Day Three action got underway at the Hilton Waikoloa Village with two sections having the opportunity to win dual men’s and women’s championships — Texas and Northern California. But it wasn’t to be as the Texas women lost in the semifinals to NorCal, who went on to lose by 3-points to Puerto Rico in the championships. On the men’s side, Texas went all the way to top beating Midwest and Norcal along the way. NorCal’s men and women both took second while Texas finished first and fourth. A good showing for both sections!
|Puerto Rico Wins© Cynthia Lum|
The Tough Road
To Hawaii From Small Waco, Texas
The 2006 men’s USTA league championship team from Waco, Texas was 3-points from elimination in the Texas sectional championships before pulling out two three-set tiebreakers to beat Corpus Christi. The feels proud to be have been able to represent the Lone Star state and beating the tough competition in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Corpus Christi to get here. Now, they can add to that list, the other 16 sections. Congratulations Texas!
Amy Yee’s Legacy Lives At 4.0 Nationals
Legendary PNW tennis player and coach Amy Yee would be proud of the Pacfic Northwest men’s team representing the facility named after her.
PNW coach Roger Mark actually started his playing career under the tutelage of Yee. “The two things she instilled in all of her students was the love of the game and she made everyone feel special,” said Mark.
Facility general manager Roger Yamaguchi, who was also with the team, took his first lessons from Yee’s son and nephew.
Assistant coach Duong Dao has traveled to nationals with an Amy Yee Tennis Center team in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Yee died of lupus disease in 2000. She is remembered as an ambassador to tennis, a patient teacher, and a loving mentor. Over her lifetime, she introduced thousands of Seattle-area kids and adults to the sport of tennis. In 2002, Seattle Parks and Recreation renamed the Seattle Tennis Center the Amy Yee Tennis Center in her honor. In 2005, the facility was named the 2005 USTA Member Organization of the Year.
Many Nationalities, One Common Sport
|Pacific Northwest Men© Cynthia Lum|
The Seattle men’s tennis team boasts at least eight different nationalities — Chinese, Phillipino, American, Norwegian, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian and Russian. There is also one from a place called “Spokanie” Nobody was quite sure of that origin.
Day two play at the 2006 USTA League Tennis 4.0 Adult National Championship started at 7:00 AM this morning. Bright and early for the Hawaiian teams but early afternoon for New England, Eastern and somewhere in-between for all the rest.
|Hawaii Women© Cynthia Lum|
Hawaiian Hosts…The men’s and women’s teams from Hawaii are glad to have the chance to have the National Championships in their home state and welcome everyone Hawaiian-style with the “real” Shakas!
Home of premium wines, world famous apples and tennis
Wenatchee, Washington is a a small rural town located in the center of Washington state. In fact, Wenatchee is so small that when they refer to a traffic jam, it means there are 4 cars at a traffic light.
Prior to the 2006 National League season, the town was known for its premium wines and world famous apples. After sending five teams to represent them at national championships, I think it would be fair to say that tennis can now be added to that list.
Alabama’s Suzanne Harris and Missouri Valley’s Susie Hurst might have created a little USTA league history for the longest women’s 4.0 singles tennis match at a National Championship.
The pair started their singles match at 8:45 AM and finally finished at 12:45 PM. Harris took the first set 6-4, with Hurst taking the second 6-4 to level the match. In the tiebreak, both players called for medical time-outs due to cramping before Hurst finally persevered to win the tiebreak and match.
“It was a marathon match,” said Hurst afterwards, trying to cool off. “Each rally went 30-40 points. It was ugly, what I call ‘Old Ladies’ tennis. But that’s what I play. I started when I was 27 and now I’m 49.”
Call it what you will but not too bad Susie to persevere for 4-hours.
Mom’s Best Cheerleader
|Stacey and Jacob© Cynthia Lum|
Missouri Valley’s Stacy Compton got a little support from young son and future tennis player, Jacob.
Intermountain Women’s Team Share Four Things In Common
The members of the Intermountain women’s tennis team have three things in common — tennis, kids and their faith. Not only does each member of the team share a common passion for tennis but each member also happens to be a Mormon. And no, it wasn’t a team requirement, just coincidence. Of course, being from Utah might have had something to do with it. Third, the twelve women squad boasts nearly fifty kids between them. So if you ever worried about the future of American tennis, worry no more. Watch for many more good tennis players to come out of the Intermountain section in the years to come. And fourth, they are really nice!
Day one action at the 2006 USTA League Tennis 4.0 Adult National Championships got underway this morning under beautiful blue skies at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast. The championships feature the top 17 men's and 17 women's teams from around the country, representing each of the 17 USTA Sections.
|Play at the Hilton Waikoloa© Cynthia Lum|
Rumbling on the Big Island
|Texas Women© Cynthia Lum|
Yes, there was some rumbling on the Big Island again but this time it wasn’t due to Mother Nature. This time it was the women’s team from Texas. What was the rumbling about? Well, it started when the team arrived at Keahole Airport with no luggage for team captain Dora Rogers. Then, upon arriving at the Hilton Waikoloa Village at 12:00 AM (4 AM Texas time), they learned there were no rooms available. Oh, but not to worry. They were in Hawaii and if need be, they decided they could sleep in their rental van for the night. Of course, that was before it started smoking and they thought it might be better to return it. In the end, the team found nice accommodations at the Mauna Lani Hotel. This morning, rested and ready to play, they won their first match of tournament.
Dream Come True
|Craig and Brandon© Cynthia Lum|
For Craig and Brandon Epp, the father and son duo from Texas, playing in the USTA National Championships is a dream coming true and worth every minute of the wait. Several years ago when volunteering for a USTA Pro Circuits event in Waco, the family housed a nationally ranked father and son duo. Since that time, the Epps have had the goal of playing in a national event together. So this is a dream come true.
I Will Thee Wed In Hawaii
|The Wedding Party© Cynthia Lum|
When Missouri Valley player Terri Gerlich found out her team had a chance of winning sectionals and playing in Hawaii, she made the announcement to her team that if they won sectionals, she was going to get married in Hawaii. Culminating the first day of play at the 4.0 League Championships, Terri is holding true to her promise. She and Billy Simpson were married at Kukio Bay surrounded by family, friends and her teammates.