3.5 National Championships Latest News and Photos

USTA League 3.5 Adult
National Championships
Las Vegas, NV
Oct. 5-7, 2007

Day Three - "Let It Ride"
October 7th, 2007
Las Vegas

Midwest Women, Southern California Men Win Big On Championship Sunday
By Jeffrey Seals

Despite three days of cold temperatures and windy condition in Las Vegas, the Midwest women and the Southern California men conquered all en route to winning their respective titles at the 3.5 USTA Adult League National Championships held at the Darling Tennis Center.

Hug It Out: Elizabeth Ball (facing) gets a congratulatory hug by teammate Susan Bydion.© Cynthia Lum
The Midwest ladies earned the right to play for the national championship after defeating the Eastern women (Albany, N.Y.), 3-2, Sunday morning. The team took care of business in the championship with a convincing 4-1 victory over Southern California (Torrance, Calif.).

Southern California took home finalist honors with the loss in the championship. In their first contest Sunday, they defeated Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C.) by a 3-2 margin.

In the third-place match-up, Mid-Atlantic swept past Eastern by a 5-0 tally.

On the men’s side, Southern California (San Diego) breezed past Intermountain (Longmont, Colo.), 4-1. In their semifinal match, they defeated Southern (Atlanta), 3-2.

Intermountain earned a chance to fend for the national championship by defeating Midwest (Milwaukee, Wisc.), 3-2, earlier in the day.

Southern overcame its loss to Southern California and wound up defeating Midwest in the third-place match. Southern took the match by a 4-1 score.

It wasn’t until the championship and third-place matches that the scores did not end by a 3-2 figure. All four semifinal matches were only won by one point.

Final day results from the 3.5 USTA Adult League National Championships:
Women’s Semifinals: Midwest 3, Eastern 2; Southern California 3, Mid-Atlantic 2
Women’s Third-Place: Mid-Atlantic 5, Eastern 0
Women’s Championship: Midwest 4, Southern California 1

Men’s Semifinals: Southern California 3, Southern 2; Intermountain 3, Midwest 2
Men’s Third-Place: Southern 4, Midwest 1
Men’s Championship: Southern California 4, Intermountain 1


3.5 Men's National Champions: Southern California (San Diego)© Cynthia Lum

(L-R): Raffy Bautista, Nelson Toldeo, Vicem Munoz, Norman Granger, Darrell Yamane, Rey Yamane, Wilson Bisarra, Wilfredo Toledo, Jose Aquino, John Orara (Captain), Raoul Esguerra, Pete Edillor.



3.5 Men's Finalists: Intermountain (Longmont, Colo.)© Cynthia Lum

(L-R): Joseph Fryberger, Michael Nelson, Jacob Kimball, Robert Douthit, Matthew Plappert, William Chren, Lance Dehning, Louie Beaupre, Steven Hyman, Brian Childress, Darin Josh, Michael Garcia and Andrew Largo.



3.5 Men's Third Place: Southern (Atlanta)© Cynthia Lum

Back Row (L-R): John Ansberry, Jay Posey, Mark Gupton, James Livingston, Robert Cornett, Kavanugh Tucker, Huy Cat.
Front Row (L-R): Arthur Torrance, Rick Huff, Rick Welsch, Terry Whitlock, John Hammond (Captain), Mark Critchett, Christopher Petrocco, Jason Novoselsky, John Saunders.



3.5 Men's Fourth Place: Midwest (Milwaukee, Wisc.)© Cynthia Lum

Left to Right: Justin Polikowski, Thomas O’Brien, David Jones, Juan Fernandez III, Juan Fernandez IV (Captain), Jack Fahser, Jorge Martinez, James Schultz, Murali Vedula, Mark Falci.



3.5 Women's Champions: Midwest (Indianapolis, Ind.)© Cynthia Lum

(L-R): Elizabeth Ball, Kelly Richards, Sara Gochnauer, Erin Young, Maura Lee, Rodriguez, Lucy Lane (Captain), Linda O’Bryan, Kris Moenkaus, Susan Bydion, Pam Baxter, Debbie Fellers, Ellen Elward.



