Team New England
Wins Capital Clash
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | October 10, 2018
COLLEGE PARK, MD- For the second time in three years, Team New England is champion of the Northeast Capital Clash. Coach Jamey Finchum led the 10 and Under squad that defeated teams from USTA Eastern, Middle States and host, Mid-Atlantic, to the title.
The Capital Clash is an annual 10 and Under showcase between the four Northeast USTA Sections that gives young players the opportunity focus on sportsmanship and gain valuable tournament experience. The tournament took place at the Tennis Center at College Park in College Park, MD from October 7-8.
“I had a blast. We had a great group of kids who play at a very high level,” said Finchum, who works as the 12 and Under Director at Longfellow Tennis & Health Club Wayland. “The event was set up nicely for kids to have a memorable experience and to learn what team competition is like.”ADVERTISEMENT
Team New England was comprised of juniors Karolina Lincer, Lillian Santos, Nancy Lee, Kaya Moe, Parker Schultz, Michael Lorenzetti, Dante Chabot and Tanner Oberg.
Team matches were round robin play with three rounds of gender doubles leading off, followed by three rounds of singles and three rounds of mixed doubles.
New England led Middle States 50-49 after teams completed gender doubles matches and expanded on their lead from there. They built an 11-game cushion after singles, and in total, finished 21 games ahead of second-place finisher, Middle States, 207-186. Eastern came in third with 173 games and Mid-Atlantic’s 130 games was good for fourth.
“These kids stated getting more and more comfortable with each other as the weekend went on, and I think that really helped them. Especially in a situation when you’re playing mixed doubles where you may not have played before at this age, it’s nice to have some kind of chemistry with your partner and your teammates cheering you on,” Finchum said.
“They were thrilled with the result,” he added. “They kept checking the scoreboard and you couldn’t hide it from them that they were ahead.”
As proud of his team as Finchum was for winning, his chief focus of the weekend was to instill good sportsmanship habits in his players. Sportsmanship was the underlying focus of the tournament, so whether it was cheering for your teammates, opponents, making fair line calls or containing your emotions, Finchum made a point to emphasize the importance of it.
“I believe if we gave out a team sportsmanship award, it would’ve gone to New England,” said Tournament Director Rob Issem. “The players and parents were great and we had no issues. Jamey was a great role model for kids and they appeared to respond well to him. It didn’t seem like any team had more fun than New England and it was a pleasure having them there.”
Each section did vote on a sportsmanship winner from their own team, and New England players voted Kaya Moe, who Finchum said was the consummate sportsman.
“Our kids were all fantastic and so many of them could’ve received this award, but Kaya truly deserved it. Her line calls were great, she always gave her opponent the benefit of the doubt and had a positive attitude on the court,” Finchum said
“Any kid lucky enough to represent their section at this event usually says it’s the highlight of their 10 and under career. It’s such a fun weekend, with the sportsmanship, camaraderie and great coaching being contagious. Running this event is truly my favorite pare of my work with USTA,” Issem said.
For more info on the Capital Clash, click here.