Caribbean, NorCal Capture
18 & Over 3.0 Titles
J. Fred Sidhu | October 22, 2017
After winning title matches that came down to the wire, the Northern California section women’s team and the Caribbean section men’s team were crowned champions at the USTA League Adult 18 & Over 3.0 National Championships at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.
The Northern California women’s team, which is based at In-Shape Browns Valley in Vacaville, Calif., outlasted a tough Florida Section squad from Tampa, Fla., 3-2.
In the deciding match, NorCal's Chandra Thomas and Angelita Vallejo Montano won the title-clinching point in No. 1 doubles in a match tiebreak, claiming victory, 4-6, 6-4, [1-0].
“We’re in shock. We’re just a small little town, who would have thought we would be here?” said an emotional Jan Reid, the NorCal captain. “These girls, they could just play for hours. ADVERTISEMENT I’m real proud of them.”
The Caribbean men’s team, which plays at Los Versalles Tennis Academy in Mayaguez, P.R., defeated the Southern section team from Ridgeland, Miss., 3-2, in a thrilling championship match.
With the score tied 2-2, the No. 1 Caribbean doubles team of Luis Miguel Torres Vazquez and Kevin Colon clinched the title with a hard-fought, 7-6, 6-2 victory. Their teammates raced on the court after match point to celebrate.
“It’s feels great for my team and it feels great for Puerto Rico after everything we’ve been through in the past month," said Caribbean Captain Amaury Blondet, referring to the devastation wrought on the island by Hurricane Maria. "It’s pretty amazing. It’s lifting our heart and soul that we’re bringing something important (back) to the island. I know our family and friends and everyone that loves tennis in Puerto Rico will really appreciate this. It’s important for us.”
Blondet said winning the title was a team effort, even if some of the players on the team could not make the trip to Arizona.
“Carrying our flag for our island was a key to our victory,” he said.