The team from the Little League That Could
© Juan Ocampo/USTA
The Mid-Atlantic women’s team from Loudoun County, Va., has faced some major hurdles to get to Las Vegas for the 2008 USTA League Presented by Chrysler Adult 2.5 National Championships. Besides being mothers and teammates, the ladies had to ban together to form the Loudoun Tennis League in a short amount of time.
Due to a geographic realignment in their Section the women, were no longer eligible to compete as a team in the league they had been playing in. Rather than drop out of the USTA League program, a handful of women from the Ashburn, Va. area decided to create their own league to continue playing USTA League tennis.
Thus, the Loudoun Tennis League was born. They appropriately dubbed it as, “The Little League That Could”. And boy could they play as three women’s teams – 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 – were victorious at the Sectionals to reach their respective National Championships. Not bad for a first year league.
“Normally, a league takes six months to form,” said Mid-Atlantic captain Kerry Smith. “We wound up putting the league together in six weeks. The 3.5 team and Lyn Young (the area coordinator) helped make it work.”
Overall, the Mid-Atlantic women’s team has been together for three years in some form or another. Members have come and gone, but the 2008 edition has been together for a year and making its best run to-date. In the history of the team, they had never advanced past its league playoffs.
Not only did the women have the challenge of forming a new league and replacing players, but they have the pleasure of being a 10-person team with a total of 25 children amongst them.
“It is challenging, but we make it work,” noted Smith. “We have children ranging from one-year-old to 14.”
Most of the ladies picked up the game two-to-three years ago just looking for fun. But now it has become a family affair, as some of the children and even the husbands have picked up the game.
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