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5.0 Adult - Latest News and Photos

by Nick Mazzella
September 25, 2005
USA LEAGUE TENNIS Women’s 5.0 Adult National Standings
Champion: Northern California – Portola Valley, California
2nd place: Midwest – Columbus, Ohio
3rd place: Southern – Memphis, Tennessee
4th place: Missouri Valley – Kansas City, Missouri

USA LEAGUE TENNIS Men’s 5.0 Adult National Standings
Champion: Midwest – Stow, Ohio
2nd place: Southern – Atlanta, Georgia
3rd place: Pacific Northwest – Omak, Washington
4th place: Southern California – Tarzana, California

Women's 5.0 National Champions from Portola Valley, California representing the NorCal Section© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo
Women’s National Champions from Alpine Hills Tennis Club, Portola Valley, California: Leslie Airola-Murreit, Michelle Ahlstrom (Captain), Shelly Sweeney, Anne Kerwin-Payne, Susan Knox, Tanya Gacs, Leslie O’Keefe, Lee Safran
Men's 5.0 National Champions from Stow, Ohio representing the Midwest Section© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo
Men’s National Champions Stow, Ohio: Front: Mark Florman, Shaun Keenan, Steve Kuri, Jamie Kish, Brian Banas (Captain). Back: Greg Llewellyn, Chris Klampe, Ryan Wenger


Women’s Finals
Portola, California defeated Columbus, Ohio, 3-0

Men’s Finals
Stow, Ohio defeated Atlanta, Georgia, 2-1

Women’s Semifinals
Portola, California defeated Memphis, Tennessee, 2-1
Columbus, Ohio defeated Kansas City, Missouri, 3-0
3rd place match:
Memphis, Tennessee defeated Kansas City, Missouri, 3-0

Men’s Semifinals
Stow, Ohio defeated Omak, Washington, 2-1
Atlanta, Georgia defeated Tarzana, California, 2-1
3rd place match:
Omak, Washington defeated Tarzana, California, 2-1

Saturday, September 24

Get Well Soon Mark
Florida’s team has something extra to play for this year; nine year teammate Mark Vansant, whose fantastic doubles play in sectionals was instrumental
Just because Mark couldn't be here in person, doesn't mean he can't be here in cardboard© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo
in getting this team into the National Championships, could not be with his friends and teammates this weekend.
Brian Smith trying to win one for his pal Mark© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo
Instead of playing the sport he loves in the desert heat, Mark is in the Intensive Care Unit, suffering from a 95% blocked carotid artery. The carotid arteries perform the task of carrying blood and oxygen from the heart to the brain. Team Florida, from Melbourn, and their Kiwi Club, who can empathize with hurricane victims, put on a fundraiser that raised $5,000 for Hurricane Katrina sufferers. The next day, Mark was in the ICU, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.

The Great Pyramid

New England Women’s team captain Vicki Hibbard is not only celebrating the 25th Anniversary of USA League Tennis, she is also celebrating her 50th birthday. The camaraderie and companionship between this group of women mask the fact that they have not been teammates for long; in fact, they have been playing against each other for years.

The New England Women hands down make the best pyramid in League Championship history© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo

This squad will rely on experience to succeed this weekend. Teammates Roberta Cullity and Nancy Grimes played together in the 1994 Nationals in New Orleans. Kristi Martin played with Vicki in 1998 in the New York Nationals. Christy Richenburg was here in Palm Springs two years ago playing in the National Championships, and last year, Anne Huemme was in Tucson competing for a title. Vicki praises and credits the USTA with being able to gather these competitive players from New Hampshire and Massachusetts to not only play against each other, but to play as a team as well.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Women from Rye, New York, will have to play without team captain Carolyn Cruz, who suffered a knee injury on Friday. Despite not being able to get on the court, Carolyn can be seen courtside cheering on her squad.

