• 2013 GACTA Middle School Tennis League


    Middle-School-Tennis-Gainesville-FLThis spring, the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association sponsored the third season of its no-cut Middle School Tennis league, which provided 135 area middle school students an opportunity to play tennis in a team format for their middle school. The season ran during the months of April and May following the high school tennis season. Volunteer parent-captains recruited middle school students from eight middle schools under the guidance of Anne Koterba, Vice-President of GACTA and coordinator of the middle school tennis program. Jordan Glen, Oak Hall School, PK Yonge, Lake City, Westwood, Kanapaha, Lincoln, and newcomer Howard Bishop participated this year.

    “This program could not exist without the wonderful volunteer parent-coordinators and the local tennis professionals who donate a lot of time and effort to make this program work. We are very grateful to all of them,” Koterba commented. “This year, we had several new tennis professionals help us out with practices for the various teams, including Abdoulaye Toure of the 300 Club, Patrick Jenkins, of the Gainesville Golf and Country Club, and Bob Langer, formerly of Haile Tennis. Addison Staples was instrumental in revitalizing the Howard Bishop tennis courts this past year and in forming the Howard Bishop tennis club in partnership with the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program, and Chris McDonald will continue to work with the team this summer. Jonesville Tennis Center, Westside Tennis, and Oak Hall School, as they have in the past, provided tennis courts for match play and practices during the regular season as well as for the end of the season tournament.”

    A two-day GACTA Middle School League Team Championship, modeled on the FHSAA district tournament format, was held at the Jonesville Tennis Center and Oak Hall tennis facilities at the end of May. The team finals in almost every division came down to a battle between Jordan Glen and Oak Hall doubles teams. These matches were all very competitive, and the outcome wasn’t determined until the very end. Just like in high school or college tennis, all the team members and fans moved down to the last court playing to support their players and cheer them on. Hopefully this experience gave our middle school players a taste of what it might feel like to play for a high school or college team. In the end, Jordan Glen School repeated as Champion, narrowly defeating Oak Hall School for the second year in a row. PK Yonge was third, and Kanapaha was fourth.

    This year, for the first time, separate girls’ singles and boys’ singles draws were played. Selin Yaylali (Oak Hall), was the 2013 Middle School Girls’ Singles Champion and Aminah Moffett (Kanapaha), was Runner-Up. Brandon Stewart (Jordan Glen) was the Middle School Boys’ Singles Champion and Quin Whittaker (PK Yonge) was Runner-Up.

    Individual Division Final Results:

    Division 1: Selin Yaylali and Grey Cacciatore (OH) def Dare Harris/Brandon Stewart (JG) 9-7

    Division 2: Daniela Ifju and Ivan Esguerra(PK) def Hershel Flechas/Zach Cantatore (JG) 8-3

    Division 3: Brock Frey and Chris Keel (JG) def Nicholas Springer/Adam Shugar (OH) 8-4

    Division 4: Marcus and Lorna Milani(OH) def Robby Lester/Cameron Trimble(JG) 9-7

    Division 5: Leo Asch and Colby Stewart (JG) def Lauren Dace/Elaa Singh (OH) 9-8(8)

    Division 6: Nolan Louis and Christian Carrigan (JG) def Emily Dace/Neil Udassi (OH) 8-4

    Division 7: Marya Ali and Alexandra Ro (OH) def Dagney Kaye/Matya Kaye (JG) 8-0

    Division 8: Anna Massey and Nadira Najm-Cary(JG) def River Saulsbury/Mac Laborde (OH) 9-7



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