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Profiles of Combo Teams, Players

October 14, 2014 12:23 PM

10s Questions with Cedric Armstrong

Congrats on making it to state! How long have you been playing tennis?

37 years

How did you get interested in the sport?

I was watching Chris Evert play in 1974 and became very interested in the sport. I wanted to be a baseliner just like her. Then an older friend of mine taught me how to play.

How long has this team been playing together?

Some of us 2 years, some 4 years

What’s your team’s name?

Dragon Warriors

You also captain this team, correct? What’s that experience been like?

It has been a great experience in meeting all kind of people.

What stands out about your team compared to other USTA squads?

We all like playing together with or against each other and we are good friends outside of the court as well.

Why play USTA leagues?

Playing USTA tennis has taken me place I have not been before and able to meet some wonderful people on my journey. Since I joined in 2008 I have been to several sites around the South that I would not have gone to otherwise.

What would you tell someone who loves tennis but has never played a USTA league?

They are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with other tennis players with all different kinds of playing levels. The magazine is also a great way to keep up with what is going on in the sport. Just meeting people and traveling around to different cities – minivacations!

Your prediction for how your team will do at this weekend’s USTA South Carolina Combo Doubles State League Championships?

The goal is to do our best for every match, and to get to the next level we do what we need to do. Having the name “Dragon Warriors” it would be natural for us to win the State Championship and make it to Regionals.

What’s your favorite activity outside tennis?

Cooking and spending time with my beautiful grandkids

Armstrong is the captain of a 7.5 40 and Over team from the Mid-Carolina Tennis Association that is playing in the USTA South Carolina Combo Doubles State League Championships this weekend on Hilton Head Island.


About 30 years ago, Joan Connelly used to occasionally play golf.

Then she had two children and didn’t have hours to give to a round of golf. So she picked up a new sport, one that took less of her time and was more enjoyable: tennis.

“I just fell in love with it,” Connelly said. “I put the golf clubs away and I think I’ve touched them maybe three times in the last 30 years.”

The clubs will stay away this weekend, too, when Connelly and her USTA league team play at the USTA South Carolina Combo Doubles State League Championships on Hilton Head Island.

The state championships, USTA South Carolina’s largest with 2,350 players, start Thursday morning on Hilton Head Island.

Connelly’s team, the Super Key Acers from Keowee Key, will be playing in the 65 and Over division. This is at least the sixth time the group has made it to the combo state championships.

“The women on the team are really a terrific group,” Connelly said. “We play quite well and we have a great time.”

This weekend, Connelly is looking forward to more fun with friends. “We’ll have some fun times along with some good competition,” she said.

JoanConnellyteam
Connelly and her team at the USTA South Carolina Combo Doubles State League Championships last Thursday on Hilton Head Island. Front row, from left to right: Eleanor Swain, Suzette Cross, Pam Hagen, Connelly, Pat Wolfe. Back row, left to right: Ethel Dial, Ann Cramer, Marguerite Baker, Sue Davies, Theresa Kunkel, Mary Coronato, Regina Harber. Not pictured: Marilyn Welch.


The “Volley Damas” might not achieve Dalai Lama’s state of holiness this weekend, but the USTA league team won’t be able to blame their distress on long commutes.

The Hilton Head Island team will be playing in the USTA South Carolina Combo Doubles State League Championships, which will be held at 10 facilities in Beaufort County.

“We do get to sleep in our own bed and that’s certainly a positive,” said Ve Bretzel, team captain of the “Volley Damas,” named with Dalai Lama in mind.

The team will be competing in the 55 and Over age division. And the 14 women are all looking forward to great weather and good tennis. They wouldn’t mind beating their opponents, either.

“We’re also very much interested in winning,” Bretzel said. “We’re hoping for great and wonderful weather and a perfect result.”

She loves USTA league play because of the camaraderie with friends and the competition.

“It is all just very positive,” she said. “You’re out and about with a purpose and it’s a very positive purpose. It’s healthy and social.”


10s Questions with Samantha Borte

How long have you been playing tennis?

Since 2009.

How did you get into the sport?

Moved to the Springfield neighborhood, where the tennis program was just getting started. It was a way for me to meet neighbors in a fun way while also getting exercise. Over the past five years, our neighborhood tennis program has grown tremendously.

What do you enjoy most about tennis?

Meeting new people and playing competitively while still having fun. I consider everyone on the teams out of Springfield a friend as I do for the people I play with on teams not out of Springfield.

How long has your team been playing together?

Since 2009, with the addition/deletion of players throughout the years. On this team, four of the team members have been playing on the same team since 2009.

What’s your team name?

Springfield Double Trouble

 
SamBorteteam
Springfield Double Trouble, from left to right: Dawn Templeton, Paula Weiner, Leanne Bruce, Julie Richardson, Lorie Walker, Sam Borte, Nicole Morgan

Congrats on making it to state in combos this year! How many times have you been to state in the past?

Oh my gosh. Several times on the teams I’ve played on. We’ve been to states for spring league, mixed doubles, singles, combo. This is the first year for Springfield to do a 6.5 40 and Over team and we are going to state. We have three teams at state this weekend.

What’s your favorite part about USTA leagues?

The organization and the leaders – league coordinators – that do all the work behind the scenes that make it run so smoothly. It’s a thankless job, but USTA leagues wouldn’t be possible without them. So thank you to all of the league coordinators for all that you do!

You also captain this team. How long have you been a captain, and what has that been like for you?

I’ve been a captain for probably four years. I went to a captain’s meeting for a friend/fellow captain and somehow I got signed up as a captain. I’ve slowed down on captaining as it can “consume” you, but it is a great way to learn the game of tennis, meet new and interesting people and learn the rules and etiquette of the game.

If you could tell South Carolina tennis players one thing about your team, what would it be?

We are a team of good, competitive tennis players that have fun on the court and off the court no matter what!

Your prediction for how your team will do at this weekend’s USTA South Carolina Combo Doubles State League Championships?

Of course we expect to win and make it to Sectionals, but no matter the outcome, win or lose, it will be another great weekend of building friendships and, of course, great tennis!

Borte is the captain of a 6.5 40 and Over team from the Mid-Carolina Tennis Association that will be playing at the USTA SC Combo Doubles State League Championships this weekend on Hilton Head Island.

 

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