For the first time in many, many years, a team of Los Angeles Tennis Club ladies has won the right to compete at a national USTA tournament. The LATC’s Winter 3.5 USTA team will compete in the USTA National Tournament in the 3.5 Division, playing singles and doubles. The team, captained by longtime tennis club member and Windsor Square resident Milinda McNeely, won its local Southern California division against teams of women ages 40 and over. As winners, they went on to compete in USTA SOCAL Sectionals held over the weekend of May 15-16 at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, where the team won the right to play at the USTA National tournament to be held in Scottsdale, Arizona this October.
“We started our team in January, playing 3 lines of doubles and one line of singles against local teams in the Southern California section,” explained Milinda McNeely, who works full-time as a lawyer in the entertainment industry. Nora Suk, also a Windsor Square resident, served as co-captain.
They lost only one match during the season against teams from Mountaingate, The Downtown Tennis Center, Griffith Park, Cheviot Park, Westwood Tennis Center and La Cienega Tennis Center. Thirteen of the teams’ 14 qualified players competed at the sectional tournament. Players must play at least two regular season matches to qualify for sectionals.
“We started playing matches on the Friday against teams from all over Southern California; this was one of the largest USTA tournaments, there were 16 teams competing,” McNeely told the Buzz. “We swept all our Friday and Saturday matches which put us into the semi-finals on Sunday and then the final where we swept those teams as well. I am so proud of my team for playing so hard, they fought hard to win, there were several tie breaks in the final. It was very exciting!”
“This was just an amazing, great group of women,” said McNeely. “One of silver linings of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that we have all been playing so much more tennis thanks to more flexible work schedules. There are also many new members who are interested in playing.”
About Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.
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