• 2013 High School Tennis District Champions

    High School Tennis Girls: 

    P.K. Yonge

    Eastside High School

    Buchholz High School

    High School Tennis Boys:

    Oak Hall (fourth straight District Championship)

    Eastside High School

    Gainesville High School

  • A to Z with Zach Goldberg

    By John Boothe

    Correspondent Gainesville Sun

    Photo by Doug Finger/Staff photographer

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20130403/ARTICLES/130409824

    Name: Zach Goldberg

    School: Gainesville

    Year: Senior

    Position: No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles

    Height: 6-foot

    Weight: 150 pounds

    A rea tennis player I would pay to watch play: (GHS senior) Cole Fiegel. He’s a great competitor, he gives a lot of effort and it’s fun to watch him.

    B est sports movie I’ve ever seen: The Waterboy.

    C oach Paul Spradling’s best words of advice for me: “Keep moving forward in doubles and attack the net.”

    D inner on an ideal night? Chipotle.

     

    E asiest class or part of my school day: Government and Economics. We have an awesome teacher, and it’s a lot of fun.

    F orehand winner, service ace, backhand winner or an overhead smash to win a match? Ace.

    G reatest tennis player in the world right now? Roger Federer.

    Hoisting the state championship trophy this season will take… playing well as a team, everyone showing up and playing like they can.

    I nteresting thing about me off the court: I’ve played violin since I was 4.

    J oker on the team? Jacob Gordon. Coach Spradling says something, and he just shoots it back at him.

    K ey to having a good serve is… keeping your left arm up and your eye on the ball.

    L east favorite Gainesville sports moment? Last year, losing at state (in the No. 2 singles finals).

    M y ultimate goal as a tennis player is to… play four years in college and hopefully play professional tennis.

    N ickname? Zach Attack.

    O ne person in my life who inspires me most: My dad.

    P otential college major? Exercise Science.

    Q uiet time activity? Watch TV.

    R eading the newspaper or going online to get my high school sports coverage? Read the newspaper.

    S igning last November with North Florida to play collegiate tennis was an easy decision because the Ospreys have… Great facilities, great coaches and a great team. It’s a great environment also — a lot of outdoors and stuff.

    T ransitioning back to playing No. 1 singles for GHS this year after being the No. 2 singles player last season was… exciting because it was nice to play No. 2 last year and to let Cole play No. 1. He was playing well, but it was nice to be playing well and to get back the No. 1.

    U.S. Open, Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open — my favorite tournament to watch is… Wimbledon. It’s the oldest grand slam, and it’s the classiest. And also it’s the most fun to watch because of the serving and volleying. There’s a lot more aggressive play.

    V acation spot I love: The beach. Moraira in Spain.

    W inning the District 5-3A championship in No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles with Peter Slaton and as team on Tuesday was… exhilarating. We’ve been practicing a little bit, and we played really well together.

    X box, PlayStation or Wii? PlayStation.

    Y ear I was born: 1994.

    Z oo animal I like most: Gorilla.

     

     

     
     

     

  • P.K. Yonge’s Whittaker Captures Team Side State Title 2012

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120419/ARTICLES/120419480

    By Cliff Olsen
    Correspondent
    Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 10:09 p.m.

    For the third straight year, P.K. Yonge’s Jazz Whittaker has flourished at the FHSAA Class 1A state tennis tournament.

    On Thursday at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry, the 6-foot junior captured the state title on the team side of the bracket at No. 1 singles.

    Whittaker, The Sun’s 2011 player of the year, got by Jacquelyn Fitz-Randolph of Tampa Carrollwood Day, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 in the finals. She will now face Delray Beach American Heritage’s Rasheeda McAdoo, the winner on the individual side of the draw, for the overall state title today at 8 a.m. McAdoo is the daughter of former NBA MVP Bob McAdoo, who is currently an assistant coach for the Miami Heat.

    “I am really amazed that she is able to bring her game up another level and handle all the pressure around her in the final,” P.K. Yonge coach Robert Taylor said. “She has been able to be more consistent than any of the other girls out there.”

    A year ago, Whittaker teamed with Kiah Turner and the duo won the Class 1A state title on the individual side of the doubles bracket. In 2010, the pair won the state title at No. 2 doubles.

