65 & Over Teams Earn Top Finishes in Arizona
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | January 25, 2018
SURPRISE, AZ- The Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex in Surprise, AZ was home to this year’s USTA League 65 & Over Tennis Championships. Seven New England teams earned a championship berths thanks either to either a Sectional title back in September or a direct qualification. The 65 & Over field featured NTRP levels 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0, with the 6.0s and 8.0s competing during the first weekend (January 12-14) and the 7.0s and 9.0s rounding out the championships from January 19-21.
Team New England Ad, out of Eastern Massachusetts, took home second place in the 9.0 Men’s division, while Stripers, the 7.0 Men’s team out of Cape Cod, MA, finished third.
“I could not have had a better group of players,” said Roger Gagne, New England Ad captain. “I am very proud of the team and proud of what we accomplished. ADVERTISEMENT I am looking forward to doing it again if given the opportunity.”
Gagne’s 9.0 team was one of just six to compete in the division at the Championships, therefore the division featured only one flight.
New England Ad went 3-2 overall with a 9-6 position score, to take home second place. Boasting a 3-1 record heading into their final match against Pacific Northwest, the team needed one more win to clinch the title. But in a grueling battle that ended with PNW winning the third set, 12-10, in a tiebreaker, Gagne’s team had to settle for a hard-fought second.
“My goal in tennis is to win one national tournament. The closest I’ve come was third place 10 years ago, and this second place finish has taken me closer to my goal,” Gagne said. “Most of the players on our team have had similar results, so to come so close and losing by just two points was crushing. But coming in second place is certainly a treat.”
Gagne’s team picked up flight victories against teams from USTA Sections, Southwest, Southern and Northern California.
In the 7.0 Men’s division, Jim Bisceglia led his Cape Cod team out of Willy’s Gym in Eastham, to a third-place finish. Stripers came away on top of the narrowly-contested flight that separated the top three teams by just one set loss. Bisceglia’s squad was the lone team to finish unbeaten (3-0) with a flight-best position score of 6-3.
With the flight victory, Stripers advanced to the semifinals where they ran into eventual champions from Georgia. New England fell just short, losing 2-1, but were able to redeem themselves by clinching the third-place match against Florida by the same score.
The rest of the New England results can be found below:
The Seniorellas, captained by Marguerite Brennan, finished third in flight play in the 6.0 division. The team out of Ludlow, MA went 3-6 in individual matches and picked up its lone win against Florida.
Judy Kelley led her 7.0 team to a fourth-place finish in flight play. The ladies from Pond View Racquet Club in Westerly, RI went 1-3 with a 5-7 position score. Their run was highlighted by a 3-0 victory against Missouri Valley.
Lynda Van Kleek’s Baseline Bombers came up just short in their effort to win their flight and reach the national semifinals. The team playing out of the Edge in South Burlington, VT, finished tied with a flight-best 2-1 record but finished one individual game behind Mid-Atlantic. The team also known as “Vermont Strong,” defeated Mid-Atlantic but recorded a 5-4 position record to Mid-Atlantic’s 6-4. The team also picked up a win against Middle States and fell to Midwest.
The 9.0 Women were captained by Michelle Immler and competed out of Eastern Mass. The squad finished in fourth place in its flight, going 0-3 (3-6) overall.
John Golonka’s 8.0 team also finished fourth in flight play going 0-3 overall. The team from Ludlow Tennis Club picked up two individual wins to go 2-7.
Complete results from the 65 & Over Championships can be found here.