First Ever USTA National Spring Team Championships
Q & A: First Hand Experience of a New England Player
Mobile, AL - Players from all USTA Sections came together to compete at the first ever USTA National Spring Team Championships at the Mobile Tennis Center March 8 - March 13, 2014. This tournament was unlike any other tournament these players competed in before.
This Championship brought all four age divisions together in an overall new team event and format. Rather than individual players representing their sections, they were representing their teams. Players were put on teams created by the tournament, balancing the teams according to USTA rankings. Each team was made up of two players from the 12s, 14s, 16s, and 18s.
This Championship created a whole new competitive edge for each player. Players were competing with an unfamiliar team and coach, and had only two days of training prior to the Championships to get to know one another. This environment quickly encouraged strong bonds and friendships to develop as teams were fighting for one common goal, the Gold Ball.
The USTA National Spring Team Championships allowed players to compete at a high level and develop friendships that will last. The following nine players from New England competed; Alyssa DiMaio (Westport, CT), Meghan Kelley (Falmouth, ME), Emma Davis (Cohasset, MA), Lexi Milunovich (New Canaan, CT), Anna Rogers (Stamford, CT), Kacie Harvey (Braintree, MA), Grace Joyce (Newton, MA), Sasha Wood (Topsfield, MA), Joseph Haig (Chestnut Hill, MA), and Michael Karr (Darien, CT). Karr’s team, The Saints placed second.
Live through the experience with a New England player in this question and answer interview. We asked girls 18s Emma Davis for her first hand experience at the inaugural USTA National Spring Team Championships.
Q & A
What team were you placed on?
Emma: The Leopards
How competitive was it?
Emma: There were so many amazing players at this tournament and playing the #1 position in the 18s meant every match was extremely tough and very competitive.
Was it easy to get to know your teammates?
Emma: Yes, my teammates were awesome. We all got along and I came away with 7 new friends.
How were the two days of training?
Emma: I thought the 2 days of training were great for the team to get to know each other and it also helped me get used to playing outdoors.
What was it like being on a team with coaching during play?
Emma: I loved having coaching during play. Our coach was very supportive and he helped get me through some tough matches.
Do you think you will stay in contact with the friends you made?
Emma: Definitely, it was such a great group of girls. We played our matches next to one another and so in between points and during change-overs we would all cheer for one another. It didn't matter how late or cold it was, we all stayed and supported each other even if we were done playing.
What was it like being on a team with older and younger kids?
Emma: I loved it because I play high school tennis so the team dynamic with all different ages playing on one team is similar to my high school tennis experience.
How was your overall experience?
Emma: Overall, I had a really great time at this event. It's always nice to be on a team and have the constant support of your coach, teammates and teammates' parents. I met 7 awesome girls that I probably never would have met because we all play in different age groups.
A full list of draws, result and tournament information can be found on TennisLink by searching with the tournament I.D # 70004214.