    As for the team, the Blue Wave, making their second state tournament appearance in three years, placed third out of eight teams with six points. P.K. Yonge’s No. 2 doubles team of Turner and Marcela Ifju lost in the semifinals on Thursday.

    “I was super happy with the whole tournament that we were able to get a couple of quality wins here and there,” said Taylor, who is expected to return everyone from this year’s squad. “It is a great starting point for the future.”

    The Gainesville High boys team placed third in the Class 3A state tournament at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs. Peter Slaton led the Hurricanes as the sophomore won a state championship at No. 3 singles. Slaton rallied to knock off Paul Johnson of Naples Barron Collier 0-6, 6-4, 7-5. Zach Goldberg, The Sun’s 2011 player of the year, lost to Arsav Mahonty of Bradenton Lakewood Ranch 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in the final at No. 2 singles. Cole Fiegel and Goldberg lost in the semifinals at No. 1 doubles, while Slaton and Justin Zambelli bowed out in the semifinals at No. 2 doubles.

    The Hurricanes, who were sixth out of eight teams at state a year ago, finished third this time around.

    “The kids did a great job this year,” said GHS coach Paul Spradling, who guided the Hurricanes to the Class 5A state title in 1996 and to a share of the championship 1998. “I am disappointed that we didn’t win it all, but we came within one point of being the state runner-up, and with a few breaks could have won it all. It was a great year.”

  • 2012 Sun All Area Boys and Girls Tennis Teams

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120601/ARTICLES/120609921

    By Cliff Olsen
    Correspondent
    Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.

    Note: This is the second in a series of The Sun’s spring sports all-area athletes of the year, selected with the help of coaches.

    SUN ALL-AREA BOYS TENNIS TEAM

    First team

    Zach Goldberg, Gainesville, junior: Claimed the District 5-3A title and was the state runner up at No. 2 singles with a 20-1 record. Was also 16-3 and a district champion and a state semifinalist at No. 1 doubles with Cole Fiegel.

    Cole Fiegel, Gainesville, junior: The lefty finished 16-3 and won the District 5-3A crown at No. 1 singles. Was also 16-3 and a district champion and a state semifinalist at No. 1 doubles with Zach Goldberg.

    Erik Vincek, Buchholz, senior: Posted an 16-2 record for the district champion Bobcats; claimed the District 1-4A crown at No. 1 singles and advanced to the Class 4A state tournament semifinals as an individual.

    Frazier Springfield, Eastside, senior: Ended with a 10-5 record at District 5-2A championship at No. 1 singles, and was 10-5 at No. 1 doubles with Jon Yoo as the Rams reached the state tournament for the second time in three years.

    Alex Vlasak, Buchholz, senior: Was 12-3 and the District 1-4A champion at No. 2 singles and advanced to the Class 4A state tournament semifinals with Erik Vincek at No. 1 doubles (14-2).

    Peter Slaton, Gainesville, sophomore: Turned in a perfect 16-0 record and won the District 4-3A title before claiming the state championship at No. 3 singles.

    Second team

    Camille Kima, Eastside, freshman: Was 11-5 and won the District 5-2A crown at No. 2 singles and was 10-5 and a district champ at No. 2 doubles as the Rams qualified for state as a team.

    Andrew Irani, Buchholz, freshman: Posted a 11-5 record at No. 3 singles for the district champion Bobcats.

    Derek Li, Eastside, freshman: Finished with a 13-2 record at No. 4 singles for the district champion Rams, who placed sixth as a team at the Class 2A state tournament.

    Harrison Thibault, Oak Hall, freshman: Despite a 4-10 record, he claimed the District 4-1A title at No. 1 singles to clinch a Class 1A state tournament berth; also qualified for state at No. 1 doubles with Apurv Suman.

    Jon Yoo, Eastside, senior: Turned in a 13-2 record to win the District 5-2A crown at No. 3 singles and was 10-5 at No. 1 doubles with Frazier Springfield as the Rams reached the state tournament for the second time in three years.

    Peyton Nimmons, Buchholz, sophomore: Was 11-5 at No. 4 singles for the district champion Bobcats.

