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3.0 Senior National Championships Latest News and Photos

USTA League Presented by Chrysler 
3.0 Senior National Championships
Indian Wells, CA
October 26 - 28, 2007



Day Three- Sunday, October 28, 2007


© Adam Davis


1st place – CARIBBEAN

The women’s team from Puerto Rico, representing the USTA Caribbean Section, captured the national title at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The Caribbean team defeated the team from Bellevue, Wash., 3-0 in the championship match.

The team members include (left to right): Sonia Lasanta (Laurel Ponce, P.R.), Annie Montilla (Dorado, P.R.), Mildred Rivera (Ciales, P.R.), Lydia Figueroa (Rio Piedras, P.R.), Bessie Ramirez (Guaynabo, P.R.), Ana Garcia (Bayamon, P.R.), Lillian Bras (Rio Piedras, P.R.), Gloria Rivera (Manati, P.R.), Sara Vazquez (San Juan, P.R.).


 


© Adam Davis

2nd place – PACIFIC NORTHWEST

The women’s team from Bellevue, Wash., representing the USTA Pacific Northwest Section, finished second at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The Pacific Northwest team lost to the team from Puerto Rico, 3-0 in the championship match.

The team members include (left to right): Gail Zorich (Bellevue, Wash.), Barbara Cotton (Maple Valley, Wash.), Joan Jones (Bellevue, Wash.), Marilyn Sundquist (Issaquah, Wash.), Janet Little (Bothell, Wash.), Sharon Higgins (Kirkland ,Wash.), Irene Hepburn (Sammamish ,Wash.), Sally Urmston (Bellevue, Wash.).

 

 


Sr 3.0 Women 3rd Place_Southern© Adam Davis

3rd place – SOUTHERN

The women’s team from Bluffton, S.C., representing the USTA Southern Section, finished third at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The Southern team defeated the team from Hawaii, 3-0 in the third/fourth place play-off match.

The team members include (left to right): Joyce McGaughan (Bluffton, S.C.), Diane Craig (Bluffton, S.C.), Toni Valenstein (Bluffton, S.C.), Sandra Maylen (Bluffton, S.C.),
Jerrilyn Brennan (Bluffton, S.C.), Jean Bergenthal (Bluffton, S.C.), Karen Benedict (Bluffton, S.C.), Joan Eckhardt (Bluffton, S.C.).




 


© Adam Davis

4th place – HAWAII

The women’s team from Hawaii, representing the USTA Hawaii Section, finished fourth at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The Hawaii team lost to the team from Bluffton, S.C., 3-0 in the third/fourth place play-off match.

The team members include (left to right): Nancy Benson (Makawao), Patricia Tatro (Kihei), Shirl Schumacher (Puuene), Carmen Johns (Kihei), Marilyn Araki (Wailuku),  Charlotte Pontanilla (Kahului), Judy Murakami (Kahului), Clare Apana (Wailuki), Tupou Puleiku (Kahului).



 

© Adam Davis

1st place – SOUTHERN

The Men’s team from Roswell, Ga., representing the USTA Southern Section, captured the national title at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The Southern team defeated the team from Hawaii, 3-0 in the championship match.

The team members include (left to right): Bruce Traver Barkley (Cumming, Ga.), James Walker (Roswell, Ga.), Patana Untachantr (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Don Niemas (Roswell, Ga.), Martin Duncan (Roswell, Ga.), Larry Cade (Roswell, Ga.), Thomas Slocum (Roswell, Ga.), Dean Thompson (Roswell, Ga.), Michael Heffernan (Roswell, Ga.)



 


© Adam Davis

2nd place – HAWAII

The Men’s team from Hawaii, representing the USTA Hawaii Section, finished second at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The Hawaii team lost to the team from Roswell, Ga., 3-0 in the championship match.

The team members include (left to right): Richard Devincent (Waialua), John Iokia (Waianae), Pullop Smarkabutra (Waipahu), Richard Ige (Mililani), Robert Ballinger (Waianae), William Kahoonei (Waianae), Primo Castro (Waianae).

 

 

 


© Adam Davis


3rd place – TEXAS

The Men’s team from Plano, Texas, representing the USTA Texas Section, finished third at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The Texas team defeated the team from Olympia, Wash., 3-0 in the third/fourth place play-off match.

The team members include (left to right): Barry Mellman (Dallas), Joseph Hevey (Plano), Robert Bender (Plano), Daryl Barth (The Colony), Joseph Stockrahm (Plano), Ashok Al Parekh (Plano)

 


 


© Adam Davis

4th place – PACIFIC NORTHWEST

The Men’s team from Olympia, Wash., representing the USTA Pacific Northwest Section, finished fourth at the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

The team members include:  (left to right) Bruce Olson, (Tumwater, Wash.),   James Cockrell (Olympia, Wash.), Tony Benjamins (Olympia, Wash.),  Donald Craig (Olympia, Wash.),  Jack Jutte (Olympia, Wash.), Bram Van Der Meij (Shelton, Wash.), Dan Kilmer (Olympia, Wash.), Bob Reinker (Olympia, Wash.).


