by Sarah Houseknecht, Special to USTA.com
Cayce, S.C. -- The Legends of Virginia Beach, formerly The Dream Team, are returning to USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships representing the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section for the second consecutive year.
Last year in Surprise, Ariz. the Mid-Atlantic team finished fourth in the 14 and under Advanced division. Many of the players could have continued on in 14s, but the group decided to move up together and have proven themselves in the 18U Advanced Division.
The eight-member roster is comprised of two 17-year-olds, one 16-year-old and a contingent of daring 13 and 14-year-olds ready to take on the older, more experienced competition. Despite the age difference, the group is confident they will have another strong showing at Nationals.
One player, Danika Kahatapitiya, agreed to play up with the 18U team so the group would have enough girls on the roster to compete. She competed for the DTA Grinders (Mid-Atlantic 14U) team during the JTT season, districts and sectionals. Shortly after agreeing to play with The Legends at Nationals, Danika found out her 14U team had been selected as a wild card for the 14U JTT Championship.
Danika stuck by her commitment to play with the 18s. Romesh Kahatapitiya, Danika’s brother, and the rest of the team held their own last week leading the DTA Grinders to a third place finish in the 14U Advanced Division – the only wild card to earn a spot in the four-team Championship bracket.
The Legends hope to match their 14s team’s stellar performance with a high finish of their own this weekend. The Mid-Atlantic squad will face Southern, Southwest and Caribbean in flight play to fight for placement in the playoff round.