3.5 Women's Finalists: Southern California (Torrance, Calif.)© Cynthia Lum

(L-R): Karen Wharton, Kathy Adams, Deborah Hurwicz, Tami Reyes, Sheila Parker, Debbie Talosi (Captain), Kathleen Callahan-Lindberg, Kayo Rohovsky, Patrizia Taylor, Christy Hughes, Flo Richardson, Miyuki Sena.



3.5 Women's Third Place: Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C.)© Cynthia Lum

(L-R): Kimberly Redfearn, Deborah Pugh, Michele Hamilton, Adrienne Leach, Stacian Gordon, Flecia Colbert (Captain), Lucrecia Ledesma, Dao Phan-Vissering, Micki Harris, Julia Goldberg, Sharon Sabasteanski.

3.5 Women's Fourth Place: Eastern (Albany, N.Y.)© Cynthia Lum

(L-R): Kate Owens, JoAna Finger, Theresa Cary, MaryAnn Ronconi, Maureen Taikowski, Elaine Ehlinger, Marcia Plante, Stephanie Ragone, Joyce Zurenko, Julie McKay, Karen Miller.


Long Time Captain Brings His 16th Team To Nationals
by Lisa Mushett


Unlike many of the first-time captains playing in their first National Championship, Northern’s Eric Narvaez is no stranger to the National scene, making his 16th appearance with the country’s best league teams. Making this accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that Narvaez has rarely stepped on the court during those 16 appearances, having his stronger teammates vie for the championship while content to fill his captain’s role…until this year that is.

Eric Narvaez© Lisa Mushett
The St. Paul resident made his first appearance at Nationals in back in 1991 when he captained an adult 4.0 and an 8.0 mixed team. He also qualified teams the following two years, as well as in 1995 and 1998. After a three-year hiatus, Narvaez found his way back to the National fold as he led a 4.0 senior team out West in their first season.

Narvaez’s record has been even more impressive in recent years. Since 2004, he has commandeered eight teams to nationals between his 4.0 adult and senior squads, and this year he is making his first-ever appearance at the 3.5 event.

“The singles players are all really strong,” Narvaez said. “They could all be playing 4.0. There are a lot of good players here this weekend.”

Tennis has been a part of Navaez’s life since he can remember. He was the city singles champion at Murray High School and hoped to play in college, but certain rules prevented him from participating. Instead, he served as the manager of the men’s team at the University of Minnesota. He then coached at Bethel College in 1973 and 1974, winning the league championships and fueling his competitive juices even more.

A Spanish teacher at a local community college by day, some might argue that desire has created a crazed beast. Many joke that being a USTA League Tennis captain is a second full-time job for him.

“Eric is really into being a captain,” longtime friend and first-year teammate Jerry Stahnke said. “He is constantly studying the opponent and who they play during the season. He is always looking for a pattern or common denominator that he can use to his advantage. He also takes the time to find out how other teams play by talking to other captains from the different sections.”

Eric Narvaez has captained 16 teams to National Championships.© Lisa Mushett
After his rating fell this year from 4.0 to 3.5, Narvaez decided to start a new team at the 3.5 adult level after a gentle nudging from his co-captain Peter Narr, who was working on his house at the time. In addition, Narvaez still had his 4.0 adult and senior squads to oversee. Narvaez will take his senior team to the 4.0 Senior Nationals next weekend in Tucson.

“I had to ask my wife if I could go to Nationals next week, since I am here this weekend,” Narvaez joked. “She just knows that captaining is in my personality and accepts it.”

That personality is all about winning as noted by the tagline on the bottom of every e-mail he sends, reminding each player the exact dates of the Area, Section and National Championships.

“We probably receive at least 10 e-mails a week from him,” Stahnke said. “He also calls all of us asking who should play with whom. He really organizes his practices and tries to find the best combinations.”

One of those combinations this year actually included Narvaez, who hadn’t played in an adult Nationals event since 1995. He did play at the 2001 Nationals with his senior team, but this year was the first year since then. So why all these years later did he decide to play?"

