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Teams Overcome Hurricane, Injuries to Win Tri-Levels

January 30, 2013 05:10 PM
The men from Premier Athletic Club captained by Greg Morley.
The women from Rockville Racquet Club captained by Lynnette Cruz.
The path to victory on January 20 was anything but easy for the USTA Eastern Tri-Level (4.5-4.0-3.5) League Champions: the men from Premier Athletic Club (Montrose, NY) and the women from Rockville Racquet Club (Rockville Centre, NY).
 
The men’s team, led by Greg Morley, had a difficult loss early in the season. Then, Hurricane Sandy hit, leaving most of the team without power for weeks.
 
But from the darkness, the team emerged even stronger.
 
"I think that was what really pulled us together," said Morley of the Hurricane. "We picked each other up, sharing everything from gas for generators to string for racquets."
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The players’ perseverance came though at the Sectional Championships at Tri-City Fitness (Latham, NY), as they won close matches against some tough competition. In the team’s first three matches, the difference between winning and losing came down to a super tiebreak.
 
"On Day Two, we knew we had to beat two of the top teams to get through," said Morley. "We came ready for the challenge and were not intimidated."
 
While Hurricane Sandy also affected the women from Rockville Racquet, it was having a healthy team that presented the most immediate challenge.
 
"We had several players with injuries at the start of the season: knee injuries, shoulder injuries and back injuries," said the team’s captain, Lynnette Cruz. "But they all worked hard to recover and did what they had to do to prepare."
 
And it was the team’s dedication and skill that Cruz credits with its victory.
 
Cruz and Morley’s teams will now compete against players from across the country at the BNP Paribas Open Tri-Level Championships in Indian Wells, CA, March 14-17.
 
"I'm proud and honored to be the captain of this team," said Cruz. "The talent that I have witnessed within this team is beyond words. Nationals, here we come!"
 
Leagues are held throughout the year at USTA Eastern. To sign up for a League near you, contact your local league coordinator.
 
 

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