    Honorable mention

    Max Curtis, Eastside, sophomore; Jacob Gordon, Gainesville, sophomore; Justin Zambelli, Gainesville, senior; Padrick O’Brien, Keystone Heights, senior; Jared Velazquez, Keystone Heights, freshman; D.J. Mayer, Keystone Heights, freshman;

    Apurv Suman, Oak Hall, senior; Nick Gallman, Santa Fe, junior.

    Coach of the Year

    Paul Spradling, Gainesville

    The veteran coach guided the Hurricanes to an 14-2 record, which included winning the District 5-3A title, for its second straight district crown. GHS also breezed through both of its regional playoff matches and clinched its second consecutive trip to the FHSAA Class 3A state tournament. The ‘Canes ended up finishing third out of eight teams at state. Peter Slaton claimed the state title at No. 3 singles to highlight GHS’ trip to Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs. Spradling, who takes home this award for the second consecutive year, also led GHS to the Class 5A state title in 1996 and to a share of the state championship 1998.

    SUN ALL-AREA GIRLS TENNIS TEAM

    First team

    Jazz Whittaker, P.K. Yonge, junior: Posted a 14-1 record singles record, claimed the District 4-1A crown at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles and qualified for state; captured the FHSAA Class 1A state title on the team side of the bracket at No. 1 singles.

    Kiah Turner, P.K. Yonge, sophomore: Finished 16-1 and won the District 4-1A title at No. 2 singles and reached the state semifinals at No. 2 singles.

    Chrissie Reichert, Columbia, senior: Was 15-4 at No. 1 singles and won the District 5-3A title to clinch an individual berth to the Class 3A state tournament.

    Abigail Vlasak, Oak Hall, freshman: Turned in a 10-4 record at No. 1 singles and helped lead the Eagles to their second straight regional-playoff appearance.

    Lillie Mehan, Eastside, freshman: Turned in a 20-1 record at No. 1 singles, won District 5-2A title to clinch state tournament berth, also led the Rams to the regional playoffs for first time since 2005.

    Courtney Cribb, Buchholz, sophomore: Compiled an 11-3 mark at No. 1 singles and a 14-2 record at No. 1 doubles for the Bobcats.

    Second team

    Jean Saltivan, St. Francis, senior: Was 10-5 at No. 1 singles and was the District 4-1A runner up for the Wolves.

    Madison Sagas, P.K. Yonge, seventh-grade: Posted a 11-2 mark at No. 3 singles and claimed the District 4-1A title at No. 1 doubles with Jazz Whittaker.

    Selin Yaylali, Oak Hall, sixth-grade: Finished as the District 4-1A runner up at No. 2 singles with a 9-2 record for the Eagles.

    Allie Sourakov, Eastside, sophomore: Was 16-1 and was the District 5-2A runner up at No. 2 singles for the Rams.

    Mara Lance, Suwannee, senior: District 2-2A champion at No. 3 singles with a 12-2 record; was 10-1 and district runner-up at No. 2 doubles.

    Caroline Karafa, Buchholz, senior: Claimed the District 1-4A crown at No. 4 singles, finishing with a 10-4 mark, while also posting a 10-6 record at No. 2 doubles for the Bobcats.

    Honorable mention:

    Susan Stanfill, Buchholz, sophomore; Jessie Bates, Columbia, junior; Heather Rountree, Columbia, senior; Amaleah Mirti, Eastside, sophomore; Brianna Harper, Gainesville, senior; Carly Brasfield, Gainesville, senior; Samantha Jackson, Interlachen, senior; Elizabeth Gray, Interlachen, senior; Kim Stephens, Interlachen, senior; Natalie Butcher, Interlachen, senior; Colton Stark, Newberry, junior; Dawntavia Davis, Newberry, senior; Sophia Papa, Oak Hall, sixth grade; Gaelin McLeod, Oak Hall, freshman;

    Marcela Ifju, P.K. Yonge, seventh-grade; Darby Townsend, P.K. Yonge, eighth-grade; Amanda Krpan, P.K. Yonge, senior; Maureen Brennan, P.K. Yonge, senior; Maggie Bethea, Santa Fe, freshman; Kim Bill, Santa Fe, senior; Laura-Kaitlyn Boatright, Suwanne, senior

