Mixed Teams Advance to
James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | July 23, 2019
WESTBOROUGH, MA- The first eight teams of the summer have advanced to USTA League Nationals. Four Mixed 18 & Over and four Mixed 40 & Over squads punched their ticket to Nationals thanks to New England Sectionals victories the past two weekends.
Mixed 18 & Over Sectionals kicked off the summer and took place from July 12-14 at Ludlow Tennis Club, Enfield Tennis club and East Hartford Racquet Club. The finals were solely played at Ludlow, and all four champions came out of Eastern Massachusetts.
They are: Trull Brook Golf & Tennis (6.0) in Tewksbury, La Familia (7.0), from Dedham Health & Athletic Complex in Dedham, Ball Maulers (8.0), from Wayside Athletic Club in Marlborough, and Spark Fitness & Tennis (9.0) in Andover.
Four Mixed 40 & Over teams won their Sectionals the following weekend (July 19-21) at Woburn Racquet Club, Winchester Indoor Tennis and Bass River Tennis Club in Beverly, MA, with the finals all being played in Woburn. ADVERTISEMENT Three of the four winners came from Eastern Massachusetts as well.
The winners are: All Business, from Cedardale Health & Fitness in Haverhill, One Love, from the Tennis Club of Trumbull in Trumbull, CT, Boston Sports Clubs in Wellesley and Spark Fitness & Tennis in Andover.
New England Mixed Sectional Champions will compete at Nationals at the USTA National Campus in November. Nationals dates will be split up by age and NTRP divisions, but teams will compete throughout the first three weekends.
How the winners got here:
Mixed 18 & Over 6.0- Trull Brook Green
The Sectional title for the 6.0 squad from Trull Brook is the first for most of its players. Trull Brook went 3-0 in flight play with an 8-1 position record to advance to a three-way round-robin final. There, they took down teams from Rally Point Racquet Club in Smithfield, RI and Dedham Health & Athletic Complex.
In total, Trull Brook overcame six match tiebreaks to capture the title.
“We are beyond thrilled to be Sectional Champions this year. This is the second year that the core of our team has been playing together. We have spent many hours practicing together and I think it has made all the difference,” said Trull Brook player Liz Harvey.
In the finals, Trull Brook and Rally Point finished with identical 4-2 positions cores, but Trull Brook came away with the win thanks to a 2-1 head-to-head victory on Sunday afternoon.
Trull Brook is captained by Marizela Keble.
“Our captain, Marizela, did an amazing job coordinating schedules and encouraging the team. Our team, plus family and friends, thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was lots of fun meeting other New England teams, attending the banquet and experiencing great tennis,” said Mary Chapman.
Mixed 18 & Over 7.0- La Familia, Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
The seasoned 7.0 team from Dedham is heading back to Nationals. The core has been playing together since 2012, and for co-captains Sarah Kittredge and Liliana Rosselli-Risal, this will be their third trip to Nationals.
With a new name this year and a team featuring spouses and friends, La Familia rolled through its flight, going 3-0 (8-1). In the final, La Familia matched up against 2018 Sectional Champions, You’ve Been Served, from Rally Point. In a battle down to the wire, Dedham prevailed, winning two matches to one.
Kittredge owes much of the victory to her team’s coach.
“Our coach, Nadia Sablon, started mixed doubles teams at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex. She coaches many teams in other leagues and has coached multiple mixed teams in the past, but has been with us consistently since our start,” Kittredge said.
Mixed 18 & Over 8.0- Ball Maulers, Wayside Athletic Club
It took a four-team flight, a semi-final match and a final, but ultimately, the Ball Maulers, from Wayside Athletic Club became the 8.0 Champions. Captained by Chris Terpko and Nicole Leveille, who have five combined Nationals appearances, the team dropped just one position all weekend.
“It’s an incredible thrill and never gets old. I’ve been fortunate to have experienced it three straight years now. There’s nothing like ‘Sunday at Ludlow’. It’s such a long and intense weekend and physically and mentally draining. To survive five quality opponents and be the last team standing is a great accomplishment,” Terpko said.
“Our team was ecstatic, particularly those who experienced it for the first time. Fittingly, the clinching point came off the racquet of Heather Fiddes, who had said before the finals that making Nationals was on her bucket list. I’m so happy we were able to help her achieve that goal.”
The Ball Maulers swept their flight, finishing 3-0 (8-1) and defeated opponents 3-0 in both the semis and finals. In the semis, they took down Apex Racket & Fitness, of Portland, ME and Lyme Shores Tennis & Fitness in East Lyme, CT in the finals.
