Orlando, Jacksonville, Clearwater Teams Claim Victory at 55 & Over 7.0/9.0 Sectionals

Nicole Hardenstine | May 19, 2021

Squads representing Pinellas, Duval, and Orange/Seminole/Lake took home divisional crowns at the USTA Florida Adult 55 & Over 7.0/9.0 Sectional Championships, held May 15-17 at the USTA National Campus.


Easily the largest group of the weekend, the women’s 7.0 began with a total of 14 squads split into three flights. IRMSL (The Boulevard Tennis Club, Vero Beach) advanced to the semifinals as the top second-place finisher in the early flight round-robin, while Orange/Seminole/Lake (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) breezed through their round-robin flight with a 3-0. After besting their semifinals, the squads met to battle for the sectional crown where the IRMSL women struck with a victory on line one. However, it wasn’t enough to hold off Orange/Seminole/Lake from claiming their second consecutive title in the division, as they captured wins on court two and three to seal the deal.


The men’s 7.0 pitted Duval County (Baymeadows Tennis Center, Jacksonville) against Alachua County (Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville) in the championship dual. A force not to be reckoned with, Duval swept all three matchups on the backs of David Smyyh and John Dillingham on court one, Marcus Hodges and Gary Badger on line two, and Eugene Kasper and David Lasure on court three to claim the crown.


Both 9.0 competitions welcome six teams vying for the divisional title. In the women’s division, Orange/Seminole/Lake (USTA National Campus, Orlando) dominated the competition with a perfect 5-0, with 12 court victories and 24 sets won. Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) was the runner-up with 20 sets earned and nine individual matchup wins, for a 4-1 record. It was a near identical situation on the men’s side, as Pinellas County (McMullen Tennis Center, Clearwater) also reigned victorious with a 5-0 win. Over the course of the weekend, Pinellas only dropped seven sets, capturing 27 overall. 


The competing teams represented various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, and finished at the top of their local leagues during the 2021 season to advance to the USTA Florida 55 & Over 7.0/9.0 Sectional Championships.

Final results:


55 & Over Women's 7.0


Final: Orange/Seminole/Lake (Sanlando Park, Altamonte Springs) d. IRMSL (The Boulevard Tennis Club, Vero Beach) 2-1


Championship Match Results:

No. 1 Doubles: Anita Venner/Janel Griffin (IRMSL) d. Ria Voss/Terrie Uzel 6-1, 5-7, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Cynthia Rawlins/Karen Crane (O/S/L) d. Lauren Kushner/Michele Packard 6-4, 6-3
No. 3 Doubles: Terri Bahr/Dorothy Harris (O/S/L) d. Pia Gold/Lana Heinze 6-4, 6-3


Orange County Season Roster: Dorothy Harris (Captain), Karen Crane, Cynthia Rawlins, Ria Voss, Nancy McLarnon, Terri Bahr, Judith Melendez, Terrie Uzel, Susan Uhrig, Paula Hall


55 & Over Men's 7.0


Final: Duval County (Baymeadows Tennis Center, Jacksonville) d. Alachua County (Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville) 3-0


Championship Match Results:

No. 1 Doubles: David Smyyh/John Dillingham (Duval) d. Mark Diblin/Jorg Bungert 2-6, 6-3, 1-0
No. 2 Doubles: Marcus Hodges/Gary Badger (Duval) d. Scott Thompson/Ed Stark 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 Doubles: Eugene Kasper/David Lasure (Duval) d. Jon Uman/Frank Foster 6-2, 7-5


Duval County Season Roster: Herve Devos (Captain), Aaron Robles, Eugene Kasper, Gemini Sitoy, Ed Davila, John Dillingham, Raymond Zenisek, Emerson Lotzia, David Smyyh, Marcus Hodges, Rick Wedge, Kurt Laffy, Gary Badger, David Lasure


55 & Over Women's 9.0


Final: Orange/Seminole/Lake (USTA National Campus, Orlando) finished ahead of Hillsborough County (HCC Tennis Complex, Tampa) 5-0, 4-1 in round robin play


Orange County Season Roster: Tami Florin (Captain), Susan Wright, Terri Thomson, Ligia Bottinelli, Pamela Saffran, Janet Lower, Christine Alfert, Barby Molnar, Tolly Spengler, Katherine Foulk, Kim Frilot


55 & Over Men's 9.0


Final: Pinellas County (McMullen Tennis Center, Clearwater) finished ahead of Broward County (Parkland Tennis Center, Parkland) 5-0, 4-1 in round robin play


Pinellas County Season Roster: Scott Bartos (Captain), Richard Sobieray, Douglas Dace, Chris Canfield, Samuel Biller, Jim Maskas, Ignacio Molina, James Smiechewicz, Kevin Campbell, Egan Adams, Chris Maier, Brad Welch


The USTA Florida League Championship Cup is awarded to the county with the most league sectionals titles during the 2021 season (standings through May 18, recent winners in bold):


1. Pinellas County (4 titles) — 65&Over-W7.0/W8.0/M8.0, 55&Over-M9.0

2. Orange/Seminole/Lake (3) — 55&Over-W7.0/W8.0/W9.0


3.Marion County (2) — 65&Over-W6.0/M7.0


4T. Escambia County (1) — 55&Over-M8.0
4T. Hillsborough County (1) — 55&Over-W6.0
4T. Duval County (1) — 55&Over-M7.0


Note: County determined by location of team’s home club. Season-ending ties to be broken by teams’ 1st-4th place results at USTA League Nationals.


Next Sectionals: June 25-28, Mixed 40 & Over 6.0/7.0/8.0/9.0 Sectional League Championships, USTA National Campus, Orlando.


Established in 1980, USTA League has grown from 13,000 participants in a few parts of the country in its first year to more than 904,000 players across the nation today, making it the world’s largest recreational tennis league. 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 18 years of age or older.


For more information on USTA Florida Leagues go to www.USTAFlorida.com/leagues.

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