Friday, October 23, 2015

Chattanooga (The Tennis) - USTA 40+ Mixed Doubles Sectionals Championship

The Mixed Doubles Sectionals Championship was from October 9th to the 11th in Chattanooga.  Our team (Catatonics) were scheduled to play 2 matches on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Because of rain, our Saturday matches were pushed back to start with and they ended up moving them to back up facilities.  I had never played indoors before so this was a whole new element to get used to.

Our 9am scheduled match got moved back to 1pm and was held at the Racquet Club of Chattanooga.  There is one huge gaffaw to note about these indoor tennis facilities up there.  There is no air conditioning.  It was HOT in there.  I'm very glad I layered up with my tank top below my removable jacket.  It would have been really uncomfortable playing in sleeves in there. 

Our first match was vs Mississippi (and I'm totally having to go back to my USTA player profile page to try to remember how we did on each match).  What I do remember about this match was that we played really well at the net and returning the ball but I did have a hard time returning the first serve of the guy.  His second serve was kinda a lop in so I had much better success when he messed up with his first one.  He did get a couple of aces on me though.  He served THAT hard.   We ended up winning that match 6-3, 3-6, 1-0.  (In fact with the exception of the finals, every single one of our matches as a team, all went into tiebreakers!

Craig and I discussing strategy before our match
Our next match was pushed back to 6pm and was held at the McCallie School.  This was one of two private boarding schools that we played at through the weekend and I was equally impressed with each place.  Both of them were like little universities, with very state-of-the-art facilities.  Very very different than anything we have in Baton Rouge.  I can't even imagine how much the tuition costs at each place (Thank you Mr. Google.  around $45,000 PER YEAR for each school!!!!!!!!!!!!)

This is the indoor tennis facility at the McCallie School.  (Pic provided from their website)
This match was the exact same score as the first.  6-3, 3-6, 1-0 and we played North Carolina.  And I'm not sure why but I remember more of how the men played versus how the women did.  This opponent had a weird topspin on his serve that caused it to curve and do weird stuff.  But I was able to eventually get a handle on it and return it.  Craig (my partner) dominated with his serve and got several aces of his own.  This match also went into a tiebreaker

The next morning we were set for a 8:30 am match at Baylor School.   Out of the two boarding schools this one was (in my opinion) far more impressive.  It was actually on a mountain range and just the facilities and the scenery were amazing to behold.    (The pic below doesn't really do it justice so be sure to check out the links to these schools websites.).

This match, I was playing with David and we were playing against South Carolina.  This is the team that everyone was talking about the whole tournament so we knew we were in for a challenge.  And they totally came out the gate gunning for me.  (I found out from David much later in the day that he found out that their captain had researched our team and was asking questions about us.  So she knew that I was the lowest ranked player on our team).  And that information found its way to our opponents.  The man literally slammed every ball he could to me.  This is the first time I've ever played a match like this and hopefully the last.  I managed some how to return a few but one did ding my arm and left me with a nice little bruise.  Thankfully I got more in than I missed but it just wasn't quite enough.  We lost this match 6-3, 5-7, 0-1.

Match #3 with David at the Baylor School
Even though we lost this particular match, our team as a whole won with team scoring.  Each match, we played 3 sets of players and each time we won 2 out of 3 total which put us at the top of our bracket.   All that means, is that we freaking managed somehow to advance to the finals held at the Champions Club Tennis Complex!

Ah the finals.

We played Tennessee and they were a force to be reckoned with.  I could tell in warm ups that they would kick our butts sad to say.  BUT, we fought hard and the main goal (other than to win....) was to try not to get a bagel, (a zero).  We just wanted to make it respectable and give them a bit of a fight at least.  (And there is NO WAY the lady that we played was a level 2.5 - the same level as me.)  She dominiated in every way.  They both did.

We lost 3-6, 1-6.

At least it wasn't too embarrassing.  But the bottom line is that we made it to the finals and we played really great to get there and had a blast in the process!

Finals match at the Champions Club Tennis facility
Wins are in red, losses in green
Image courtesy of USTA Southern's fb page.  From L to R: Bob, Me, Bill, team captain Catherine, David, Missie and Craig


  1. You guys did awesome!!! And even if they won, you should be proud to have gotten that far! Far enough that the other team had to dig around to actually strategize (sp?) to get any leverage.

    1. Thank you! And yes, I'm so totally proud of us! We did great! I'll never forget this!

  2. What an incredible experience. So proud of all that you have accomplished pursuing your passion. On those boarding schools....crazy!

  3. It's still so amazing to think that you guys got to do that! Way to go!!!

  4. What an amazing experience for you!! Congratulations on getting that far!! :)

  5. What a great experience that sounds like! So glad that you had fun and that your team did spectacular!