Seniors grab 2nd in USTA tourney - The Explorer: Sports

Seniors grab 2nd in USTA tourney

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Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:00 am

The 15-person tennis team from Heritage Highlands, Dove Mountain, finished second in the United States Tennis Association’s National 7.0 Senior Mixed Doubles Championships, held April 8-10 in Surprise, Ariz. That’s No. 2 among approximately 1,150 teams with about 13,500 players.

And the weekend’s competition sure didn’t lack for drama.

The tournament consisted of 15 teams of players ages 50 years and over from around the United States and the Caribbean who had qualified by winning their local leagues. The teams went on to win state titles and then capture one of 15 sectional championships.

The Highlanders dominated the local Southern Arizona league with a 9-1 record last spring. We qualified for nationals last September by winning the SouthWest Section against teams from Arizona and New Mexico.

In the huge, new tennis complex in Surprise, the Highlanders first played four other teams in their flight.  Each match consisted of three individual matches of two sets and a 10-point tiebreaker, if necessary.  

The team secured an opening 2-1 win over the Florida Section winner, from Miami. We locals then won all three courts against the Missouri Valley Section winner, from Oklahoma City, in our second match on Friday.

We played the Pacific Northwest Section winners, from Portland, Saturday morning. That match was delayed by that afternoon’s rain. But the Highlanders did not lose focus during the four-hour delay. Team members used our strength again to win the match 2-1 despite losing on the No. 1 court.

Play was postponed again late in the day and did not resume until 11 a.m. Sunday.  

That’s when the Highlanders faced the other undefeated team in the flight, from Morton, Ill., representing about 125 teams from the Midwest Section. After a 0-3 defeat, we were left waiting to see if we would get the fourth slot in the semi-finals by finishing with the best second-place record in the three flights.

We earned our spot by narrowly edging out Hawaii with the best percentage of games won versus games played in the tourney, and were matched against a team from Los Angeles representing the Southern California Section.

Once again, it was David against Goliath (smallest Section against largest Section) and retired senior citizens (average age 65) against a bunch of young whippersnappers (average age about 54).  

The Marana team, from our “active adult” (over 55) community, was undoubtedly the oldest team in the entire tournament.

The Highlanders won one and lost another against the youngsters, and the trip to the finals hinged on the outcome of the game played on court No. 1. We lost the first set 4-6 and trailed in the second set 2-5, but we oldies but goodies mounted a comeback.  We turned the second set around and won in a set tie-breaker, 7-6.  The Highlanders pair won the third-set tie-breaker, 10-8.

It was on to the finals.

The re-match against the Midwest Section for the finals was anything but a cakewalk for the team from Marana. The Highlanders lost our center-court match, but then upset the previously undefeated No. 2 team 7-6, 6-1. On court No. 3, it went 6-3, 3-6.

We were up 8-6 in the third set, which was the championship match and tie-breaker. But our dream ended with the Midwest players winning 8-10.

The Highlanders are a bunch of very competitive folks, but second place never felt so good. We are proud as heck of our team and delighted to have the USTA banner hang in our clubhouse.

It is just the first.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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