Tri-Level Teams off to Indian Wells
Team We'll Try, from Southern Connecticut, took home the 3.5 Tri-Level Sectional title. Pictured (from left to right) are: Ashley Sullivan, Kimberly Connors, Melissa Lawson and Linda Sadinsky.
By James Maimonis
Communications and Engagement Coordinator
LUDLOW, MA- The New Year is underway and one group of USTA League players has already clinched the first berth to Nationals of the season. Seven Tri-Level teams took home New England Sectional titles on January 15 at Ludlow Tennis Club in Ludlow, MA. By winning, they have earned the ultimate prize of competing at the Tri-Level Championships in March alongside the pros during the semifinals and finals of the BNP Paribas Open in beautiful Indian Wells, CA.
“The competition this year at Sectionals was amazing and these players deserve the Indian Wells experience,” said Heather Anastos, USTA New England Director of Competitive Tennis. “Having that opportunity to play on the courts next to the pros and then being able to watch them up close in person is something unforgettable for our players.”
Forty-three teams of 2-4 players competed at the 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 NTRP levels against players of equal ability. Only one doubles pair plays in each match, compared to USTA League, which features three or five positions. Seven 3.0 teams also competed at the event, however there is not a 3.0 level at Nationals.
Pictured (from left to right) are Tri-Level Sectional champions: 3.0 Women, Millyn Gaaserud and Deanne Coad and 4.5 Women, Jeanne Hulsen and Kristin Hartley.
Below are the seven teams that took home Sectional championships:
Men’s 4.5- Team: OC/Ramrod, from Vermont, went 2-1 in flight play to capture the 4.5 crown. The team is captained by Benjamin Taylor and also features James Ayer. This is the team’s second Tri-Level Sectional victory.
Women’s 4.5- Team: ESB/Tennis Gypsies, from Vermont, had no trouble in the 4.5 division. The duo of Captain Jeanne Hulsen and Kristin Hartley went 3-0 in their flight and then defeated the team from Pond View Racquet Club, 7-6, 7-6, in the finals. Tennis Gypsies also advanced to Nationals in 2011.
Men’s 4.0- Team: MIT/Midd, from Vermont, went 3-0 in its flight without dropping a single set. Captain Zach Weaver and partner Aaron Crystal won the 4.0 Sectionals last year, but were unable to attend Nationals.
Women’s 4.0- Team: LS: Cushman, from Eastern Connecticut, went 3-1 in flight play to advance to the 4.0 finals. There, the duo of Abi Cushman (captain) and Leah Ward took down the NH Divas (New Hampshire), 6-3, 6-2.
Men’s 3.5- Team: Y – Hastings, from New Hampshire, went unbeaten (3-0) in flight play to capture the 3.5 crown. The team, comprised of Captain Jeffrey Hastings and Eric Murray, did not drop a set en route to the title.
Women’s 3.5- Team: We'll Try; Sousa/Sullivan, from Southern Connecticut, won every set they played on their way to finishing atop their flight (3-0). The team then defeated fellow Connecticut foe from Mystic, 6-1, 6-4 in the championship match. Team We’ll Try was the only Sectional winner that featured four players: Captain Ashley Sullivan, Kimberly Connors, Melissa Lawson and Linda Sadinsky.
Women’s 3.0- Team: SCT 3.0W finished 2-1 to win its flight and advance to the finals. There, the duo of Deanne Coad (captain) and Millyn Gaaserud from Southern Connecticut, took down opponents from Northern Connecticut, 6-4, 6-4, to win the 3.0 title.
Sectionals matches were played at both Ludlow Tennis Club and Enfield Tennis Club in Enfield, CT.
At the Tri-Level Championships, the New England team will be comprised of one doubles team per gender in the 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5 ability levels. Men and women will be competing for their own titles.
The BNP Paribas Open Tri-Level Championships will be from March 16-19.
Pictured (from left to right) are Tri-Level Sectional champions: 3.5 Men, Jeffrey Hastings and Eric Murray and 4.0 Men, Aaron Crystal and Zach Weaver.
Pictured (from left to right) are: 4.5 Men's Tri-Level Sectional champions James Ayer and Benjamin Taylor and 4.0 Women's champions, Leah Ward and Abi Cushman.