Midwest, Texas Winners
At 55 & Over 8.0 Nationals
Victoria Chiesa | November 3, 2019
The penultimate weekend of this year's USTA League National Championship action from the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz. saw the Midwest and Texas sections take home championships in the 55 & Over 8.0 division.
Based out of the Northwest Athletic Club in Michigan City, Ind., captain Lorie Cook's team beat Beverly Kalil and Lynn Deuitch's team from Sarasota, Fla. in the final by a 2-1 score.
Previously, the team shut out the representatives of the Mid-Atlantic section, Charlene Collier's squad from Washington, D.C., in the semifinals, 3-0, having posted a perfect 4-0 record prior to the knockout rounds.
In addition to captain Cook, the roster also included Lisa Hauser, Darcy Methner, Vicki Harber, Caren Swickard, Sally Berry, Gretchen Shinn, Dana Salvatore and Elizabeth Fouts.ADVERTISEMENT
On the men's side, co-captains Phil Kerig and Michael Spearman's team swept Richard Stevens and Phil Meadows' club from Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic section in a competitive final, where both No.1 and No.2 doubles were decided in a match tiebreak.
"Getting to Nationals is the nexus for USTA League tennis players," said Kerig. "Most of us dream about getting there just once in our careers, and then we will be satisfied. But once you’ve been, the only thing you can think about is getting back! Our 55 & Over team has been fortunate enough to get there four times, garnering two firsts and a third--yet we can’t wait to return!"
In the semifinals, the team from Texas beat the Intermountain representatives from Nevada, 2-1, after going 4-0 with the loss of just seven sets prior to the knockout rounds.
"I also have to take my hat off to our finals opponents from Mid-Atlantic," added Kerig. "After losing to us in the opening match of the tournament, their weekend could have been finished, but they knew what they had to do, and battled back through the next three matches to get into the semis, as I suspected they would.
"Once they did that, I just knew it’d be a rematch in the final. A fun fact is that, being from Virginia, their favorite baseball team is likely the Washington Nationals, who had just finished beating our Houston Astros. It was nice to even the score in some small way!"
Based out of Woodlands Park Tennis Sawmill Park in The Woodlands, Texas, the team's roster also included Michael Mitchell, Chad Johnson, Darrel Thorson, Rick Malone, Thomas Sawaya, George Orchard, Werner Johnson, Aubrey Frazier, Thomas Rapson, Kevin Campbell, Ben Caruso, David Miller, Robert Klein and Ron Travis.