    Coach of the Year

    Robert Taylor, P.K. Yonge

    He takes home this award for the second time in three seasons. Taylor guided the Blue Wave to a 7-3 record and to their fifth straight district championship and also steered P.K. Yonge back to the FHSAA Class 1A state tournament for the second time in three years. At the state tournament held at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry, the Blue Wave finished third out of the eight-team field. Highlighting P.K. Yonge’s trip to state was No. 1 singles player Jazz Whittaker who captured the Class 1A state title on the team side of the bracket, before falling in the overall state title match.

    Note: The Gainesville Sun all-area teams, player of the year and coach of the year were selected by Cliff Olsen with help from area coaches and Sun high school sports editor Larry Savage. If a team is not represented, it is because the coach did not respond to e-mails sent to the school requesting information and numerous reminders in the newspaper.

  • 2012 Gainesville Sun Tennis Players of the Year

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120601/ARTICLES/120609922

    By Cliff Olsen
    Correspondent
    Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.

    2012 GAINESVILLE SUN BOYS TENNIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

    ERIK VINCEK, BUCHHOLZ

    Credentials

    The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior, who was The Sun’s player of the year as a freshman in 2009, almost didn’t play his final season of high school tennis. While Vincek admitted to being burned out on the sport and thought about quitting prior to the season, his best friend and doubles partner Alex Vlasak and Bobcats interim coach Jay Godwin convinced him otherwise. Things worked out for Vincek, who posted a 16-2 mark at No. 1 singles, losing just five sets all season. He claimed his third consecutive district title at No. 1 singles, clinching his third straight trip to the FHSAA Class 4A state tournament. Vincek also earned the top-seed on the individual side of the draw and reached the state semifinals. At No. 1 doubles, Vincek and Vlasak, “The Killer Vs” as they are called by Godwin, finished with a 14-2 record. The duo captured the District 1-4A title and advanced to the state semifinals. Vincek is ranked 10th in the state in the boys 18 rankings, according to the USTA’s May rankings.

    Vincek is still a big fan of the Rubik’s Cube. Although, he said there was a while where he didn’t pick up the 3-D puzzle, he can still solve it in about 35 seconds. Vincek, who has a 4.35 weighted GPA, is planning to attend Florida in the fall and hopes to be involved with the Gators men’s tennis team.

    “I had an interview with Andy Jackson the (then) UF coach and he said it would be really tough to make the team, so I kind of lost a lot of confidence there,” Vincek said. “I really wanted to go to UF and play for their team (as a walk on). He didn’t say yes or no, he just said you might be able to, but he was kind of hinting that you’re probably not. I pretty much got the message.

    “I might even still try to practice with the UF team, I know some guys there.”

    Quoteworthy

    “I was pretty happy. I put my whole life into it. I think that was one of the things (the player of the year award) in my mind, let’s give it one last try. I started as the player of the year and then end as the player of the year, that would be nice. I did it, so that’s great.”- Erik Vincek.

    “I definitely lost my love for the game a little bit, I didn’t even want to touch a racket,” Vincek said. “They (Vlasak and Godwin) both really motivated me to keep on playing and helped me realize that I am not going to stop playing tennis and that I love it.

    “I was glad because I got back to my prime game and I played probably even better than I ever had.”

    2012 GAINESVILLE SUN GIRLS TENNIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

    JAZZ WHITTAKER, P.K. YONGE

    Credentials

    For the fifth straight year, a P.K. Yonge girls tennis player takes home this award. The 6-foot Whittaker wins this award for the second straight year. She turned in a 14-1 mark, which included winning her second straight District 4-1A title at No. 1 singles. She followed with a pair of regional victories in leading the Blue Wave to their second FHSAA Class 1A state tournament appearance in three years. At the state tournament held at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry, Whittaker claimed the state title at No. 1 singles on the team side of the bracket. Although she fell to Delray Beach American Heritage’s Rasheeda McAdoo in the overall state title match, Whittaker became the first area girls tennis player to play for an overall singles state championship since Eastside’s Amanda Field was the Class 4A runner-up in 1998. Whittaker and Madison Sagas also won a district title at No. 1 doubles for the Blue Wave, which placed third at state as a team. Last spring, Whittaker teamed with Kiah Turner and the duo won the Class 1A state title on the individual side of the doubles bracket. In 2010, Whittaker and Turner won the Class 1A state crown at No. 2 doubles. Whittaker is ranked 58th in the state in the girls 18 rankings, according to the USTA’s May rankings.

