Northern California

NorCal Mixed 18 & Over Adult League Team Win National Championships

November 10, 2022


USTA NorCal's Adult Leagues teams are on a roll at the 2022 USTA League National Championships this year! We are proud to share another one of our teams has been crowned as champions. Congratulations to the Mixed 18 and Over 10.0 team from Mission Hills for winning the National Championship of their division in Surprise, Ariz. on October 28-30, 2022.

 

We caught up with captain John Chen to hear about his team’s journey at Nationals and how they earned the national title.

 

Plus, we're honored to share that we had over 40 teams represent NorCal at the National Championships. Check out photos of the many teams who competed at Nationals and represented our NorCal section proudly!

Mixed 18 and Over 10.0 Team Captain John Chen:

What an amazing ride by our Mission Hills Club Mixed 18 and over 10.0 team. It has been a true team collaboration from everyone along the way, but it was anything but easy. Strategically, it all started at the USTA NorCal Sectional Championships. Lineup and players had to be thoughtfully planned out to ensure we had enough players qualified for Nationals in the case that we won Sectionals. As the team captain, it was incredibly difficult to figure out who to pair together. 

 

Our first seemingly insurmountable obstacle crumbled at the hands of our incredible husband and wife team: coach Steve and Claire Roberts (Brookside Tennis Training). First trimester, what’s that? "Just put me in, coach!" Claire said. Sure enough, they won our critical Sectional-clinching match. The baby is destined for great things!

 

Anh Weber, our in-house mental guru and strategist, was also crucial. What she lacks in stature, she more than makes up for with her guile and experience. Heck, I think some of her opponent’s combined age is still less than hers alone! Ouch! That’s gotta hurt Anh.  But you know we love you the most! Just imagine, she played D1 for Louisiana State University when they were still using wooden rackets. LOL!

 

This journey also wouldn't be possible without the tennis pedigree of both coach Phil Graham and Alex Poorta. Coach Phil is an all-American, USPTA Pro of the year, USPTA VP, and played exhibition matches against Brad Gilbert and Wayne Ferreira. He played the whole Nationals left-handed! That is how good he is. Even after breaking his buttocks in the quarterfinals match, he toughed it out and continued to play left-handed to the end. Just imagine…if he switched to his right hand. Coach Alex, our flying Dutch lady. She coached and worked with Danielle Collins after playing D1 tennis at Saint Mary’s College. She would have a perfect record at Nationals if not for coach Phil’s broken butt.

 

We also thank coach Jeremy Field for his dedication. He gave up his chance of going home to France just to stay and help us through this victory run at Nationals. Without his sacrifice, we would have been down to 4.5 players only.

 

Last but not least, our winningest player Christi Tain. Down by one set and 1-4 down in the second set with two service breaks and the National Championship determined by the outcome of this final match, Christi and coach Steve fought to win it in a super tiebreak 10-7. Looking back on our experience, what an incredible feat to go through such a high level of competition with different partners and remain undefeated. But, I think the near hysterical, one-man cheering squad of captain John gave them the energy needed to pull out the victory. I will take all the credit! Thank you for the amazing National Championship run and win. Peace out.

 

Player Roster: John Chen, Jeremy Field, Phil Graham, Alex Poorta, Steve Roberts, Claire Roberts, Christi Tain, Anh Weber

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