Latest News from the 2003 USA League Tennis 4.0 Adult National Championships presented by Lincoln
by: Grant Chambers
Sunday, October 26, 2003
RENO, NEV., WOMEN and FAIRFAX, VA., MEN WIN NATIONAL TITLE!
|Northern California 4.0 Women Win National Crown!© Cynthia Lum|
The women representing the Northern California Section and the men from the Mid-Atlantic Section prevailed this weekend, both winning the 2003 USA League Tennis 4.0 Adult National Championship.
The women from Reno, Nev., clinched with a 3-2 defeat of Texas’s Houston squad. With the team matches tied at 2-2, and the final match tied at one set each, Reno came through in a 3rd set tiebreaker (10-8) for a thrilling, down-to-the-wire victory. Their road to the National Championship was highlighted with a bold 3-2 semi-final victory over the Mid-Atlantic team Virginia Beach, Va. “We have worked to get to this point for the last five years,” said team co-captain Laura Thrower. Co-captain Carol Tretten went on to say, “We’ve had only eight players the entire season through local, district and sectional playoffs! To win the national championships with these same eight team members is amazing!” PHOTO ORDER: (L to R) Lisa Abbott, Alice Moy, Carol Tretten, Lisa Menante, Laura Thrower, Darcel Prescott, Jeanette Berry, Emily Mason.
The Mid-Atlantic men from Fairfax, Va., captured the national championship in a thriller 3-2 victory over the Texas Section team from Dallas. In their semi-final round, held earlier in the day, Fairfax, Va., defeated Freemont, Calif., to advance to the finals. “This the most exciting and proud moment I have had since serving as a U.S. Marine,” stated team captain Wayne Mansulla. He went on to say, “Our team is a diverse group of individuals coming together for one purpose.” PHOTO ORDER: (Front Row, L to R) Eric Geshekter, Charles Tellis, Jonathan Santos, Vu Hoang. (Back Row, L to R) Christian Galarza, John Feigert, Jeffery Davis, Wayne Mansulla, Gene Garner, Jeff Pribram, Jonathan Shames, John Rose, Michael Velchik, Valentin Agbetoglo.
|Mid Atlantic 4.0 Men Win National Championship!© Cynthia Lum|
Reno, Nev., def. Houston, 3-2
Fairfax, Va., def. Dallas, 3-2
Reno, Nev., def. Virginia Beach, Va., 3-2
Houston def. El Monte, Calif., 3-2
3rd place match:
Virginia Beach, Va., def. El Monte, Calif., 5-0
Fairfax, Va., def. Freemont, Calif., 4-1
Dallas def. El Paso, Texas, 4-1
3rd place match:
Freemont, Calif., def. El Paso, Texas, 3-2
|Mid Atlantic women dedicate trip to nationals to team member Winnie Marguart© Cynthia Lum|
“Winners for Winnie”
This year’s 4.0 women representing the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section are dedicating their trip to nationals to team member Winnie Marguart. Winnie was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, and due to stages of treatment, was not able to travel with the team to nationals. “Our entire trip to nationals is dedicated to Winnie,” says team captain Russie Snyder. Through each day, the team has worn pink ribbons in support of Winnie and other women who battle with breast cancer.
Saturday Night Fever!
Over 300 players and supporters attended Saturday night’s Halloween themed festival at the Double Tree Hotel. The event featured a fabulous three-course meal, fantastic music and dancing and an abundance of gifts and prizes including top-of-the-line watches from Citizen Watch Company and various clothing and equipment from Lincoln and Penn Racquet Sports. Lincoln is the presenting sponsor and official vehicle of USA League Tennis. Penn Racquet Sports, the world’s leading manufacturer of tennis balls, is in its 16th year as the official ball of USA League Tennis. The Citizen Watch Company celebrates its eighth year as a USTA Corporate Champion and as sponsor of USA League Tennis.
Check out these wacky and crazy pictures from Saturday night!
|Dave Schobel, Tournament Director and Director of Competitive Play for the USTA dances the night away!© Cynthia Lum|
|(left to right) Julian and Gloria Axelrod, Linda and Jay Huber|
|Dracula (Middle States 4.0 men's captain Ken Palumbo) poses with two unidentified party go'ers© Cynthia Lum|
|Southwest 4.0 women's team captain Charlotte S. Johnson "get's down" Saturday night!© Cynthia Lum|
|Caribbean captain Humberto Negron© Cynthia Lum|
Caribbean Team Always Has a Good Time
“If you win, you party very hard, but if you lose, you just party hard!” That’s the team motto of the 4.0 Caribbean men from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. For most players on the team, this was their first trip to a national championships. “This is a dream for us to reach a national championships,” stated interim captain Humberto Negron who is competing in his second nationals. He went on to say, “We’ve had a great time hanging out with each other and meeting new people this weekend.”
|Northern Men's Doubles Team Tracy Saloka (left) and Mike Johnson (right) © Cynthia Lum|
Saturday, October 25, 2003
In Tennis, Fashion Does Matter
It is very common to see a doubles team wear matching outfits. It promotes teamwork, togetherness, professionalism, strategy, strength and more. The following is an extreme example of this, or possibly the exact opposite. Tracy Saloka and Mike Johnson of the Northern 4.0 men’s team from Minneapolis decided to spice up their 3rd round doubles match with Halloween themed matching skeleton outfits! These “get-up’s” definitely promoted strength, togetherness and maybe a little distraction and laughter too!
