Kelly Castronovo (left) sings to her teammates at the 3.5 Adult player party.
© Andrew Ong
Kerry (right) and Kelly on court during a match.
© ANDREW ONG PHOTOGRAPHY
By Matt Birch, special to USTA.com
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Whether they are playing tennis, singing or dancing, the women representing the Florida section at this weekend’s USTA Adult League 3.5 National Championships know how to be successful and have a good time.
Captain Lisa Weiler’s team from Naples, Fla., features a unique roster of multi-talented individuals, including a mother-and-daughter combination who sing professionally, in addition to their talents in tennis.
Kerry Castronovo got her daughter Kelly involved in singing and tennis at a young age, and the two now perform duets together as a group named It Takes Two, in addition to playing together on the same tennis team.
Kerry talked about what it is like to be able to share these musical and athletic experiences with her daughter.
"Kelly is my daughter and my best friend. We have been so blessed to be on the same tennis team together for three years, and we were even doubles partners until about six months ago. We have a blast together, and we are both very competitive, on and off the court."
Kelly, a third grade teacher, has had great success this season on the court playing singles competition and has also tried to launch a singing career, having auditioned for both "American Idol" and "The Voice."
Success in tennis runs throughout this family, as Kerry’s husband and oldest son are both USTA-certified tennis pros, and her youngest son also plays and practices with the family.
The singing group took off a few years ago after Kelly finished college, and the pair performs a few nights a week at various country clubs and other venues in Florida. Whenever It Takes Two has a public performance, the entire tennis team comes out to watch their teammates perform on stage.
"The whole team always comes and supports us," Kerry said. "They are awesome and are so supportive. They dance the whole night and cheer us on and are our biggest fans. We are their biggest fans, too, and we love that they support us."
Kerry also shares a unique connection with teammate Ginny Benecke. The two grew up together in New Jersey, and both moved to Florida around the same time. They have been friends since their childhood and still remain close today as tennis teammates.
Kelly also spoke about the bond shared by her team and the fun that they have together.
"We’re always the first ones to get on a dance floor and the last to leave. We have a lot of variety in different ages, and yet we are all so close."
Regardless of the outcome on the courts this weekend, one thing that is certain is that these Florida ladies will be having a good time.