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Team spirit takes over at Nationals

October 28, 2013 10:06 AM
Photo Credit: Michael Le Brecht II
A pair of Jr. Team Tennis squads showed how team spirit can lead to positive results at the 2013 National Championships.
By Sarah Houseknecht, special to USTA.com
Each year at the USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships, in addition to honoring individual participants with awards for good sportsmanship, entire teams from both the Intermediate and Advanced divisions are awarded for their spirited play.
Team Spirit Awards are presented on-court during Sunday’s closing ceremonies to the two teams whose coaches and rosters exemplify “sportsmanship from top to bottom,” said Adrienne Di Menna, USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Manager. “At the end of the day, win or lose, JTT is all about fun – a key component in which sportsmanship plays a big part.”
For the Intermediate Division, the USTA Eastern team was recognized. The New York City natives based out of Highland Park in Brooklyn were making their first appearance at Nationals, rallying around an injured teammate to reach the tournament, then maintaining and displaying their strong bonds for all at the Cayce Tennis & Fitness Center in Cayce, S.C., to see.
“This is a team that loves each other, I’m proud of the way they play and have fun,” said USTA Eastern Intermediate coach Hector Henry.
In the Advanced Division, the USTA Hawaii Pacific team from Kailua earned the honor.
“They’re incredibly friendly, making friends with every single team they played against,” said USTA Hawaii Advanced coach Pam Nakaso. “More than that, they showed respect towards the tournament staff. I think they just enjoy themselves, win or lose. A really terrific group.”
“Hanging out with my teammates is like being with another family, my other family away from home,” added 17-year-old Hawaii team member Sean Sueno.
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USTA Jr. Team Tennis brings kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering a spirit of cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. Also, it’s a fun environment for kids in which they learn that succeeding is really more about how they play the game – win or lose.


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