News & Features
Texas Finally Takes Boys' 18 Team Championships
by Marcia Frost, 8 August 2011
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In 100 degree temperatures with stifling humidity, the USTA Boys' 18 Team Championships once again took place at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. That was the about only thing that remained status quo as a new champion was crowned and the matches weren't quite what they used to be.
After Southern California ruled the courts for five straight years from 2004 to 2008, Midwest won the 2009 Boys' 18 team event on their home turf in 2009, and Florida took the crown last year
. It has become clear that the field of top players had spread across the country, and that fact became even more obvious this year. None of the winners from the past seven years reached the final in 2011, as Texas A&M
men's coach Steve Denton led the USTA Texas team to victory over the boys from USTA Southern.
The heat likely played a large part in the tournament, as players wanted to get off the court as soon as possible. Despite a stellar job by the Fighting Illini athletic trainers, keeping water and Gatorade close by to every court and checking on players who demonstrated any problems with the heat, a few succumbed to the weather. The slightest breeze was welcome as some of the tempers of the players also heated up. In the end, everyone seemed to be doing more sighs that it was over rather than celebrating.
Unlike previous years with dramatic 4-3 finishes, the final this year match between No. 1 Southern and No. 2 Texas was not quite so climatic. None of the doubles matches were close, with John Richmond and Vikram Hundal taking the first match at No. 3 for Southern with a score of 8-2, followed by Mitchell Krueger and Dane Webb capturing No. 1 for Texas. The deciding match at No. 2 gave Texas the doubles point with an 8-4 victory by Harrison Adams and Nicholas Naumann. The singles matches were not much closer as none of the six matches went to three sets.
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