz Conroy.  She went on to say, "All of our families play, our kids play, husbands, wives.  We love it!"




Serious Road Trip
Gary Roeske, coach of the 3.5 Adult women's team from Northern California, hit the road about 10 days ago.  Leaving from San Jose, California, it took Gary 2 days to make it to Tucson.  He drove in last weekend to coach the 3.0 Adult women's team from San Jose who competed in last weekend's national championship event.  During the past few days, Gary explored Arizona on his beautiful motorcycle, going to places such as Tombstone, the historic town of Bisbee, Arizona, Old Tucson Studios and more.  Gary has been teaching tennis for 36 years and is the Head Tennis Pro for Alamaden Swim and Racket Club in San Jose, California.




 

Super Captain Catto!
Ok, it is quite an accomplishment to make it all the way to nationals, especially as the captain of your team.  As the captain, you're a player, a supporter, an organizer, .....you name it.  George Catto, captain of the 3.5 Adult men's team from the USTA Eastern Section, has officially qualified as a Super Captain.  Not only is George the captain of this year's 3.5 Adult men's team, who have made it to the national championships, he is also the captain of the 3.5 Senior Men's team and the 7.0 Mixed Doubles team from the USTA Eastern Section that HAVE ALSO MADE IT TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS YEAR!  You read that correct - George is the captain of 3 teams that have made it all the way to the national championships this year! 

George's teams do not belong to a specific club.  They practice and play tennis all over the New York City area including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester.  His 3.5 Senior team will compete at the National Championships held October 20-22 in Indian Wells, California and his 7.0 Mixed Doubles team will compete November 16-19 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Good luck George!


Naptime
After a morning of gloomy weather, teams schedules were shuffled.  In this photo, an unidentified player catches up on a little sleep in preparation for her next round.  We'd tell you her name, but we didn't want to wake her!






 

 
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