    “During the year, I had a few set things,” Whittaker said. “I wanted to beat everyone pretty soundly and I wanted to have the whole team get to state this year because I thought it would be a good experience for the younger girls.”

    Personal notes

    She played volleyball for P.K. Yonge as a sophomore, but decided to switch fall sports as a junior. Instead she was a member of the Blue Wave swim team this past fall. Whittaker was an honorable mention all-area selection in the 100 breast stroke and swam on the 200 medley relay team. Whittaker said she did that for cross training and to build more muscle. Whittaker said that she plans on playing tennis for a Division-1 school at the collegiate level and has started to generate interest from schools. The right-hander lists her kick serve, her forehand and her net game in general as her strengths.

    Quoteworthy

    I kind of forgot about the award I wasn’t really thinking about it too much. I think I was in History class, I was in school (when I received the message about winning the award). I was goofing around with my friends and said, ‘Winning.’ They were like, what did you win this time? I told them tennis player of the year. Mr. Bourn is my teacher and we were doing busy work. I am goofy and they are used to it.” — Jazz Whittaker.

    Brad McClenny/Staff photographer

    Personal notes

  • P.K. Yonge, Eastside, GHS Onward to State Tennis Tournament

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120415/ARTICLES/120419717

    By Cliff Olsen
    Correspondent
    Published: Sunday, April 15, 2012 at 11:44 p.m.

    Three area tennis teams and a handful of area individual players will be heading down to the state tournament in Altamonte Springs and Cassellberry starting today.

    The Gainesville High boys squad are making their second straight trip to state, while the Eastside boys and the P.K. Yonge girls are returning to the big stage for the second time in the last three years.

    The Hurricanes led by Cole Fiegel, The Sun’s 2010 player of the year and Zach Goldberg, The Sun’s 2011 player of the year, cruised through its two regional matches last week. GHS, which placed sixth out eight teams at last year’s FHSAA Class 3A state tournament, opens play on Wednesday with almost its entire team from last spring.

    “Last year was an eye-opening experience for them and we got some bad draws last year, that first round was really tough,” said GHS coach Paul Spradling, who guided the Hurricanes to the Class 5A state title in 1996 and to a share of the championship 1998. “I think we are a little stronger than we were last year and I think we are more experienced, hopefully that will carry over.”

    The lefty-serving Fiegel (17-2), who said he has been battling tendinitis in his left shoulder, is at No. 1 singles, followed by Goldberg (19-0) at No. 2 singles. The pair play together at No. 1 doubles. Peter Slaton, Jacob Gordon and Justin Zambelli round out the three remaining singles positions, with Slaton and Zambelli set as the GHS No. 2 doubles team.

    Naples Barron Collier, the two-time defending state champions and winners of five of the last seven Class 3A state titles are the favorites.

    “The kids and I are excited,” Spradling said. “If we get some good draws, I think we can do well this year. I think if we place in the top three, that is doing well.”

    Eastside, which also coasted through its two regional matches, begins action today at the Class 2A state tournament.

    The Rams are paced by Frazier Springfield at No. 1 singles, followed by Camille Kima, Jon Yoo, Derek Li and Max Curtis, rounding out the singles lineup for coach Dave Porter’s club. Springfield and Yoo play at No. 1 doubles, with Kim and Austin Gillete penciled in at No. 2 doubles.

    The P.K. Yonge girls squad, which is fueled by Jazz Whittaker, The Sun’s 2011 player of the year and Kiah Turner, at the top two singles spots, starts Class 1A state tourney action on Wednesday. Although Whittaker and Turner are not playing doubles together this season, they both have state tournament experience. A year ago, the duo won the FHSAA Class 1A state title on the individual side of the doubles bracket. In 2010, the pair won the Class 1A state crown at No. 2 doubles.

