Dottie Mattern the team captain for the Asheville Racquet Club South team describes her team’s trip to the USTA Sectional Tennis tournament as follows.
“We were focused, we had prepared, we were feeling positive vibes. Each team member had spent the winter looking forward to this tournament and preparing for it. After all, we are not spring chickens (this is a senior combo team). This was an opportunity to test our abilities against 9 state champion teams in a sport we love does not happen every day. We talked as a team, about our play and strategies. We encouraged each other to play hard and not ever give up. At this tournament in Dothan, Alabama, there were 1,050 players on senior and super senior players from nine states.
Our combo team was in a group of 4, so had three matches to determine if we played the finals. We first played Georgia, and since Georgia has a huge USTA program, I thought this was going to be a really tough way to start off. We won all three courts in straight sets. That was a sign for us and gave us more motivation.
Next we played Mississippi. We won two courts and the match and lost the third court in a match tiebreak 11-9. So close!
Next we played South Carolina. We won two courts and the match but lost the third court. So, by winning 3 matches, we advanced to the finals. Luck would have it that the other NC team (SET-South East Tennis) that we had to play was from Wilmington, N.C. had won their group 3-1. SO it was an all North Carolina final, which is a bit unusual! To clarify, North Carolina had received the wildcard this year and thus sent two teams to sectionals.
We were focused and determined. We won all three courts in the final! (unusual for a final!) with one match going to a third set tiebreak, which we won( interesting enough the tiebreak score was 11-9 WNC!) Maurean Adams and Barb Redding played all four matches and were undefeated, but every team member contributed to our winning record. It was a total team effort: Christie Stephenson, Nancy Fish, Kathy Wrenn, Merle Alcand, Lin Cannon Barbara Redding, Maureen Adams, and me.
Unfortunately, there are no Nationals for combo. We have gone as far as we can go and feel quite proud to be at the top of the USTA Southern Section heap!”