The Gainesville area USTA Junior Team Tennis program has certainly gotten the attention of the rest of the junior tennis community in the state. Starting in fall 2008, a number of Gainesville teams have traveled to Sectionals at the end of the fall, spring, and summer seasons and competed very successfully at each tournament. Winners of the spring and fall Sectional Tournaments do not advance, but for the summer Sectional, winners of the 18 and Under and 14 and Under Advanced and Intermediate divisions advance to the National Junior Team Tennis Tournament.
Two area teams competed at the Jr. Team Tennis Sectional event in Daytona Beach, August 6th-8th, 2010: The Powershots, in the 14 and Under Advanced division, captained by Mary Cribb, and the G-Power, in the 12 andUnder Advanced division, captained by So-Mei Louie. The competition at the Summer Sectionals is very tough, particularly in the advanced divisions,
as the winning teams in 18s and 14s advance to the National Jr. Team Tennis tournament. Congratulations to G-Power, who won the state title in their division, with a 4-0 record, and 223-115 (games won/games lost). Members of G-Power were: Hyunsoo Ryan Joo, Jared Lee, Kendal Wilby, Emily Louie-Meadors, Harry and Grey Cacciatore, and Morgan Jones. In past years, the winner and finalist of the U12 division would have advanced to the Florida-Georgia “Border Wars”, as the U12 winners do not advance to Nationals. Unfortunately, this year that competition was discontinued.
Four teams from the Gainesville Jr. Team Tennis spring league advanced to the Sectional Tournament in Orlando in April, with two of the teams, the Powershots (14-and-Under Intermediate), captained by So-Mei Louie, and the G-Power ( 12-and-Under Advanced), captained by Bobbie Mehan, winning state titles. Players on the Powershots team were: Andrew Irani, Camille Kima, Courtney Cribb, Jacob Gordon, Sheridan Lee, and Taylor Harrell. G-Power players were: Choong Sek Oh, Emily Louie-Meadors, Harry and Gray Cacciatore, Jared Lee, Kendal Wilby, and Lillie Mahan.
The USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis Fall Section Championship, held Dec. 12-13, 2009, at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. All local Florida USTA Jr. Team Tennis teams that have participated in an official USTA Jr. Team Tennis Fall season program, have a current USTA junior membership and played in at least three different local league matches were invited to the Fall Section Championship. Eight Gainesville teams attended the Sectional event, and two were awarded state championship titles: The G-2, captained by Bobbie Mehan, won the 12/14 Advanced Combo, and the SMASH, captained by Linus Whittaker, won the 18 and Under Advanced Division.
The rules change for the summer Jr. Team Tennis Sectional events, with the winners and finalists of the various divisions getting the opportunity to advance to either Nationals or the Florida-Georgia games.
In the USTA Jr. Team Tennis Summer Sectional Tournament, held July 31-August 2nd, 2009 in Lakeland, FL, Gainesville’s “Powershots” defeated the Biscayne Bulldogs in the 14 and Under Intermediate final. They advanced to the Jr. Team Tennis Nationals, held in Mobile, Alabama October 22-25. The Powershots, coached by So-Mei Louie, Mary Cribb, and national wheelchair champion, Johnny Johnston, were only one of four teams from Florida invited to the Nationals. Team members include: Camille Kima, Choong Sek Oh, Courtney Cribb, Emily Louie-Meadors, Jared Lee, Justin Rensel, Kendal Wilby, Kyung Seok Oh, Sheridan Lee, and Tabong Kima. See: www.jonesvilletennis.com/Site/News_and_Events/Entries/2009/11/4_Going_Global_For_Nationals.html
The Gainesville 12 and Under Intermediate USTA Jr. Team Tennis team, the Gainesville Gamers (G-2), captained by Bobbie Mehan, participated in the annual “Border War”, the 12th annual Florida-Georgia USTA Jr. Team Tennis Challenge on October 3-4, 2009, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The Tennis Challenge was an invitation-only event featuring the two states’ best USTA Jr. Team Tennis teams, as determined by their state sectional results. The team members include: Lille Mehan, Rio Asch, Brandon Stewart, Harry and Grey Cacciatore, Gaelin McLeod, and Walla and Aminah Moffett. The Florida team won!
At the end of April, U18 Advanced (captained by Anne Koterba), U14 Advanced (captained by Linus Whittaker), U12 Advanced (captained by Johnny Johnston and Mary Cribb) and U12 Intermediate (captained by Bobbie Mehan) teams participated in the Jr. Team Tennis Sectional Tournament in Altamonte Springs. The U18 Advanced and the U12 Intermediate teams were finalists in their divisions, and the U14 Advanced and U12 Advanced teams won their respective divisions.
Four teams from our area traveled to Daytona Beach in December: Two U18 Advanced teams captained by Anne Koterba and Tammy Gordon, one U12 Advanced team, captained by Johnny Johnston and Mary Cribb, and one U12 Intermediate team, captained by Bobbie Mehan. The U12 Advanced and U12 Intermediate teams both were finalists in their divisions. More importantly, the kids got a taste of the high level of competition at these Sectional events and bonded together as Gainesville teams.