by Paula Moser & Alisa Young.
Our 4.5 level team is comprised of 15 amazing ladies, all 50-years young and counting, who love tennis! The camaraderie and competition that’s part and parcel of team sports also stokes our passion to play. Our match format is three doubles matches. We wrapped up our regular season with a 9-2 record, before capturing Sectional wins in Walnut Creek. From there our team earned the right to represent NorCal at National’s!
After playing in three days of Rancho Mirage’s 95 plus degree temperature, we claimed the Third Place trophy. The top three teams were separated by a 10 point tie-breaker. It was that close!
Friends have asked about the key to our success…my answer: No Prima Donnas! Seriously, our team was successful because we were able to seamlessly switch partners, if needed, and ladies were flexible and willing to do what was best for our team. This flexibility might be one of the lessons that our Older-but-Wiser group has garnered from our life experience and time on the courts. Another key is we value our time together. We all realize what a privilege it is to be competing at Nationals. Adding to the fun, comfort and camaraderie of this trip, was the fact that two of our teammates have lovely homes in La Quinta. Much more relaxing and fun than being in separate rooms spread across hotels.
Tennis teaches life lessons — about effort, communication and mental fortitude. Our team works hard, our team reaps rewards. As players we need to communicate well with our partner to resolve problems, coordinate our efforts and namely to win the match. Speaking personally, even when the match is going well, there is always that doggone brain chatter trying to mess me up. Playing as a team supportive of one another, with positive body language and confidence, always makes it fun.
After playing Nationals, there’s the sad realization that the team must split up. To ensure that one team doesn’t dominate any league, only three members of any National team are allowed to be on any USTA team the next year. Relationships and friendships remain, but new friends and relationships will form with new teammates on new teams. New life lessons will be learned and appreciated. Best of all, burning those extra calories on the court, a little extra dessert can be enjoyed by all. Talk about icing on the cake!
Our home courts are the Los Gatos Swim and Racquet Club, though our players hail from the East & South Bay, Peninsula and Monterey.
NorCal National Team Members: Mary Gustafson, Mary Harris, Robin Johnston, Sherrie McClung, Marilyn Kristal Morrell, Paula Moser, Chris Parker, Peta Peterson, Motoko Yagi, Alisa Young, Cynthia Zirpolo. A heartfelt Shout Out to our Team Members who were not able to join us at Nationals, but were with us in spirit: Celeste Birkhofer, Lisa Maral, Lori McPherson, Caryn (Sue) Baldinger