How Sweep It Is:
Middle States, Texas Double Up
Victoria Chiesa | October 7, 2019
The first weekend of 2019 USTA League National Championship action was a clean sweep for the Middle States and Texas.
With the Middle States women and the Texas men claiming the titles at the 5.0+ nationals in Las Vegas from Oct. 4-6, those sections also recorded identical results at the 18 & Over 3.5 National Championship at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.
Gena Maresca's team, based out of the Frosty Hollow Tennis Center in Levittown, Pa., saw its captain deliver a doubles victory in both the semifinal and final, alongside two different partners.
In the semifinals, Maresca partnered with teammate Janet Bellaran for a 7-6, 6-3 victory at third doubles over Hector Baez-Ramos' Puerto Rican team, and she later teamed with Gloria Nelson for a dominant 6-2, 6-1 win over Pearl Wong and Yi-fan Hu from the Eastern section out of Bergen, N.J. ADVERTISEMENT to take the title.
The Philly-area 3.5 team, whose home club is situated less than 25 miles from the 5.0+ team's home courts at the University of Pennsylvania, also consisted of: Glenna Czumbil, Karen Hillis, Karen Holland, Katherine Hagestad, Sherri Hammer, Dawn Keaton, Rachel McGowan, Stephanie Mockus, Anne Sherow, Ann Tracey and Janet van Mol.
“After nine years of captaining this team, I never imagined we would get this far or that we could actually win," Maresca said.
"This season was a rebuilding year, and after several of my players had moved up to 4.0, I scouted for new players. I hoped for a successful result, but I had no idea we would go as far as we did.
"Overall, it was an amazing experience, and not just because we walked away with a title--though that helps! Traveling together, living together, and winning together has formed forever friendships and brought our team closer together."
For the men, Jason Freeman and Victor Tan's team, based out of the Homer Ford Tennis Center in Houston, also recorded a pair of 3-2 victories in the semifinals and finals.
The team, which calls itself the HFTC Hurricanes, lived up to that nickname: the team posted a perfect record over the course of the league season.
The team's roster also consisted of: Bradley Beinart, Steven Briggs, Milton Brown, Pin Chiu, Gabriel Colmenares, Tin Dang, Quinn Davis, Edsel Esquivel, Trey Greco, Jeff Hechler, Greg Leiker, John Lu, David Moore, Ivan Muller, Hugo Palencia, Thomas Rapson, Jason Turpen, Luc Thomas and Greg Wiley.
"Our 3.5 18+ team came together and played its best at the right time," said Freeman. "Although there was some pure luck involved, I am extremely proud that we had multiple people step up and play their best at the right moments throughout the season which resulted in our ability to continue winning matches all the way through the final.
"It was a great experience and we are all thankful to the USTA for putting on such a great event."