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4.5 Adult - Latest News and Photos

by: Grant Chambers

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Sunday - October 9
Congratulations to the following teams for their outstanding performance, persaverance and determination!
Men's Final - Southern California - Ventura County, Calif. d. Mid Atlantic - Richmond, Virg., 4-1
Men's 3rd/4th Playoff - Missouri Valley - Kansas City, Missouri d. Caribbean - Hatillo, Puerto Rico, 3-2
Women's Final - Eastern - Rye, NY d. Missouri Valley - Shawnee Mission,
Missouri, 4-1
Women's 3rd/4th Playoff - Southern California - San Diego, Calif. d. Intermountain - Denver, Col., 4-1

1st Place Men - Southern California
Front row (left to right): Brian Stuart, Lon S. Shapiro, David Bryant, David Kenney (Captain), John Stanford, Alan Hopkins
Back row (left to right): Jonathan Gerlach, Matt Suderman, Andrew Stanley, Peter Gerlach

1st Place 4.5 Women - Eastern
(left to right): Michele Spano, Carol Powers, Anne-Marie Pensanti, Janet Dooley, Deborah Larkin, Tracy Eck (Captain), Kathryn Spain Miles

2nd Place 4.5 Men - Mid Atlantic
Front row (left to right): Will Kaufmann, Ben Hall, Hoppy Shores, Bill Barnes (Captain), P.A. Perry, Mathew Hopke
Back row (left to right): Thomas Bailey, John DePew, Joe Cole, Steve Sedlock, Mutch Mauck

2nd Place 4.5 Women - Missouri Valley
Front row (left to right): Shari Hockenbery, Becky Wassmer, Michelle Clark, Patty Falke (Captain), Jackie Gehrke, Janet Wear, Andrea Wolfe
Back row (left to right): Jennifer Geary

3rd Place 4.5 Men - Missouri Valley
Front row (left to right): Michael Colbert (Captain), Axel Novion, Bob Dickerson, Ben De Jesus, Jarrod Eyler
Back row (left to right): Matt Roth, Brent Filbert, Matt Hermstedt, Mark Jones

3rd Place Women - Southern California
Front row (left to right): Nancy Abler-Sanchez, Melinda Ainslie-Murray, Darice Carnaje, Masako Beppu (Captain), Linda Bray
Back row (left to right: Shinobu Omori, Virginia Blanchard, Pamela Seggerman, Deborah Linder

4th Place Men - Caribbean
Front row (left to right): Luis Colon (Captain), Orlando Rivera, Giancario Salguero, Marcelo Roca, Shandor Kiss, Edwin Irizarry-Lugo
Back row (left to right): Ricardo Quintero, David Bermudez, Immer Irizarry

4th Place 4.5 Women - Intermountain
Front row (left to right): Janet McNutt, Myriam Ogden, Robin Dann (Captain), Myki McNutt (the little one!), Lisa Carpenter, Cindy Mclemore
Back row (left to right): Mara Vernon, Peggy Seyfert, Leslie Hanna

Saturday Night Fever!
If you've ever been to a league sectional or national event, you know what Saturday night means.....Par-TAY! Players, friends, family and supporters gathered tonight at the DoubleTree Ballroom for the 4.5 Adult USA League Tennis National Championships party! And as you can see below, a good time was had by all. A special thank you to HEAD/Penn Racket Sports and representative Jen Parker for providing a ton of prizes (bags, fleece blankets, hats....) for tonight's party! They have been a sponsor of USA League Tennis for 18 years.

Hats off to DJ-Warren B., an INCREDIBLE DJ from Tucson, Arizona (520-406-2803), who held a crowded dance floor for 3 solid hours! We were all so impressed by his energy and tasteful involvement that helped keep things rock'in!

Saturday, October 8 - evening update
After a day of top-notch tennis, the semifinal rounds are set for Championship Sunday:
Men's Semifinals
Mid Atlantic vs
Missouri Valley
Southern California vs Caribbean
Women's Semifinals
Missouri Valley vs Intermountain
Southern California vs Eastern

Saturday, October 8
Day 2 of the 4.5 Adult USA League Tennis Championships is underway at Randolph Tennis Center in Tucson, Arizona. In the men's division, day 1 produced several undefeated teams including Mid Atlantic (2-0), New England (2-0), Southern California (2-0), Missouri Valley (2-0) and the Caribbean Section (2-0). In the women's competition, Northern, Texas, Florida, Southern California, Eastern and Northern California all remain undefeated (1-0) and in the hunt for a spot in Sunday's final 4!

