5.0 Adult Eastern Women
© Joe Murphy
By Jenna Higueras, USTA.com
Sometimes when you want things done right, you have to do it yourself.
That’s exactly what Gina-Marie McNulty did when there was no USTA 5.0 Women’s team in Long Island, N.Y.
McNulty, who manages a Long Island tennis club, took it upon herself to create one. Fortunately she had a deep pool of multi-talented players to choose from.
She was able to hand-pick her 5.0 “Dream Team,” which includes Roslyn Chua-Mcalonie and Renee Lemmerman, who played together on another USTA league team; Sarah Pestieau, a former collegiate tennis players at Stanford University; Anna Konopka, a native of Belarus and Valerie Alliger-Borad, a member at McNulty’s tennis club.
Even though her 5.0 team was complete, McNulty’s job as team captain was not finished. She still had to find other teams to compete with and field a league.
“We had no one to play against, because the 5.0 league fell apart on Long Island,” McNulty said. “So I asked our league coordinator if she could try and pull together some college kids and some teams. She did and she found two other teams for us to play against.”
The team went undefeated on Long Island and advanced to their first USTA League 5.0 Adult National Championships with a win over Westchester County in the Eastern Sectional Championship.
In celebration and preparation for their cross country trip to Indian Wells, the team bought McNulty a special gift.
“They bought me hot pink luggage,” she said. “We love pink. These girls love pink.”
The luggage must have been a good luck charm, since the Long Island women went 2-0 on Friday as they defeated Missouri Valley and Middle States without dropping match.
In their first match on Saturday, the squad faced the only other undefeated team in their flight, the wild card from Southern California. They split the two doubles matches, but Mcalonie took the deciding singles match in straight sets to improve the team’s record to 3-0.
The women from Long Island will play the USTA Intermountain Section later this afternoon in their quest to clinch a spot Sunday’s semifinals.