Represent at Section Championships
Kendra Wicks | July 29, 2019
Five Kansas teams qualified for the Junior Team Tennis Section Championships hosted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, July 22-24. Of those teams, IC Tennis, coached by Ilija Cuic, and Iconic Tennis, coached by Janet Glaser, came in second and third in the 18 & Under Advanced category. IC Tennis placed third in the 18 & Under Intermediate category and took fourth in the 14 & Under Intermediate. Andover Central, coached by Glaser and Erika Richardson, landed seventh in the 14 & Under as well.
Overall, the Section Championships hosted 22 teams and 153 players. The first place winners from each of the categories will go on to compete in the national tournament in November. Although no Kansas teams advanced to Nationals, Glaser is proud of how the kids played and of their accomplishments in another component of the event: sportsmanship awards.ADVERTISEMENT
“Here you are competing against these players, and you’re looking for those who really exemplified good sportsmanship,” Glaser said of the nomination system, which calls for coaches to nominate players from other teams. “When you’re going against someone, sometimes that can be hard.”
Three Kansas players received awards, including Lillie Williams of IC Tennis, Chris Arnett of Iconic Tennis and Cameron Strickland of Andover Central.
“It really speaks highly of the program and of the parents, players and coaches,” Glaser said.
Junior Team Tennis is an excellent way for young athletes to play competitively. It allows juniors to improve their tennis, communication and sportsmanship all at once. This summer, USTA Kansas saw more than 100 boys and girls participate in the program.
"There were around 70 matches played each week in June, which led into the District Championship," said Kate Foss, Kansas district president.
While the summer JTT program has the highest participation rate, there are still opportunities for players to get involved in the fall and winter seasons. Those JTT events are non-advancing and are a great way for juniors to experience the friendly competition that makes this program what it is.
“It promotes a lot of competition, but it also promotes friendliness. They meet people and they make friends. They get to be on a team with someone they didn’t know, so it really gets people together and it’s fun,” Glaser said. “They find out that they can play hard and still have a good time.”