“At 4.0, I could never make the lineup so to play this year was fun," Narvaez said. "I went 1-2, but I really enjoyed being out there.”

Although having a great time once again at Nationals, there is still one thing that eludes Narvaez. His team has never advanced out of pool play and into Sunday’s semifinals and finals. Unfortunately, his streak is now 16 appearances with no Sundays as Northern went 1-3 in Vegas, losing two heartbreaking matches 3-2 in third-set tiebreakers.

“I think someday making it to the Final Four is the one thing that really drives him,” Stanhke said. “I think he really wants some hardware.”

“I really like to play tennis,” Narvaez said. “It is such a healthy sport, but I do want to make it to Sunday one of these years.”

He will not have to wait long for that next chance as he heads to Tucson next week. Good luck, Eric.


Day Two - "Let It Ride"
October 6th, 2007
Las Vegas


Missouri Valley Men Show Some Heart In Getting To Nationals
by Erin Coyne

The Missouri Valley men’s team, captained by George Lower and Ron Olivares, had to battle its way into attending both Sectionals and Nationals. Although their team lost in the District Championships, the Lower/Olivares team advanced to Sectionals with a little stroke of luck.

“It looked as if our season was over,” said Olivares. “But when another Missouri Valley team passed on going to Sectionals as a wild card, the honor fell to us.”

It was good fortune to have Sectionals in their home city of St. Louis, where the ball would continue to bounce their way.

“We scrambled to advance to Sunday play,” said Olivares. “Three teams, Oklahoma and Iowa in addition to our own, tied for first place. We advanced based on sets won.”


heart guy
Their luck continued in Sunday’s semifinals with no match better illustrating their good fortune than a doubles match played by Scott Sindecuse and Eric Wonsidler.

The weather that day was extremely hot and all of the players were feeling the pressure as the team scored was tied at 2-2. Having already lost the first set, Sindecuse and Wondsidler were down 2-5 in the second when Sindecuse was struck by heart arrhythmia. A doctor was immediately called to the court, but Sindecuse repeatedly stated “I’m fine.”

Having a previous heart condition, Sindecuse knew exactly what to do. He proceeded to pour a bucket of cold water over his head to calm himself, as well as slow down his heart beat. After a brief medical timeout, and more than a few prayers, Sindecuse and Wonsidler returned to the court. Olivares had his doubts as to whether his player would be able to continue, but Sindecuse stated over and over, “I want to play, I want to play.”

The duo ultimately came back in the second set and took the third-set tiebreaker, giving the team a 3-2 victory and advancing to the finals against its season-rival. Olivares’ squad went on to win 5-0 in the finals; an unexpected margin of victory that was good for all of their fast beating hearts.

“We were ready for a fight,” Olivares said. “It had been so close between us over the year, so we were surprised we won 5-0.

And so a team of some skill, and even greater luck, finds itself in Las Vegas this weekend.



Movin’ On Up
By Jeffrey Seals

Seattle’s 40-Love team from Pacific Northwest is no stranger to winning. Back in 2005, four members of the 2007 edition were part of the USTA’s 3.0 National Championship squad that won it all in Tucson, Ariz. After only playing one year at the 3.5 level, the team has made its way back to the national stage.

Looking back, the team formed after a group of tennis playing friends, who celebrated each other’s birthdays and held various parties, decided to improve their game. They set out and hired Scott Daniel who was a new hire at the Amy Yee Tennis Center in Seattle.

“Scott was enthusiastic and encouraged each member’s improvement,” noted team captain Catherine Green.

In 2004, the squad lost in the first round of the playoffs, but decided to work harder and created a goal of getting to Nationals.

The team fulfilled its goals in 2005 by winning the whole thing after getting to the Nationals for the first time.

After seeing what they did on the 3.0 stage, they decided to see how they would play at a higher level. In 2006, the squad made the playoffs, but lost in the first round in a match tiebreaker.

“We’ve always been a competitive team,” said Debra White. “We play year round and have a great coach (Scott Daniel) that pushes us.”

