Adult 18 & Over League Teams
Win Sectional Championships
By Alex Wesley, Director of Marketing | August 26, 2019
WESTERN MA - On the hot summer weekend of August 16-18, 30 USTA League 18 & Over teams competed for the championship in their respective divisions at Williston Northampton School and Mount Holyoke College.
Nine champions emerged and punched their ticket to the National Championships this October.
Here are the Sectional Champions:
2.5 Women - SSYMCA from the South Shore YMCA in Hanover, MA
This team of all first-time USTA League players was led by Captain Julie Smith. In her first role as captain, she says her team fought hard through tough matches to win.
“We are all still in shock and we are so proud that we have made it this far,” said Smith.
In the two-team flight, Smith played both singles and doubles, winning both matches. She won her singles match in straight sets. In doubles with partner Beth Chadwick, the match was decided by a nail-biting tie-breaker.ADVERTISEMENT
“One of the most memorable moments for me was when my partner and I were down 3-9 in third-set tiebreak and we fought back each point until we won 13-11,” said Smith.
Teammates Jerilyn Tyrell and Shawna DiBona also won in a third-set tiebreak in the second doubles position. The team won the flight 2-0 to advance to Nationals in October in Las Vegas, NV.
3.0 Women - Edgewood Swim and Tennis from Raynham, MA
In their four years together, this team of ladies has had a lot of fun playing together but had not advanced past their local regular season play until this year. Captain Fil Miguel is proud of their first Nationals run. “The team spirit was strong throughout the season, at Districts and at Sectionals. I enjoy seeing the camaraderie on the team.”
The team dropped only two matches during the tournament. The No. 1 doubles team of Jenn Candler and Kelsey Shea did not drop a set during the tournament, winning both of their matches.
The No. 2 singles match went into a third-set tiebreak with Cailyn Kelly coming out on top 4-6, 6-3, 1-0.
The team now moves on to play at Nationals from October 11-13 in Oklahoma City, OK.
3.0 Men - Acers from the Greendale Family Branch YMCA in Worcester, MA
This was a year of redemption for the Acers. The core of the team has been together for a long time and have reached Districts in each of the past three years.. Last year, they missed going to Sectionals by one game, so this year’s road to Nationals was even sweeter.
In the three-team flight, the Acers dropped only one match to pave their way to the win.
“We know our positives and our negatives and we know who would play best at each position. We were lucky everybody stayed healthy,” said Captain Kshitij Kathuria.
Kathuria played No. 2 Singles and No. 3 Doubles with partner Dhiren Savla, winning both matches handily.
The team now moves on to Nationals in October in Oklahoma City.
3.5 Women - BSC Lexington from Boston Sports Club in Lexington, MA
Four women all teamed up to be Co-Captains for the BSC Lexington: Laurel Carey, Nicole Leveille, Kate Hadden and Sarah Kittredge. The foursome play on other League teams and brought teammates together to form this 18 & Over team.
“We had one goal in mind when creating this team and that was to get to Nationals. Many of us have made the trip to Nationals for mixed, but only one of our players has been to Nationals for women’s. It is so exciting to share this experience with such great competitors and good friends,” said Carey.
There were many outstanding moments during the tournament but the most memorable for the team was the moment they knew they were going to Nationals. “Heather Fiddes and Kathy Fritz clenched the doubles win in a 10-8 super tie break after losing the first set and being down in the second. At that moment, we knew we had won our spot at Nationals,” said Leveille.
Some players on the team also made it to Nationals for their other league teams. Sarah Kittredge is going to Nationals three times this year and both Kate Hadden and Nicole Leveille are going twice this year. The 18 & Over 3.5 team will compete at Nationals in Surprise, AZ during the first weekend in October.
3.5 Men - Locusts from BSC Lexington in Lexington, MA
Singles was the name of the game for the Locusts as six of their nine individual wins came from winning singles matches.
“It’s amazing, almost like a dream. I walked off the court after losing my doubles match and felt like I had let my team down but my teammates told me that we were still in the running,” said Captain Richard Ow.