New York's Olga Harvey in a singles match saturday afternoon© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo

This is the Year!

GO GUSTIES!!!© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo

For the past six years, the Northern Men from Minneapolis were guaranteed to have an email waiting for them at the start of their season. This email, sent by team captain Ryan Haddorff, was short, sweet, and to the point: “this is the year.”

Northern Men's Adam Beduhn and Matt Lundmark© Betsy Bender/ Cynthia Lum Photo

The team has developed this email into their team motto; this maxim has motivated a group that has been so close in the past to making it to the National Championships only to get eliminated late in sectionals. Finally, after playing together for eight years, they are here. Interestingly enough, despite a ten year age difference between the youngest and oldest team member, all members of this Northern Men’s squad attended the same college, Gustavus Adolphus, in St. Peter, Minnesota. The Gusties are a division three powerhouse, led by legendary tennis coach Steve Wilkinson.

Friday, September 23

The Hotter, the Better

One would think that the Southern Californian Section would feel right at home with the National Championships being held in Southern California; however, the Women’s Team from San Diego begs to differ. Plagued with injuries, causing two of their singles players to miss this weekend’s tournament, and unaccustomed to the desert heat, this group of women will insist that they have no home court advantage whatsoever. On the other hand, Gary Cohen, captain of the Men’s Southwest Team from Tucson, Arizona, loves the hot and dry weather. The men from Tucson will try to use the heat, which they have been so accustomed to, to their advantage this weekend.

College teammates Jack Enfield and Mark Jariabka feel at home in the desert© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo

Simon Aldrich and Bob Morris are the top doubles team in New England© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo

Dynamic Duos

No doubt, doubles tennis is a physical and athletic sport, but New England’s Simon Aldrich and Bob Morris have more than just athleticism on their side. Bob Morris’ grandfather worked with Albert Einstein, and intelligence seems to run in the family. Their team captain points out that Bob’s intellect, combined with forty-nine year old Simon Aldrich’s experience and wisdom, makes this dynamic duo a formidable force in this year’s National Championship.

Team chemistry is also vital for doubles success; Tucson’s Jack Enfield and Mark Jariabka have been playing doubles tennis together since their days at the University of Arizona, which will undoubtedly help them succeed this weekend.

Powerful lefty Colin Campbell serves one up for the Mighty Mighty Pineapples © Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo

The Mighty Mighty Pineapples

Although none of the players on the Hawaiian Men’s Team were born in Hawaii, don’t think that this group lacks the Hawaiian spirit. Team captain George Wolf and the rest of the squad take pride in their team name, The Mighty Mighty Pineapples. While George and Joe Baldwin grew up in Southern California, Jeff Giesa played college tennis in Texas. The remaining two members, Frank Soler and Colin Campbell, were born in France and Britain respectively. The Hawaiians are indeed living up to their mighty name; this morning they held practice at 6:30 a.m. Pacific Time, 3:30 a.m. in Hawaii!

Travel Trouble

The Midwest Women from Columbus, Ohio have been playing together for three years, but the excitement and anticipation of playing in their first National Championship was temporarily put on hold.

The Midwest Women are happy to be out of the airports and on the courts© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo
After a few plane delays, including a smoking engine prior to takeoff, and bumper-to-bumper traffic, their sixteen hour travel day from Columbus to Palm Springs finally came to an end at the Riviera Resort and Racquet Club. It turned out the women from Ohio were not the only ones to have some travel trouble. Dan Brounstein, from the Northern Californian Men’s Section, saw hundreds of bags circle the baggage claim after his flight; unfortunately, his luggage was nowhere to be seen. Without a suitcase, extra clothing, or toiletries, Dan was forced to purchase a toothbrush, borrow a hat from teammate Eric Nguyen, and sport the fine looking USA League Tennis 25th Anniversary shirt.

Despite plane problems, the Midwest Women are all smiles© Betsy Bender/Cynthia Lum Photo

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