Jane Toriello pushed back complications from her 27-year battle against lupus and played with her “Bionic Butterflies” team in last weekend’s USTA 3.0 Adult National Championships in downtown Tucson.
However, the on-court competition proved one step tougher.
The Butterflies went 1-3 in their weekend matches, winning their first Friday match against Southern California’s Courtettes by a 3-2 score, but dropping successive contests to three squads from Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and the Caribbean.
“We just had a tough draw. Sometimes you get those,” Toriello said.
After the initial win, Toriello subbed into her team’s No. 1 role due to injuries. Down 4-1 in the first set, they rallied to win 6-4, before dropping the next two sets.
Five straight losses marked their efforts against the Pacific Northwest team, which won the event’s title, while the Butterflies successive efforts against the Caribbean team fluttered to a 4-1 loss.
But just playing in the national tournament provided everything Toriello, 54, needed before she submits her hands to joint replacement surgery in the near future.
“It is good closure. We were at the top, and we got to go to nationals,” Toriello said. “We all had such a great time.”