The Nationals berth came down to Oleg Yerov’s singles match. In an exciting match, he won 6-1, 6-4 to send his team on to the national stage.
While some players on this team have gone to Nationals in the past, it will be the first time the group is going as a team.
“We were excited to see the 18 & Over 3.5 women’s team from BSC Lexington also win. We’re happy they will be joining us in Surprise,” said Ow.
4.0 Women - The Fireballs from Monadnock Indoor Tennis Club in Peterborough, NH
The ladies on this team fought through injury to prevail as Sectional Champions. It is the first time a team from MITC has made it to Nationals in at least 10 years, according to Captain Elizabeth Frost.
“We’re thrilled to be attending Nationals. The feeling on the team is that it is a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment,” said Frost.
The three-team flight produced fierce competition. All the teams had the same number of overall wins and losses, so the Championship was decided by fewest sets lost. The Fireballs only lost 10 sets while the other teams each lost 12.
“Our singles players suffered a pulled calf muscle and played through blisters the size of quarters on the bottom of her feet! We won by 2 fewer sets lost,” added Frost.
The team will play at Nationals in Las Vegas in October.
4.0 Men - Woburn Patriots from Woburn Racquet Club in Woburn, MA
The Woburn Patriots swept their flight and finished with a position (or individual) record of 15-0. The team did not drop a set during Sectionals. Captain Min Zhang admits that while they swept Sectionals, the road there was a tough one.
“Round two in District playoffs we faced off against a strong Sportsmen’s team where four matches tied 2-2 and we needed to win our remaining 2nd singles match to stay alive. Our Co-Captain, Kokes Lee, pulled it off and kept our season moving forward,” said Zhang.
The Patriots went 4-0 in flight play at Sectionals. “We are a team with veteran experience and youthful energy. This combo is wonderful,” added Zhang.
This is the team’s first time going to Nationals. They will travel to Las Vegas in October.
4.5 Women - The Tennis Angels from Tennis and Fitness Center of Rocky Hill, CT
The dynamic team from Rocky Hill won their three-team flight with grit and determination. Four of their matches were decided in third-set tiebreakers.
“Every match was really exciting. We knew we were the underdogs for the match. It felt great to fight it out to get the win,” said first-time Captain, Louise Scrivines.
Scrivines went 2-0 with doubles partner, Jen Monachino-Lapey. One of their close matches was decided in a third set tiebreak. Scrivines said one of the team’s biggest strengths was their ability to shift as needed to win throughout the tournament.
“We have multiple partnership options who can play together and great team chemistry. We all enjoy the game and each other. The support aspect we have for each other is amazing,” added Scrivines.
The team will compete at Nationals in Surprise, in mid-October.
4.5 Men – Harvard Rec from Boston, MA
This strong team from Boston, MA went 3-0 in their flight, only losing four individual matches in the four-team flight.
Captain Ben Chan and doubles partner Shabbi Khan won all three of their matches in the No. 1 doubles position, one of which made for their most memorable moment of the tournament. .
“Shabbi accidentally switched the scorecards from red to black in our third match. Little did we know, our teammates thought we had lost the match as we walked off the court! Our third doubles team thought the match win came down to them and they kicked it into high gear. Once they came off the court and told us what they thought, we all had a big laugh together,” said Chan.
He says that sense of humor made the season and the road to Nationals fun with this team.
“We laugh a ton with each other and make sure everyone is having a great time. I love the camaraderie we have developed over the season,” said Chan.
The team is headed to Surprise from October 18-20 to compete in their first Nationals.
Two additional teams in the 18 & Over League advanced directly to Nationals from their local league. They are the 5.0 Women’s team ‘Winchester’ from Winchester Indoor Lawn Tennis Center in Winchester, MA and the 5.0 Men’s team ‘RedBirds’ from Apex Racket and Fitness in Portland, ME. Both will compete on the first weekend in October in Las Vegas.
For full results, click here.