Mixed 18 & Overs First to Advance to Nationals
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | July 20, 2018
LUDLOW, MA- The first of the summer USTA League Sectionals got underway in Western Massachusetts from July 13-15 as 60 Mixed 18 & Over teams competed for their shot at the New England crown. Four teams (6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 NTRP Ratings) came away victorious at Ludlow Tennis Club and will advance to Nationals. Teams Mixed Troubles (6.0), BSC Lexington (7.0), Weymouth Stansbury (8.0) and Hebert/Pitrone (9.0) won their respective draws and will represent New England in November in Mobile, AL. Both 6.0 and 9.0 teams play out of Rally Point Racquet Club in Smithfield, RI.
Meet the Mixed 18 & Over Champions:
6.0 Mixed Troubles
Katie Werchadlo captained her 6.0 Mixed team out of Rally Point Racquet Club to its first Sectional title. And it was a sweet victory for the squad who had late troubles last year, as they fell in the finals after having championship point.
“It meant everything for us to win on Sunday. For many of us it's our first Nationals experience and we couldn't be more excited,” Werchadlo said.
Despite five of the team’s strongest players moving up after last season, Werchadlo re-built her squad and bounced back with an even stronger season this year. Mixed Troubles went 47-1 in position matches during the season.
“The preparation was years in the making. So much thought and planning went into each and every lineup and pairing. I knew we had Nationals talent and it was just up to me to put out the lineups to get us there,” she said.
The team cruised through flight play at Sectionals, going undefeated in both team (3-0) and position scores (9-0), setting up the most challenging match of the tournament. Werchadlo watched her third doubles team pick up an easy win in the semis while her second doubles team faltered after winning the first set, 6-0. The match came down to her and partner Scott Racine who knew they were in for a fight.
The duo was a game away from the championship after going up 6-1, 5-3 but the wheels began to fall off. After losing a second-set tiebreak, they trailed 3-6 in a third set supertiebreak and eventually saw themselves facing championship point at 8-9. Werchaldo said to herself, "Nope, I'm not going down like this,” as she served out her two points and then took the final point to win the match.
“This team is honestly the most amazing group of people I have ever had the honor of captaining. The support and camaraderie of this team is like nothing I've ever experienced on other teams. There is encouragement when another is down, and the ability to celebrate each other's victories as though they were our own, is remarkable,” she said.
7.0 BSC Lexington
Laurel Carey led her 7.0 team out of Boston Sports Clubs Lexington to what is believed to be the club’s first ever Nationals appearance. In just her second year captaining USTA League teams, she decided to field a roster of 18 in order to avoid defaults during the regular season and to have fresh legs for Districts and Sectionals weekends.
After a perfect 8-0 regular season, the team finished second in its flight at Districts and snuck into the Sectionals field thanks to a wildcard. BSC Lexington went 3-0 (6-3) in flight play at Sectionals to advance to the semis. There, they defeated Marion Indoor Tennis and faced a team from Dedham in the finals.
Lexington prevailed 2-1 thanks to wins by the pairings of Randal Noller and Soraya Stevens (6-4, 5-7, 1-0) and Matti Teittinen and Katherine Hadden (6-4, 6-3).
“We're all thrilled. So much of these journeys come down to luck and few shots. I remember before the final I asked the players from the semifinal how they felt and if they were too tired to come back and play in the finals. The looks I got back said it all about the fight and determination from the players on this team. We can't wait to bring that Boston toughness to nationals,” Carey said"
"Unfortunately for me, the team's reaction was to pour two gallons of water on my head after we clinched. In reality, it felt great because it was such a hot weekend. Going to nationals has was a bucket list item for me though, and to make it in just my second year of being a captain, was certainly a surprise,” she added. Of course, all I can say is, ‘I can't thank the players on the team enough.’ We had 18 people on the roster and all 18 are qualified to go to nationals and all 18 contributed to the success we had."
Husband and wife duo Alicia and Paul Stansbury led their team out of the Weymouth Club to their second consecutive Nationals appearance. Last year, the team won the Mixed 40 & Over Sectionals and this year, with many of the same players, the focus was 18 & Over.
In 2017, Chris Terpko’s Shrewsbury team got the best of the Stansburys in the Mixed 18 & Over Sectional final, but this year, they were able to best their Shrewsbury foes in the final matchup.
“This year was really big for us we because we were really hungry to prove that we were prepared this time to win it,” Alicia Stansbury said. “Ironically, Chris's team was actually in our regular season flight as well. We knew how tough they were and that we had a good chance that we would see them again in sectionals finals, and of course we did.”
Weymouth earned a 3-0 victory in the finals.
“Our team was jumping up and down, hugging and full of tears, we all worked really hard. We put a lot of effort into recruiting the right additions that are team is lacking. We make sure that we not only have the most talented players, but also players with strong mental skills and availability for summer tournaments. We also put a lot of thought into making sure they fit into to our team culture, which is very family oriented and social,” Stansbury added.
The couple’s daughter, Ashland, also plays on the team.
Weymouth won their Sectionals flight, going 3-0 with an 8-1 position record. They took down a team from the Racket and Fitness Center in Portland, ME to set up their finals rematch.
“We are so proud to represent New England, I can't express that enough. We will show good sportsmanship at Nationals and make New England proud win or lose.”
9.0 Rally Point
Kristen Hebert led her 9.0 team from Rally Point to the Sectional Championship, the club’s second of the afternoon. The team went 3-0 in flight play compiling a 7-2 position mark. They defeated teams from Bass River, South Shore YMCA and Bloomfield Tennis Club to advance to a three-team round robin flight to determine the 9.0 winner. Rally Point beat teams from Racquet and Fitness Club as well as Woburn Racquet Club to take home the title.