New England Opens League Nationals
With Third-Place Finish
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | October 11, 2018
WESTBOROUGH, MA- The time has finally come for the top USTA League teams throughout the nation to compete against the best of the best and vie for a national championship. League Nationals has begun, and it is the most exciting spectacle USTA adult tennis has to offer throughout the fall. From elaborate tennis centers and professional treatment to top-notch competition and unforgettable memories, earning a trip to one of these national events is truly an experience of a lifetime.
The championships kicked off from October 5-7 with Adult 18 & Over 4.0 play in Arlington, TX and 5.0+ play at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, FL.
New England wasted little time picking up their first top-four finish of the fall, as Alicia Stansbury’s 18 & Over 4.0 team out of the Weymouth Club in Weymouth, MA captured third place in Arlington. ADVERTISEMENT They were one of four New England teams to compete over the first weekend.
In a brand new no-flight format where teams were assigned opponents at random and the top four teams advanced to the semifinal round, Stansbury’s group benefitted immensely. The team finished with a 3-1 record, good for a five-way tie for third place. Weymouth compiled the top position score (15-5) amongst the bunch, clearing the path to the No. 3 spot and a semifinals berth.
In the semis, Weymouth matched up against the eventual champions from USTA Midwest. Lisa Ross won her singles match for New England, while the pairing of Stansbury and Elizabeth Straub took home a doubles point, but Midwest was too strong, clinching the remaining three points.
“We were so close. Those Midwest girls had fight and they were deep just like us. It could have gone either way. I have no regrets with that lineup, I had my best players out there,” Stansbury said.
The ladies bounced right back in the third-place match, finishing strong against a squad from USTA Southern. Weymouth won 3-2 thanks to a doubles sweep, which included wins by the Stansbury/Straub duo as well as Kelly Day/Patricia Krumholz and Gwen Traynor/Cheryl Bierwirth.
“I thought the tournament was fantastic. I really believe we had the team to win it all this year,” Stansbury said. “We had two sweeps on Saturday so we were coming in hot. Each lineup was thought through very carefully ensuring the best chances on every court. We proudly represented New England, formed close friendships, played our hearts out and placed third in the country. We had the ‘dream team.’”
New England’s Men’s 18 & Over 4.0 team played their hearts out in the no-flight format, but fate steered them in a different direction. Todd Toler’s team, out of Algonquin Indoor Tennis Center in Hookset, NH, finished 3-1 yet found themselves on the wrong side of the tiebreaker.
Like the women, the men’s side featured a five-team tie at 3-1 that made places three to seven in standings. New England was as close to advancing as possible with the current tiebreaker scenario, but after finishing with the same overall match record, individual record and the same amount of sets lost as the team from USTA Texas, New England came up short in the total games won department, giving the edge to Texas.
“The energy and excitement built with each match as we picked three team wins in row. It felt like it was destined to happen, to reach the semis, but we ran into a very strong doubles pair from Arizona in our fourth match and narrowly missed our goal with a 3-2 team loss,” Toler said. “That miss was even more dramatic as the competition continued around us and we bunched up with several other teams. Having finished in fifth place, by the narrowest of margins, was certainly painful, especially for so many of us looking back at our individual match losses.”
Although painful, Toler and his team did not let the loss spoil their Texas adventure.
“It’s the 18 & Over league, but the constant smiles and fun we had is more comparable to a group of young boys experiencing something too exciting for words; like Christmas morning every day,” Toler added. “We made the decision to rent a very large house, and that decision was probably the best decision of the whole trip. We players have all been close for some time, but the five days spent together under one roof cooking, dinning, socializing and playing every game possible. was simply priceless. It cemented a lifetime memory for all of us.”
New England also sent two Adult 18 & Over teams to Orlando’s USTA National Campus. Both Ryan Adamonis’ team out of Bass River Tennis Club in Beverly, MA and Rebecca Stone’s squad from Boston Athletic Club in Boston, bypassed New England Sectionals and advanced through their local leagues.
The men’s team finished with a 2-2 record (5-7), which was good for 11th place in the 16-team field. The women finished in 12th, going 0-3 with a position record of 3-9.
The next National Championships will take place from October 12-14 and will feature the rest of the Adult 18 & Over division (2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.5).
For complete results from the 4.0 championships, click here.
For complete results from the 5.0 championships, click here.