Team New England Competes at Tri-Level Championships
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | March 21, 2018
INDIAN WELLS, CA- They say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Tri-Level players, but for some members of the New England championship team, competing at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was just the beginning of a multi-year journey.
“Now that we have been through the experience, we understand how it all works and would go into next year with more clarity and competitive edge,” said Bonnie David, who captained both the women’s 4.0 and 3.5 teams that helped make up Team New England.
Men’s and women’s 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 Tri-Level Sectionals winners joined forces from March 16-18 to form the New England unit that competed at the Tri-Level Championships alongside the pros at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Each of the 17 USTA Sections is allowed to bring a team.
“Uniting with both the women's and men's teams was a lot of fun. ADVERTISEMENT We spent time socially as well and have formed long-term relationships, which is what attracts us to tennis in the first place,” said Celeste Goodhue, a member of the women’s 4.0 team.
New England finished in 13th place overall. The men’s 4.5 team made up of Captain Alex Uttard, Brian Leahy and Jim Santoro (injured), which was making its second trip to Indian Wells in three years, went unbeaten (3-0), while David’s 3.5 women’s team went 2-1. The rest of the lineup, including David’s 4.0 team, picked up one more win combined.
David said the drastic change in climate contributed to the team’s result.
“We felt prepared going in, yet nothing prepared us for the natural factors of playing outdoors. We play all of our matches indoors, including summer, which is unlike USTA Leagues in other parts of the country,” David said. “I would say we are not ‘outdoor tough,’ and to step into a venue that is 100 percent outdoors and competing against others in their natural element, it was a challenge.”
The men’s 4.0 team faced similar roadblocks.
“The New England storm delayed our arrival by a day and a half, and unfortunately we paid the price. We lost the time we were hoping to use to get acquainted to playing outdoors again, and while all our matches were competitive, we were not able to help out the 4.5 men, who played great,” said Men’s 4.0 captain, Bryan Lewis.
Despite the scores, the team could all agree that the trip was an unforgettable one. From shopping and dining to watching the final weekend of one the biggest ATP tournaments in the US in such a scenic setting, each player soaked in the sun as well as the experience.
“What an honor to play in such an amazing venue and to look at photos with the backdrop of the mountains,” said David. “We recognize the huge blessing of making it to Indian Wells and embraced every minute of the experience between the amenities, shopping and watching great tennis.”
The Tri-Level League season gets underway in the fall. Look for an even hungrier Team New England next year with many familiar faces.