New England Sends
First Four To League Nationals
James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | October 10, 2019
WESTBOROUGH, MA- USTA League Nationals season is officially here. New England sent its first four teams Las Vegas, NV and Surprise, AZ to compete in the Adult 18 & Over Championships from October 4-6. In the 5.0 division in Las Vegas, Eliot Potvin led his men’s team from Apex Racket & Fitness in Portland, ME, while Lisa Tholen captained the women based out of Winchester Lawn Tennis Center in Winchester, MA. Both Richard Ow and Laurel Carey brought their 3.5 teams out of BSC Lexington in Surprise
Potvin’s 5.0 team finished with the best New England result of the weekend, securing eighth place. The men from Apex started off strong with an opening win on Friday against Midwest thanks to a singles victory from Dana Parziale and doubles from the team of Potvin and Chase Savage. Potvin then picked up the lone win in singles as the team fell to eventual champion, Texas, later that evening. ADVERTISEMENT They bounced back Saturday morning thanks once again to the combo of Parziale and Potvin/Savage, as they defeated Northern California 2-1. They came up just short of advancing to the top-four in their final match, as Parziale’s third singles win of the weekend wasn’t enough to propel them past Eastern.
“We had a great time at 5.0 Nationals. With so many players on all the teams having college tennis backgrounds, it ends up being a really fun way to get back to competitive team tennis, Potvin said. “We had a great match against Texas with three tiebreakers, and came up two points short overall. We got to watch a bit of our women’s team as well. The overall the camaraderie and good sportsmanship from all the sections was a nice surprise.”
Potvin and Parziale each finished 3-1 individually.
On the Women’s 5.0 side, Lisa Tholen’s team featured a talented collection of players from all over Eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The ladies, all of whom were in their 40s and 50s and competing in the 18 & Over division, were in for a challenge. They embraced it and fought their hearts out, and they too finished 2-2 overall, good for ninth place.
The pairing of Susan Benoit and Nancy Grimes picked up the lone doubles win in New England’s opening loss to Southern California. The same duo pulled out another against Texas, and a singles win from Leslie Sawyer gave New England the 2-1 victory. New England then went on to defeat Intermountain, 2-1 behind wins from Sandra Ponichtera and Lisa Tholen/Aileen Eleey. They came up short in their final match against Mid-Atlantic, eliminating them from playoff contention. The team of Grimes and Ponichtera picked up a doubles win in the match.
“Our Women’s 5.0 team survived the dry heat and very tough competition in the 18 & Over Nationals in Las Vegas, completing a successful, hard-fought 2019 season,” Tholen said. “We may not have been the springiest chickens at the 18 & Overs, but I would double down on this experienced, dedicated and supportive team every time. The talent, grit and friendship is a pleasure and honor to experience."
Grimes finished at an impressive 3-0 (all doubles) for the tournament.
Richard Ow’s Men’s 3.5 team followed the trend, finishing 2-2 in Orlando. The men from BSC Lexington earned ninth place. They picked up impressive victories over Middle States and Florida but fell to Southern and Missouri Valley.
Ryan Yure led the way for Ow’s squad with three individual wins. Tony Mays, Oleg Yerov, Robert McHugh and Arnold Lee all contributed with two.
“I’m super proud of our BSC Lexington team to represent New England at Nationals. Getting to Nationals is no easy task and we had big wins from everyone throughout the season,” Ow said. “We brought 15 guys to Surprise, which shows how much everyone wanted to be a part of it. The team battled the crazy hot weather as well as high-quality opponents, and everyone had a blast. This was definitely a high point in all of our guys' lives as recreational players.”
In the Women’s 3.5 division, Laurel Carey’s BSC Lexington team hung in some difficult matches, but ultimately came up empty in the win column. The team finished in 15th place overall. Carey’s group played extremely well in singles, finished with a 5-3 individual record. Lindsay Cao accounted for two of the wins, one against Florida and the other against Missouri Valley. Nicole Leveille picked up a singles win, and the team picked up two doubles wins. The first came courtesy of Cao and Sarah Kittredge against Pacific Northwest, and the second was from Leveille and Katherine Hadden, the lone position win in a defeat against Eastern.
New England will compete next from October 11-13 as they send 18 & Over 2.5 and 3.0 teams to Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, OK respectively and 40 & Over 4.0 teams to Surprise.
To see full results from the first weekend, click here.