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Northern Siblings

March 26, 2009 10:43 AM
By Blake Grimsley, USTA.com

TUCSON, Ariz. - At the USTA League presented by Chrysler 4.5 Adult National Championships in Tucson, Ariz., the men’s and women’s Northern teams have a bit more in common than just both representing the Northern section.

Pete West and Linnea Benson are brother and sister that, in what some may call a coincidence, clinched a berth to this year’s championship in both the 4.5 level.

“It’s nice to be able to share the experience and have her and her team playing in national championships as well as (my team),” said West. “We knew that this could be an opportunity to both head to Tucson while we were playing sectionals. It just so happened that both are teams were very successful this season.”

The teams are both based in Minneapolis, Minn. Pete and the rest of the Northern men have been together as a team for 15 years and are competing in their first-ever national championships, which is an accomplishment in itself! Pete and his doubles partner, Doug, won their first match vs. Missouri Valley, but were downed by a New England team in their second match, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

“It was definitely a tough match,” said West. “We were up in the first set and looking good, but then the other team just poured it on.”

As for Linnea’s experience at the championships in Tucson, she loves being able to have her brother here in addition to her time spent with her teammates.

“Growing up Pete has always been a really good role model for me,” said Linnea. “Its really enjoyable to be able to have him here and root for their team as well as ours.”

On the weekends back in Minnesota when the siblings aren’t competing on the court, they get to see each other and their families quite often.

“We live very close by one another and I always get to see her and her family frequently,” said West. “We love talking tennis.”

With this weekend’s great weather and excellent competition, both the men’s and women’s Northern teams will be the beneficiary of this West-Benson duo.

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