2003 USA League Tennis 3.0 National Championships presented by Lincoln
by: Grant Chambers
|National Championship Trophies Displayed on Day 3|
Sunday, September 21, 2003
Men's and Women's 3.0 Team PhotosFinals and Semifinals Results
Northern California - Sunnyvale, Calif., def. Southwest - El Paso, Texas (3-2)
Carribbean - Guanydabo, Puerto Rico def. Pacific Northwest - Hood River, Ore. (3-2)
|National Champions - Caribbean 3.0 Men's Team|
|National Champions - Northern California 3.0 Women|
Saturday, September 20, 2003
Mid Atlantic Men Go 4-0 to Clinch Semi-Final Birth Despite Having to Forfeit One Match
|Mid Atlantic 3.0 Men's Team|
The Mid-Atlantic 3.0 Men, who were very close to not being able to play in this years USA League Tennis National Championships due to Hurricane Isabel slamming into the east coast just 70 miles south of Virginia Beach, their hometown (see story below), battled through a grueling four-match day going undefeated and clinching a birth in Sunday’s semifinal round by defeating New England (3-2) in their final Saturday match. Mid-Atlantic, already playing with a minimum number of eight players, had to default one match from the beginning. One player on the team had suffered from severe dehydration and was unable to play. Beginning their match against New England down 0-1, Mid Atlantic would win three out of four matches to clinch the victory.
Mid-Atlantic Men Continue to Ride Isabel Wave into Fourth Match
|Play Goes Well into the Night|
A major story continues to develop amongst the Mid-Atlantic 3.0 Men who were very close to not being able to play in this years USA League Tennis National Championships due to Hurricane Isabel slamming into the east coast just 70 miles south of Virginia Beach, their hometown (see story below). With little sleep and a tough four-match day ahead of them, which began at , Mid-Atlantic bore down and has been taking care of business. At , they entered match number four against the USA Tennis New England Section having already stormed by Hawaii (3-2), Texas (3-2) and
Northern (4-1) in their path to a 3-0 start.
|Randolph Park Tennis Center Ice Men Robert and Joey|
Randolph Park Tennis Center "Ice Men" Shine
No National Championships event is complete without those non-playing team members that work behind the scenes to make sure players are happy, matches are on time, and competitors have PLENTY OF WATER AND ICE (especially in Tucson, Ariz., where the temperature has reached over 100 degrees in the last two days). The Randolph Park Tennis Center "Ice Men", which consists of Robert Reyes and Joey Sharp, have worked tirelessly in replenishing each court with ice and water and to make sure each court and its surroundings are clean, clear and ready for action!
|It was a beautiful day in Tucson|
Bright Arizona sunshine once again has filled our skies for a magnificent day two for the 2003 USA League Tennis 3.0 National Championships. Larger crowds have started to gather and as results begin to unfold, the cheers get louder and the intensity higher.
Mid-Atlantic Men Trapped by Hurricane Isabel
|Mid Atlantic 3.0 Men's Captain Dave Shiley|
As Hurricane Isabel tore across the Atlantic Ocean and onto the eastern U.S. shore late this week, the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section 3.0 men from Virginia Beach, Va., (now named “Team Isabel”), found themselves in a tight spot with roads flooded and airports closed. While two or three of the team players boarded their flights before Isabel hit, the rest of the team would have to ride out the storm. And as of Friday morning, their first scheduled match, five players were still in transition.
Fortunately, with the hard work of the tournament staff and the good will of their Friday opponents, their matches would be rescheduled in a four-match Saturday schedule. After three flight cancellations, the last Mid-Atlantic team member would finally arrive in Tucson at Saturday. As they hit the courts for their first match on Saturday, team captain Dave Shiley explains, “I just feel relief that we have enough men here are are able to play. We appreciate the hard work of the USTA tournament staff and the willingness of other teams to reschedule, allowing us to still play in the event.” Only one person from the Mid-Atlantic team couldn’t make it as a tree had fallen through the roof of his house on Thursday night.
