The best of the best in New England Junior Team Tennis (JTT) congregated at Harvard University for a Section Championship designed to promote team values, as well as working together for one common objective. On July 26 and 27, New England’s top 17 JTT teams competed in four divisions for a shot to represent the section in the JTT Nationals at the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) new national campus this September. For the fourth year in a row, the MadRackets, representing Madison Racquet & Swim Club, won the New England sectionals and advanced to nationals, which will be held in Orlando, Florida.
Teams from all seven New England districts of eastern and western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island competed in their local leagues throughout the summer for a chance at reaching their respective district championships. District winners from each division in 18-U advanced, 18-U intermediate, 14-U advanced, and 14-U intermediate levels moved on to compete at the Section Championship. After once again rolling through the Connecticut District Championships, the MadRackets were back at it and seeking their fourth consecutive section championship title in the 14-U intermediate draw.
“I tried not to think about years past or the pressure and tried to get my team to not think about that either,” said Head Coach Rick Fay. “I just told them if they trust their training and listen to their coaching throughout the match, then we have a good shot at going back to nationals.”
The MadRackets wound up winning all four matches in their flight and made it back to nationals. Captain Lindsay Riordan played a big factor both on the court and off for the MadRackets. Competing in singles and mixed doubles, she lost just one match in a tiebreaker. Off the court, Riordan ensured that everyone on her team was supporting one another.
“Knowing how much fun nationals was, I was a little nervous because I wanted to go back, but I played well and like I can, and so did everyone else on our team,” Riordan said. “This year, I was one of the older kids, so I had a chance to lead the team and help everyone and really make sure everyone was cheering and having a good time.”
Sebastien Lowy won both of his boys’ singles and mixed doubles matches, and he also took home the 14-U Intermediate Sportsmanship Award. Lowy additionally claimed the Sportsmanship Award for the 14-U intermediate section. Along with Riordan and Lowy, the MadRackets sectional championship team featured Nick Celetto, David Levchenko, Rufus McCleary, Bella Vejar, and Drew Williams.
Information courtesy of Rick Fay