By Blake Grimsley, USTA.com
Pat Berger and her Missouri Valley teammates are taking advantage of the opportunity to play at the Super Senior National Championships
SURPRISE, Ariz. – When Pat Berger and her teammates from St. Louis lost a bid to advance on to the USTA League Super Senior National Championships in August, the team was obviously down about the defeat. They had been just one third set tiebreaker from punching their tickets to Surprise, Ariz. to play at the 6.0 Championships.
“Our match to advance to the championships came down to a third set tiebreaker against a team from Nebraska,” said Berger. “Unfortunately we fell in the deciding set and were really disappointed because we knew how close we were.”
After the loss, Berger wrote herself a post-it note that read “Super Senior Nationals, April 22-25, 2010, Surprise, Arizona” in hopes that a wild card spot would possibly open up.
“I’m a very optimistic person in general and knew that sometimes teams are unable to compete at the championships and teams advance as wild cards,” said Berger.
Berger was presently “Surprised” when she was contacted by USTA officials explaining that a team could not make the trip to Surprise, Ariz. and that her St. Louis team would be awarded a spot at nationals if the team was interested.
“The USTA said they needed at least six team members confirmed to play if we were going to be the wild card team,” said Berger. “I then immediately sent an email to my teammates asking if they were available to participate. The USTA only gave us 24 hours to respond.”
After receiving confirmation from her teammates that they would in fact like to play at the championships, Berger responded back to the USTA with an emphatic YES.
“Everyone loves surprises and our team intends to make the most of this great opportunity to have fun, play tennis, meet new players and of course, win!”
As the Missouri Valley team hailing from St. Louis, Berger and her mates aptly named their team “The Gateway Wild Women.”
Today, playing as the Missouri Valley wildcard 6.0 women’s team, the ladies fell to the Southern women, 3-0.
“Things didn’t turn out the way we wanted today, but we’ll be back again tomorrow to give it our all,” added Berger.