The Southern California Women’s 55 (and over) Intersectional Team successfully defended its title in Florida on extremely slow (wet) clay November 17th. SoCal, the top seed, faced the home team and second seed, Florida, in the final. Robin Harris, San Dieog, was the MVP of the final, rallying from 1-4 in the third to beat Mary Ginnard and combining with captain Carolyn Nichols, Rancho Santa Fe, to clinch the deciding doubles match over Ginnard/Cindy LePrevost. Harris’ match was three hours, 20 minutes, the longest she’d ever played and it was really hot and very humid. Chris Ramsower-Pearlstein, Rancho Mirage, scored an amazing comeback to beat Tracy Viebrock, rallying in the first set from 2-5 down to win it in a tiebreak and rallying from 1-5 down to win the final set 7-6 and put the SoCal team up 2-1. (Her match lasted just shy of four hours.) Kathy Bennett, Irvine and Jackie Heston, Garden Grove finished the tie off with a three set win over Lil Peltz-Petow and Betsy Savitt. Ruth Young, El Cajon and Mary Firek, Redlands, helped coach the players and root them to victory. It was a team effort all the way. Bennett and Heston commented that they were exhausted after rooting and coaching the singles matches, but they played great in the doubles nonetheless.
The SoCal team also beat New England, 4-1 and Mid-Atlantic, 5-0 to reach the final. Northern California finished third in this competition.
This team event pits teams from the 17 USTA sections in a compass draw format played over four days. Each tie consists of 3 singles matches followed by two doubles matches. The same players can play singles and doubles on the same day. The various divisions are separated by age. Women compete in the 35, 45, 55, 65, 75 and 80 and over divisions (the 75 and 80s play 2 singles and 1 doubles only). This is the largest women’s age division event held in the USA with over 300 participants annually.
Many thanks from the players to the referee, Larry Eichenbaum, the USTA National Staff (Theresa Bowen) and the organizing committee in Boca Raton, and to the SoCal and San Diego Tennis Associations for their support of this event.