By Jeff Sikes, USTA.com
Los Angeles-area women and New York-area men captured national titles at the 4.0 USTA Adult League National Championships held at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Los Angeles/San Gabriel Valley based team representing USTA Southern California and playing out of Whittier Narrows Tennis Center foiled the hometown bid of the Intermountain team from Las Vegas, stopping the local girls 3-2, with the match coming down to a decisive third-set tiebreak in the final match.
Earlier in the day, Southern California had stopped a team from USTA Midwest (Franklin, Mich.) in the semifinals, while the Vegas girls had downed a squad from the San Francisco Bay Area representing USTA Northern California, 4-1.
The championship winning Southern Cal team featured team captain Hatty Yip (Arcadia, CA), Jennifer McBrayer (Newport Beach, CA), Trisha Dang (Rolling Hills, CA), Jean Hirschmann (Westlake Village, CA), Stella Redondo-Soto (La Puente, CA), Mariathilde Batoon (Glendale, CA), Connie Alaniz (Whittier, CA), Cassandra Saily (Ontario, CA), Kathryn Dennis (Santa Margarita, CA), Judy Wiegand (Arcadia, CA), Marlene Steenberg (San Gabriel, CA), Anita Reese (Azusa, CA), Karin Teal (Sierra Madre, CA), Susanna Gan (Pomona, CA), and Katherine Marin (Mission Hills, CA).
In the third place playoff match, Northern California defeated Midwest 4-1.
On the men’s side, it was the New York City-based team representing USTA Eastern that ruled the three-day championship event, defeating a team from Little Rock, Ark., 4-1 in the finals. The team from Arkansas was representing their USTA Southern area.
Earlier in the day, the Eastern men had downed a squad from Dallas representing USTA Texas 4-1 in the semifinals, while the Arkansas team narrowly edged a team from Fort Lauderdale, representing USTA Florida.
The championship Eastern team played out of Carefree Racquet Club in Long Island, New York. The team was comprised of team captain Adam Kolenberg (Bellmore, NY), Daniel Calhoun (Floral Park, NY), Chris Colesanti (Massapequa, NY), Scott Simon (Woodbury, NY), Raul Narciso (Westbury, NY), Robert Block (Oceanside, NY), Russell Baier (Long Beach, NY), James Italia (Floral Park, NY), Ignacio Arenas (New York, NY).
The Dallas-area team finished in third place, downing Fort Lauderdale 3-2.
Each semifinalist advanced to the championship round by winning their round-robin flights contested Friday and Saturday.
This year’s USTA League 4.0 Adult National Championship had drawn the top 34 teams (17 men’s and 17 women’s) from throughout the nation.
Established in 1980, the USTA League program has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year, to over 711,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league.
USTA League was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. Players participate on teams in a league format, which is administered by the USTA through its 17 Sections. The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). USTA League is open to any USTA member 19 years of age or older. It features Adult and Mixed Doubles divisions, as well as a Senior Division (age 50 or older) and a Super Senior Division (age 60 or older).
Head Penn Racquet Sports is in its 22nd year as official ball of USTA League.
For more information about USTA League or the USTA as a whole, visit www.usta.com.