Injured Players Keep Playing and Spirits High; Top-Notch Trainers Help Heal
|Injured Veloria Matison with Teammates Shelly Trousil (left) and Kathy Almond (right)|
Veloria Matinson of the USTA Texas Section 3.0 women’s team came down with a hard ankle twist in her second round match against the USTA Caribbean Section 3.0 women’s team. Being the fierce competitor she is, she would finish the match helping the Texas team win to go 2-0 for this weekends National Championships. As Veloria received one of her many “ice wraps” (shown in picture) we asked her to comment on her chances of playing again this weekend. “It looks like I probably won’t be able to play again this weekend, but with our team in first place, I’ve got to do all I can to cheer the team to victory,” stated Veloria.
Kim Turner of the USTA Easter Section 3.0 women’s’ team was up 6-2, 5-1 and match point when she strained a calf and lost the point. “It felt like someone put a knife in my calf. I couldn’t even walk,” said Kim. She and her partner would
lose the game. After deciding to stick it out for one more game, they would eventually win the second set 6-3 helping their team to victory.
|Kim Turner Surrounded by Team|
Both women are praising top-notch athletic trainers Tim Nelson and John Valencia, which are provided by a local Tucson, Ariz., company Val Med Sports Health Care. “Their treatment and education has helped us tremendously,” stated Veloria.
Friday, September 19, 2003
|Randolph Park Tennis Center Grounds|
The 2003 USA League Tennis 3.0 Adult National Championships began play today under gorgeous skies in Tucson, Ariz. This year's event is being held at Randolph Park Tennis Center, one of the nations premiere public tennis facilities and the recipient of the 1993 Outstanding Tennis Facility awars. With some 34 teams in competition representing each of the 17 USTA Sections, a diverse and delightful group of competitors and friends have come to Tucson for an event full of fun, competition, camaraderie and more.
We were able to uncover a few interesting stories today...
|Jose Contreras prepared for a return in his first round match|
Lives in Phoenix, Plays in Georgia
A few thousand miles wasn’t enough to stop Jose Conteras from finishing what he started. Jose moved from Duluth, Ga., to Phoenix earlier this year for work. Having already committed and played a few matches for his 3.0 men’s team back home, Jose was determined to stick it out. Jose, with the help of his dedicated and great teammates and friends, would eventually fly back from Phoenix for the state championship, which they won, then the USTA Southern Sectional Championships, which they also won giving them a birth in this weekends event. Lucky for Jose, he only had to travel two hours to attend this years 3.0 National Championships being held here in Tucson, Ariz., while his teammates had to fly cross country!
|Puerto Rico 3.0 Men|
Puerto Rico 3.0 Men Mean Business
Approximately seven hours by plane or around 3,000 miles from Tucson, the 3.0 Men from Puerto Rico, representing the USTA Carribean Section, managed to stay off the beach long enough to earn a trip to the 3.0 National Championships. Forecasting a drastically different climate in both humidity and elevation, these competitors arrived in Tucson on Tuesday so they could get used to the conditions. “There is less humidity and a higher elevation here in Tucson, which really makes the ball travel much quick,” said team captain Rafael Soto. He went on to say, “overall, we’re just thrilled to be here, look forward to giving it our best shot and to making new friends.”
From Ocean to Dessert
|New England 3.0 Women Pose with Can of "Whoop (you know what)"!|
Playing together as a team for the first time this year, racing through an undefeated season, then charging through the USA Tennis New England Sectional Championships to earn a spot at this year’s 3.0 National Championships, let’s just say that the USA Tennis New England 3.0 Women from Rockland, Maine “got it going on!”
After earning a National Championship birth, their only obstacle, besides lack of time, was money. It takes a few spare pennies for an entire team of 10 women to travel from Maine to Arizona. NO PROBLEM! Centerd around a Main Event Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser, the 3.0 New England Sectional Women raised over $4,000! When asked what their secret to success is, team captain Marnie Read explains, “from day one, we have always carried a can of ‘Whoop (you know what)’ with us to every match! Before every match, we all put our hands on it and for good luck!” If you look closely, you can see this famous can of “Whoop (you know what)” in this photo.