CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT
18U JTT NATIONALS
Tamarah Strauss | October 23, 2016
CAYCE, S.C. – The USTA’s Mid-Atlantic’s Advengers squad claimed back-to-back national titles at the 2016 USTA 18U Junior Team Tennis National Championships in the Intermediate division, while the USTA’s Southern’s SDUTA, Inc., captured a title in the Advanced division at the Cayce Tennis Center on Sunday.
The Advengers, of Columbia, Md., who won the 2015 18U Intermediate title, defeated the Greens of Oklahoma City, Okla., 51-38, to hold onto the national championship title for another year.
“It is incredible, no better feeling,” said Advengers coach Jackson Tsai. “They did exceptionally well, they came together as a team and won together as a team, there really is nothing else to say.”
The Advengers consists of Alexandre Nazaire (Ellicott City, Md.), Amanda Grebosky (Reisterstown, Md.), Andrew Tsai (Ellicott City), Brooke Santoriello (Bel Air, Md.), Christopher Chen (Ellicott City), Lilianna Izadi (Eldersburg, Md.), Matthew Sklar (Tuscon, Ariz.), Olivia Tsai (Ellicott City), Prateek Swamykumar (Clarksville, Md.), Rhoil Bahri (Ellicott City), Ryan Lundergan (Ellicott City), Snigdha Puram (Elkridge) and Tess Weber (Ellicott City).ADVERTISEMENT
“I think it was an incredible weekend and I am really proud of how the team played,” said Santoriello. “They played amazing and they did what we had to do and I did what I had to do to pull out the victory. Yesterday, after we won the semifinals of our mixed doubles match was definitely the turning point, where everyone was like this is what we came here to do, let’s finish it, and that is what we did.”
In the Advanced final, Southern’s SDUTA, Inc., based out of Atlanta, claimed its victory against the Mid-Atlantic’s DMV Elite team, 57-29.
“It was an unbelievable experience, and I am so proud of the team and how they played and fought all weekend,” said SDUTA, Inc., coach David Drew. “It’s always fun to watch the kids and see what they learn on the court. Today was just awesome, they were able to wake up early in some cold weather and come out all fired up, it was so inspiring to be a part of as their coach.”
SDUTA, Inc., consists of Anders Fry (Roswell, Ga.), Andrei Duarte (Atlanta), Carly Briggs (Calhoun, Ga.), Carol Elizabeth Kerman (Atlanta), Cole Heller (Woodstock, Ga.), Grant Williford (Woodstock, Ga.), Hannah Hutchings (Woodstock, Ga.), Jake Briggs (Calhoun, Ga.), Mallory Gilmer (Woodstock, Ga.).
“We came together last fall and we never thought we would make it this far, but we did and we are so happy,” said Duarte who is captain of the team. “I thought everyone played pretty well, everyone contributed where they needed to and we all played together as one unit.”
Taking third place in the Advanced division was the Mid-Atlantic WC Tuckahoe Raptors, who got past Southern WC’s Pros and Cons, 48-25. Capturing third in the Intermediate division was Missouri Valley’s Lafortune, who beat Eastern’s Big Hitters, 56-27.