 

Final day results from the 3.0 USTA Senior League National Championships

Women’s semifinals: Pacific Northwest 3, Hawaii 0; Caribbean 2, Southern 1
Women’s Third Place: Southern 3, Hawaii 0
Women’s Championship: Caribbean 3, Southern 0
Men’s Semifinals: Southern 2, Texas 1; Hawaii 2, Pacific Northwest 1
Men’s Third Place: Texas 3, Pacific Northwest 0
Men’s Championship: Southern 3, Hawaii 0


 

Day Two - Saturday, Oct. 27

FUTURE TENNIS UMPIRE MAKES THE RIGHT CALL

Max Sylver, the tennis Zen Master from the Northern California Section team, meditates on court© Adam Davis
The Northern California Section men’s team didn’t need any motivation when they arrived at the USTA League Presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. They have Max Sylver on their team.

The 57-year-old Sylver, a manufacturing business owner who studied English at the University of Miami, is the anchor of his team, which is based in Walnut Creek, about 20 miles east of San Francisco.

To get his team fired up for their matches, Sylver sends out motivational e-mails to his teammates. He sometimes uses quotes from William Shakespeare and Confucius. “He has a treasure trove of little sayings that inspire us,” says team member Frank Concepcion. “I think of him as the wise one.”

Team captain Rob Brockman had nothing but praise for Sylver. “There are no major egos on our team and Max is a calming influence in that respect,” he said.

Besides helping to motivate his team, Sylver became involved in another aspect of tennis that has provided him with some personal motivation.

Earlier this year, he volunteered at the Northern California Challenge, a junior tennis tournament in Walnut Creek. He ended up helping the officials and had the opportunity to call lines.

The experience left a lasting impression on Sylver, who said he fell in love working with the kids. Wanting to give something back to the game, he decided to take the first step toward becoming a USTA official.

Sylver, who sometimes meditates during his matches to gain focus and channel his energy, began taking officiating classes.

After recently passing his provisional test, he has also started working at local tournaments. “I feel more comfortable as a player because of the officiating knowledge,” Sylver said. “I have a better grasp of the game.”

Sylver says he has a new perspective about tennis since he began working towards becoming a USTA official.

The Northern California Section men’s senior 3.0 team is making its first appearance in the USTA Nationals. The team advanced to Indian Wells when they won their USTA Sectional match on an overrule on match point.


NO PAIN, NO GAIN

Who says tennis is not a contact sport? 

Florida team member Maureen Tyburski did more than just break serve at the USTA League Presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships. She also heroically battled through a broken foot.

During a third-set match tiebreak at Indian Wells against the Southern squad, Maureen took a nasty spill going for an overhead.  After a few gasps from the crowd, Tyburski’s doubles partner, Sharon Queen, asked if she wanted to retire.  “Absolutely not!” was Maureen’s surprise response.  Tyburski valiantly played on for another half hour, eventually losing a hard-fought match tiebreak, 10-8.

A trip to a nearby emergency room revealed that Maureen had multiple fractures in her right foot and a hairline fracture of her left wrist.  Ever the optimist, Maureen smiled and said, “I’m just glad I didn’t break a hip.” 

“Maureen is just a very determined player,” added team captain Lyn Jaksich.  She showed her true team spirit by arriving for her team’s matches the next morning via golf cart amid cheers and did some cheering of her own.  “It feels good to have been able to finish the match,” said Maureen. “But it would have been better if we had won.”

She’s already counting the days until she can pick up a racquet again.


DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS

Texas Captain Bob Bender and Joe Hevey celebrated their victory at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden© Adam Davis
The Lone Star state has a reputation for doing everything BIG.  That Texas-sized dedication is on display here at the USTA League Presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships in Indian Wells.

Captain Bob Bender and his “Bob's Baseline Bashers” are unbeaten heading into Sunday's finals and attribute their success to a unique combination of boot camp-style training and mathematical analysis that would make MIT proud.

Hailing from Plano, Texas, and the High Point Tennis Center, the team has undergone a major transformation while prepping for the National Championships.

“Guys have lost weight, stopped drinking, joined health clubs... the tennis has motivated all of us in a broader sense,” said Bender, now in his 10th year as captain.

While his rigorous practices have become the stuff of legend, Bender works equally hard on the mental side of the game.  “He's always crunching numbers, making spreadsheets and keeps a huge binder,” said Bob's wife Linda, who is here rooting on the squad this weekend.  "I think it gives them an edge," she added.