Tennis Legend Stan Smith in Tucson Watching Wife Margie
Tennis Legend Stan Smith with wife Margie, member of the 4.5 women's team representing the USTA Southern Section

Judy Levering - A True Tennis Ambassador

Judy Levering - former USTA President and member of Southern women's 4.5 team
Judy Levering, member of the Southern 4.5 Women's team competing this weekend, has been around tennis for a long time. For years and years, she has voluntered her time, her soul and her energy to a sport that she so dearly loves and believes in. Perhaps most notably, Judy served as the first woman President of the USTA from 1999 - 2000. As President of the USTA, Levering oversaw a greater focus on grassroots programming, promoting the growth of tennis nationwide. Her leadership, insight and experience saw the USTA through many changes within the sport of tennis, both community based and at the professional level.

Judy continues to devote her life to tennis in many ways. Two of her most important associations continue to be the USTA Tennis & Education Foundation, a not-for-profit entity that is dedicated to improving the quality of life among our nation’s youth, and the US Open Court of Champions, which she founded as a way to salute the tournament’s all-time greatest champions with individual permanent monuments housed on the grounds of the USTA National Tennis Center. She stated, "the USTA Tennis & Education Foundation is our way to reach at-risk children through tennis in order to stress education. There are so many life lessons they are able to learn through tennis that they would most likely not learn otherwise." Regarding the Court of Champions, she commented, "Because of our past champions, the US Open has grown into what it is today - an incredibly successful and profitable event."

We're thrilled to have Mrs. Levering here with us this weekend at the 4.5 Adult USA League Tennis National Championships! Her Southern women's 4.5 team is undefeated and in the hunt for a spot on Championship Sunday. Before her 3rd round match, she commented, "USA League Tennis is the USTA's #1 program. It provides a team format, which is extremely fun for the players."

We asked Judy what her two most memorable moments as USTA President were...
#1 - The hiring of a Chief Executive of Professional Tennis (Arlen Kantarian), which has proven to be very successful.
#2 - Helping to name Arthur Ashe Stadium. She stated, "It was either going to be called the USTA Stadium, take on some corporate sponsor's name or be named after Arthur Ashe. We are so luck that Arthur was a tennis player. His example, who he was and how he approached adversity was astonishing."
Judy Levering - Day 1 action

A brief synopsis of Judy's great tennis accomplishments:
Judy Levering's service to tennis started when she founded the Lancaster Pennsylvania Tennis Patrons and a Lancaster National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) program. She served on numerous USTA committees such as the Youth Development Steering, Junior Tennis Council, USTA/NJTL, and Awards. She was a committee chair for both the USTA Education and Recreational Tennis (1989-92) and USTA Community Development (1989-90)

Working with the USTA Middles States section, Levering became the section's president in 1989. She was designated USTA Middle States Delegate to the USTA Executive Committee (1993-94) leading to her 1994 election to the USTA Board of Directors as a Director at Large overseeing the USTA Finance Division.

In 1997, Levering was elected to a 2-year term on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Committee of Management, becoming the first woman in many years to serve so high a capacity with the governing body of tennis. And, in 1999 Levering was elected a Vice President of the ITF.

Levering is a previous winner of the USTA Community Service Award (1988) and the Service Bowl (1995) awarded annually to the person who "makes the most notable contribution to the sportsmanship, fellowship and service of tennis." In recognition of her sectional contributions to the game, Levering was inducted into the USTA Middle States Hall of Fame in 2000.

Staying Fit - It's a Positive Lifestyle
Tracy Eck and Marcia Pflug, co-captains of the Eastern women's 4.5 team from Rye, NY, are two of the most fit women competing this weekend. Judging from the photo below, you'd think they were involved in professional athletics of some sort, but for both, staying in shape is a way of life. Marcia stated, "exercise and fitness is the best way to relieve stress and stay balanced. Beyond the physical benefits, it helps you deal with day-to-day situations in a positive way." Tracy added, "fitness does help extend the career of an athlete, at any level of play."

