By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Mid-Atlantic Section 7.0 team from Rockville, Md. and the Caribbean Section 2.5 Section team from San Lorenzo, P.R. finished a great weekend of tennis by capturing their respective titles at the 2012 USTA League 2.5, 7.0, 9.0 Mixed Doubles Championships.
Later in the afternoon, the Texas Section from Houston took home the 9.0 Mixed Doubles National Title as they defeated Mid-Atlantic in the 9.0 final, 2-1.
On a beautiful, sunny day at the El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort, Mid-Atlantic scored a narrow 2-1 victory over the Northern California Section team from Folsom, Calif.
Northern California won the No. 3 doubles in straight sets, but Mid-Atlantic took the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles in third-set match tiebreaks to win the 7.0 Mixed Doubles National Championship.
The Mid-Atlantic team is led by Captain Tippavan Hodges and includes Raymond Canaria, Terry Childs, Steven Dunne, Amy Walker, Loc-Anh Nguyen-Khoa, and Kim Tolbert.
This was the third time Hodges brought a 7.0 Mixed Doubles team to League Nationals and after failing to reach the semifinals on the previous two occasions, she said it felt good to break through and win the title.
"This year was awesome. It’s unbelievable. I have to give credit to our players. They did a great job," Hodges said. "They wanted to win and everyone did it. It’s an amazing team. I never thought we would do it."
Mid-Atlantic def. Northern California, 2-1
No. 1 Doubles: Loc-Anh Nguyen-Khoa / Rani Jeeva (Mid-Atlantic) def. Kris Jomlin / Christina Parsons (Northern California), 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (8)
No. 2 Doubles: Raymond Canaria / Alma Canaria (Mid-Atlantic) def. David Barzaga / Melissa Sloan (Northern California), 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (8)
No. 3 Doubles: Anthony Curso / Angela McKee (Northern California def. Terry Childs / Kevin Carroll (Mid-Atlantic), 7-6, 7-6
Caribbean Cruises to 2.5 Mixed Doubles Title
The Caribbean Section team swept five flight matches and finished the weekend with a sparkling 5-0 record to win the 2.5 Mixed Doubles title. Earlier today, they defeated the Mid-Atlantic Section, 3-0 in their final flight match.
In dominating the 2.5 competition in convincing fashion, the Caribbean Section won 15 consecutive individual matches and lost only one set on their way to winning the National Championship.
The team is led by Captain Augusto Flores and includes: Yahaira Ponce Lozada, Emely Medina, Ricardo Ferrer, Edwin Andre Ramos Merced, Orlando Flecha, Vilmaliz Rodriguez, Carlos Rodriguez and Mariely Rivera (Co-Captain).
According to Caribbean team member Ricardo Ferrer the key to winning the 2.5 championship was the stellar play of the team’s female players.
"Our girls are awesome. Mixed doubles is a game that really depends on them," Ferrer said. "They run on the court and they’re very skilled and it makes our job easier for the boys on the team."
Texas Wraps Up 9.0 Championship
After defeating the Eastern Section 9.0 team 2-1 in an early morning semifinal, the Texas team got past the Mid-Atlantic Section team from Annapolis, Md., 2-1.
The team is led by Captain Anh Truong and includes: James Bui, Hung Nguyen, Pia-Alexandra Vantho, Jordan McCombs, So Youn Youn and Tuan Tran.
With the team score tied at 1-1, Bui and McCombs combined to defeat Mid-Atlantic’s Ray Steward and Eve Helmer, 6-4, 0-6, 1-0 (8) in the No. 2 doubles to clinch the championship.
"It feels really good to bring a team, play good tennis and win Nationals," Truong said. "We expected to do well but there was no pressure on anyone. We played our game and played our best."
Championship: Texas (Houston, Texas) def. Mid-Atlantic (Annapolis, Md.), 2-1
Third Place: Eastern (Rye, N.Y.) def. Southern California (Upland, Calif.), 2-1
Semifinal 1: Texas (Houston, Texas) def. Eastern (Rye, N.Y.), 2-1
Semifinal 2: Mid-Atlantic (Annapolis, Md.) def. Southern California (Upland, Calif.), 2-1
Championship: Mid-Atlantic (Rockville, Md.) def. Northern California (Folsom, Calif.), 2-1
Third Place: Caribbean (San Juan, P.R.) def. Southwest (El Paso, Texas), 2-1
Semifinal 1: Northern California (Folsom, Calif.) def. Southwest (El Paso, Texas), 2-1
Semifinal 2: Mid-Atlantic (Rockville, Md.) def. Caribbean (San Juan, P.R.), 2-1
Final 2.5 Mixed Doubles Standings
Caribbean (San Lorenzo, P.R.) 5 0
Northern California (Oakland, Calif.) 4 1
Southern (Mandeville, La.) 2 3
Mid-Atlantic (Columbia, Md.) 2 3
Florida (Ocala, Fla.) 2 3
Midwest (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) 0 5