Preparation aside, the team's Texas swagger has no room for error this week... or injury.  The “Bashers” traveled to the USTA Nationals with the minimum six players needed to field a team and fully intend to leave as champions.  “When we formed this team, a lot of us didn't know each other,” Bender said. “We've all grown very close in a short time and share that common goal.”

On Saturday, the “Bashers” clinched a spot in Sunday’s semifinals. If they go on to win the championship, you can bet the celebration will be Texas-sized.


CHANGE IS BIG FOR USTA MIDDLE STATES SECTION

Donna Paxson (left) and Elaine Rostolsky teamed to represent the USTA Middle States Section© Ellen Louis
It’s hard to make changes, but when it comes to tennis, sometimes change is good. That is certainly the case for the USTA Middle States Section Senior 3.0 women’s team.

The Middle States team, which is based in Lancaster, Pa., began their season at a local tennis and fitness club. But when the club converted to an all-fitness facility, they were left scrambling to find another place to play. They ended up playing at the Hempfield Racquet Club in Lancaster.

The team was led by co-captains Elaine Rostolsky and Sandra Roda, who are cousins. Together, the cousins helped their team advance to the USTA League Presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships.

After playing in USTA League and USTA Sectional competition, it was time for another change before the team came to Indian Wells for the USTA Nationals. Roda could not make the trip due to family commitments, so Rostolsky had to find a new doubles partner.

Rostolsky, who lives in Lancaster, partnered with team member Dana Paxson, a resident of nearby Conestoga, Pa., for the USTA Nationals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Middle States Section women fell short of advancing to Sunday’s semifinals, as they finished with a 2-2 record in their flight.


HALLOWEEN ARRIVES EARLY IN INDIAN WELLS

King Henry and two of his guests made an appearance at the Player Party© Adam Davis
Players competing in this weekend’s USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships enjoyed an early Halloween, as the traditional player party took place at poolside at the Indian Wells Resort.

On a cool, desert night, players, friends and family got together for a hearty buffet. As they ate the well-prepared dinner, a DJ spun tunes to everyone’s delight.

The highlight of the evening was a Halloween costume contest. Guests got the opportunity to see how creative 3.0 senior tennis players could get with their costumes.

Tournament Director Sheila Banks showed her flair, as she wore a suit made from tournament banners. The USTA Midwest Section women’s team showed who their favorite NFL team was, dressing up like the Indianapolis Colts. 

A masked man, a cyclist, a San Francisco Giants baseball player and King Henry VIII represented the USTA Northern California Section.

The USTA Hawaii Section women’s team brought their grass skirts and looked right at home. There were also Tennis Angels and cheerleaders in attendance.

Even though chicken was not served during the evening buffet, a large yellow chicken did make an appearance during the costume contest.

The party continued with dancing at poolside. For these tennis players, it was an early Halloween that will be remembered.


THANK YOU, CHRYSLER

Chrysler, title sponsor of the USTA National Championships, made a $2,000 donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims of the Southern California fires that caused the evacuation of thousands and left many homeless.

During the USTA League presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Chrysler donated $10 for every person who test drove a Chrysler vehicle.

The $2,000 donation is in addition to the funds that are being collected through the weekend by the USTA at the National Championships in Tucson and Indian Wells.




 

Day One - Friday, Oct. 26

"TEAM PAPA" HOLDS COURT

"Team Papa" Huddles Around Their Hero.© Adam Davis
James Blake and his raucous "J-Block" rooting section may have some new competition.  "Team Papa" is making its presence felt this weekend at the USTA League Presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs, California.

Sporting personalized t-shirts and filling the desert air with decibels, they're here to cheer on John Shaffer, 69, from Tucson, AZ and the Southwest Section.  "Team Papa" is made up of 10 loyal family members who fly from as far away as Louisville and Salt Lake City to watch him play.  "It's an amazing display of support and love," said Shaffer, a retired physician who's been playing tennis since the age of 12 and attended the University of Wyoming on a tennis scholarship.
"When I'm playing I always look over at them and think about making a great shot."

"Team Papa" has pulled out all the stops for these National Championships. They serenaded John before his first match with their own special version of  the popular Queen anthem "We Will Rock You" ("Papa Will Rock You") and even served-up personalized "Go Papa Go" M&M's for a match eve snack.  It's all part of their game plan to pump-up their tennis idol.  "We all have a lot of fun with it," said John's daughter Stacey.  "We're always thinking of new ways to inspire him."

John's wife of 49 years, Dottie, can't help but smile and soak it all in as "Team Papa Leader."  She's joined by son Scott, son Stewart and daughter-in-law Ivy and their four children Josh, Jake, Aaron and Aiden, daughter Stacey and son-in-law Pete.