Marcia Pflug (left) and Tracy Eck (right) - co-captains of the Eastern 4.5 women's team
Both women are married and have three children. Tracy has a 15, 13 and 7 year old. Marcia has a 15, 13, and 10 year old. They both extend their fitness teachings and habits to their children. Marcia commented, "fitness is by far a better way for a young person to deal with stress, than drugs or alcohol, which are the absolute worst."

Their fitness is paying off this weekend as their team is currently undefeated heading into the 3rd round having already posted wins against the Pacific Northwest women's team (4-1) and the New England women's team (4-1). They will face off against undefeated Northern California this afternoon. The winner will advance to Championship Sunday!

Sprinkles in Tucson Delay Tournament

It doesn't rain too much in Tucson, but today was an exception. As the first real signs of fall arrived, temperatures cooled and a little rain fell on us. Play was delayed for about an hour before the sun came back out, the courts were dried and play resumed!

Function before Fashion
The 4.5 players are known for getting down to business here at Nationals. You won't see many team uniforms, matching hats, team chants or even funky team names. But there IS always an exception. Shown here, the Northern 4.5 men's team from Minneapolis, Minnesota, found a little time to cut loose, going with the "natural" team uniforms!
Northern 4.5 men's team cool'in off!© Cynthia Lum Photography


Firday, October 7
The 2005 4.5 Adult USA League Tennis Championships are underway in sunny Tucson, Arizona! Being held at the Randolph Tennis Center, one of the premier public tennis facilities in the country, temperatures are expected to reach 100 degrees today and tomorrow, with the potential for cooler temperatures on Sunday. Stay tuned for news, scores and more info!

Triple "J" - Mother - Daughter - Daughter Team Looking for 1st National Title
Joan Wieden (middle) with daughters Jessie (left) and Julie (right)

Collectively, The Wieden family has played a lot of tennis. This year is no exception as the Mother-Daughter-Daughter team of Joan, Jessie and Julie Wieden find themselves at Nationals for the 3rd time. Five years ago, they attended the 4.0 Adult National Championships, then last year the 4.5 Adult National Championships, and now this year, as members of the Northern 4.5 women's team from Minneapolis, Minn., they're here competing again at the 4.5 level.

This morning, Joan and Jessie teamed up to play doubles against the Hawaii women's team while Julie sweated it out playing singles. The team won 3-2. When asked to briefly talk about their experience at nationals, as a family, they had this to say:

Joan - "It is so wonderful to be playing with my daughters. We have a great time."
Jessie - "It is really nice to come here to nationals as a team and it is so nice to be here playing with family"
Julie - "It's fun to play with family. We really know each other's game, what shots we can hit, what shot we might hit next...."

Look out for these women next year. Although we may have to call them the Quadruple "J" team as the third sister/daughter Jenna becomes eligible later this year!

It's Family time at Nationals for the Watanabe's
Peggy Watanabe, member of the Women's 4.5 team from Honolulu, HI, has made her trip to nationals a family affair! Her husband, Gerald, daughter Alyssa (4) and son Ryan (18 months) all made the trek across the Pacific Ocean to support Peggy and the Hawaii team. She stated, "this is our first time to come to Nationals. It is really fun to be here!" She went on to say, "Tennis is such a great sport with so many social benefits. I enjoy the friendship's I have made with my teammates."

Back home, Peggy is an RN working in the surgery department while her husband owns his own practice as an Internal Medicine Physician.
Watanabe family from Honolulu, Hawaii

Tim Scott - Standing Tall
Tim Scott - 4.5 Middle States men's team

Tim Scott is the tallest tennis player at this weekend's 4.5 Adult USA League Tennis National Championships. Standing tall at 6' 6", you can probably guess that Tim has a killer serve, and is hard to lob. Tim plays #1 singles for the Middle States 4.5 Men's team from South New Jersey. At the age of 22, Tim is a teaching professional at the Health Plex Sports Club in New Jersey. His view on tennis - "Tennnis takes a lot of pride and you really have to be in good shape! It's a great game."

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