Local Teams Perform Well at Section Championships
The 2021 USTA Missouri Valley League Section Championships continued to take place in August. Multiple USTA St. Louis teams produced strong showings at host sites around the region, with a couple squads claiming Section championships to earn a trip to the 2021 USTA League National Championships.
The 18 & Over 4.0 men’s team captained by Stefan Nosic and Michael O’Neill had a fantastic tournament, finishing atop Pool A with an unblemished 3-0 record. They then battled their way through the semifinals with a 3-2 victory over an Iowa team before closing out an undefeated weekend with a 3-2 win in the championship against an Oklahoma City team.
Charles Brewer’s 4.0 group went 1-2 in pool play, including splitting their overall sets played at 17-17. Brewer’s team lost a 3-2 match in quarterfinal action to a USTA Heart of America squad.
The 18 & Over 3.0 men’s team led by Tom Rhoads and Philip Brandt had a dominant showing, sweeping all their team matches to finish in first place with a 3-0 mark in the round-robin format. And while they didn’t pick up a team victory, the USTA St. Louis team captained by Joe De Marco won six individual matches and 44 percent of their games played.
For the 18 & Over 5.0 women, Jennifer Gadsky’s squad went 3-1 overall to finish tied for No. 1 in their group. Gadsky’s team claimed the Section championship, though, by virtue of winning a dominant 19 of their 25 sets played and 61 percent of individual games played. The 18 & Over 5.0 men’s team captained by Nick Jannett couldn’t get by a USTA Nebraska team, falling 0-2 in their pair of matchups.
John Brinkmeyer’s 55 & Over men’s 7.0 team was terrific in Pool A play, going 3-0 overall and 7-2 in individual matches to finish atop the pod. Tom Rhoads’s and William Gregerson’s team went 1-2 in Pool B. Brinkmeyer’s squad won their semifinal 2-1 before falling a bit short in the championship, 2-1, to a USTA Oklahoma team.
The 55 & Over women’s 7.0 group led by Susan Blake and Robin Shiras-Cody had a brilliant showing in Pool A action, going 3-0 overall and 15-8 in sets played. The squad stumbled in the semifinals, though, dropping a 2-1 decision to a USTA Kansas team.
In 55 & Over 6.0 women’s double round-robin action, Rose Albrecht’s team posted a 3-1 record to claim a runner-up finish. At the 55 & Over 8.0 level, the USTA St. Louis team captained by Linda Woodard and Norma Feldman finished second in Pool A with a 1-2 mark.
For the 18 & Over 3.0 women, two St. Louis-based teams got to compete in their hometown in the round-robin format. The team helmed by Barbara Rhoads and Kelly Woods collected a second-place finish by winning three team matches. The squad captained by Cherylle Katz and Maria Coomes also had a solid performance, winning two team matches and better than half of their individual matches and sets played.
The 18 & Over 2.5 ladies led by Barbara Rhoads and Mary Shadrach had a standout showing, winning three of their four team matches to earn a second-place finish in Oklahoma City.
Brett Hartig and Bryan Rigby’s 4.5 men’s team claimed second place in Pool A with a 2-1 mark before winning their quarterfinal match, 3-2. The squad then dropped a tight 3-2 decision to the eventual titlist from USTA Heart of America.
After going 2-1 in Pool A, Susan Blake and Robin Shiras-Cody’s 3.5 women’s team advanced to the semis before falling to a USTA Nebraska team. Lori Brewer and Patricia Thomas’s 3.5 squad went 6-9 in individual Pool B matches. The 3.5 men’s team captained by Tom Rhoads and William Gregerson claimed 41 percent of their overall games played in Pool A action.
For the 18 & Over 4.0 women, Shelley Fridley’s squad advanced to the semifinals with a quality win over a team from Iowa. Fridley’s team then dropped a 3-2 match to a Tulsa-based team that went on to capture the Section title. Fridley’s squad went 8-7 individually in Pool A play.
Erica Peterson’s 4.5 women’s team picked up a nice 3-2 win in the quarterfinals against a USTA Heart of America team. Peterson’s group proceeded to fall 3-2 in the semis against the eventual Section championship team from USTA Iowa. Elizabeth Spencer’s 4.5 team went 15-18 in sets in Pool B play.
Dean Williams’s 8.0 men’s team went 1-2 overall (4-5 individually) to stake a second-place finish in Pool A. The Williams squad couldn’t get by a Tulsa team in their quarterfinal matchup.
For the 55 & Over 9.0 women, Cynthia Harrison’s group went 3-6 in individual matches as well as 8-13 in sets played in the round-robin format. The 55 & Over 9.0 men’s team led by Stephen Arnstein split their sets, 10-10, and finished in second place in the double round-robin format.
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