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Bathroom Breaks, Weather Almost Do In Team at USTA League 3.0 Senior Championships

Mid-Atlantic women celebrating.
Mid-Atlantic women cheering on their team.

By Rick Vach, USTA.com

The 50-and-overs competing this weekend at the men's and women's USTA League 3.0 Senior National Championships in Tucson compete against the highest level of 3.0-rated players from around the country. One team, however, has had to deal with additional opponents -- the weather, and the ever-looming bathroom break.

"Please use the bathroom if you need to before your match," repeatedly stresses the match announcer, herself a 50-and-over, on the loudspeakers, drawing laughter from the men congregated near the scorer's table.

Expeditious use of the bathroom before matches, as to not delay an opponent, was also stressed in the captain's meeting prior to the tournament, but one untimely off-court bathroom break almost became a match-breaker for the USTA Mid-Atlantic section women's team.

With their early Friday morning first match looming, Mid-Atlantic women's coach Brendon Travis, already in Tucson, recalled his reaction when he heard that half his team missed their Thursday layover flight in Dallas.

"I said, 'What do you mean you missed the plane!' Travis said. "Four of the ladies were on the plane, but then four got left behind because they took a potty break. The story goes that the four were lollygagging, talking and chit-chatting, while the other four players got on immediately and the plane took off."

The four embarrassed players missed the Thursday night player party, but did finally arrive in Tucson around 9 p.m. in time to get some rest for the next day's early-morning match.

Travis thought he finally had his entire team together, but learned there was still one loose thread -- one of his No. 1 doubles players was stranded due to bad weather.

"Because of these three big weather systems on Thursday, our one player got stuck in Baltimore," Travis said. "She finally arrived in Dallas Thursday night, but then there were no direct flights to Tucson, so she had to fly to Phoenix Friday morning and rent a car to drive to Tucson. She was supposed to play our Friday 9 a.m. match, she was supposed to play No. 1 singles, so that screwed up our line-up."

Still the Mid-Atlantic women muddled through on Friday, finishing 1-1 in team match play, tied with the other three teams in their flight, and as of Saturday morning positioned for a good shot at reaching the Sunday semifinals.

Through inclement weather and untimely bathroom breaks, the Mid-Atlantic women have persevered, to the amusement of their coach.

"It's funny because at the captain's meeting they were stressing about going to the bathroom, and here this morning they made an announcement about everybody making sure they go to the bathroom before their matches," Travis said of his team's troubles. "And you can't predict the weather, you just have to go with the flow."

Or at least control the flow, especially if you're about to take the court at the 3.0 Senior Nationals.

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