ATA Dream Team Wins National Title
The Austin Tennis Academy ‘Dream Team’ achieved the ultimate goal on its quest for glory by capturing the 2011 Jr. Team Tennis 18 & Under Advanced National Championship in Surprise, Arizona this past weekend.
"It feels great to be national champions,” Team Coach Kendall Brooks said. “Last year we finished second and our goal was to come back and try to win it all. We have three seniors on the team this year, and I am really happy for Josh, Brooke and Andrew and the great memories they will be taking away with them."
The team, made up of Josh Hagar, Brooke Hughes, Liam Leddy, Charlie Shin, Meredith Parks, Andrew Parks and Meghan O’Malley, began their quest in Round Robin play vs New England, winning 57-20. Next, the group took down Missouri Valley 60-14 followed by Eastern 55-33 to secure a spot in the semifinals.
There, the Dream Team battled past Northern, 52-23 to reach the National Championships final round to face Florida. The Dream Team, led by senior anchors Hagar, Hughes and Parks, etched their names in JTT history with a 49-39 victory to claim the National Championship crown.
“Overall it was an awesome weekend,” Coach Brooks said. “The best thing about winning this title was the fact that it was truly a TEAM effort. Everyone played in every match and contributed in his or her own way all weekend. I had intended to mix the line-up around some each match to make adjustments, but from the very start I saw no reason to mess with a good thing, so we actually played the same line-up in every match. Different players stepped up at different times and we couldn't have won without anyone on the team.”
While the Dream Team took 1st place for USTA Texas, USTA Florida finished in 2nd place, USTA Midwest finished in 3rd place, and USTA Northern finished in 4th.
“It was really cool for me to see our younger, inexperienced players step up and play huge, as well as our older leaders get a chance to do just that- lead us to victory. I could not have been more proud of every player on this team, and so excited for them to have their hard work pay off.”
At practice on Wednesday, each member of the team will tell their favorite story from the weekend to the Academy, JD and JA groups, so they too can experience a part of this team victory.
Congratulations to Coach Brooks and the entire team! Check here again soon for responses from veterans Josh Hagar and Brooke Hughes, as well as takeaways on all players from Coach Brooks.