White showed her true competitiveness and love for the sport as she practiced with the team nine-months pregnant on Sunday, Feb. 18, and wound up delivering her baby three days later. She wound up getting back into action near the end of the regular season with two matches in May.

The 40-Love team has a bit of “love” so to speak going with the team. And the love that is referred to is that of “sisterly love.” The team has two holdovers from the original team that are related by blood. White and Lisa Debiec are sisters that have been playing tennis for quite some time, but due to their age difference – four years – the pair had to wait until their adult years to play competitively on the same team.

“I think we are all dedicated,” said Debiec. “We play at a public facility and have a bunch of fun girls that have come together and like to play a lot.”

Besides the sisters having a tennis background, the rest of the team excelled in other sports. Dana Eberhardt and Green participated in college volleyball and swimming, respectively, while Jen Gingress was a gymnast.

Unfortunately, the squad made the trip to the desert missing some players. Only nine members of the team made the trip as the rest of the squad has come down with injuries.

Daughters Lisa Debiec and Debra White flank their mom, Sally Urmsta.© Jeffrey Seals
Mother Knows Best - It is quite normal to see parents attend their children’s sporting events, such as Sally Urmsta, the mother of White and Debiec. But the one thing that Urmsta has over other parents is she is only a few weeks away from playing in her own Nationals. She is waiting for the 3.0 Senior Nationals.

Urmsta never really played the game in her younger years, but once her girls took up the sport she got interested.

“I played back around when I was 45,” said Urmsta. “After not playing for awhile, I decided to bring it back.”

Speaking of her senior squad’s early success, she said, “We never dreamed that we would go all the way, especially in our first year.”


Age Isn’t A Factor Florida Men
By Jeffrey Seals

When you look around the Darling Tennis Center, you would assume that the average age of the players participating in the USTA 3.5 National Championship is around 40-years-old. But when you turn around and see some gentlemen a little more “seasoned” than the norm, you take notice.

Golden Boys: Members of the Boca Pointe Netters.
The Boca Pointe Netters from the Florida Section (Boca Raton, Fla.) are of the older persuasion that raises the bar of the average age. The team brought with them an average age of 60-years-old.

The oldest player comes in at 74 (Marvin Lazarowitz), while the youngest is 23 (Devin Shalmy). The remainder of the team is in the 60-70 range.

“It is a unique situation that a bunch of guys our age can capture state,” said team captain Jerry Adelson. “Most of us have played together for about four years. The majority of us play out of the Boca Pointe Athletic Center and are comprised of members of the country club and outsiders.”

In fact, in the team's final match against Northern today, which Florida won 4-1, the combined years of the two playing #3 doubles was 144 years!

“I’ve played about 45 years, and played back when I was 35 in the men’s tournament. Some of the guys have been playing in tournaments around Broward County. One of us played in the men’s 55s and wound up losing in the second round.”

Awhile back, I was told of a quote that one of the officials made to one of his cohorts and it was, “Let’s go over here and watch the older guys beat up on the younger ones”

They did a good job of that, finishing 2-2 in their flight this weekend.


Mirror Image
By Erin Coyne

On of the most unique doubles teams this weekend is from Northern, as Shari and Brittney Lafavre are the only mother-daughter team competing in Las Vegas. Playing tennis the last 13 years, Shari began playing to socialize with other ladies after her children started school. Brittney has been playing tennis since the eighth grade and currently is a member of the tennis team at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn.

Spittin' Image: The mother and daughter duo of Sheri and Brittney Lafavre.© Cynthia Lum
So what made the look-alike mother and daughter play together?

“When I was asked to join this team, I said I would only play if Brittney and I could be partners,” said Shari. “We never disagree or argue on court. We get along very well. She’s just like me.”

Although that close relationship was tested earlier this year, when Brittany drilled her mother in the back, not once, but twice, with laser beam serves during the Twin Cities Area Championships.

“I had injured my shoulder earlier at a softball game, so my aim was a little off,” said Brittney with a grin. “I hit her right in the back by her lung.”

“I had bruises later that week on my back,” said Shari, laughing as she remembered the story.

