By Sarah Houseknecht, special to USTA.com
CAYCE, S.C. -- The ATA Dream Team from Austin, Texas (Advanced) and Basking Ridge Tennis Team from Basking Ridge, N.J. (Intermediate) captured the 2012 USTA Jr. Team Tennis 14U National Championship Titles at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center in Cayce, S.C., Oct.18 – 21.
The 2012 USTA Jr. Team Tennis 14U National Championships brought together the top 32 teams (250 players) at Intermediate and Advanced levels from various USTA Sections throughout the country.
The USTA Texas Section team defeated a team from Providence, R.I. (4-1) in the Championship match. Earlier in the tournament, they defeated a team from Maui, Hawaii in the semifinals.
The ATA Dream Team is coached by Kendall Brooks and features: Georgia Wright, Haarika Somarouthu, Alexandria Beardsley Mjos, Abigail Chiu, Erik Alexander Kerrigan, Payton Holden, Jack Ryan Schiffman, Tyler Anson and Jesse Wikso.
The USTA Eastern Section team defeated a team from Hillsborough, N.J. (4-1) in the Championship match. Earlier in the tournament, they defeated a team from Los Angeles, Calif. in the semifinals.
The Basking Ridge Tennis Team is coached by MengChu Zhou and features: Winfred Li, Claire Y. Chen, Benjamin X Zhou, Kevin Wang, Kevin Yan, Brenda Peng, Alina Chow, Jennifer Chen and Katherine Tang Ge.
The National Championships serves as the crown jewel of USTA Jr. Team Tennis as the nation’s top teams compete for the title. Each year the USTA crowns a national champion in two age divisions (14U and 18U) in both the Intermediate and Advanced play divisions. This year, there are 32 teams from across the United States who have advanced to the National Championships totaling 249 participants.
Established in 1991, USTA Jr. Team Tennis provides youth with all of the health and social benefits of tennis in a co-ed, fun and competitive team environment, and allows participants to compete with and against individuals of similar skill and age levels. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering a spirit of cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. USTA Jr. Team Tennis is also a fun environment for kids to learn that succeeding is really more about how they play the game—win or lose.
Intermediate Award Winners:
Girls: Mary Zakowski – Midwest (Green Bay, Wis.); Devon Bourget – Northern (Eau Claire, Wis.)
Boys: Jack Kaiser – Missouri Valley (Edmond, Okla.)
Team Spirit Award: Hawaii Pacific – Waialae Iki 5 White Stars (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Best Team Banner Award: Florida – Miami Contenders (Miami, Fla.)
Advanced Award Winners:
Girls: Halle Parker – Middle States (Dover, Del.)
Boys: David Haynes – Middle States (Dover, Del.); Zachary Johnson – New England-WC (Providence, R.I.)
Team Spirit Award: NorCal – AVAC Road Runners (San Jose, Calif.)
Best Team Banner Award: Florida – Geek Squad (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.)