Keep an eye and ear out for "Team Papa," coming to a USTA League tournament near you.


WORLD SERIOUS

New England Section's Rich Paroline Balances Tennis & Red Sox.© Ellen Louis
On his way to compete in this weekend's USTA League Presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships, Rich Paroline of the New England Section squad suddenly panicked while driving through the mountains...and it had nothing to do with the altitude or winding roads.

Paronline's beloved Red Sox were playing in the World Series and because of the terrain he couldn't find the game anywhere on the radio dial.  "All I heard was static," said the Seekonk, Massachusetts native, who made it to Indian Wells in time to catch the last few innings.  Meanwhile at the host hotel, other New England men's and women's team members gathered in the lobby to watch the game and make their presence felt in volumes.  "At home we have to stay up late to watch, but out here we have extra time to celebrate," pointed out team captain Richard Kinsman.

Tennis remains the undisputed king of the court here at the National Championships, but for the New England contingent, baseball also gets a seat at the table.  "We were all cheering and getting fired-up,"
added New England women's co-captain June Donovan.  They all hope the passion carries over to their matches.

And in the midst of the mountains, a natural question: how about the Rockies and their fans?  Unfortunately, there seems to be no friendly rivalry at play for the New England bunch.  The Intermountain team competing in Indian Wells hails from Idaho, not Colorado.  We asked Intermountain men's captain Charlie Davis if he was rooting for the Rockies.  Turns out he's a native New Englander, also.  Go figure.


TENNIS FAMILY AFFAIR

Wren Morgan of Mid-Atlantic Section and Husband Chuck Morgan.© Adam Davis
Tennis is truly a family affair for Mid-Atlantic women's captain Wren Cronan Morgan of Columbia, Maryland.  While she plays in the 3.0 Seniors at Indian Wells, her husband Chuck is also set to compete in the USTA League Presented by Chrysler National Championships at the 3.5 Super Seniors next Spring, while stepson Dan is vying for a title in the 4.0 Men's event in Tucson this weekend.   "We all love tennis so much," said Morgan.  "At our wedding my bridesmaids held up racquets for us to walk under as we entered the reception."

The Morgan family plays together and stays together, frequently attending each other's matches and talking tennis whenever possible.
Plenty of phone calls have already been made today from California to Arizona, as the trio makes a point to keep up on every match, good or bad.  According to Chuck, "It really gives us a strong common bond and something to share."

Chuck needed every bit of that support as he recently battled back from not one, but two knee replacement surgeries.  His goal is to work his way back to 4.0 and play alongside Dan in Seniors when his son hits 50 in a few years.  "It's going to take some work because he's the star now," added Chuck with a chuckle.  "I introduce myself now simply as 'Dan Morgan's Dad.'"

Wren's tennis family is also hoping to share the love this week, as Ginny Rawley, Carole Shapiro, Ruth Nolan, Jean Kranefeld, Marry Ellen Doyle, Zelda Holcomb, Kathy Gaudio, Anne Ryals and Patricia Carr battle it out for a National Championship.


ISLAND INSPIRATION

John Iokia and Hawaii Pacific Team and their Conch Shell ritual.© Ellen Louis
It's been an inspirational journey for the Hawaii Pacific Section Men's team to reach the USTA League Presented by Chrysler 3.0 Senior National Championships.  Hailing from Oahu Island's more modest West Side, the squad pulled off a string of upsets to make it to Palm Springs.  Throughout this magical run, a late tennis pioneer is at the forefront of their hearts and minds.

Clifford "Old Man" Tamura decided to build West Oahu's first tennis courts on a sandy plot back in the 1970's.  The grocery store owner introduced the sport to hundreds of local kids, now men, playing this week at Indian Wells.  They recognize his impact and lasting legacy. "He brought something positive to our poor neighborhood and we'll never forget that," said Primo Castro, Co-Captain.  "We're out here playing for him."  The torch has now been passed to Tamura's son, Clifford Jr., who sponsors the Hawaii Pacific team and helped fund their trip to the National Championships.

The squad's respect for the past is also on display for all to see at Indian Wells.  Before each match, John David Iokia trumpets the Conch Shell and leads his team in a native Hawaiian chant.  "We all just want to be 16 one more time and when we're playing tennis we feel that way," added Castro.


WILDFIRES HIT CLOSE TO HOME

Southern California Women's Team In Action.© Adam Davis
As Southern California slowly begins to recover from the wildfires that hit the area this week, teams representing that part of the country reflected on the devastation.  "Our hearts are with the victims and we realize how lucky I was," said Helena Czepiec of Sierra Madre, California, who was fortunate not to be affected.  The USTA has established donation centers at both National Championship sites in Indian Wells and Tucson to help in the wildfire relief efforts.
Proceeds will go directly to the American Red Cross.
 
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