    “Realistically we need to go in there with nothing to lose, play every match like our life depends on it and let the chips fall where they may,” Blue Wave coach Robert Taylor said. “Hopefully we can grab a few points here and there, we’ll see what happens.”

    Madison Sagas is at No. 3 singles, with Marcela Ifju and Darby Townsend at the other two singles spots. Whittaker and Sagas play No. 1 doubles, while Turner and Ifju are at No. 2 doubles.

    As for the area’s individuals, who earned individual state tournament berths by winning district titles at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles, Erik Vincek of Buchholz will be a part of the Class 4A singles tournament. He’ll also play doubles with Alex Vlasask. This is Vincek’s third straight trip to the state tournament as an individual.

    Columbia’s Chrissie Reichert, who reached state each of the last two years along with the rest of her Columbia teammates, will be playing individually in the Class 3A tournament.

    “Chrissie knew that her goal was singles, going to state in singles and she realized that goal,” Columbia coach Tabatha McMahon. “Her game has progressed since she was a freshman, she has become a smarter player as a senior. I am proud of her.”

    Eastside’s Lillie Mehan will be part of the individual singles draw in Class 2A. Harrison Thibault of Oak Hall will be in singles action in Class 1A and will play doubles with Apurv Suman.

  • ‘Canes, Wave Tennis in the Mix at State

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120418/ARTICLES/120419532

    By Cliff Olsen
    Correspondent
    Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.

    Gainesville High School boys tennis coach Paul Spradling said he was excited to see how his team would perform at the FHSAA Class 3A state tournament at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs.

    After Wednesday’s opening-day action, the veteran coach is pleased as the Hurricanes, in their second straight trip to state, have six points and are tied with Bradenton Lakewood Ranch and Stuart Martin County.

    Naples Barron Collier, the two-time defending state champions, lead after day one with 11 points.

    “The kids played their hearts out today, and I’m glad to be tied for second with a shot to still win the whole thing,” said Spradling, who guided the Hurricanes to the Class 5A state title in 1996 and to a share of the championship 1998. “Zach (Goldberg) and Pete (Slaton) came up big for us.”

    Goldberg, The Sun’s 2011 player of the year, breezed through his quarterfinal and semifinal matches at No. 2 singles, dropping just one game in his pair of straight-set wins. Goldberg will be playing for a state title today as will No. 3 singles player Peter Slaton, who got through the quarterfinals and semifinals matches.

    Both of the Hurricanes doubles teams, No. 1 Cole Fiegel and Goldberg and No. 2 Slaton and Justin Zambelli, posted quarterfinal victories and will be in semifinal action today.

    On the individual girls side of the Class 3A state tournament, Columbia’s Chrissie Reichert lost her opening-round match in straight sets.

    The P.K. Yonge girls team also had a good day at the Class 1A state tournament at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry. The Blue Wave are in third place with five points, behind Boca Raton St. Andrew’s (11) and Miami Ransom Everglades (10).

    “I was impressed with our composure that we were able to hang with a lot of the stronger opponents,” P.K. Yonge coach Robert Taylor said. “We’re doing good.”

    Jazz Whittaker, The Sun’s 2011 player of the year, rolled to a pair of straight-set wins and will be playing for a state title today at No. 1 singles. The Blue Wave’s No. 2 doubles team of Kiah Turner and Marcela Ifju reached today’s semifinal round after a straight-set quarterfinals win on Monday.

    In the Class 1A individual tournament, Oak Hall’s Harrison Thibault fell in straight sets.

    Thibault and Apurv Suman defaulted in their quarterfinals doubles match. Suman, who recently was accepted to Yale, was at pre-orientation and was not able to get back in time, according to Eagles co-coach Tom Simpson.

  • Area High School Tennis Teams Earn District Sweeps

    By Cliff Olsen
    Correspondent
    Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    The Gainesville High School boys tennis team cruised to its second straight district title on Day 2 of the District 5-3A tournament, Tuesday at the Jonesville Tennis Center.

    The Hurricanes stormed through the field, claiming each of the five singles positions and both doubles slots. On the girls side, Columbia’s Chrissie Reichert won the district title at No. 1 singles and clinched an individual state tournament berth.

