Strong Team, Strong Finish at the National Invitational
With competition being ever so fierce in Surprize, Az., at the USTA League 65 & Over National Invitational 8.0, the USTA Mid-Atlantic 65 & Over 8.0 Men’s team captained by Michael Sullivan and co-captained by Roy Beskin, never backed down. They came away National Champions with a victory over USTA Intermountain Men’s 65 & Over 8.0 team led by Russell Boone.
“To me, our team winning has been a long work in progress,” said captain Michael Sullivan.
With this being Sullivan’s first time captaining this team, he was very proud of the hardwork and dedication each player put into every match. Sullivan explained that the team winning the National Invitational 8.0 was the icing on the cake to wrap up an amazing season.
“These guys are all very dedicated players finding the time to get out there to play. We had practice sessions against each other in various pairings with many of them playing in separate seasonals on hard court and clay courts,” Sullivan said. “It appears it paid off.”
In the Mid-Atlantic Section, one of the many ways to thrive as a player is from the support you receive from the community of players all around you. The men on this team all had one thing in common and that was to make it as far as they could as a TEAM.
Playing alongside Sullivan and Beskin: Daniel Friend, William Breit, Phil Meadows, Jeffrey Breit, Stephen Cutchin, John Griffin, Roy Loehr, and Richard Stevens.
“I would like to add and give enormous credit to my co-captain Roy Beskin who was also instrumental in getting us where we are,” Sullivan said. “He organized much of the indoor and outdoor play time for training and inspired us with his competitiveness. He injured himself in the first match while playing with John Griffin, and had to sit the entire event...as a very competitive guy, I know this was a struggle, but he bought drinks to make sure we were well hydrated and motivated the heck out of us. He and the rest of us were ecstatic when that last winning shot was made by John Griffin to clinch the championship.”
For Sullivan, what remains true is the importance of displaying character when it comes to being a USTA Mid-Atlantic team captain, and he took into consideration the character that was instilled prior to him becoming captain of the team. He said it set the tone for how to move forward.
“The previous captain Ricky Stevens who, by the way, was the captain for the previous four trips to Nationals in the last five years and many more before that, he is a legend around here and most of the USTA folks know him well,” Sullivan explained. “He had some recent eye surgery done so I took over the team and it was with his guidance and input that I owe this title. As a player and captain I did not play the very first match, I now understand how difficult Rick’s job was both in determining who plays, as everyone wants to play, and what the line ups will be.”
In the Mid-Atlantic Section tennis creates community, character and well-being and the USTA League National Invitational Champion 65 & Over 8.0 Men’s team surely displays and demonstrates these qualities.
Congratulations to them and all of the USTA Mid-Atlantic teams that participated and represented the Section at USTA League National Invitational events.
If you’re feeling inspired by this team and want to get out on the tennis court, you can find a USTA League near you by viewing the local league calendar or by contacting us and we will help you find a team. If you are interested in becoming a team captain let us know by filling out this form and we’ll be in touch to get the ball rolling!
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