New England

55 & Over Teams

Advance to League Nationals

James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications  |  July 31, 2019

WOBURN, MA- Following two exciting weekends of USTA Mixed Sectionals, Adult League Sectionals commenced in New England. From July 26-28, New England’s 70 best 55 & Over teams competed at Woburn Racquet Club, Winchester Indoor Tennis Club and Bass River Tennis Club for their chance at a Sectional Championship and a bid to Nationals. The finals were all played at Woburn.


Three champions came out of Eastern Massachusetts, including two from the Longfellow Clubs, and one each from Northern and Southern Connecticut and Rhode Island.


Winners will represent New England in Surprise, AZ for Nationals, which begin on October 25 and span three weekends.


Here are your Sectional Champions:


9.0 Women- United Seniors, Longfellow Natick


The United Seniors are 9.0 champions. Captain Sally Kellog’s team out of the Longfellow Health Club in Natick, MA, defeated teams from The Edge in South Burlington, VT and from Cape Cod to win its three-team pool and claim the title.



“Our team is beyond thrilled to be a Sectional Champion. We are delighted to represent the New England Section at Nationals. All of our hard work and time commitment to our league helped us get here,” Kellog said.


The doubles duo of Elizabeth Ames and Barbara Hickey came up huge for Natick, as they won both their flight matches in the No. 1 spot. The pair of Gail Warden and Susan Corey picked up the second win to clinch the first match, while Warden and Kellog clinched the second match and the championship with their victory in the No. 2 position.


Kellog, Warden and Corey have played on multiple 4.5 teams together, and this year, they were joined by six familiar faces.


“We have all competed against and with each other in multiple leagues, so it’s nice to finally play with some of these ladies instead of competing against them,” Kellog said. “We really appreciate each other’s talents and personalities. Everyone is a team player and they are willing to do whatever is best for the team. This makes being a captain a lot easier when making the lineups.”

Six players on the team have reached Nationals before, but for three, it will be their first experience, and the first for everyone in Surprise.


Kellog added, “We would like to thank the other teams at Sectionals and the USTA staff for making the event run smoothly and for great sportsmanship on the court. They all wished us good luck and hoped that we would represent them well at Nationals. We look forward to making lots of memories on and off the court in November.”

8.0 Women- Longfellow Wayland


Captain Bev Gee led the second of two Longfellow teams to a 55 & Over Sectional title. Her team from the Wayland club dominated its flight, sweeping the field going 4-0 with a 10-2 position score.


The top finish earned them a spot in a three-team round robin with two other flight winners to determine the Sectional Champion.


There, Gee’s squad matched up against teams from Northeast Tennis Center in Middleton, MA and Greenwich Racquet Club in Greenwich, CT.


Longfellow dropped its first match, 1-2, against Greenwich, with the duo of Kelly Renner and Tona White picking up the lone win. But with Northeast Tennis Center sweeping Greenwich in the first match, the flight was still entirely up for grabs.


Understanding full well the situation, Longfellow came into its final match energized and ready. They defeated Northeast Tennis Center, 3-0, sneaking by them in the standings with a position score of 4-2 to their 3-3 to take home the title.


“Our team is still on cloud 9. We needed to sweep the last team, a tough proposition since we were playing the other flight winner, but we did it,” Gee said. “We’ve luckily had the core of the team together for the past four years, and not only are they great players, but they are a terrific group of ladies. What makes our team so awesome is cohesiveness and cooperation. Everyone is willing to play with one another and play as many matches as necessary.”


Gee added, “A few of us have been to Nationals, but it will be a first-time experience for the majority of the team. We hope that we’ll share a lot of laughs, joy and create some wonderful memories as we play incredible tennis.” 

8.0 Men- WestFit Club


The 8.0 Men’s team out of WestFit in Westford, MA, is your 8.0 Men’s Sectional Champion. With third-year captain Peter Kraus at the Helm, the core of this team has played together for more than 10 years and just picked up its first Sectional title.


WestFit rolled through its four-team flight, winning each of its three matches by a score of 2-1, to earn a shot at a one-match final with Rally Point Racquet Club in Smithfield, RI. The teams split the Nos. 1 and 3 positions, and the match was on the shoulders of partners Robert Bondaruk and Prasad Tadi. Neither player had lost a set yet at Sectionals, and after winning the first in the finals, 7-6, they dropped a close second set, 5-7. It took a third set tiebreak, but Bondaruk and Tadi kept preserved their perfect weekend records and helped clinch the title for their team.


