Winners crowned at
JTT 18U National Championships
Ashley Marshall | November 12, 2018
A year removed from losing in the championship final, the ATA Dream Team from Texas ensured history wouldn’t repeat itself as it went one better this time around in winning the 2018 USTA Junior Team Tennis 18U National Championship.
The Austin Tennis Academy took home the title in the Advanced division while its other team finished runner-up in a thrilling final in the Intermediate category.
The National Championships were held at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., and brought together the top 32 teams in each division from various USTA sections across America.
In the Advanced division, the ATA Dream Team defeated Ohio-based Racquet Club of Columbus, from the USTA Midwest section, 52-29. Then BLS from the USTA Northern section won a nail-biter over the ATA Knightmares, 54-50, to capture the Intermediate crown.ADVERTISEMENT
In the Advanced finale, Bailey Forgus and Callie Creath each won singles matches for ATA, while Blaine Kanak and Juandedios Abboud defeated Alex Heiden and Griffin Biernat, 6-0, 6-0, in the boys' doubles.
RCC dropped just four games in the girls' doubles rubber as Paige Kompa and Madeline Atway defeated Anushka Dania and Megha Dania, but Forgus and Caroline Wernli wrapped up the championship with a straight-sets win over Heiden and Weil in the final match of the tournament.
Forgus and Creath were both on the ATA team that won the 14U advanced title in 2014.
The Angels from the USTA Southern section finished in third place, defeating SLP McCoy from the USTA Northern section, 49-39. Both teams had advanced to the semifinals by going undefeated in pool play.
In the intermediate championship match, the BLS team, which hails from the Bloomington South Life Time Fitness, defeated the ATA Knightmares 54-50, in a back-and-forth final that came down to the final match.
BLS seemed in control after Benjamin Schriner edged James Burdick in a third-set tiebreak and Jessica Ip earned a narrow girls' singles triumph over Tatum Blalock. Jake Ouyang and Luke Wyly increased BLS' lead with a tight win over Clark Sweeney and Jonathan Snell in the boys' doubles set, before ATA's girls' doubles pairing of Keana Moon and Sydney Williams claimed victory over Nicolette Keller and Allison Agerland.
That sent the championship battle into the final match, with BLS leading 42-41 despite winning three of the first four matches.
In the mixed doubles, ATA's Williams and Alex Sheddan claimed a narrow first set, 6-5, to tie the overall score, but while BLS duo Wyly and Ip responded by winning the second set, 6-3, and with it, the title. BLS wrapped up the triumph by winning the third-set tiebreak, setting off celebrations at the final point.
The Metro Aces from the USTA Mid-Atlantic section finished third in the Intermediate division, beating Delaware Nightmare from the USTA Middle States section, 54-32, in the third-place match.
For photos from the Opening Ceremony and to see who won the sportsmanship and team spirit awards, click here. And to check out the best photos from the 2018 Junior Team Tennis 18U National Championships, click here.