DTA Grinders Earn Wildcard to USTA JTT National Championships
[-Printable Copy-]This past Thursday, the DTA Grinders received a call inviting them to participate at the USTA National Jr. Team Tennis Championships as a wildcard team. In less than 24 hours, they were able to receive commitments from eight of their players even though the championships were in less than two weeks. October 18-21 in South Carolina, the DTA Grinders will complete against the top 14 and Under Advanced teams from around the country.
“When we contacted the players to inform them about our special wildcard invitation to Nationals, they were beside themselves. The thought had not crossed their minds that they would be going to South Carolina in just a few weeks to compete at the National level,” said Co-captain Julie Davidson. “They are so excited to get a second chance, and they look forward to coming together as a team once again.”
DTA Grinders, co-captained and coached by Julie’s husband, Ryan Davidson, play out of the Davidson Tennis Academy at the Virginia Beach Tennis & Country Club in Virginia Beach. They competed locally in the 2012 Spring Hampton Roads USTA JTT League, and despite having to play up in the 18 and Under Advanced division, they still won 179 of their 317 games (56%). They went 18-12 in individual matches, and 3-3 as a team.
At the Virginia District Championships, the DTA Grinders won 73% of their games (114 of 156), went an impressive 13-2 in individual match play, and finished 3-0 as a team. They played two of the same teams at the Section Championships, winning 100 of 156 games (64%), 11 of the 15 individual matches, and finishing 2-1 in head-to-head team matches. They fell only three games shy of finishing undefeated and being the Sectional champions.
The DTA Grinders finished the 2011-12 JTT season with an 8-4 record. All four losses were to the hands of teams also competing at this year’s National Championships.
Julie adds that “the JTT format provides a unique opportunity to bring our players together to support one another as well as grow as individual tennis players. To be able to converse with our players during competition has proven to be invaluable.”
The DTA Grinders National roster consists of five boys and three girls from their original local team. A ninth member, Danika Kahatapitiya, is unable to participate because she agreed to be a substitute for The Legends (18 and Under Advanced) at Nationals, before the DTA Grinders got the call to be a wildcard.
On Friday, October 19, the DTA Grinders will face off against the Southern Section, a team from Georgia. They will follow that with a match against a team from Columbus, Ohio (Midwest Section). They will wrap up their flight play on Saturday with a match against the Pacific Northwest Section’s Washington team.
DTA Grinders’ National roster:
|Costen, Kimberly||First Colonial High School||5-2|
|Hunter, Scotty||Norfolk Academy||8-3|
|Jacob, Connor||Norfolk Academy||5-1|
|Jacob, Dillon||Norfolk Academy||13-1|
|Kahatapitiya, Romesh||Landstown Middle School||4-3|
|Murillo, Sebastian||The Williams School||5-3|
|Shelton, Aja||Norfolk Collegiate School||4-1|
|Whited, Sarah||Great Neck Middle School||5-5|