    “The kids did a real good job. They knew what they had to do to get through this,” said GHS boys coach Paul Spradling. “It was a business-like approach. They knew what they had to do and they got it done.”

    Cole Fiegel, The Sun’s 2010 Player of the Year, and Zach Goldberg, last year’s Player of the Year, each posted straight-set wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Fiegel and Goldberg didn’t lose a game as they teamed up to win the No. 1 doubles title. Peter Slaton, Jacob Gordon and Justin Zambelli each rolled to wins at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 singles. Slaton and Zambelli also took the No. 2 doubles title.

    “I thought we had a pretty good day. We swept the district,” Goldberg said. “Everyone on our team won all of their matches — singles and doubles. I don’t think it could have gone much better.

    “I’m excited. It makes us all happy to be able to win our district and move on to regionals. It should be fun.”

    The Hurricanes, who reached the state tournament last year for the first time since 2007, will host a Class 3A first-round regional match on Tuesday. Ocala Forest, the district runner-up, will be on the road for the opening round.

    Reichert, who reached state with her Tigers teammates the last two years, was the only area girls player to move on after pulling out the district title.

    “It is huge because this is my senior year, and I really wanted to have one last hurrah before I graduate,” Reichert. “I just had to dig deep. It was amazing because I have dreamed about this from Day 1 of this season.”

    As a sophomore, she won a district title at No. 2 singles, but this was her first district title at No. 1 singles.

    DISTRICT 5-2A: At Crystal River, the Eastside boys tennis team also made it a clean sweep in grabbing its first district crown since 2010. Frazier Springfield titled at No. 1 singles, while Camille Kima, John Yoo, Tabong Kima and Max Curtis claimed district titles and No. 2-5 singles. Springfield and Yoo won at No. 1 doubles, with the Kima brothers taking the No. 2 doubles title. The Rams, who clinched their third straight regional playoff appearance, will host a first-round regional match on Tuesday.

    “I am extremely proud,” Eastside coach Dave Porter said. “We plan to win both rounds of regionals and hopefully get to state.”

    On the girls side, the Rams finished as the district runners-up, two points behind Crystal River, and clinched their first regional playoff appearance since 2005.

    Lillie Mehan captured the district title at No. 1 singles and clinched an individual state tournament berth, while Amaleah Mirti claimed the district title at No. 4 singles to lead the way for the Rams.

    Eastside will be on the road for its first-round regional match on Tuesday.

  • Gainesville, Indian Harbour Beach, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Teams Advance to 2012 Jr. Team Tennis Nationals

    Excerpted from:
    Teams from Gainesville, Indian Harbour Beach, Jacksonville, and Melbourne will represent the USTA Florida Section at Jr. Team Tennis Nationals after claiming the Florida state championships in the 14-under and 18-under divisions at the 2012 USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis Summer Championships, held July 27-29 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.
    “I am so proud of all the teams that participated in the championships this year,” said USTA Florida Team Tennis Coordinator Michelle Brown. “There were a lot of new teams joining teams that have been coming for years. We saw a great display of sportsmanship, competitive matches, and teams having fun.  It was great to see so many teams out of Brevard this year. They have been growing their program over the last couple of years and am so proud of their success. Teams are already looking forward to the Florida Winter Championship in January 2013 in South Florida.”
    The 2012 USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships will be held in Cayce, S.C., on Oct. 18-21, 2012, for the 14-under Intermediate and Advanced divisions, and on Oct. 25-28 for the 18-under Intermediate and Advanced divisions.
    USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) brings kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. It is designed for kids ages 5-18, and matches can be held anywhere from a local park or school to a commercial or private club. JTT teams are co-ed and divided by the play levels Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and the age groups 18-under, 14-under, 12-under, and utilizing the 10 and Under Tennis format for the 10-under and 8-under leagues.
    In the 14-Intermediate final the Westside Wailers captured the title, finishing ahead of their opponents from Miami.
    The Westside Wailers play out of Westside Park in Gainesville, and in the final in Daytona Beach defeated the Miami Contenders 148-118 in total games. They are captained by Jennine Brandt, with the team roster comprised of Benjamin Nagoshi, Madison Sagas, Darby Arden Townsend, Sophia Katharine Papa, Zachary Brandt, and Benjamin Brandt.
    jtt 14-Int-Champion-Westside-Wailers-web 2012
  • Blog From USTA Florida at the 2011 Jr. Team Team Championships

    http://www.florida.usta.com/blog_usta_florida_at_the_2011_jr_team_tennis_national_chps111/?Year=2011&pg=2

    Thank you to Mi Young Lee, who wrote these blogs after long days at the Arizona courts. The following is the final blog from Arizona. Click on the link above to read the whole series.