“The team practices as a team and individually throughout the year. We felt the work paid off, as this team got close last year but injuries at sectionals derailed us,” Kraus said. “This year was exciting, as it all came down to a third set tiebreak. Fortunately, we had our most experienced team out there and it all worked out.”


7.0 Women- 55 Shades of Play, Greenwich Racquet Club


In the largest division of the weekend featuring 25 hungry teams, it was only fitting that the 7.0s had some of the most competitive action. Of those 25, Joan Stone’s 55 Shades of Play came away victorious, winning its flight, semifinal and final match.


Greenwich had to work to get out of its flight, finishing its four matches in a three-way tie for first place at 3-1. Landing in third was a team from Mid-Cape Athletic Club with a position score of 6-6, and with an identical 8-4 position record, were Greenwich and Acton Indoor Tennis in Acton, MA. Two straight-set victories for Greenwich and a three-set loss in their lone head-to-head match, was the difference however, as Greenwich dropped just nine total sets to Acton’s 10 to win the flight.


Greenwich defeated a team from Gilford Hills, 2-1 in the semis, to advance to a three-way finals flight. One of the teams waiting for them there was Four Season Racquet Club in Wilton, CT, which Greenwich had beat in Districts to advance to Sectionals.


“We fought hard and came out on top of Four Seasons Racquet Club, a very good team.  When they came to Sectionals as the wild card, I have to say we weren’t surprised when we had to beat them in the finals to win,” Stone said,

And once again, Stone’s team outlasted Four Seasons, this time, 3-0. Also picking up a 2-1 victory over Woburn Racquet Club, 55 Shades of Play finished on top of the championship to claim the title.


“We are so excited to be heading to Nationals. It was unbelievable because we had so many tight matches that we won,” Stone said. “I think our team has a special camaraderie; we know one another through our passion for tennis, but we all genuinely care for each other and enjoy our time together on and off the court. Over the years we've shared amazing tennis, great conversation, and lots of laughs. We are all looking forward to going to Surprise!”


7.0 Men- FVRC55, Farmington Valley Racquet Club


For more than five years, FVRC55 has been working at the goal of winning Sectionals. Last year and this year were in the 55 & Overs, and prior to that, it was in the 40 & Over division. In 2018, Captain Pete Suttmeier’s team experienced heartbreak, getting so close and falling in the championship, but this year, they came back more experienced and hungrier.


“Having reached the finals last year and falling short, we were determined to finish the job this year. Knowing the disappointment of defeat made this victory even sweeter. We are euphoric and looking forward to representing New England,” Suttmeier said.


To win their first Sectional event, the team from Farmington Valley swept its flight, 3-0 with a position score of 7-2. In the final, they matched up with a team from Rally point.


In the final, Suttmeier and Eric Torgersen picked up a straight-set win at the No. 1 position, but the team dropped its No. 2 spot in a third-set tiebreak. The duo of David Parekh and David Dahlem brought the team back up however but squeaking out a third set tiebreak of their own to clinch the championship.


“We practice with a coach and play a lot together on a regular basis, mixing 3.0, 4.0 and 3.5 players which has developed the newer/lower rated players to be much stronger. We are at a point on the curve where our players are on the high side of their ratings, which is key to advancing,” Suttmeier said.


He added, “This is the first time for Nationals for everyone on the team. We look forward to competing and representing New England against other parts of the country.” 


6.0 Women- Rally Point Racquet Club


Katie Werchadlo, one of the few non-playing captains at Sectionals, led her 6.0 team from Rally Point Racquet Club to the 55 & Over title. Werchadlo, who earned USTA New England Female Captain of the year, plays on both Adult and Mixed 18 & Over teams and captains teams in most NTRP divisions.


Her squad had no problem finishing atop its flight, winning each of its four matches by a position score of 11-1.


In the final, Rally Point defeated Racquet Science, of Newington Tennis Center in Newington, CT, 3-0. The duos of Mary Ann Gardner/Cathy Davis, Kathleen Mello/Claudia Pryor and Renee Rousselle/Marylou Ferri all won in straight sets to clinch the championship.


For complete 55 & Over Sectional results, click here.


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