East Meets West…Surprise!
Bob Philipson, member of the Eastern 4.0 men’s team, and wife Gael arrived in Tucson on Thursday, relaxed a bit and were ready to turn in for the evening when a mysterious knock on their door sounded. “Surprise!” said daughters Alyssa and Amanda Philipson who had arrived from California, unannounced, to cheer their father on this weekend. The entire Philipson family are longtime USTA members and tennis advocates. Father Bob is competing in his fifth national championships while daughter Alyssa is the USA Team Tennis Coordinator for the USTA Southern California Section. “It’s great to have my daughters and wife here to support me,” said Mr. Philipson.
“Girls Night Out” Concept Takes Midwest Women All the Way to Nationals
|Midwest 4.0 Women are Tennis version of "Chicago"|
The 4.0 Midwest women from Chicago are definitely in the running for “the most energetic”, “best looking”, and “most outgoing” awards at this weekend’s national championships. In the photo to your right, they show off their custom made, “Served Dry” martini team tee-shirts. Interesting enough, these women formed their team around the idea of “girls night out.” This fun-filled formula must work as it has taken them all the way to nationals. Team captain Melissa Kress states, “We’ve had a blast all season long. This is the best team here regardless of whether we win or lose!”
Florida Women Showing Team Spirit
By the skin of their chins, the Florida women pulled out their fifth and deciding match at sectionals in a 3rd set tiebreaker to earn the rights to represent
USA Tennis Florida Section at the 4.0 National Championships this weekend. Just because they didn’t drive their own cars from Florida didn’t mean these spunky women couldn’t show some team spirit! Check out what they did to their rental car, shown in the photo here! “We have a great group of girls and this is beyond our imagination,” stated team captain Lora Crone.
|Florida Women Showing Some Spirit!|
Japanese Family Makes First Trip to Out West
About one year ago, Chiyoko Ogasawara, team member of the 4.0 Midwest Women, moved with her family from Nagoye, Japan to the United States as her husband Kazuo took a position with Toyoda, an auto parts engineering firm. Husband Kazuo and their two children, Yuki (age 7) and Yoshiki (age 9), decided to make the trip out west to cheer on Nagoye and her team at this year’s national championships. Sadly, the Ogasawara family will move back to Japan in two years, after Kazuo’s work term is finished.
|Ogasawara Family's First Trip Out West|
|Players scope the competition of 34 teams from around the country.|
Friday, October 24, 2003
Some 34 Adult 4.0 sectional champion teams from across the country began their quest for a national title today at Randolph Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz.
Desert temperatures are beginning to cool with the high for today reaching 96.
|Middle States men had the bare minimum show up|
The Middle States 4.0 men’s captain Ken Palumbo found himself and his team in a scary situation yesterday as several teammates had to cancel their national trip for various reasons. Teams need eight players to fill all three lines of doubles and two lines of singles for each team match. By the skin of their chin, eight players (out of 21 on the roster) showed up to play! “We’re just going to make the best of it and have fun,” stated Captain Palumbo.
|This team make-up includes 12 different nationalities!|
It’s always interesting to find the most diverse and international team at national championships. So far, this weekends winner are the 4.0 men representing the Northern California Section. Their team is made up of American, Korean, Pilipino, Chinese, German, Irish, Pakistani, Indian, Vietnamese, Uranium, F
rench, and Hungarian nationalities. For those not counting, that’s a whopping 12 nationalities!
|The NorCal men bring out the wine bottle trick...|
The Good’ole Wine Trick
These NorCal men come prepared for each match with a bottle of wine for their opponents, compliments of their hometown Fremont Tennis Center. Captain “
Greg Blatnik says, “We bring this gift to all of our opponents. We try to make them drink it before the dual, but than usually doesn’t work!”
These 4.0 women representing the USTA Eastern Section picked up a new nickname on the way back home after capturing their sectional title to earn a
birth in the national championships. Before boarding the plane, they just started screaming with contined joy and excitement. They were screaming so loudly that security came rushing over as they thought something was wrong! Thus, the nickname "Eastern Screamers" was officially born!
“The Rookies” Looking to Go All The Way!
|"The Rookies" from Providence, RI look to continue their run|
This year’s 4.0 men’s team from Providence, R.I., didn’t expect to be here. At least not until they formed their team for the first season this past Spring. “The Rookies” raged through their local and sectional competition with a stunning 17-1 record. Captain Ron Marocco states, “We didn’t have high expectations going into this season as our team had never played together before. We’ve had a blast on our journey to nationals and hope to keep it rolling!” Most of the team members are employees of ForeCourt Tennis center including brothers Dave and Bryan Morin who oversee operations. ForeCourt has over 3,000 members and over 500 participants in their adult and junior programs. They would like to thank their gracious membership for all of their kind donations. Visit the ForeCourt website at www.forecourtri.com .