“The most unique thing about our team is the depth. We’re strong 1 through 18. Every player on the roster had a hand in multiple wins. We’re fortunate to have selfless players. Everyone checked their egos at the door and pulled in the same direction,” Terpko said. “It’s not easy when you have 18 fierce competitors who all want to play the biggest matches. The toughest part about captaining isn’t deciding which names to put on the lineup card, it’s which names to leave off. It can be gut wrenching. You need your players to be team-first. We’re very fortunate to have that with this group.”
Mixed 18 & Over, Mixed 40 & Over 9.0- Spark Fitness & Tennis
Just months after opening the new Spark Fitness & Tennis, in Andover, MA, Adam Molda is leading two Mixed 9.0 teams to Nationals. A few players overlap between teams, but the majority are unique players representing the new facility.
Spark’s 18 & Over squad outlasted Tennis Rhode Island and three other teams in flight play. Spark and Tennis RI each finished 3-1, but a 3-0 head-to-head victory for Spark gave them the edge and the position score, 10-2, to Tennis RI’s 6-6 record. In the final, Spark defeated a team from Bass River, 2-1.
The 40 & Over claimed the top spot in its three-team flight to take the championship. Spark defeated teams form South Shore YMCA in Hanover, MA and Rally Point by a position score of 5-1.
Mixed 40 & Over 6.0- All Business, Cedardale Health & Fitness
Cedardale took home its first Sectional Championship of the summer thanks to Jennifer Licciardi and her 6.0 team. Eight members of the team have been to Nationals in the past, and for Licciardi, this will be her fourth trip in her eight years of playing tennis. But still, she said it never gets old.
“The term, ‘Sectional Champion’ sounds amazing! My team is elated, as this was the goal that we set for ourselves last fall. For us to achieve this goal means so much to all of us,” Licciardi said.
All Business took care of business in flight play, finishing 4-0 (9-3) and picking up the all-important 2-1 win against second-place finisher, New Canaan Racquet Club.
In the final, Cedardale defeated a team from Rally Point, 2-1.
“My team has worked very hard throughout the season to win our flight, and then we had weekly team lesson with Coach Rob Newton on Sunday mornings in the off-season to help better prepare us,” Licciardi said.
“Most of us have been before, but part of me is happier for the others who have never experienced all that comes with making it to Nationals. Meeting other tennis players from around the country, making new friends while all playing a game we love, makes us all winners in my book.”
Mixed 40 & Over 7.0- One Love, Tennis Club of Trumbull, CT
Raul Santana led his brand new 7.0 team to a 40 & Over Sectional Championship. One Love came away on top in the largest division of the weekend that featured 18 teams.
“It’s pretty amazing to be champions, and the players are super excited for this. This is a new team out of Trumbull, but you wouldn’t believe it because the team dynamic and chemistry come off like we’ve all been together for years,” Santana said.
The only Sectional Champion not from Eastern Massachusetts, One Love represented Connecticut and dominated its flight, winning all four matches with a position score of 11-1.
The team had to play two more matches to get through a three-team championship flight. One Love defeated BSC Lexington and Solaris Racquet Club in Stamford, 3-0, 2-1 respectively, to clinch the title.
“Running a team isn’t easy, but with the help from my co-captain Yury Berson and the dynamic and chemistry of the players, it wasn’t hard to do. I could have not asked for anything better. Win or lose, these players leave it all on the court, and the bond is just as strong following the matches,” Santana said. “This is the first time many of our players are going to Nationals. We are excited to see and experience the USTA National Campus and hope to represent the section proudly.”
Mixed 40 & Over 8.0, BSC Wellesley
BSC Wellesley took home the 8.0 Sectional Championship thanks to Captain Vivian Hsu and her team’s high spirits. The team went 3-0 (8-1) in flight play and was the only team in its group with a position record of .500 or better.
In the final, Hsu’s squad took down Cedardale, 2-1, preventing them from claiming their second title of the weekend.
“My teammates displayed tremendous energy, conviction, grit and humor in getting to and through Sectionals. Team spirit was evident in discussing playoff strategies including hydration techniques,” Hsu said.
Many players on BSC Wellesley have played together since 2015, however the majority of the team joined together in 2017. Hsu’s team also competed in the 18 & Over Sectionals the previous weekend.
For complete Mixed 18 & Over results, click here.
For complete Mixed 40 & Over results, click here.