The LaFavres posted a 5-0 record this summer, helping their team advance to Las Vegas. This is the first time at Nationals for Brittney, while Shari made as a 3.0 player 10 years ago, coming in second.

In order to attend Nationals, Brittany had to miss two days of school, but that was alright with Shari. A stay-at-home mom, Shari was very excited to be competing with her daughter at a National event.

“We are proud to represent the Northern Section and are enjoying our time here in Las Vegas. I’m happy to be playing with my daughter here. It is something we will never forget.”

The Dave Jones Fan Club.© Cynthia Lum


More Notes From Day 2


The windchill factor makes it feel like it is 48 degrees.
Desert Storm 2 - The weather is playing a big factor again today as winds are blowing in excess of 30 miles per hour and temperatures are only expected to hit the mid 60s. Mix the wind and the chilly temperatures, the windchill factor makes it feel like it is only 48 degrees.











Shawna Tankersly captains the Texas women's 3.5 team.© Cynthia Lum
Texas Hold ‘Em – Texas women’s captain Shawna Tankersly tried to inspire her team by sending them a word a day over the internet leading up to their trip to Las Vegas. Some of the words included determination, success, champion, winner and ace. Shawna then made bagtags for each of her teammates featuring a cowgirl holding cards in one hand and a tennis racquet in the other with the saying, “We Didn’t Come Here To Lose!”

“We weren’t going to come here and lose on the court or in the casinos,” Tankersly said.

Tankersly is making her third trip to Nationals, but her first with this team. She is also an accomplished softball player as she played in the softball National Championships 13 times as second baseman.

Texas finished the weekend 2-2.


It’s Not Over Until It Is Over – Eastern’s Stephanie Ragone and Marcia Plante have always had a never-say die attitude, but Friday the #2 doubles team took it to the next level as they fended off 13 match points, winning the third-set tiebreaker 11-9. At one point, they were down 9-5 in the tiebreaker. There match made the difference as Eastern advanced to Sunday's semifinals.


Lori Rudy is seven months pregnant.
Playing Three On Two – Middle States’ Lori Rudy and partner Ruth Roulston are playing with a little extra baggage this weekend. You see, Rudy is seven months pregnant with her first child – a boy – due on December 26, but that hasn’t slowed her at all.

“It really has been wonderful to play,” Rudy said. “I have been playing the whole time and been adjusting my strokes as I continue to grow.”

Rudy played three match tie-breakers at the Section tournament, and in similar fashion, she won her first match in Las Vegas 6-4, 1-6 and 1-0.

“My endurance is a little less, but I am playing as well as I have ever played,” Lori said.

Her husband, Paul, has a different theory.

“It must be the extra testosterone!”


Mike Prosen advanced to Nationals in his first season playing USTA League Tennis.
First Time Is A Charm- When Northern’s Mike Proser moved to the Minneapolis area, he just wanted to play tennis. Joining a local ladder league in St. Paul, Proser enjoyed his experience, but was looking for a little more.

Enter Mike’s dad and brother. Both had played USTA League Tennis in the Duluth area and encouraged Mike to join a team. Mike took their advice and started calling captains in the Twin Cities area with his first call going to Eric Narvaez who was starting a 3.5 team.

Little did Mike know that he called the Section’s most successful captain in recent years with 15 National Championship appearances. Make it 16, as Proser, Narvaez and the rest of the team qualified for Vegas.

“I knew a little bit about Nationals since my dad made it in mixed doubles a few years ago,” Proser said. “My first league experience has been great. I have met a lot of new people to play tennis with.”

Proser is making the most of his first league and nationals experience as he and partner Jerry Stahnke were a perfect 3-0, before Proser fell in a third-set tiebreaker in his final match at #1 singles.


Day One - "Let It Ride"
October 5th, 2007
Las Vegas


Where There’s A Will There’s A Way
by Jeffrey Seals

Tennis may be a game that everyone can play, but unfortunately for some to follow their dreams there must be some financial support. For two teams that made it all the way to Las Vegas to play in the USTA 3.5 League National Championships, they had to look high and low for the financial backing to get them to the desert. The Southern Farmfield Fabulous 5 (Charleston, S.C.) and the Southern California National City team (San Diego, Calif.) searched high and low for the monetary means to bring their goals to fruition in the Sin City.

