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Match Tiebreak Wins Highlight USTA League Senior State Championships

May 29, 2007 01:00 PM

The 105-team USTA League South Carolina Senior State Championships took to the sun and clay courts of Hilton Head Island last weekend (5/12-14), unlike in last year's finals that were doused by heavy rains. With only a couple short breaks for heavenly court-watering, more than 1,000 players showed how mastery of the third-set match tiebreaks creates champions.
The Friday evening players' oceanfront buffet set the stage for Senior Coordinator Jimmy Sain, State League Coordinator Mary Goins and the corps of volunteers mostly from host Tennis Association of Hilton Head Island. It was the third straight year for the championships headquartered at Sea Pines Racquet Club, with seven other clubs also serving as match sites.
Tight competition? All but one of the 10 contested divisions ended in 2-1 championship-deciding matches. That lone 3-0 exception had two courts decided in third-set match tiebreaks. All four men's head-to-head finals were decided in match tiebreaks.
How close did it get? The Men's 4.5 five-team round robin was won by Grand Strand's Grande Dunes by one set. Tied with Upper Piedmont's Riverside in 3-1 overall team record and 8-4 in courts won/lost, the GS/GDs lost just nine sets and Riverside lost 10. The GSTL vs. UPTA head-to-head match ended 2-1 and the deciding court was a match tiebreak.
Team championships were spread throughout the state's districts. Like 2006, Hilton Head Island won four championships, including Men's 2.5 that had all four teams from the island and Women's 2.5 that had two of three teams from HHI. The host HHI league had three finalists. Only the Lexington Area had two champions (no finalists). PeeDee had one champion and three finalists; Grand Strand had a champion and two finalists; Lowcountry and Greenwood had one champion each; Upper Piedmont had two finalists.
Next stop for the team champions, and perhaps a wildcard or two, is Southern Sectionals in July in Mobile AL.

Complete list of champions, finalists with captains in (parentheses)
(Abbreviations: AATL = Aiken Area; CTL = Columbia; FTA = Foothills/Greenville; GATA = Greenwood; GSTL = Grand Strand/Myrtle Beach; HHI = Hilton Head Island; LATA = Lexington Area; LCTA = Lowcountry/Charleston; PD = PeeDee/Florence; UPTA = Upper Piedmont/Greenville; YCTA = York County/Rock Hill)
2.5 -- HHI #2/Country Club of Hilton Head Volley Girls (Rosanne Ball) won the round robin; HHI #1/Sun City Volley Dolls (Billye Libertore) second
3.0 -- HHI #1/Sun City Hot Shots (Sandra Maylen) champion; PD/Hartsville Byerly Park (Linda Freeman) finalist
3.5 -- LCTA #1/Charleston Tennis Center (Elisabeth Pickelsimer) champion; GSTL/Conway Riverfront (Lana Hudson) finalist
4.0 -- PD #1/Manning (Lola Bradshaw) champion; GSTL/Prestwick (Marie Wade) finalist
4.5 -- LATA/Lexington Carolina Girls (Suzanne Gray) won the round robin; Indigo Run Golden Bearnaked Ladies (Nanci Fitzpatrick) second
2.5 -- HHI #2/Moss Creek Rat Pack (Rick Gilligan) won the round robin; HHI #1/Sea Pines Falcons (Richard Jenkins) second
3.0 -- LATA #1/Lexington Stringers (Larry Guster) champion; PD/Bishopville (Tommy Woodham) finalist
3.5 -- HHI #1/Long Cove Retreads (Bill Cale) champion; PD/Timrod (Ricky Snipes) finalist
4.0 -- GATA/Gatewood Hornless Bulls (Guy Harrison); UPTA/Greer Riverside (Frank Dana) finalist
4.5 -- GSTL/Grande Dunes (John Mack) won round robin; UPTA/Green Riverside (Gary Bible) second

2007 Senior 2.5 Champs Men

2007 Senior 2.5 Finalist Men

2007 Senior 3.0 Champs Men

2007 Senior 3.0 Champs Women

2007 Senior 3.0 Finalist Women

2007 Senior 3.5 Champs Men

2007 Senior 3.5 Champs Women

2007 Senior 4.0 Champs Men

2007 Senior 4.0 Finalist

2007 Senior 4.0 Champs Women

2007 Senior 4.0 Finalist Women

2007 Senior 4.5 Champs Women

2007 Senior 4.5 Champs Men

2007 Senior 4.5 Finalist Women