Two teams representing the Southern California Tennis Association recently took part in the World Team Tennis Nationals with the Central Coast Crushers placing seventh and the Bakersfield Ballers finishing 11th. The event took place last week at the George E. Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.
Southern Hospitality, with players from Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas, won their fifth World TeamTennis Junior Nationals Championship today, defeated Midwest Cheeseheads 39-33 to win the title.
The WTT Junior Nationals, which is hosted by WTT co-founder Billie Jean King, is a national junior invitational event featuring 16 coed teams from throughout the U.S. The teams use the World TeamTennis format during their three days of non-elimination draw competition.
Team members and their hometowns for the Crushers included: Eli Whittle, Nipomo; Sean Hollister, Arroyo Grande; Morgan Hale, Santa Barbara; Sophia Whittle, Nipomo; Kelsie Bryant, Carpinteria and Lauren Hayashi, Modesto.
The Ballers were made up of players from the Kern County Community Tennis Association and were coached by Chuck Provencio and Teri Lynott. Team members all came from Bakersfield and included: Daymon Johnson, Tim Roe, Sullivan Roche, Crimson Hochhalter, Isabel Donaldson and
Hawaii Warriors, representing the USTA Hawaii Pacific section won the Maureen Connolly Brinker Team Spirit Award which is voted on by coaches, players and tournament officials for a team’s outstanding sportsmanship and camaraderie. Hawaii Warriors received a $1,000 check along with the award.
Teamwork, leadership and sportsmanship are key areas of focus for the three-day event. During the tournament, players donated and packaged supplies for an Army unit in Afghanistan as part of the USTA Adopt-A-Unit program. Players also wrote personal notes of appreciation to accompany the package. Members of the Armed Forces were on hand to talk to the players about the role that tennis has played in military as well as the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.
The tournament follows the WTT non-elimination draw format with the 16 teams divided into four groups. Each team is comprised of three boys, three girls and a coach. Team matches consist of eight events; with two sets each of boys’ singles, girls’ singles, one set of boys’ and girls’ doubles, and two sets of mixed doubles. The first team to reach six games wins each set. A nine-point tiebreaker is played if a set reaches five all. One point is awarded for each game won. If necessary, Overtime and a Supertiebreaker are played to determine the outright winner of the match.
The tournament follows the WTT non-elimination draw format with the 16 teams divided into four groups. Each team is comprised of three boys, three girls and a coach. Team matches consist of eight events; with two sets each of boys’ singles, girls’ singles, one set of boys’ and girls’ doubles, and two sets of mixed doubles. Team members, ages 14-18, are selected based on their sectional and national rankings.