The Farmfield Fabulous 5, who garnered its name from a team goal that all five positions would be “fabulous” every time they stepped on the court, has been around for some time, but the edition that has come to Las Vegas has only been together for about a year.

“We had to rebuild about 50% of our team due to various reasons,” said team captain Debbie Sisco.

They steamrolled their way through their league season and made it to the area playoffs and then advanced to the state championship.

After finishing as runners-up in the state tournament, the team learned they had earned a wild-card trip to Mobile, Ala., for the Southern Section tournament. Unfortunately, the team needed to secure the financial means to get there. The team found some generous corporate sponsors, and then iced it off by holding a yard sale to reach its goal.

Once in Mobile, the team surprisingly won the Southern Section championship, even with its top singles player going down with a twisted ankle in her first set. After icing down the ankle, the player did what the team did best and that was ask its neighbors for a little help. Someone loaned her an ankle brace and she wound up winning the match and securing the title and a trip out West.

The team had to dig for more loose change to fund a trip to its ultimate destination, Las Vegas. After running the concession stand at the South Carolina Mixed Doubles State Tournament, the squad raised enough money to put a dent in each player’s expenses. They also held a raffle, featuring tennis equipment, to raise more money for their expedition.

“Probably about 20% of everyone’s expenses came from donations,” said Sisco. “One of our players got frequent flyer miles donated from a friend. Dick’s Sporting Goods donated a Wilson racquet, case of balls and a ball hopper that we used to raffle off.”

Southern California doubles team: Norman Granger (left) and Darrell Yamani.© Jeffrey Seals
The National City Tennis team, formed by Dr. John B. Orara, knew that a trip to Vegas for nationals might be in its future after Orara saw the team play early in the season. Not to miss what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Orara and his teammates started to think about how they could raise money for Nationals.

“We basically went to friend’s businesses and asked them to sponsor us and they provided us with some money,” said Orara. “It wasn’t much. We got more when we hit sectionals and won. They needed proof that we were for real.”

So to raise more funds the team held raffles and sold tickets to other tennis clubs and organizations in the area. They made enough through the raffle to fund their entire journey.

“It made it more enjoyable for everyone that we did this on our own,” he noted.

After day one, the Southern women are 0-1, while the Southern California men are 2-0.


Joke’s Not On Them As DC Women Qualify For First Nationals
By Erin Coyne


When Flecia Colbert thought about forming a USTA League Tennis team in April of 2007, her main goal was providing a social outlet for her hard-working teammates who needed an escape from their stressful day jobs of doctors, accountants, computer specialists, lab technicians, nurse and teachers. What happened later, Colbert’s teammates might say was an April Fools joke of sorts, but lucky for Colbert and Team 40-Love, the joke isn’t on them as they advanced to Nationals in only their first season.

“It started out as a fun team,” said Colbert, the team’s captain. “I just wanted everyone to come out, play and enjoy themselves. We never dreamt we would end up going to Nationals after a tough competition at our Sectional Championships.”

Stacyian Gordon© Lisa Mushett
Neither did the rest of her teammates, especially with the geography involved. The women, from all parts of the Washington DC area, made a commitment to practice every Tuesday and Thursday evening at the East Potomac Tennis Center. After a hard week of work and practice, Team 40-Love was up at 8 a.m. on Saturday to play their league matches.

“We would have players coming to the courts dragging and saying it was too early to play tennis,” Colbert said. “We came from all over just to play tennis as we have players from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. The Mid-Atlantic Section is very unique because some teams have people from three different states and the District. It takes a real commitment to get people together."

After winning the DC Area Championships, the team advanced to the Sectional Tournament in Newport News, Va. To remind them of the ultimate team goal being a trip to the Land of the Sun, the players would sing “Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching!” before they walked on the court.

“I was looking for a fun team to join,” said Dao Vissering. “I didn’t know anyone when I joined, but ended up having five or six different double partners during the season. Everyone’s game meshes really well.”