    Sunday, October 23rd

    Championship Day

    Cockle-doodle-doo! We were greeted at the courts by a sun thinking about rising and a rooster from a nearby backyard. It was chilly again, but the kids quickly warmed up on the courts. The spectators huddled with cups of coffee and whatever extra clothes they could find in the car. The ever-so-efficient USTA officials called the coaches to line up the teams at 7:15 am, 15 minutes ahead of schedule. The surprising thing is everyone was already ready to go. This was the final battle of the tournament. The kids were revving their engines, waiting for the checkered flag to let them loose.

    Our final battle was against the advanced team from Hawaii. (In a sign of friendship and spirit of the games, we presented their coach with a Gator lei. Never had the Hawaiian coach been presented with a lei before by a non-islander!) This would determine the winner of our flight. Our own little championship battle for 13th place nationally. Out of 12,615 teams nationally. Not bad.

    The doubles and singles courts went on simultaneously. Hyunsoo Ryan Joo played the boys’ singles court for this match. He is known for his strong, steady style of play. He exhibited his skills on the court today as he relentlessly ran his opponent from side to side, angle to angle, shot after shot. His tenacity and concentration were evident throughout this grueling match. Kendal Wilby was our girls’ singles player for the day. She is a determined warrior on the court, more focused and more heavy-hitting when she faces controversies and pressure. She was forced to play at a very high level for a very long, contentious match today, and she delivered. Harry Cacciatore and Jared Lee played boys’ doubles together for the first time in this tournament. (For each match, we had different line-ups with different combinations, requiring our players to be versatile and flexible enough to play with any other player on the team on a moment’s notice.) Their opponents looked semi-professional with extreme angle shots, perfect lobs and penetrating groundstrokes. And yet Jared and Harry encouraged one another through challenging rallies and situations to somehow emerge as the victors.

    Emily Louie-Meadors and Lillie Mehan represented our team on the girls’ doubles court. One of the Hawaiian girls hit the ball so hard that it was difficult to even track the ball as an observer. We could only flinch. Despite that, Lillie and Emily not only returned her bullets as effective groundstrokes but took them as volleys, never giving up any ground. They didn’t give up much ground in points either and claimed victory for their court. Grey Cacciatore and Ellie Wright played mixed doubles on the final court. Ellie was on fire with her sizzling groundstrokes, and Grey added every variation of shot imaginable to the partnership. They fought their way to a third-set tiebreak and never gave up.

    Each court sported a mighty battle to the finish. There were no easy matches, no weak competitors. Not even close. The will to win was strong on both sides of the net. No one won or lost for lack of skill, resolve or effort. This was not a match won by individual effort. The match came down purely to team effort. Every player had to bring it on the court today. And it took the mixed doubles team once again to determine the fate of the championship. This time, they delivered those final points necessary to seal the victory! We were victorious over Hawaii.

    To place the competitive nature of this tournament in perspective, we had lost to the ultimate 4th place team from Virginia Beach by a mere three games. Talk about tight competition!

    At the closing ceremonies, we were doubly surprised to be awarded the prize for Best Team Banner. All our kids filed out onto the stadium floor to receive their awards. Smiles lit their faces as they proudly represented their beloved Florida.

    Whatever place we finished at the end, we were already a championship team in our hearts. Every single player tasted the thrill of victory, every single player tasted the bitter agony of defeat, and every single player played every single match. We started off as a team, and we walked out of the tournament as a team. More importantly, we stayed as a family. The defeats made us stronger and more determined. The victories sweetened the memories. This nationals experience will live on in our memories forever.

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