New England

Mixed 18 & Over teams advance to Nationals after long-awaited Section Championship

James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | July 15, 2021

LUDLOW, MA - It was a weekend filled with rivalries, breakthroughs and long-awaited returns as USTA New England hosted its first official USTA League Section Championship since 2019. 


The 29 best teams in New England competed at the Mixed 18 & Over Sectionals from July 9-11 at Ludlow Tennis Club, East Hartford Racquet Club and Enfield Tennis Center for the chance at Nationals in Surprise, AZ in October and November. 


“It felt amazing to be back hosting New England Sectionals. Seeing everyone back together and excited to play again at this level is what it’s all about,” said Christy Bennett, USTA New England Director of USTA Leagues. 


The 7.0s, 8.0s and 9.0s played their final matches at Ludlow, while the 6.0 finals took place at East Hartford. 


Champions are listed below: 


9.0 - Hampshire Hills Athletic Club (NH)


Captained by Bridget Herlihy and John Tanzman, the Hampshire Hills 9.0 Mixed team advanced to its first Nationals in 10 years together. It took six Sectionals appearances and a third-set tiebreak in the final position on Sunday, but the New Hampshire squad is heading to Arizona.   


“All our players played their hearts out and that’s all I asked them to do. They came through 100 percent and it’s a fantastic feeling,” said Herlihy. 


Hampshire Hills swept it’s three-team flight, winning 4-2 (position score) and 9-4 in sets. In the finals, they squared off against the crew from the South Shore YMCA in Massachusetts led by Laurie Dannison and Chris Prudente. After splitting the first two doubles positions, the championship was on the shoulders of the No. 3 pairing of Alejandro Andres and Dalia Paradie. 


Andres and Paradie dropped a nail-biting first set in a tiebreak, 6-7, but stormed back to win the second, 6-4. With both teams and fans pressed up against the glass at Ludlow waiting for their fate to be determined, Andres and Paradie pulled through to take the third-set 10-point tiebreak and the championship. 


“Everyone at these things knows sometimes it’s harder on the sidelines. When you’re out there, you’re just focused on playing, but when you’re watching, it’s so nerve wracking, and you feel like every shot should’ve been made,” Tanzman said. “The team we played in the finals was awesome but Alejandro is a superstar on our team and Dalia stepped up big time this weekend. I never felt like she was going to crumble.”


8.0 - 4hand Sanitizers, Wayside Athletic Club (MA)


Winning Sectionals is nothing new for Chris Terpko, as he’s onto his fifth National Championship. This is his third New England Mixed Section Championship as a captain and fourth overall. 


“It never gets old, and each one is unique in its own way,” Terpko said. “This one was extra special because we had to sweep an awesome team today to win it – a team we’ve butted heads with so many times over the years.”


4hand Sanitizers battled in a five-team flight to determine the 8.0 champion. After they dropped their opening match to Sarah Kittredge’s Dedham squad, they saw themselves in a three-team race with Dedham and longtime rivals, Weymouth Club, captained by Alicia and Paul Stansbury. 


In order to capture the title, Terpko’s team needed to sweep the Stansburys, and they did just that. Lindsay Cao and Cam Lewis took the top position in straight sets, Carolynn Crabtee and Barry Gorman won at the number two spot, 5-7, 6-2, 1-0, and Pam Jeppson and Mariano Severgnini sealed the victory with a 6-2, 7-5 win against Paul and Alicia Stansbury. 


The teams have matched up on four different occasions during Sectionals finals and are even at 2-2.  


The deep Wayside team was without their star doubles pairing of Kathy Mitchell and Jimmie Ames for the finals after Mitchell went down with a leg injury in their match the day before. Mitchell and Ames joined Terpko’s team this year after years of battling as opponents. Terpko said this win was for them. 


“I feel especially good for Kathy and Jimmie. I’ve admired them for many years, and to have them on my team was a thrill,” Terpko said. “I don’t think they lost a set this year, and I can’t think of a better local pair in mixed doubles. To have Kathy get injured yesterday like she did, I think it made the win extra sweet.”


7.0 - East Bay Racquet Club (RI)


After four years of reaching Mixed Sectionals, Captains Meg O’Keefe and Leo Garceau have broken through and advanced to Nationals. The East Bay team defeated Kittredge’s 7.0 Dedham team in the finals, the same team they lost to four years ago in the championship match. 


“What a rush. It’s a very cool feeling to be able to break through this year and to avenge our loss,” O’Keefe said”


East Bay swept its four-team flight, finishing 3-0 with a 6-3 set secord. 


In the finals, East Bay’s Scott Francoeur and Vanessa Robinson took the number two position, 7-6, 7-6, after the team dropped the top spot. The match came down to O’Keefe and Paulo Guihardi who played at the third position. After dropping the first set, 4-6, the duo stormed back, 6-3, 1-0 to take the match and championship. 


6.0 - Rally Point Racquet Club (RI)


Stephen Carney led his team out of Rally Point Racquet Club to a 6.0 Sectionals crown. His Rhode Island squad went 4-0 in flight play, defeating teams from Trull Brook, New England Tennis Center, Solaris and the Woodlands, en route to the finals. 


In the championship, Carney’s squad defeated Jennifer Licciardi’s Cedardale team, 3-0, thanks to wins from No. 1 pair, Megan Hughes and Michael Baalbaki, No. 2, Renee Chace and Michael Carney and No. 3, Stephen Carney and Kristen Gower. 


Click here to view the photo gallery.


To view full championship results, click here

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