Couple leads in
J. Fred Sidhu | November 15, 2015
It’s a special feeling for a team to advance to a USTA League National Championship. For the Middle States section mixed doubles team, that feeling is twice as nice.
The team, which is based at the Hempfield Recreation Center in Landisville, Pa., is competing in the USTA League Mixed 40 & Over 6.0 National Championships at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz. They are also scheduled to play the following week in the USTA League Mixed 18 & Over 6.0 National Championships at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Tucson, Ariz.
While some team members will return home to Pennsylvania following the first round of Nationals in Surprise, the majority of the team will remain in Arizona while they await the start of Nationals in Tucson. During their free time in the desert, team members plan on traveling to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona.ADVERTISEMENT
“We had friends from a couple of different clubs that wanted to play together. We put together a really good 6.0 team,” said Steve Campbell, who serves as co-captain along with his wife, Bobbie. “The key is that we do a lot of things together, not only on the tennis courts, but off the tennis courts.”
The team’s strong off-court bond has helped its on-court mixed doubles performances. They recently got together for a Halloween party and have attended tennis events together, including the US Open. Team members are also planning on attending a wedding in Dominican Republic.
Campbell also credited his team’s success to Lamar Jackson, a tennis teaching professional at the Hempfield Recreation Center.
“He has really taught us the game of tennis and how to play. Not just to hit the ball and where to be on the court, but techniques and pointing out people’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “That’s how we’ve been pretty successful. We also have weekly practices and he does a very good job.”
Co-captain Bobbie, who handles the team’s off-court administrative duties, said the character of her teammates has made her USTA League experience special.
“It’s that mixture of sportsmanship and friendship. It’s very unique," she said. "We have people who have big hearts and love this game. We’re all in this journey together in what we call this tennis family. It’s how you come together and support each other. Those details have brought us together and made this season the success that it is.”