DTA Grinders Match Highest Ever Finish for a Virginia Team at USTA JTT Nationals
October 22, 2012 - The DTA Grinders placed 3rd at the USTA National Jr. Team Tennis 14 and Under Advanced Championships on October 19-21, matching the highest finish for any Virginia team at the event since 2006.
The DTA Grinders were co-captained by Julie and Ryan Davidson, and played for the Davidson Tennis Academy out of the Virginia Beach Tennis & Country Club.
Just two weeks before the 14U National Championships, the DTA Grinders received a call inviting them as a wildcard. They fell short of earning the automatic invitation by only three games at the USTA/Mid-Atlantic Section Championships in July.
“The team had an amazing experience at Nationals,” said Julie Davidson. “After finding out only two weeks before the Championships began that they received a wildcard, they were determined to go in fighting and give it their best effort.”
The DTA Grinders were represented by Kimberly Costen (First Colonial High School), Scotty Hunter (Norfolk Academy), Romesh Kahatapitya (Landstown Middle School), Sebastian Murillo (The Williams School), Aja Shelton (Norfolk Collegiate School), and Sarah Whited (Great Neck Middle School).
They began round robin play in "Flight 3" on Day 1. In the morning, they defeated the Southern Section (Georgia) by a final of 54-36. In the afternoon, the DTA Grinders knocked off the Midwest Section (Columbus, Ohio), 56-39. They completed their sweep of flight play with a close 48-42 win over the Pacific Northwest Section (Washington) during the morning on Day 2.
By virtue of winning their flight, the DTA Grinders earned a spot in the National Semifinals. They finished with 158 total games won, compared to the team representing the Pacific Northwest Section who had 155.
In semifinals, the DTA Grinders fell in a hard fought match to the New England Section, 45-30. They won boys singles and boys doubles. The semifinal loss pitted them against Hawaii Pacific in the 3rd place match. The DTA Grinders did not disappoint, winning 59-23 and sweeping all five individual matches.
The DTA Grinders finished the weekend with a 4-1 record, and earned the distinction as the 3rd best 14U Advanced team in the country. A remarkable feat considering only six of their 10 players could compete that weekend.
“They carried themselves with poise and confidence, and they are thrilled to share this third place victory as a team,” mentioned Julie Davidson. “JTT gave the players the opportunity to support one another and experience winning with one another. It will be an event that they will cherish always.”
This is the second time a team out of the Davidson Tennis Academy in Virginia Beach competed at the National Championships. In 2008, “Team DTA” placed 9th in the 18 and Under Advanced division.
All-Time Virginia Team Finishes at USTA National Jr. Team Tennis Championships:
|3rd||14U ADV||2012||DTA Grinders||Virginia Beach|
|3rd||18U INt||2006||Huntington Park||Newport News|
|4th||14U ADV||2011||The Dream Team||Virginia Beach|
|9th||18U ADV||2008||Team DTA||Virginia Beach|
|11th||18U ADV||2010||The Nets||Northern Virginia|
|15th||14U ADV||2008||Richmond Nomads||Richmond|
|16th||18U ADV||2011||The Nets||Northern Virginia|
|16th||14U ADV||2009||Richmond Nomads||Richmond|
|16th||14U INT||2008||Regency||Northern Virginia|