Leslie Norwalk made it in time to cheer on her team at Nationals.
© Kent Horner
By Jessica Laurelle Hall, special to USTA.com
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The USTA Mid-Atlantic women’s 18 & Over 4.5 team is comprised of 10 players who have been playing together for four years. But at the USTA National Championships this weekend, one vital member of the team was missing: Leslie Norwalk.
The 47-year-old had been traveling in Asia a week prior to Nationals and decided not to make the trip to Tucson. But at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, the second day of competition, Norwalk received a call from her teammates that their squad had advanced to the final.
Thirty-five minutes later, Norwalk was on a plane from D.C. to Tucson. She competed in the 2011 Nationals and made it in time this year to cheer for her team as it captured the 2013 USTA League 18 & Over 4.5 National title.
“I was driving in the car after playing tennis when I received the call that my team had made it to the finals,” Norwalk said. “Within 30 minutes I was able to book a flight, rush to the airport and be on my way to Tucson.”
Norwalk is among a few members of the Mid-Atlantic women’s team who make up the “Hard Core Crew.” The crew competes together six days a week as well as watches tennis on TV together multiple times a week.
“I couldn’t let my crew down by not showing up to the finals,” Norwalk said. “They think I’m a good luck charm to the team, so they were delighted to see that I could make it for the finals.”
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