“It was a really fun team because everyone just came together,” said Sharon Sabasteanski.

Finally here after hosting a tennis party at the club in which they sold raffle tickets and received a generous donation from the Washington Area Tennis League (WATL), Colbert and her teammates are ready to play their best, but also have fun in the process. They finished 1-0 after day one in Vegas defeating Northern 4-1.

“We are enjoying ourselves in Las Vegas and are very proud to be here representing our Section.”


Coins and ‘kakes Smuggled Into Vegas
by Jeffrey Seals

In a time-honored tradition of sportsmanship, the Middle States men’s squad did a good job of showing their generosity in its trip to the USTA 3.5 League National Championships. Teams that wished to participate were asked to bring goods that exemplify their home areas.

The Middle States team, from the Philadelphia area, decided to bring a touch of their hometown. Many ideas that Philadelphia is known for ran through their minds, such as Philly cheese steaks, cream cheese, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin and the professional sports teams. After long deliberations, they decided the Liberty Bell was too heavy to carry and, unfortunately, Ben Franklin has been gone for quite some time. While the cheese steak and cream cheese would have been viable options, they couldn’t have made it through airport security.

Instead, the team wound up putting together a gift bag that included a brand new $1 Presidential coin made at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia and some Tastykake bakery treats.

The Middle States men gave the new Presidential coins in the gift exchange.
The coins, yet to be put into circulation, are the first release in a 10-year plan of 38 coins. Each President will be honored with a single coin, regardless of the number of consecutive terms, except Grover Cleveland who will be honored with two coins after serving two non-consecutive terms. Since the coins were purchased directly from the U.S. Mint, the coins are considered “uncirculated.” The coins were then put into protective cases to maintain its collector value.

The Tastykake’s are edible goodies that have been part of Philadelphia’s culture since 1914. Made by the Tasty Baking Company, the small pre-wrapped cakes were the first of its kind available at the local grocery store.

Middle States finished day one 0-2.


Other Notes From Day 1

Welcome to the Desert Storm: Players and fans were not ready for what awaited them Friday morning as temperatures were in the 50's with winds in excess of 35 miles per hour. High wind advisories remained in effect through Saturday with the winds expected to increase to 50 miles per hour later Friday evening. Temperatures did rise into the low 70's on Friday, but players were still wondering where the dry, desert heat was?

Sweatshirts anyone?: With the low temperatures, and many unexpecting and unprepared players, the mechandise tent did a booming business on Friday as over 250 sweatshirts were sold before 12 noon. Overall, the Las Vegas site did over $6,000 of business on Friday and ran out of many items. Luckily, for everyone in attendance, more merchandise is being overnighted to the facility for Saturday's play.

Darling Tennis Center is "Darling": The Darling Tennis Center, one of two homes for the 3.5 championships, is a state-of-the-art facility that features 22 courts and a stadium venue. Home of The Tennis Channel Open in March, the venue is truly spectacular with a hard-court surface painted in US Open blue and green. It also has excellent seating for fans to watch the matches with tables and chair between the courts for up-close-and-personal viewing. The staff has also been tremendous. For those coming to future USTA League National Championships presented by Chrysler at Darling...enjoy!

Big Plans In The Big City: It isn't all tennis in Sin City as many players are taking in the city in different ways Friday night. Some members of the Northern Section are going to see Phantom of the Opera, while other are enjoying La Reve at the Wynn Hotel. Others are visiting the "Copacabana" and Barry Manilow's new Vegas show, while still others are going to see popular shows like Blue Man Group, Mamma Mia and Spamalot. There are also many who are looking to better their luck in the local gaming facilities. Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

For complete results from Day 1, click here.


Player's Welcome Party
October 4th, 2007
Las Vegas


Party Pics From Welcome Gala At Suncoast Casino

Lou Truong, pictured with Pat Freebody (left) and Jeanne Lucido, was the winner of Barry Manilow tickets Thursday night.© Cynthia Lum

Texas women posing at the player party.© Lisa Mushett

Pacific NW women at players party.© Lisa Mushett

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