First 40 & Over Weekend Sends Five To Nationals
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | August 14, 2018
WESTBOROUGH, MA- Five New England Adult 40 & Over teams have advanced to USTA League Nationals in October thanks to Sectionals victories from August 10-12. Men’s 4.5+, 4.0, 3.5 and 3.0 and women’s 4.5+ teams advanced, while women’s 4.0, 3.5 and 3.0 competed in the District Championships for a shot at Nationals in a new “playoff” final to take place between August 25-26.
Sectionals were held at four sites north of Boston: Woburn Racquet Club, Winchester Indoor Lawn Tennis Center, Willows Tennis Club and Bass River Tennis Club.
Adult 40 & Over 4.5+ and 3.5 Nationals will take place from October 19-21 and the 4.0 and 3.0 levels will be the following weekend, October 26-28. The 4.5+ and 4.0 will be in Las Vegas, 3.5 is in Arlington, TX and 3.0 is in Mobile, AL.
Here are the first five 40 & Over teams advancing to Nationals:
Captain Maureen Sumner has become a regular at League Nationals. In what will be her seventh career appearance representing New England, she will be looking to capture her second title or reach a final for the fourth time. She’s not the only one with playoff experience, as each player on her team out of Longfellow Club in Natick, MA has competed at at least one Nationals.
“I think our experience will definitely help us. Being there in the past, we know the drill, and I know it will be another great experience,” Sumner said. “We enjoy all the prep work and build up and we do our homework on the other teams to make sure we get the best matchups.”
Sumner’s team advanced to Nationals by winning a four-team championship flight that concluded Sunday in Winchester. The squad finished 3-0 with wins against teams from Woburn Racquet Club, Racket and Fitness Center and Chelsea Piers. Sumner’s team compiled a 13-2 individual match record throughout the weekend.
Richard Anthony’s team from Lakeville Athletic Club in Lakeville, MA took home the Men’s 4.5+ Sectional Championship. Lakeville earned a spot in the final by going 2-0 and winning its three-team flight. Lakeville gained separation on the second-place finisher from the Racket and Fitness Center despite losing both singles matches in their head-to-head matchup. Lakeville got the better of Racket and Fitness by winning all three doubles positions, giving them a total position record of 8-2. Lakeville then defeated Bass River Blue in the final, 4-1.
The Enfield Slammers, led by first-year captain, Jonathan Han, took the 4.0 championship in the final men’s match on Sunday afternoon in Winchester. The team out of Enfield Tennis Club in Enfield, CT, was 1-0 heading in to the final match of a three-team championship flight against Apex Deuces from the Racket and Fitness Center.
With the position score tied at 2-2 and a shot at Nationals hanging in the balance, both teams watched anxiously as their No. 2 singles players played their hearts out. Enfield’s Eric Narotsky ended up defeating Mark Gelsinger, 7-6, 6-2 to clinch the title, one that was sweet revenge for Han’s team.
“We were Sectionals finalists last year and lost in a tiebreaker. We were incredibly eager to get back, and we knew if we added a two more singles players to make four total, we would be a little stronger and come back and win it all,” Han said.
Enfield defeated a team from Rally Point Racquet Club in the first matchup and finished with a 7-5 overall position mark.
“It’s hard to explain in words how exiting it was to win. It’s the greatest feeling so far for me in USTA tennis, and as a first-time captain, it tells me we had a lot of great players who bonded throughout the weekend, shared the duties and responsibilities and competed at the highest level to win for the team,” Han said.
Lee Yee’s team out of Harvard University, snuck past teams from Racket and Fitness Center and Cedardale Health and Fitness to take the Men’s 3.5 championship. In the pivotal match against Racket and Fitness in the championship flight, Harvard Rec Gold struck gold in singles, winning both matches and taking the overall match, 3-2. The win proved the difference in who took the top spot.
Harvard faced a similar fate in flight play, as they held an identical 2-1 (10-5) record as BSC Wellesley. Harvard was able to advance however, as they beat Wellesley 3-2 in the head-to-head matchup.
The Ironmen from Trumbull Racquet Club in Trumbull, CT are the 3.0 champions. Captain David Ciancimino led his team to a 2-0 victory against Mountainside Racquet & Fitness Center to take the top spot in the championship flight. The Ironmen picked up 3-2 and 4-1 victories against Mountainside to take home the title.
The Summer League Championship schedule continues next with Adult 18 & Over Sectionals from August 17-19 at Mt. Holyoke College.
To view photos from 40 & Over Sectionals, click here.